Bailey is a young raccoon in an animal-diverse elementary school who’s experiencing physical bullying from one of the other animals. Eventually Baile Bailey is a young raccoon in an animal-diverse elementary school who’s experiencing physical bullying from one of the other animals. Eventually Bailey shares his problem with his mother, who alerts the school of the situation. Several helpful adults, including his mother and the school counselor, give Bailey some tools to deal with the bullying, such as staying with a group and expressing confidence by looking the bully in the eye. Each page has commentary in small print that offers extra information about physical bullying, which may help an adult reader. The back page of the book also offers a few print and internet resources about bullying. The digital illustrations are in calm, muted tones and accompany the story without adding much more to the narrative. The story itself feels contrived, with the focus on the issue rather than letting the story take the lead. And though it might prompt important conversations about bullying, so would any number of excellent picture books available, such as Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson or Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts...more
Mr. Bobbin lives next to a forest and after watching hunters in their yellow coats with their shiny guns go by, decides to get his own hunting gear anMr. Bobbin lives next to a forest and after watching hunters in their yellow coats with their shiny guns go by, decides to get his own hunting gear and fancy hunting clothes. But Mr. Bobbin’s hunting is quite different from most hunters. Each time he lines up a different animal in the sight of his gun, he makes some kind of purposeful noise so that the animal can get away. Before long, the animals realize he’s no threat, and even look forward to his afternoons of “hunting.” Each night he returns home to delicious vegetarian supper and tells his cat how much fun he had hunting. Duvoisin delivers a quiet message of tolerance and kindness without preaching. The repetition and onomatopoeia provide a playful rhythm and along with the predictable elements help to make this story shine as a read aloud. The illustrations feature a warm, autumnal palette of greens, browns, and mustard yellows and bring to mind the amiable animal stories the late author was known for, including Petunia, Veronica, and The Happy Lion. Introduce this reissued classic to a new group of readers....more
A city cat finds only rejection and loneliness until it boards a bus and makes friends with an elderly Asian gentleman who takes the cat home to his gA city cat finds only rejection and loneliness until it boards a bus and makes friends with an elderly Asian gentleman who takes the cat home to his granddaughter. The book is nearly wordless, with only the onomatopoeic depiction of the cat’s movements and the shooing away by various adults, providing a rhythmic text to the story in pictures. Kim’s pastel and colored pencil illustrations depict a cold winter day that turns to snow. Our hero, a calico cat, looks more and more dejected until it bounds onto a city bus, where it gleefully hops onto a seat to enjoy the winter scene through the window. There are plenty of little details for readers to observe, from the lost glove on an empty bus seat to the holiday decorations in the shop windows. As the cat moves from the cold outside to the warmth of the bus, and eventually a home, the colors change from cool blues to warm reds and golds, bringing a sense of comfort and security. Readers may also notice a variety of other pets, snuggled in hand bags or carriers, which adds to the satisfaction of the cat finding such a welcoming and loving home for itself. This is an excellent book for igniting a spark of imagination in beginning readers, or better yet—shared with someone you love....more
A proud but thoughtful king is bested by a variety of natural elements in this German import. The king, a creation of crayon and collage, converses wiA proud but thoughtful king is bested by a variety of natural elements in this German import. The king, a creation of crayon and collage, converses with each figure, sometimes asking questions and other times asserting his own kingliness. “Don’t you know I’m the king?” he asks a bee, who promptly replies “And I’m the queen,” and then stings king’s nose. Sometimes the king shows a Zen-like acceptance, like listening to the majesty of the waves of the sea, or laying down in the warm sun with a cat. The king’s humanity comes out on top once, when he shows the night that he can do both dark and light by holding a candle. Erlbruch’s droll mixed-media illustrations provide a witty counterpart to Janisch’s text. Readers will get a chuckle out of a red-faced king clearly losing a power struggle with a sullen, long-eared dog. Children may not always understand the nuances, but they will appreciate the mighty and powerful humbled by the everyday and ordinary. The picture book can easily be read in one setting, or can be broken up into much shorter readings (each “story” is only one short page), making it suitable for both reading aloud and some independent reading....more
A near-sighted crocodile mistakes a young armored knight for a baby crocodile and adopts him as his own in this French picture book. In the first partA near-sighted crocodile mistakes a young armored knight for a baby crocodile and adopts him as his own in this French picture book. In the first part of the story, the crocodile is the narrator, lovingly describing how his “baby” sinks instead of swimming, and prefers cooked meat to raw. When he finally sees him taking off his “skin” to take a bath and realizes what he’s found is a human, he decides “this little boy will always be my baby.” Then the narrative switches to the little boy who describes his adventures with the adoring crocodile—adventures that are much more fun than “life inside a stuffy castle!” But, distrust begins to grow between the two, as each realizes the potential danger that each could be to the other. The narrative changes to a joint one, with each side expressing both their fears and love for each other. Finally the two realize they can’t live together, and the two sadly part ways, in a tearful parting scene. Dorémus’s pen and ink illustrations in vivid reds and pinks provide moments of drama and humor, such as when the boy’s squeaky armor scares away all of the crocodile’s prey. Klinger’s red hand lettering may be a bit difficult for young readers to tackle, but adds to the overall character of the book. This is probably best shared one-on-one or in small groups, so that the details and subtleties of the text and illustrations can be best appreciated....more
