When the wind snatches a pair of red lacy underpants off of a clothes line, a rabbit discovers them. He immediately decides that the underpants are a...moreWhen the wind snatches a pair of red lacy underpants off of a clothes line, a rabbit discovers them. He immediately decides that the underpants are a hat with perfect holes for his ears. He then heads through the woods and other animals try on the underpants as a hat. It isn't until he meets a donkey who proves that they are underpants and should be worn on the other end that the rabbit wears them correctly, but his tail doesn't really fit into them and the other animals ask him why he's wearing a hat that way. So he returns to his original way of wearing the underpants as a hat. The endpapers feature animals wearing all sorts of people clothes in unique ways.
How can you go wrong with a book about underpants being worn wrong?! You can't! It is universal child humor, as proven by the Chinese author and illustrator. One aspect of the book that I love is that there is a grownup, sensible voice at the end of each two-page spread that speaks in vain. The illustrations are great fun, enhancing the tone of the words. In fact, I dare you not to giggle at the crocodile wearing the underpants.
Recommended for reading to only a few children at a time, so that you don't lose control of a larger group. Some of the pages have more detailed drawings which will work best for small groups to giggle at.(less)
The book moves as a single poem throughout the seasons, rhyming and rhythmic and capturing with clarity each season. The book also combines an underst...moreThe book moves as a single poem throughout the seasons, rhyming and rhythmic and capturing with clarity each season. The book also combines an understanding of art with the verse, moving from medium to medium to evoke each season as pure and distinct from the others. Winter is done in pen and ink, spring in pastels, summer in watercolors and autumn in oils. And each illustration shows why that is true in the same way as the dazzling poetry does. While I enjoyed the poetry throughout the book, I am filled with amazement and wonder at the autumn section where Thomas' verse gets as voluptuous and full as the season itself. The book begins with spare verse about winter, slowly developing throughout the year until autumn arrives and the boundlessness of the season, the colors is almost overwhelming. Colors are described as "redorangepurplebronzeindigogoldgreen." And you know just what she means. It is a joy to read, to dance along with these words and these illustrations through the year.
Highly recommended as a read aloud. You won't be able to read it to yourself anyway when you reach those colorful words in autumn because they beg to be read aloud and come to life. Add this one to your seasonal story times or units. Plus it can be enjoyed by art classes looking at different media where children understanding the seasons already can relate. Children aged 6-9 will enjoy this best of all.(less)
I had really high hopes for this book, but the message and symbolism was too heavy-handed for my liking. It was an intriguing look at another culture,...moreI had really high hopes for this book, but the message and symbolism was too heavy-handed for my liking. It was an intriguing look at another culture, but that wasn't enough to carry the book into greatness.(less)
The five Herbert sisters live in a world where they are poor but safe in their small town. Unknown to them, a man has started watching them, waiting t...moreThe five Herbert sisters live in a world where they are poor but safe in their small town. Unknown to them, a man has started watching them, waiting to catch glimpses as they hurry off to school, trying to remain unnoticed. The tension in the book builds as each girl takes risks that would be considered safe in any other book. Until one girl takes one risk too many and goes missing.
Each of the girls has their own unique personality and problems, from wanting to escape to failing spelling. Their strength (and the novel's strength) comes from the fact that the girls are fascinating both as individuals and as a group. The family dynamics are complicated not only among the sisters but also between their parents. The pacing in the novel is deliberate and tense, slowly escalating to the point of no return.
In the end, the book is immensely satisfying. Girl power is definitely rocking in this book, even though none of the sisters would see themselves as powerful. Mazer has created a novel where children are victims but not powerless, a novel that needs to be read and that teens will love to read.
Breathtaking photographs accompany gripping information in this award-winning nonfiction book for children. The photographs are crystal-clear, illustr...moreBreathtaking photographs accompany gripping information in this award-winning nonfiction book for children. The photographs are crystal-clear, illustrate the text well, and will get children dashing from one to the next. Each page is a different color, highlighting the photographs themselves and lending an air of fun to the book. The text is easy to read and fascinating.
