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 next...moreIn 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.(less)
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 bonu...moreThis 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!(less)
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 “su...moreSuperheroes 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).(less)
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 the...moreThis 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.(less)
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....moreI 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...(less)
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 like...moreI'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. (less)
In this book the little boy "Alexander" decides that he isn't "Alexander". Instead throughout the day he is Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Edison, Chief J...moreIn this book the little boy "Alexander" decides that he isn't "Alexander". Instead throughout the day he is Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Edison, Chief Joseph, Fred Astaire, Jackie Robinson, and "Daddy". It is fun to see the boy change his mind about who he is and why he "is" that particular person. Even though many little kids wouldn't know who these heroes are without some sort of background, I love the fact that it celebrates the heroes and the imagination. Lots of fun for kids who have dreams as big as their imaginations!(less)