Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Daisy Comes Home by Jan Brett
This isn't a new book, but was the topic of discussion at work today. Daisy is a hen who is picked on by the other hens. She falls asleep in a basket on a rainy night and floats away down the river. She has several adventures and ends up in the clutches of a greedy fisherman who decides to sell her at market. Her owner, Mei Mei finds out and tries to save her and between the two of them, Daisy escapes and is now tougher and able to handle the other hens.
Jan Brett's illustrations are great as usual - she employs the use of the side panels to show more details and forshadow what's coming next.
Monday, December 29, 2008
The illustrations on the other hand, pull the book out of the reject pile. Denise Brunkus creates a great world of characters who are appealing, look like kids and represent a diverse group.
Friday, December 26, 2008
Lots of Bots by Kiki Thorpe, Illustrated by Ben Butcher
I saw this book on our display shelf and was instantly drawn to it. I love robots. I didn't realize til after I picked it up that it is a Wall-E book. Once I started reading it I caught myself reading aloud. This book is meant to be read aloud. The rhymes are catchy - I mean REALLY CATCHY! The story is brief and appealing. An excellent read-aloud book.
The illustrations are made of cut paper - really well done. Ben Butcher works for Pixar Animation Studios. The paper-cut robots are terribly cute and the images translate well for reading to groups.
Keisha Ann Can by Daniel Kirk
A simple picture book describing a day in the life of a girl in Kindergarten. This would be good for kids who are getting ready to go to school for the first time. The illustrations are colorful and clear, the kids are all shades of the rainbow and the main character is African-American.
Spencer has too many toys. SERIOUSLY - he has every toy he ever got from anyone including the burger place. His parents trip over them one time too many and his mom decides some of the toys have to go. Much haggling ensues and eventually he abandons a boxful of toys with a funny surprise at the end.
David Shannon's illustrations are great - much like the David books but with a lot more detail all around - each toy is an individual and sharp-eyed folks will catch a lot of jokes for parents...
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson, Illustrated by Beth Krommes
Caldecott Award Winner for 2009
A simple story about a girl in a house at night. The rhythm of the story is a lot like The House that Jack Built and the author does refer to that as an inspiration in the afterword. The story is simple and short, the illustrations (scratchboards in black and white and yellow) are detailed and calm.
This is definitely a bedtime story to read over and over again. Because of the detail level of the illustration, I wouldn't recommend it for storytime unless you used the story only and turned it into some sort of interactive story or maybe a flannelboard...I'm still thinking about that one.
Monday, December 15, 2008
The Retired Kid - Jon Agee
What a fun book. A boy decides that being a kid is hard work and he is tired. In fact, he's ready to retire. His parents throw him a retirement party and then he actually flies to Florida to live in a Retirement Community. At first the retired life is great, but soon he grows tired of some of the down sides, like looking at hundreds of snapshots of someone's grandchildren and prune juice smoothies. So he comes out of retirement and goes back to being a kid.
The illustrations are fun and clear - a mix of crayon drawings with watercolor coloring. The look is simple, I wouldn't say it looks like a kid could do it - but there is a child-like sensibility to Agee's illustrations.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Jake's Best Thumb by Ilene Cooper, Illustrated by Claudio Munoz
Jake is a little boy who loves to suck his thumb. He doesn't really think sucking his thumb is a problem until he goes to Kindergarten. Cliff catches him doing it and loudly tells the class that Jake is a thumb-sucker. Jake feels embarrassed and harassed by the bullying Cliff, but also befriends Nell, a girl who has a special stuffed kitty that she has to bring to class. Cliff harasses Jake one time too many and we discover his own security blanket which falls out of his pocket. In the end, there is a truce and all the kids try to stop using their security items during the day.
The pen and watercolor illustrations are clear, big and colorful. The kids represented are a mix of ethnicities, which is good. I'd say this would be a perfect book to read at a storytime for Kindergarteners or with a child who hasn't given up her "lovey" just yet.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
A Visitor for Bear by Bonny Becker, Illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton
Friday, December 5, 2008
The Scrambled States of America Talent Show by Laurie Keller
The sequel to The Scrambled States of America. Anthropomorphised States put on a Talent Show. I imagine this is supposed to be a fun way to learn the 50 States and their Capitols.
The illustrations are cartoon-y and colorful.
I didn't really like this book at all. Sorry Laurie Keller.
Mail Harry to the Moon by Robie H. Harris, Illustrated by Michael Emberley
Another new baby anxiety/jealousy book. The story is short and sweet. The older brother doesn't like the new baby, Harry, getting all the attention, chewing on his toys, etc. He comes up with some very creative solutions - flush the baby down the toilet and the title of the book. When the baby is missing the next morning, the boy believes his brother really did get mailed to the moon and starts his imaginary journey to the moon to rescue him.
The illustrations are clear, cartoon-y and amusing. Drawn text takes up most of the page during the shouting scenes.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
The illustrations are really great and the story is somewhat dense - I'd recommend for 2nd and 3rd graders though you could read it to younger children - about 4 and up.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Very Hairy Bear by Alice Schertle, Illustrated by Matt Phelan
What a great book for little ones! The descriptive language is great - full of rhymes and playful sound-alikes. The pictures are whimsical and very large- great for toddlers. This bear is not scary at all.
My favorite part? When he is eating blueberries and has a blueberry sticking on each of his claws. Awesome!
Buffalo Storm by Katherine Applegate, illustrated by Jan Ormerod
The story of a girl whose family goes west in a covered wagon. She is very close to her grandmother- they are both afraid of storms- who gives her a quilt to remember her by. During the trip, she sees a bison calf who is caught in between some rocks, she frees the calf and then sees a stampede of bison that reminds her of a storm.
The story would be a good one to use with ages 6 and up - there is a lot of text, so for independant readers I'd say 2nd grade, early 3rd grade level. I love Jan Ormerod's artwork and this one is softer in its style than her other works.