Highly recommended for any child, but especially for those who enjoy nonfiction more than stories. This is a perfect bedtime or lap book for those children who will want to pore over the details in the photographs and talk about their own discoveries.
Make sure you read the note at the end that talks about Bishop's techniques. They are just as interesting as the spiders themselves. (less)
Jazz Baby is awake in his crib when the rhythms and music start and he claps along with the beat. Then everyone joins in making their own signature so...moreJazz Baby is awake in his crib when the rhythms and music start and he claps along with the beat. Then everyone joins in making their own signature sounds and dancing in different styles. This musical picture book has plenty of opportunities for children to hum, sing and move along with the story. The text is pure rhythm and rhyme where you can feel your feet tapping and your body swaying along. It is a joy to read aloud and will be a joy to listen to as well.
The illustrations by Christie are also winning, as we see family members will all different skin tones, styles and movements. It is a look at diversity within a loving family unit filled with several generations of love. The illustrations just like the words seem to capture jazz itself, its flow and its improvisational aspects.
Highly recommended for reading aloud, make sure everyone is invited to move, wiggle and clap along. They will anyway!(less)
I loved Pearson's A Room on Lorelei Street and so immediately tore into her new book. And was completely surprised and amazed by what I found.
Jenna ha...moreI loved Pearson's A Room on Lorelei Street and so immediately tore into her new book. And was completely surprised and amazed by what I found.
Jenna has just awoken from a coma that she was in for over a year. She had been in a horrible car accident and has to relearn how to speak, walk and return to a normal life. She lives with her grandmother and mother in an old grand house in California while her father lives in Boston where the accident occurred and Jenna used to live. Jenna has lost her memory after the accident and doesn't remember her childhood, who she was or the accident itself. As she watches movies of her life, she slowly begins recovering her memories and one thing becomes clear to Jenna and the reader: all is not right with the situation and Jenna is not being told the truth. As Jenna begins to search for the truth, she and the reader begin a quest to discover what really happened in the accident and afterwards.
Pearson has created a story that reads as a teen medical drama but is so much more. It is set in the near future where many medical breakthroughs have happened. Part of the fun of the book is discovering this new society along with Jenna, finding out the new laws and agencies that have been put in place to protect the public. And a larger part of the joy is discovering Jenna herself, a heroine who is complicated and caught in a situation beyond her control.
Pearson's writing is masterful as she slowly reveals the truth to Jenna and the reader with great control but wonderful surprises as well. Her secondary characters are just as complete and complicated as Jenna is and the time period itself is complete enough to be considered another character in the book.
Highly recommended, this book will appeal to fans of Lurlene McDaniel who are willing to take a look at something with great writing, vivid characterization, complex issues, and no need for a box of Kleenexes at the end. It will also appeal to mystery readers and science fiction fans. (less)
Out of the Wild is one of those incredibly rare sequels that is even better than the first book. The green hungry mass of the Wild has returned to hid...moreOut of the Wild is one of those incredibly rare sequels that is even better than the first book. The green hungry mass of the Wild has returned to hiding in Julie's bedroom, but her community still feels the effects of having once been swallowed by the Wild. When the Wild swallows one of the Three Blind Mice, Julie and her mother are astonished to see that her father is spit out, returned to her mother after 500 years apart. Her father is confused by this new world, but continues to act as a prince in a fairy tale. He can't be stopped from trying to rescue Sleeping Beauty despite the fact that his beloved is also in some danger. Julie chases after her father on his quest, desperate to continue protecting the secret of the fairy tale characters living in the real world. But her father is impossible to stop even when they realize that they are walking into a trap.
Durst's writing continues to be the same high quality as the original book. Her tone is completely consistent between the books, two halves of a whole story. After the first story, I never expected a sequel. It had been a completely satisfying and complete tale. But now having read the second book, I realize that half of the story was missing though I didn't know it at the time. What an accomplishment - to create a complete tale and then create another book that makes the first even more complete and powerful.
Durst's books are very friendly, filled with humor, and will be enjoyed by many types of readers. This is fantasy that has an ease about it and should be recommended to readers who enjoy fantasy but also to any child who enjoys a great read. Highly recommended for ages 9-12.(less)