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The Picture-Book Club > September 2018: Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Winners 2000-2009

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message 2: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 6261 comments Mod
I'm so excited about this month! I've read several of these previously and loved them and those new-to-me look fabulous, too. Also, it gives me a nudge to visit our new library sooner than later ;-) (Though, we are still getting settled so it will probably be "later" after all.)


message 3: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 2239 comments We love the Henry series! My dad is from Fitchburg so my mom bought the book for my cousins (who still lived in the area) when they were younger. The Concord Museum has a whole children's area with Thoureau related activities and a reading corner with the Henry books. I haven't read any of the others.


message 4: by Cheryl , Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 6832 comments Mod
I highly recommend the Henry series, too. In fact, I bought this featured book for myself, even though I know no small children. The others are definitely worth reading.

I look forward to seeing how many of these our library has and reading whatever I can get!


message 5: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 2239 comments The Henry books are definitely geared for adults as well. We can learn a lot from Henry David Thoreau's bear alter ego.

I read Dog and Bear: Two Friends, Three Stories. It's cute but a little too simple. I like a good story and this didn't fit the bill. Read this one to babies and toddlers and they will probably like the cute characters and brightly colored pictures.


message 6: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 8775 comments Mod
I have to say that I am very glad that I managed to find Dog and Bear: Two Friends, Three Stories at the library because I really did not at all even remotely enjoy this. My review is below, and if anyone really loved this book, I apologise, but I could not stand it.

Tedious, choppy and generally quite majorly annoying! And yes indeed, I therefore also cannot really in any way even remotely understand and comprehend how and why Laura Vaccaro Seeger's Dog and Bear: Two Fiends, Three Stories ended up winning a prestigious Boston Globe-Horn Book Award. For while the accompanying illustrations are I guess colourful and kind of sweet (albeit still more than a trifle too overly simple and childish for my tastes and rather lacking in visual detail and personal eye candy appeal), the three very short stories, Laura Vaccaro Seeger's text, they both feel and read unevenly and a bit erratically, with not nearly enough necessary verbal (textual) information presented (even if one does take into account and consideration that Dog and Bear: Two Friends, Three Stories is meant for, is geared towards very young children).

Furthermore, and most importantly to and for me, I also do find it problematic at best that ALL of the three story endings kind of feel both rushed and almost as though the author has simply stopped her texts in medias res. For sorry, but none of the three featured mini-tales featured in Dog and Bear: Two Friends, Three Stories really end up feeling (reading) as though they have been truly and in any manner satisfactorily completed, as for example, in the first story, once Bear has gotten down from his chair and realised that his scarf was still up in the chair, why does the narrative simply end with this, why is there no follow up as to how Bear and Dog then amuse themselves inside instead of going outside to play, and with regard to the second story, I for one also would really want to and even perhaps need to know Bear's reaction to Dog's constant "play with me" when after he finally and likely with much frustration stops reading his book and gives in to Dog's constant yammering at him about playing together, Dog simply wants to be read to, for honestly, if this had been I, I certainly would have wanted to give Dog a piece of my mind, I certainly would have at least desired to ask him why he could not have mentioned that he wanted to be read to right from the start.

Not to mention that Dog and Bear: Two Fiends, Three Stories also really and sadly does feel very much amateur in both appearance and scope, as it sadly (and at least in my opinion) pretty much does seem as though Laura Vaccaro Seeger has simply taken three story concepts and outlines and instead of adding necessary textual and narrative (as well as illustrative details), she has just left these outlines as is (in other words, that with Dog and Bear: Two Friends, Three Stories I am left with the feeling that I am at best reading an unfinished, incomplete, unpolished product, and indeed, while as a child I might have possibly enjoyed the illustrations a trifle more than I did as an older adult, even as a child, I most likely would have found the narrative, I would have found the three stories featured annoying and not in any manner interesting enough to hold my attention, and I definitely would have been asking "Where is the rest of the information, where is the rest of the story?").


message 7: by Manybooks (last edited Sep 02, 2018 09:19AM) (new)

Manybooks | 8775 comments Mod
I enjoyed At Night, but I certainly liked the illustrations more than the text, which for me was once again a bit lacking in details.

