Silly Lilly is simple comic book for beginning readers. Lilly believes that “Every day is a new day to play!” Readers can watch what Silly Lilly preteSilly Lilly is simple comic book for beginning readers. Lilly believes that “Every day is a new day to play!” Readers can watch what Silly Lilly pretends to be (or what she plays) each day of the week. Each section starts with telling which day of the week it is and what Lilly is being. For example it says “So, on Monday Silly Lilly is a cook.” Then there are numbered panels that tell what Lilly is “doing” each day. The panels are simple. They are all the same shape and size and are read from left to right—which is perfect for teaching kids how graphic novels work in a simplified way that won’t confuse beginning readers who have just learned the fundamentals of reading left to right. At the end of the story there is a recap of what Silly Lilly did each day of the week and tells what Lilly did on Sunday (the day that didn’t have its own story). Also, when Lilly is talking the word bubbles have longer tails leaving no question as to the fact that those words are what she is saying (even though there aren’t any other characters in the story). Basically this is a basic graphic novel perfect for beginning readers (of traditional text or graphic novels). Although the story is so basic that those who enjoy just a bit more of an advanced storyline will find this a bit dull....more
Directory Billy Waddler wants to make a documentary about a moose. He finds a good subject and starts filming. The only problem is that the moose doesDirectory Billy Waddler wants to make a documentary about a moose. He finds a good subject and starts filming. The only problem is that the moose doesn’t actually act like a moose. (Probably because the moose he is filming really wants to be an astro-moose and visit space.) The director gets more and more upset as filming goes on. Soon it seems that no animal really wants to act just like how their animal selves should act. And when the moose accidentally (but not really) gets launched into space, the movie just might be ruined.
This book is funny. These characters are hilarious. This story will be read over and over again. I love how there are so many fun details that grownups and youngsters can appreciate. (For example the end pages have what looks like a camera focusing in on a blurry moose and the director’s bubble says “Focus!”) And then there is the surprise that comes when readers find out exactly who the director is and what they all do about the fact that the moose has been launched into space. I also really like how the parts that the animals say are in talking bubbles and the parts that would be voice-overs or narrations are typed on the page. This is a fun yet subtle way to differentiate between the different types of talking in a movie. And even though it isn’t super obvious, it is little details like that which make this book all the more interesting to look at over and over and over again. Well done. Hopefully there will be more from this director and his crew. ...more
In this fun story a gator declares his love for watermelon. The gator thinks that eating watermelon is the best thing ever. Unfortunately the gator acIn this fun story a gator declares his love for watermelon. The gator thinks that eating watermelon is the best thing ever. Unfortunately the gator accidentally swallows a watermelon seed. And now a watermelon is going to grow in his belly. He will have watermelon vines coming out of his ears. His skin will turn pink. He might even end up in a fruit salad. Then he burps, and the watermelon seed comes out. This gator is smart and vows he will learn from his past–so will never eat watermelon again so he won’t mistakenly eat any seeds. Only, watermelon is his favorite thing…
This is a clever book. The illustrations are all in green, pink, black and white. (The perfect colors for an alligator and watermelon story.) The gator is also such a fun character, almost as fun as Bob Shea’s Dinosaur vs. the Potty‘s dinosaur. I’m impressed with how much can be expressed with a one-color gator with a black outline and some subtle facial expressions. And the details of the fruit salad or the trail of where the watermelon seed flew has just the right amount of detail to make the book extra interesting (even if many of the youngest readers won’t even notice). And then there are the textures in the background colors. One pink one has just enough white textured throughout to make it seem like it is a slice of watermelon behind the gator. Seriously, this is a great book with a funny “what if?” that many young watermelon eaters have wondered about. Love it!...more
Two little spider-like blob creatures (one blue and one red) find a peanut. They both decide that they want the peanut for themselves. One wants it foTwo little spider-like blob creatures (one blue and one red) find a peanut. They both decide that they want the peanut for themselves. One wants it for a hat. The other wants it for a pretend telephone. On and on it goes while the two creatures argue and fight over who should have possession of the peanut. Of course things get even trickier when a larger creature comes along and demands that the peanut is his. Then along comes an elephant. The elephant breaks the peanut shell in half and eats the peanuts inside. Then the creatures learn that sharing just might work.
