This is a book where little baby animals ask their grown-up animals how to do certain things: to swing, follow, play, or whatnot. Each little page hasThis is a book where little baby animals ask their grown-up animals how to do certain things: to swing, follow, play, or whatnot. Each little page has a photograph of some sort of baby animal often with the other animals and a bit of text that explains just what the baby animal needs to learn. For example, on a page where a mama giraffe is stretching her head down to little baby giraffe’s level so they can touch foreheads it reads, “Teach me how to be a friend. Show me how to stretch and bend.” And so goes all other little rhymes.
As far as text (and sometimes photographs) go, this is a decent book. But the reason I am paying attention to this book is that it is the perfect book to read at a baby storytime (for really little pre-walker babies). I wouldn’t read all the pages in one storytime, but I would read a few pages each week. And this is the type of book that moms will ooh and aah over while giving their little ones a bit of extra love. Such a fun potential moment for reading to the especially little babies who just need a few rhymes and reasons to cuddle while reading a book. And for that purpose, I have enjoyed this book....more
This is one of my new favorite nonfiction books. It is all about great white sharks and how they live and survive in California’s Farallon Islands (thThis is one of my new favorite nonfiction books. It is all about great white sharks and how they live and survive in California’s Farallon Islands (think San Fransisco). The thing is, this book has beautiful illustrations. Which I don’t often think of when I think of nonfiction books–which I tend to like photographs in seeing how they are books about “true” things. But not everything to know about great white sharks can be adequately explained through pictures. Sometimes you need a super-awesome illustration of how a great white shark’s body is perfectly aerodynamic just like an airplane. In fact, you need an illustration of a shark airplane to get that point across. And thankfully this book happens to have illustrations of a shark airplane (and many other amazing illustrations that I never knew I needed when reading a book about great white sharks). There are also great bits that explain all about how a shark’s body works or what the perfect meal for a shark would be. And then there are the money shot-type of illustrations that show just why so many people continually are impressed (and tend to watch on shark week) these amazing animals. The text is great. But the illustrations are what will keep bringing young readers and scientists back for more. Well done....more
A little girl and a mouse live in the same house. But they can’t “tell anyone about each other.” If the little girl’s family knew about the mice the hA little girl and a mouse live in the same house. But they can’t “tell anyone about each other.” If the little girl’s family knew about the mice the humans would “get a cat.” If the mice knew their daughter was friends with a human, “they’d flee to a hole in the ground.” So both girls (human and mouse) live separate but similar lives. The illustrations especially showcase just how similar life is on a typical day when the families are winding down and getting ready for bed. The illustrations on top showcase the human family while the illustrations below show just how the mouse family’s activities are almost a mirror of the activities above. Of course things get tricky when each girl cannot get settled into bed without the help of their mothers. Both human and mouse go looking for the said parents when they discover that each mother has a secret as well…they aren’t the only ones with a friend of a different species. There are rich details illustrated into this fun story. Children will enjoy looking and comparing each version of the girls going to bed before the readers go to bed themselves....more
Oh what a happy day when two of my favorite picture book authors/illustrators have come together to make this book. “Drywater Gulch had a toad problemOh what a happy day when two of my favorite picture book authors/illustrators have come together to make this book. “Drywater Gulch had a toad problem.” And since Drywater Gulch looks like a town nestled in the midst of Goblin Valley State Park in Utah, the pesky toads that are a problem are not the toads that hop around…these toads are the typical Western outlaws that “never-say-thank-you outlaw kind of toad.” And quite the toad problem it is. These three rough, tough outlaws just about scared the pants off of everyone in Drywater Gulch. Thankfully “hope rode into town. [enter Kid Sheriff riding into town] Slowly. On a tortoise. [dramatic page turn] Give him a minute.” And although the town initially doesn’t believe that Kid Sheriff can help at all, he turns out to be smarter than all three of the toads put together…and the rest of the town too. It is amazing what a kid can do, eh?
So, the brilliant story is one that kids will enjoy (and I desperately wish I could tell at a storytime tomorrow), but what about the illustrations? Do not worry. The illustrations are in the brilliant hands of Lane Smith. Are there bits of money and coins that fly out of the bank explosion? Check. Are there layers upon layers of foreground and background images that perfectly frame the main illustrations of the characters? Double check. Are there detailed drawings of dinosaurs that could destroy a Western town? Triple check. Seriously, these illustrations are masterfully crafted so that readers could spend hours looking at all the details as they laugh along with the storyline.
This is one of my all-time favorite books for 2014. Here’s to hoping that there are more wonderful books in store for both Bob Shea and Lane Smith. The world needs more stories from them both....more
Jacqueline Woodson let’s us in on some of her memories of growing up in Ohio, South Carolina, and New York. These memories are told in free verse poemJacqueline Woodson let’s us in on some of her memories of growing up in Ohio, South Carolina, and New York. These memories are told in free verse poems which in turn showcase the amazing voice that the young Jacqueline is just learning to discover in the book. With each poem there is much that is said, and often much that isn’t said. People and memories are painted with rich words that transport the reader to this world of memories and understanding. The “How to Listen” poems were especially my favorites. Because in those poems I saw a younger version of myself trying to stop and listen in order to figure out the world (and my own memories) that made me. Woodson has created a collection of poems that not only shows us how she found her voice, but that the act of finding one’s voice is a universal dream for all. The only wish I had about this book was that it would keep going. Once the book was finished, I ached to read more. And with the power that is Jacqueline Woodson being the author, I am not surprised.
Congrats on winning the National Book Award, Newbery honor, Coretta Scott King Award, and Robert F. Sibert Award. After reading this book, I totally understand why everyone else thought it was amazing too....more