Now the accompanying illustrations are both enjoyable and delightfully detailed (with a lovely and evocative of nighttime colour scheme that I have found both aesthetically pleasing, even emotionally relaxing), and I also can definitely personally relate to the little girl not being able to fall asleep and finally in desperation taking her pillows and blankets up to the flat rooftop patio of her house to try to fall asleep in the cool breezes of a city night. However and that all being said, to and for me, Jonathan Bean's At Night is yet again another picture book where the author's presented, featured narrative does not really go far enough, does not give me sufficiently necessary and desired verbal, textual details (as I guess I was kind of expecting and wanting a bit more information on what happens after the little girl finally is able to fall asleep on the roof, perhaps with regard to the sounds and sights of the city at night or even what her dreams might be, for I definitely do find it a little disappointing that MOST of both Jonathan Bean's narrative and his accompanying pictures show and describe the little girl not being able to sleep and her ascent onto the roof, but once she does finally fall asleep, that is it, it seems, leaving me wanting and desiring a bit more narrational details with regard to how the little girl is sleeping, what she is or might be experiencing whilst asleep on the roof, although I do indeed much appreciate that her mother obviously notices that he daughter cannot sleep and ends up joining her, watching over her as the little girl finally is able to sleep).


message 8: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2594 comments Mod
Cold Feet

I very much enjoyed this Scottish folktale. The story moves along at a good pace, and has a somewhat shocking ending. The author heard the story at a storytelling festival, and does a great job of translating it into print. I am not as fond of Parker's illustrations, though, while colorful, they are very scribbly looking.


message 9: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (last edited Sep 02, 2018 06:00PM) (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2594 comments Mod
Traction Man Is Here!
I loved this book the first time I read it, years ago, and I have re-read it several times, and I still love it. It is simply a fun and hilarious story of a young boy, and the adventures he creates for his male action doll. The boy is in the scene only a few times; mostly the reader sees the action from Traction Man's point of view. For a doll, he certainly has a lot of great facial expressions, especially when he has to put on his green knitted romper suit and bonnet from Grandma. How he manages to get rid of the suit is even funnier. The illustrations are great, and do a wonderful job of depicting the adventures and silliness. Some of the illustrations are full-page and some are in panels. The text is typed onto what look like papers cut or torn from a graph notebook. I look forward to finding out if others liked this book as much as I do.


message 10: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (last edited Sep 02, 2018 06:18PM) (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2594 comments Mod
Dog and Bear
Manybooks is not alone in her dislike of this book. Many of the other reviews on Goodreads also dissed it.
I liked it OK, but I can't say I loved it. It did make me chuckle in a couple of places. I do think the stories are suitable for young toddlers and pre-school children. I am not all that enamored by the illustrations. Seeger has done much better work in Lemons Are Not Red Lemons Are Not Red by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
and Green Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger . She also has a new one coming out that I haven't seen yet: Blue Blue by Laura Vaccaro Seeger . I found these books more satisfying than the Dog and Bear stories.


message 11: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2594 comments Mod
"Let's Get a Pup!" said Kate
This book very much tugged at my heart! Such a wonderful story, and such colorful characters, both human and canine. The reader just gets a sense that this is such a loving family, that they have room in their hearts and home to extend to homeless shelter dogs. The long row of dogs in the shelter kennels was so sad! The cartoon-style illustrations are perfect for the story. The facial expressions on people and dogs are priceless. This book well-deserved its many accolades.


message 12: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 8775 comments Mod
Beverly wrote: "Dog and Bear
Manybooks is not alone in her dislike of this book. Many of the other reviews on Goodreads also dissed it.
I liked it OK, but I can't say I loved it. It did make me chuckle in a coupl..."


I loved Green but the dog and bear stories were just too short and lacking (in fact, I think I would have liked the book better without text).


message 13: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2594 comments Mod
Leaf Man
While the story is a bit thin, this book shows a lot of artistic creativity. Ehlert uses photocopies of real leaves to create all kinds of creatures throughout the book, including the leaf man, leaf chickens, leaf ducks, leaf fish, leaf birds, etc. I really appreciated that the leaves are identified on the inside covers, front and back. In addition, the pages are not all the same size and shape, but cut into some interesting shapes along the tops. All in all, quite a lovely book.


message 14: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (last edited Sep 04, 2018 10:32AM) (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2594 comments Mod
The Man Who Walked Between the Towers
My review: The Caldecott committees must love high-wire walkers. This story was published 11 years after Mirette on the High Wire, and both won Caldecott awards. Both are about men who actually existed, though in the case of Mirette, I assume the story is a completely fictionalized story, featuring a real person (the Great Bellini). Gerstein's story, on the other hand, is a brief account of an actual event. I very much liked the story, especially Petit sort of taunting the police while he walks back and forth on the wire. The book opens up with an illustrations of the twin towers behind other NY buildings, and ends up, heart-breakingly enough, with the skyline and no towers. I thought the illustrations did a great job of supporting and extending the text, although they are not my favorite style.


