Tuesday, December 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
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
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.
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.
Monday, August 31, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
A lonely old lady finds a "puppy" in the park and takes him home. Peanut is an unusual puppy - since he really is an elephant. Finally the ringmaster from the circus sees them at the park and takes Peanut home to the circus - where he really belongs.
The illustrations are cartoon-like but are clearly defined which makes for a good story time read.
I love this story. All in rhyme, a little boy bemoans his younger brother who gets all the glory, when it used to be his...when he was King.
The illustrations are just what I'd expect from David McPhail - soft and whimsical. I love the crown the little boy wears throughout the story - reminding us that he used to be King...
Friday, July 31, 2009
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Read: May 7, 2009
Little Hoot by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Illustrated by Jen Corace
Little Hoot is a baby owl with a problem. His parents won't let him go to bed at a reasonable hour. They make him stay up late, because that is what Owls do.
The illustrations by Jen Corace are charming and sweet with a large clear picture of the characters on each page. Though the format of the book is somewhat small overall, the simplicity would make this a good story time candidate.
Read: May 7, 2009
Maybe a Bear Ate It! by Robie H. Harris, Illustrated by Michael Emberley
A little monster? cat? creature? is reading a book in bed. When he loses it under his covers, he starts to panic and begins a string of assumptions about what may have happened to his book.
Michael Emberley's illustrations and large, clear and colorful. This lends the book towards easy use for story time and with younger readers. The Bear (who gets a bum rap and is featured on the cover) is scary and endearing at the same time. The main character - the cat/monster/creature has on a cool stripe-y pair of pajamas and I love the expressions he gets while in such a state of despair!
Thursday, April 30, 2009
One by Kathryn Otoshi
Kathryn Otoshi packs a lot of meaningful content into a very simply written and illustrated picture book. This book introduces colors, numbers and standing up to bullies! Simple watercolor illustrations of simple circles of color make up the characters.
Red is a big bully who always puts Blue down. The other colors don't like that, but they don't stand up to Red. Finally, along comes a grey Number One who doesn't take Red's nonsense. All the other colors like that and become numbers able to stand up to Red too. Even Blue. I love this book!
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Tillie Lays An Egg by Terry Golson, Photographs by Ben Fink
What a fun little book. Tillie is a little white hen who lives in a chicken coop with 6 other hens. She is adventurous and likes to go outside the barnyard to eat worms and lay eggs in odd places.
The photographs are of the author's actual home and chickens.
BONUS - check out the Hen Cam to see the author's chickens going about their day!
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
A little girl (drawn in charcoal) visits the beach with her mother (and some seagulls!) The interactions she has with the waves are priceless and hilarious.
A really great book to "read" with a preschooler. The format is a little small for a storytime though.
This is a Trading Up story with some great goofy colorful illustrations. The story is engaging but rather long - good for the 2nd or 3rd grader or to read aloud to a group of Kindergartners or older students.
A man meets a dog who he gives a good petting to. The dog in return gives him fleas! He manages to trade up to a talkative uncle, a pile of stinky cheese, a banjo, a wig, etc. until he ends up back where he started - with a bone which he gives to the same dog he got the fleas from.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
There Are Cats in this Book by Viviane Schwartz
What a delightful book to read aloud to the youngest of children. Three high maintenance cats set about telling you how to interact with the book. Turn the page, lift the flap, etc.
Kids really enjoy the whimsical, bossy cats and the use of die-cut pages is on a par with Go Away, Big Green Monster!
Seriously- I'm putting this at the top of the books I've read this year!
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Nelly and Lil are twins who are as different as night and day. When they have an assignment at school to write about their likes and dislikes, Lil does hers right away, while Nelly goes outside to play. When she realizes her sister is finished with her assignment, she adds to it all about herself to create a joint project.
The characters are stereotyped to the N'th degree and the watercolor and pencil illustrations are very cute. I saw my childhood friend Kelly and myself in the two characters - and I am definitely Nelly and she was definitely Lil.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
By the same person who wrote Scrambled States of America, this book is about manners. I actually liked this one, the animals depicted are anthropomorphized but the quirky style that Keller illustrates in is more attractive.
A Rabbit learns that some Otters are moving in next door. He is upset about this because he hasn't met an Otter before. The Owl advises him to "do unto Otters as you would have them do unto you." Okay, its a bad Golden Rule pun and the complete basis of the story.
Monday, January 5, 2009
Louise, The Adventures of a Chicken by Kate DiCamillo, Illustrated by Harry Bliss
Louise is a chicken who longs for adventure and she goes on some very exciting adventures in this picture book which is almost a chapter book. In fact it is separated into four chapters. Because of the length and sophistication of the book, I'd say it is one of those elusive 3rd grade level books, though the large format is that of a picture book.
The illustrations by Harry Bliss (of Diary of a Worm fame) are lush and romantic. They look like a cross between a Winslow Homer painting and a cartoon. Don't believe me? Check out the cover!
Friday, January 2, 2009
Whopper Cake by Karma Wilson, Illustrated by Will Hillenbrand
Its Grandma's birthday and Grandpa decides to bake her gigantic chocolate cake - a Whopper Cake. The dogs seem to like to watch, and everyone comes to have some of this cake. The story is in rhyme and moves at a fast pace. There is a recipe for Whopper Cake at the end.
The illustrations by Will Hillenbrand are sketchy and sloppy but fun - kind of like Grandpa. Paint spatters become part of the whole picture - you can tell the mess making is an integral part of the story. Some of the details make it believable for me, like the cut up tennis balls on the legs of the stool Grandpa sits on and the garters holding up Grandpa's socks. I just had a revelation - Grandma and Grandpa are two old hippies.