Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Birthday for Cow!

Read: 5/25/2010
A Birthday for Cow! - Jan Thomas

It is Cow's birthday so her friends are baking her a birthday cake. All the ingredients are going in one by one, flour, eggs, etc. Every step of the way, Duck insists that they should add a TURNIP! Of course, this silly request is refused. (SPOILER ALERT!) When Cow does arrive, what is she thrilled to eat? The turnip!

Bright, bright, BRIGHT illustrations with large black outlines are the style featured in this book. It sort of reminds you of Mo Willems, but Jan Thomas' illustrations are more manic, less precise than Willems. And the story is perfect for 3 year olds - lots of repetition, simple ingredients that kids recognize and can chime in on. All hallmarks of a great read-aloud.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Read: 12/1/2009
Pouch! by David Ezra Stein

A sweet little picture book...I always say that, don't I? Picture books are sweet and at 32 pages, they are little! Okay - a sweet little picture book by the author of Leaves. A little kangaroo emerges from his mother's pouch to explore the world which scares him every time he meets someone new. He keeps re-emerging and jumping back into his mother's pouch until he meets another little kangaroo and the two of them are much braver together!

David Ezra Stein's watercolor and crayon images are whimsical and fill the pages. The pictures are definitely as important as the words, which are few.

Due to the simplicity of the story and the young age of the protagonist, this would be an ideal book for toddlers and twos.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dinosaur vs. Bedtime

Read: 11/24/2009

Oh man, oh man! What a funky, fun book! This will be very big with the monster/dinosaur crowd - especially the 2-3 year old ones! A little dinosaur takes on some everyday challenges such as a pile of leaves and a bowl of spaghetti, handily beating them all! Then he must face his biggest challenge...BEDTIME! Does he win? Read the book! Don't worry, it will take you 2 minutes.

Features big, clear illustrations and GIGANTIC FONTS!

Higher! Higher!

Read: 11/23/2009

Higher! Higher! by Leslie Patricelli

What a fun, simple book!
A little girl and her father go to a park where he pushes her on a swing. She wants to go higher and higher and indeed she does, going past a skyscraper, an airplane, a rocketship and even further! This book has a total of 6 words in it, so you can be sure that it would be a winner with the very youngest listeners.

The illustrations are acrylic paintings and are very simple and colorful.

I love this book!

El Barrio

Read: November 23, 2009

El Barrio by Debbie Chocolate, Illustrated by David Diaz

This colorful picture book serves as a very positive introduction to life in the barrio. He talks about different celebrations and experiences from first communion to his sister's quinceanera.
I love David Diaz's illustrations that seem to be a combination of woodcut or linoleum prints and collage.
This simple book would be a good one for the preschool set.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming

Read: Last Year

The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming: a christmas story by Lemony Snicket; Illustrated by Lisa Brown

A very funny story for grown-ups in the guise of a children's book - basically an allegory for what it is like to Jewish at Christmas. My favorite line? "I AM NOT A HASH BROWN!"

Not for children under the age of 12. Definitely for teens and adults.

The Channukah Guest

Read: a long time ago

The Chanukkah Guest by Eric Kimmel; Illustrated by Giora Carmi

A hilarious story about a woman with failing eyesight who mistakes a bear for the Rabbi come to join her for her famous latkes.

Eric Kimmel has written a good number of Hanukkah books for the picture book set - and this one is my favorite.