message 15: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (last edited Sep 02, 2018 09:09PM) (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2594 comments Mod
Big Momma Makes the World
This story is very loosely based on Genesis 1. Instead of the Lord doing the creating, it is a woman (Big Momma) with a baby. And by very loosely, the author has reversed days 3 and 4 in her book. In the Bible, the plants are created on day 3 and the sun, moon and stars on day 4. On day 6, when Big Momma is making the land animals, the bottom of the page says, "One Big Bang!" And the illustration is of animals bursting forth from a sun-like area. But, instead of the big bang, the author should have called it the Cambrian explosion, where 40 major animal groups appear out of nowhere at the bottom of the fossil record. And, instead of just creating one man and one woman, and telling them to be fruitful and multiply, this Big Momma creates a bunch of people all at once. And this Big Momma just sits up on her cloud and doesn't get much involved with her world at all. Suffice it to say, I prefer the Biblical version. The illustrations in acrylics are very nice, and the baby is quite cute. But otherwise, I can't say that I like it much.


message 16: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 8775 comments Mod
Beverly wrote: "Big Momma Makes the World
This story is very loosely based on Genesis 1. Instead of the Lord doing the creating, it is a woman (Big Momma) with a baby. And by very loosely, the author has reversed ..."


So I guess Big Momma is a deistic evolution story, which I would probably like, although I always have thought of God as being neither male or female but genderless. Hope I can find a copy of the book.


message 17: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (last edited Sep 04, 2018 07:34PM) (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2594 comments Mod
While God is a spirit, and therefore neither male nor female, He always refers to Himself in the male gender, using male pronouns, and referring to Himself mostly as "Father." Therefore, I deem it respectful to refer to Him the way He refers to Himself. And when Jesus put on flesh to dwell among us, He came as a human male as well. I do believe in the Trinity: one God revealed in 3 persons--Father, Son and Holy Spirit.


message 18: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 8775 comments Mod
Traction Man Is Here!

Although Mini Grey's Traction Man is Here would generally not be the kind of book I would personally all that much choose for pleasure reading (and truth be told, I am actually only perusing Traction Man is Here because we are reading Boston Globe-Horn Book Award books in the Children's Literature Group's Picture Book Club and the book was awarded one of the 2005 awards), I have indeed been very much delightfully charmed by Traction Man is Here (mostly because of the imaginative role playing and how the humour of Traction Man repeatedly "saving" both toys and common household tools such as a submerged in dishwater sieve has not only left me smiling and chuckling with glee but has also nostalgically caused me to remember how as children, how as nine and ten year olds, my best friend and I would play and act out rather similar such scenarios with our Barbies, how we ALWAYS had Barbie saving either some of my Playmobil figures or my Ken doll, whom we usually ended up displaying and presenting as an utterly silly and childish male damsel in distress, to the horror of both my parents and my little brother, who became even more livid when Angela and I also had our Barbies sometimes kidnap and then later protect his treasured G.I. Joe action figures). Definitely a fun story, with great entertainment value and often very much hilarious illustrations, I am most definitely happily surprised at how much I have enjoyed Traction Man is Here (but I do have to wonder a bit whether many adults do like me love Traction Man is Here mostly and primarily because of the fond memories of childhood imaginative playtime that both Mini Grey's narrative and her accompanying pictures have or at least can have the tendency to sweetly and nostalgically engender).


message 19: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 2239 comments Traction Man sounds like Toy Story before Buzz moved in. I want to get it from the library for crazy nephew.


message 20: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 8775 comments Mod
QNPoohBear wrote: "Traction Man sounds like Toy Story before Buzz moved in. I want to get it from the library for crazy nephew."

It really is fun.


message 21: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 8775 comments Mod
The Man Who Walked Between the Towers

Now I do indeed and well realise that Mordicai Gerstein's The Man Who Walked Between the Towers is both a Caldecott and a Boston Globe-Horn Book award winner, and indeed, on a certain level, I have actually even somewhat enjoyed The Man Who Walked Between the Towers (and have definitely found Gerstein's accompanying illustrations evocative, descriptive, nuanced and yes, simply aesthetically wonderful). However and that all having been said (and on an entirely personal and emotional level), when I read The Man Who Walked Between the Towers and especially the part about how Phillipe Petit and a friend end up sneaking into the still under construction World Trade Centre (in 1974) by pretending to be, by dressing up as construction workers, I do have to admit that I personally feel more than a bit chilled and even a trifle creeped out to an extent, and not really so much because Phillipe is doing something illegal, but actually much more due to the fact that considering 9-11 and also recalling that prior to 9-11, there had been a serious bombing in the basement of World Trade Centre, how Phillipe's and his friend's behaviour and their actions (sneaking clandestinely into the Twin Towers in order for Phillipe to do his daredevil stunt) rather sadly and infuriatingly demonstrate just how easily and with no problems it seems to have been for Phillipe Petit (and others) to have gained access and unlawful entrance into the WTC (not very good, not even adequate security).