This is a fun story about sharing. The two creatures seem like very good friends until they both want the same thing. The simplicity of the blobs and the background. I also really liked how the blobs are illustrated where the peanut looks more like a photograph and the elephant looks like a textured photograph/illustration. Also, the fact that the text is so simple will make it a sure hit for little ones with short attention spans for the text but love looking at all the details of the story and illustrations. Such a fun book....more
In this fun story about a brother and sister, younger sister Mia wants to play with big brother Spencer. But Spencer is way too busy to do anything wiIn this fun story about a brother and sister, younger sister Mia wants to play with big brother Spencer. But Spencer is way too busy to do anything with Mia. So Mia started doing her own thing…which was adding a large dose of imagination to everything she did. Eventually Spencer realized just how fun Mia could be and soon they were busy together. This is seriously one of the sweetest books about how to get along without being preachy about it. Not to say that Mia and Spencer didn’t get along before, but Spencer just was too busy to want to play with Mia. When Mia went and made everything she did extra fun, then Spencer wanted to play with her. I think loads of siblings will like the idea that they can find a way to play together and have their own adventures, even if what happens in the book will more likely be the exception rather than the rule. But the grown-ups who read the book to the youngsters can dream, eh?...more
In this fun edition of Elephant and Piggie, Piggie tells Gerald that she is now a frog. This worries Gerald. One minute Piggie was a pig and the nextIn this fun edition of Elephant and Piggie, Piggie tells Gerald that she is now a frog. This worries Gerald. One minute Piggie was a pig and the next she was a frog. And he doesn’t want to be a frog. Soon enough Gerald learns about the world of make believe and imagination. And then even though Gerald doesn’t want to be a frog, he does decide that playing pretend might be fun.
This is another fun gem of an early reader that Mo Willems has created. I especially enjoyed the fact that the book is all about pretending…seeing how that is what the bulk of my childhood was spent doing. This is just another book that shows just how much I love the mind of Mo Willems. He is quite the genius and this is one more quality book that has found a place in my literary heart....more
This is two stories in one. Yeah, I know. Lucky readers can read two stories without having to go to the library to get another book. It’s like a bonuThis is two stories in one. Yeah, I know. Lucky readers can read two stories without having to go to the library to get another book. It’s like a bonus story just for picking it up. So, according to the hand-written “dedication” Gran Gran gave Alexander this Birthday Bunny book. It is one of those sappy stories that probably make most grandparents cry. It even has the faded illustrations that make it look like an old-fashioned Golden book from days gone by. But little Alexander isn’t the type to read the sappy story over and over again. He decides to take matters into his own hands and “fix” the story so that he likes it. Readers not only can see the sappy story Gran Gran was so pleased to give to Alexander on his birthday, they can see how Alexander has improved the story. He has crossed out words, added carefully selected letters to re-craft sentences. In addition to the “new and improved” story of Battle Bunny Alexander has also altered the illustrations. With dark pen/pencil lines he has made what was once a cute little bunny an eye-patch wearing Battle Bunny who is intent on destroying the world.