Although Trog has the best toys a cave boy could wish for—a stick, a rock, and plenty of mud—what he really wants is a puppy.He sets off to find one,Although Trog has the best toys a cave boy could wish for—a stick, a rock, and plenty of mud—what he really wants is a puppy.He sets off to find one, but the scaly, spiny-backed beast he brings home looks suspiciously more reptilian than canine. Puppies are notorious for chewing issues, but Trog’s pet with its mouthful of sharp teeth takes chewing to a whole new level, munching and chomping through all the rock and stone in Trog’s family cave. Even worse, the creature is clearly unhappy, crying for its parent no matter how Trog tries to distract it—a parent that’s even larger and more destructive than Trog’s pet. Both the text and the cartoonish pencil and digital artwork aim for laughs, and are sure to get them with gags like Trog’s parents pointing out the bad poopy on the cave floor. The simple text with plenty of onomatopoeia and speech bubbles make this excellent for dramatic read alouds or independent beginning readers. Give this to fans of James Marshall, Mo Willems, and other funny picture book authors for plenty of laugh-out-loud fun. ...more
Mr. Moon is a sleepy cat whose behavior most any cat owner will recognize. Much to the dismay of his owner, a young child of an unspecified gender, M Mr. Moon is a sleepy cat whose behavior most any cat owner will recognize. Much to the dismay of his owner, a young child of an unspecified gender, Mr. Moon would rather sleep than play hide-and-seek, listen to adventure stories, play with puzzles, or have tea parties. Readers may giggle to see the large white cat sprawled across a puzzle, or curled up on a sofa. So, when Mr. Moon shows signs of life after dark, the child follows him through the tree-covered wall paper to a dreamy, magical, night-time world. Here it turns out Mr. Moon—now walking on two legs—does like games, puzzles, and tea parties. The white cat and his red pajama clad child are joined by woodland animals and statues of mythical creatures like mermaids, fawns, and cherubim brought to life. The pen and ink drawings are tinted primarily in greens, with the occasional pop of red, which gives the wallpaper world a dreamy feel. The fanciful book would work well in a bedtime-themed storytime, or paired with other imaginative journeys, like Harold and his purple crayon....more
When Adelaide brings in a giant Nordic-sweater-clad bear as her reading buddy, her teacher and fellow students are a little unsure—terrified might beWhen Adelaide brings in a giant Nordic-sweater-clad bear as her reading buddy, her teacher and fellow students are a little unsure—terrified might be a better word. Adelaide then proceeds to enumerate the many qualifications of a bear as a reading partner. Though a few are definitely bear-specific (like a super snout for sniffing out great stories, or a pot of honey for minor book repairs), most are excellent suggestions for anyone hoping to encourage a new reader. Adelaide and her bear snuggle together in a reading tent, tackle difficult words, and “clamber to new heights” as they discover new books. Her bear offers “super-sensitive” ears for listening, “bear hugs” for encouragement, and roars of approval. The flat, jewel-toned illustrations depict the challenges of learning to read as a joyous adventure—especially when tackled with a good partner. The large pages with bold illustrations and engaging text make this an excellent read aloud—perfect for a storytime on the pleasures of reading.
*Review copy from Children's Literature Database...more
Scruff is a stray dog with a passion for digging, which doesn’t endear him to other dogs and their owners—though with names like Mrs. Fancypants, Mr.Scruff is a stray dog with a passion for digging, which doesn’t endear him to other dogs and their owners—though with names like Mrs. Fancypants, Mr. Fusspot, and Mrs. Hoity-Toity, that’s not surprising. Scruff isn’t too bothered by his rejection. Instead, he heads for friendlier places where he can dig to his heart’s content. And what he finds is a bone-lover’s paradise: hundreds of bones of all sizes, with some as big as trees! Scruff isn’t selfish, but when he shares his find with the other dogs, one of them realizes where he’s seen bones like that before—at the Natural History Museum. Zommer’s digital illustrations are full of amusing details, like a pack of different sized dogs with their mouths full of bones taking public transportation across town. The focus is on the dog world: all humans are portrayed form the waist down only. The comical story of dancing (or digging) to your own tune will work well as either a read aloud or for one-on-one sharing. Or, pair this with another book about a dog with a nose for dinosaur bones, Steven Kellogg’s Prehistoric Pinkerton.
*Review copy from Children's Literature Database...more
Wood's picture book biography of the Mexican composer and band leader Juan Esquivel playfully captures his innovation and energy. Esquivel made up forWood's picture book biography of the Mexican composer and band leader Juan Esquivel playfully captures his innovation and energy. Esquivel made up for his lack of traditional music training in imagination and hard work. He was a pioneer in the use of stereo recording and the use of unusual instruments and imagery in music. The book begs to be read aloud, with it's onomatopoeia and playful storytelling. Tonatiuh's illustrations combine fashion and textures of the 1960's with style of ancient Mexican Art of the fifteenth and sixteenth century, with colorful figures always shown in profile. Extensive notes from both the author and the illustrator give more information about Esquivel and explain what captivated them about this unusual artist.
Barnett & Klassen hit another home run with this story about the glories of digging in the dirt (and chocolate milk!). Though the two repeatedly mBarnett & Klassen hit another home run with this story about the glories of digging in the dirt (and chocolate milk!). Though the two repeatedly miss fantastic buried treasure, it's clear that the real treasure is the joy of exploration....more