One day a lemur sees a boy holding an ice cream cone. The lemur decides that he likes the boy and starts to follow him. The boy does all manner of thi...moreOne day a lemur sees a boy holding an ice cream cone. The lemur decides that he likes the boy and starts to follow him. The boy does all manner of things to lose the lemur…but instead there are more lemurs that like the boy and follow him around. Finally the boy tries something drastic–going a long, long way away. But the lemurs are not to be outdone. They like the boy and there is nothing to boy can do about it. Eventually the boy realizes that the lemurs might not be all that bad and that he actually needs help from the lemurs. There are a few things that I really like about this book. First of all I love the illustrations. I like how the colors of the boy or the lemurs or the trees or water all have different textures in them. It isn’t just a color there is depth to the way the illustrations are put together. And the small lines that outline the boy’s face or legs or arms are not distracting from these textures. I also really like the book because it is about lemurs. And well, most little readers don’t have any idea what a lemur is. But after reading this book they will be able to discern what the animal is and will understand the different types of lemurs (as far as how they look) are. Plus it is a fun message that you can grow to like something and that even if someone doesn’t like lemurs they are kind enough to always like you back (if you happen to be one that a lemur takes a liking to). Such a fun book!(less)
Even though there is only one word on each page of this book, there is quite the story within the pages. This is a story of a couple of birds building...moreEven though there is only one word on each page of this book, there is quite the story within the pages. This is a story of a couple of birds building a “nest” in a tree. Then the book goes on to tell just what else happens as the birds dedicate themselves to laying and nurturing the egg and chick in the nest. One of my favorite things to do in story time is to show a picture book that has little text but quite a good story shown in the illustrations. That way I can continually ask readers, “What is happening?” This helps the young kids start to develop their narrative skills and see how stories are more than just a few words. And this will be a perfect edition to that element of story time. Kids will know what is happening even though there is only one word on each page. The illustrations are detailed enough that they will be able to see the story and go on to explain it to any patient grown-up. And those illustrations…they are quite amazing themselves. The crisp colors and the dramatic lines will have youngsters looking closely at each illustration. Brilliantly done. Perfect for a toddler time or preschool story time. This is Hurley’s first book, and I for one hope there will be many, many more.(less)
If you want kids to get ready to read on there own there are a few things you can do. One of those things is to sing to and with them. Singing helps i...moreIf you want kids to get ready to read on there own there are a few things you can do. One of those things is to sing to and with them. Singing helps in oh so many ways to get kids ready to read. One way is that different syllables and different words are often on different notes. This helps kids realize that different letters can make sounds and different combinations of sounds can create words. What does this all have to do with this book review you may wonder…well let me tell you!
I love this book. There aren’t any real people words in the whole thing (other than the title). But the book is full of onomatopoeia of farm animals. And the whole book can be sung. That’s right! It can be SUNG to the little ones. And if you know the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star then you know the tune that I sang the book to. Seriously, there is quite the story here…but you don’t necessarily get the story just from the onomatopoeia. You have to look at the illustrations to totally understand what is going on. But the kiddos will love hearing the different sounds and then telling you exactly what is happening. And what is happening is silly (in kid speak that would be funny). So they will be sure to enjoy this one. Yeah, I think I need to sing this book at a future preschool story time. And then we can talk some more about one of my favorite “big” words to get kids to say….onomatopoeia!(less)
How do different animals say hello? This may be quite the important question that young readers who love animals have. And this book has the answers!...moreHow do different animals say hello? This may be quite the important question that young readers who love animals have. And this book has the answers! Each page has an illustration of two animals who are about to say hello (two dogs, two cats, two chickens, two beetles, etc.). Then there is a smaller page (it is almost like a little lift-the-flap flap) that can be turned and the two animals are then saying “hello” with the various animal onomatopoeia. (Seriously, this seems to be the week to talk about onomatopoeia!) This is a fun way for kids to say different animal sounds and enjoy turning the smaller pages to see how the illustrations change. Both of which I know toddlers especially will love. Fun book!(less)