Seriously, this is a funny book. When I brought this home, my 8-year-old nephew grabbed it and wouldn’t give it back until he had read it…multiple times. He laughed and laughed and laughed. (Although my 6-year-old nephew had it read to him…and didn’t get it. But he did think the sappy story was fun.) The little inked-in details on the illustrations are clever enough that readers will have to take time to look at everything, not just read the text. And the text! Even though the one story is sappy, it is worth reading just to get the laughs that come from reading a sappy (albeit sappy in a way that makes fun of sappy) story. Then one can really enjoy reading the Battle Bunny story. This might look like a picture book, but the humor that comes from the irony of the story and what “Alexander” did to the story is definitely perfect for the mid to upper elementary school-aged crowd. And after a youngster has read this book, they might want to head to a closet or a thrift store where they can find their own sappy book to “improve” upon ala Battle Bunny style. My only complaint is that Scieszka, Barnett, and Myers have not done more of these books. I’m sure if “Alexander” has “improved” one book from “Gran Gran” he has improved more. And I for one would love to read more of them…pretty please!...more
Superheroes get their power from somewhere. This particular young hero gets his power from his hair…and he has quite a bit of it. He also has four “suSuperheroes get their power from somewhere. This particular young hero gets his power from his hair…and he has quite a bit of it. He also has four “super” friends who also all have special powers. However, one day this young hero gets dragged to the evil villains lair…where he gets (gulp) a hair cut! With his powers zapped (or rather cut off) he isn’t sure he can do anything, let alone face his friends again. Turns out that all the super-friends were forced by parental units to get hair cuts. They drag themselves around the playground, trying unsuccessfully to show some sort of super or heroic part of themselves. Fortunately for them a rather observant girl notices what is happening. And she comes to their rescue by providing a reason for them to become heroic. And the four friends realize that being heroes isn’t dependent upon a super head of hair…
Okay, not only does this story totally personify the ups and downs of being a child hero, it also is perfectly illustrates the ups and downs of being a child hero. For example, the story is great. I have read it to kiddos multiple times and they have enjoyed the “hair”-raising plot. (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself!) But they also noticed the particular color choices. When the kids are feeling “super” there are lots of bright colors. When their hair is chopped off they are slowly drained of color until everything from themselves to what is around them is all in a grey-scale. Until the readers notice the little girl in the background. She is totally in color. And her actions (of placing her doll where it would need “saving”) is also in color. Then, once the super friends have a new mission (saving the doll) they suddenly are flooded in color. And once they realize they can be super no matter what they stay in color. This is just another way that Rocco brilliantly illustrated the point of where a superhero’s true power comes from (and it isn’t the hair). Not to mention the little dots on the cover or in some of the textures on the illustrations give a nod to classic comics in newsprint. Granted, these dots aren’t the only textures…but those reading the book to youngsters will see them and notice and smile.
All-in-all this is a fun story with a subject matter that is of grand importance to young readers. And I believe they will wholeheartedly enjoy it (over and over and over again)....more
This is a hilarious story about a Daddy who is good at giving horsey-back rides. Only some horse rustlers saw him and Dad-knapped him. Fortunately theThis is a hilarious story about a Daddy who is good at giving horsey-back rides. Only some horse rustlers saw him and Dad-knapped him. Fortunately the kids are pretty smart and were able to figure out what happened and were off to the rescue. They found him at a rodeo as a buckin’ bronco. As the kids and Daddy made their way out of the arena, the horse rustlers went after them. They had to go through a circus (right through the “flaming hoop of doom”), a polo match, the Kentucky Derby, and all the way to Canada where some Canadian Mounties (aka the kids) were able to save the day. They were then able to ride their daddy off into the sunset and back home…where their mom (who is really good at giving airplane rides) was waiting.
This is a great book. I seriously laughed out loud multiple times. Probably it helped that I have nieces and nephews who love to get “horsey” rides from our family. Though they tend to give “high horse” rides (aka rides on their shoulders). I love how this celebrates the fact that these parents are playing with their kids. And that the kids get to save the day is a bonus. The illustrations are fun (I love that the Dad’s shoes have horse-shoe designs on the bottom of them). There are loads of textures (from blades of grass to textures in the spot-light in the circus) that just make the illustrations rich and interesting to look at. And the kids have all sorts of fun outfits for the various places that they are going (and how funny that the little boy often sports a diaper with his tux or whatnot). This is one of those books that kids will enjoy based on the irony that comes from the improbability of it all. Well done....more
I liked this book, but I didn't love it. Mostly because I didn't like the open ending. But perhaps the little kiddos will like it. I will have to see.I liked this book, but I didn't love it. Mostly because I didn't like the open ending. But perhaps the little kiddos will like it. I will have to see......more
I'm not quite sure what to think of this one. I liked the way the imagination and "drawings" show how each boy is trying to one-up each other. I likeI'm not quite sure what to think of this one. I liked the way the imagination and "drawings" show how each boy is trying to one-up each other. I like that such a little dog scared both boys who were trying to show off how strong and big and bold they were. But...I'm just not sure I like a book that is the "I can do it better than you" concept. But, I think that is more of a taste preference of mine. The actual book is well done. ...more