Penguin wants to fly, so he heads to a “flight school” where two teacher birds teach other birds how to fly. But they aren’t convinced Penguin can fly...morePenguin wants to fly, so he heads to a “flight school” where two teacher birds teach other birds how to fly. But they aren’t convinced Penguin can fly. After all, Penguin is a penguin and penguins can’t fly. But Penguin wants to try and works hard to figure out just how to lift off. After a lot of unsuccessful attempts Penguin starts to leave dejected that he can’t follow his dreams of soaring in the air. But Flamingo comes up with an idea and soon Penguin can feel the sensation of soaring through the air. This is an amusing tale of one determined little bird with the “soul of an eagle.” Kids who know about penguins and the other birds that don’t actually fly will find this an amusing tale with a fun ending. And that creativity and determination are often the most important parts of working hard. This is one of those fun tales that will be enjoyed over and over again.(less)
Youngsters who love dogs or digging or construction tools will love this book. It is about a dog who can smell a bone…so he starts digging. But this b...moreYoungsters who love dogs or digging or construction tools will love this book. It is about a dog who can smell a bone…so he starts digging. But this bone is way down deep, so he has to get some help to dig. He gets machine after machine that is good at digging–each one being just a bit larger and bigger than before. But Digger Dog still can’t get the bone that he smells…until he gets the biggest digger in the whole world. Finally Digger Dog gets the biggest bone in the whole world…or is it? This is a fun story with two great big pages that fold open to reveal the rest of the rest of the story of how Digger Dog got the bone and what was really hidden under the dirt. The only thing is that kids who know the names of all the various digging machines might be sad that the real names for the shovels or bulldozers aren’t used. But the fun story will more than make up for that.(less)
Chengdu is a panda bear. And it is night time and Chengdu and all the panda bears should be sleeping in their bamboo grove…only Chengdu can’t sleep. C...moreChengdu is a panda bear. And it is night time and Chengdu and all the panda bears should be sleeping in their bamboo grove…only Chengdu can’t sleep. Chengdu does all sorts of things to try to get to sleep. He tossed and he turned but he just couldn’t get comfortable enough to get to sleep. Eventually he climbed up higher and higher until he found the perfect place to sleep…on top of his brother. Who then couldn’t sleep.
This is such a fun story about a simple concept that every little one can relate to. The illustrations are all black and white with a calm green of the bamboo shoots and leaves. With the dark sky and the black and white of the panda bears each page looks like a piece of panda bear artwork. And there is so much to read in the expressions of Chengdu’s eyes. All in all even though this is a simple story about trying to get to sleep, there is quite a bit that youngsters will take away from the story…and then they will want to read it again.(less)
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 does...moreDirectory 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. (less)
Serafina is a mermaid that lives in the Mediterranean Sea. She is the princess who is about to go through a huge ceremony that will not only prove tha...moreSerafina is a mermaid that lives in the Mediterranean Sea. She is the princess who is about to go through a huge ceremony that will not only prove that she is the rightful heir and that she is capable of being the next ruler, the ceremony will also seal her betrothal to Prince Mahdi. Serafina should just be worried about the ceremony and how things should go, only she had a horrid dream the night before. The dream foretells the awakening of a evil monster who Serafina thought was only a legend. When chaos tumbles upon the princess at her ceremony she and five other mermaids must swim toward the strange details of their dreams in hopes of saving the whole mermaid world.
I like Serafina. I also like her best friend, Neela. However, I hate how it takes so long for either girl to figure out what is going on. And at one point Serafina is more worried about escaping her troubles and going shoaling than taking her quest seriously (even though she has had enough near-death experiences by that point to actually know better). I do like the mystery surrounding the mermaids. And Neela and Serafina are good characters to be with along this literary journey. But there are still many mysteries that are left unanswered in this book. Mr. Blue (who I suspect is Prince Mahdi), Astrid’s secret, more about the quest or the villain are just examples of what readers will be left wondering about. Which should be no surprise seeing how this is the first book in the new “Waterfire Saga.” I can see those that like the idea of mermaid fantasy books will enjoy this story. Those who might not enjoy how long it takes for Serafina to not be quite so naive might be a little annoyed. Overall a good start to what I hope will be a great series.(less)