And furthermore (and I do indeed apologise if this might seem a bit anally retentive to some of you), I also am at best a trifle annoyed at both Phillipe Petit's daredevil endeavours and that this seems to also be totally feted and cheered by the author, by Mordicai Gerstein. For in my opinion, Phillipe's walking on a tightrope between the twin towers of the World Trade Centre was and remains both foolish and also an experiment that could easily have ended in tragedy and not just for him, but also for police and firefighters, for so-called first responders, who would obviously have needed to rescue Phillipe if he had slipped and fallen (and therefore, Phillipe's actions and his stunt of illegally walking "between the towers" I can and will only consider this as extremely dangerous and rather problematic at best, and really, the brilliance of Mordicai Gerstein's illustrations notwithstanding, I really and truly cannot see how The Man Who Walked Between the Towers is in any way a good and positive celebration and remembrance of the World Trade Centre).


message 22: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (last edited Sep 04, 2018 07:29PM) (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2594 comments Mod
Henry Hikes to Fitchburg
This was an interesting comparing and contrasting of the two different ways to get to Fitchburg. The story makes pretty clear that Henry's hike was much more enjoyable than his friend's having to work all day to earn money for the train fare. And then, the train was crowded on top of that! So, even though the friend "won" the competition, Henry pressed leaves, had a swim, and picked blackberries on his leisurely hike. So Henry makes the point that the simplest way may not be the fastest, but it might be the best. I liked the illustrations, with their unusual perspectives and angles, rendered in colored pencil and paint. And it was brilliant planning to have the illustration of the friend's activities on one side of the page, and Henry's on the other, so that the reader could compare what each is doing.


message 23: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 6261 comments Mod
QNPoohBear wrote: "We love the Henry series! My dad is from Fitchburg so my mom bought the book for my cousins (who still lived in the area) when they were younger. The Concord Museum has a whole children's area with..."

That's so neat! We read Henry Builds a Cabin a few months ago and really enjoyed it.

I read Henry Hikes to Fitchburg a few years ago and here is my review:

Henry (as in Thoreau) and his friend decide to go to Fitchburg. Henry wants to walk but his friend wants to take the train. Henry sets off on his hike while his friend sets to work earning the money to pay the train fare. They are eager to see who will reach Fitchburg first!

I really appreciated how this story is told. It's simple yet extremely effective in conveying the message. On one page, we see Henry's friend toiling to earn money (such as filling the woodbox in Mrs. Alcott's kitchen for five cents) and on the other we see Henry enjoying his hike (...hopping from rock to rock across the Sudbury river...) It's also really neat how Johnson incorporated other Concord residents into the story through the people Henry's friend works for--though we don't see them, their names are used and they are mentioned in the author's note at the back.

I thought this book had an agenda--not that it's bad, but it seemed kind of message-heavy to me. It stemmed from Johnson's belief in Thoreau's "Walden" idea--that we would do better to work less, spend less, and enjoy life and nature more. And while it actually an ideal that I appreciate and try to incorporate into my life as much as possible, I do feel there is merit in a job well done and that some people actually truly do enjoy their work beyond just the paycheck. And, in this day and age, most of us are just happy to have some work to pay the bills. This book made it out that Henry's friend did not enjoy anything he did--even the train ride!--whereas everything Henry experienced was perfect and wonderful. I would have liked it a little more if the reader could draw his/her own conclusion as to who had the better day. It's a little too black-and-white for me, but I do think it's a great book, a lovey tribute to Thoreau, and a thoughtful introduction to this very worthwhile subject for children.


message 24: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 6261 comments Mod
Manybooks wrote: "The Man Who Walked Between the Towers

Now I do indeed and well realise that Mordicai Gerstein's The Man Who Walked Between the Towers is both a Caldecott and a Boston Globe-Horn Book..."


You make some good points, Gundula. I hadn't read it with that view in mind but I do think there are some great discussion points for children here regarding Phillippe's actions and how things could have turned out so differently.


message 25: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 6261 comments Mod
"Let's Get a Pup!" Said Kate
I love this book so much it's difficult for me to write a review. It is, for me, absolutely perfect. It's the story of Kate, who wants a puppy and gets one. But it is so much more than that. It's about loving something so much you will never get over missing it, but you will come to realize your can love again. It's about having expectations for what you want in your new companion--and finding it. And then being surprised that you might still need more. It's about realizing that the heart can hold endless amounts of love and compassion--and that all beds feel more secure when a sweet, furry creature curls up at the foot of the bed to anchor it.

The book will create many emotions but for me the one most paramount is joy. The ending is wonderful! What may have been a rather melancholy subject (animals in shelters) is treated with the utmost respect and a sense of gravity without being depressing and Kate and her family are inspiring in extending their love and compassion to animals who would be overlooked by those seeking purebred perfection. Also, the story is full of gentle, delightful humor. I love the illustrations; this family is so wonderfully "real" from the places the family holds conversations to the toys scattered around on the floor of the kitchen (not in a messy way but in a, hey, this house is meant to be lived in and loved sort of way) it just seems so natural and such warm and loving family.


message 26: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 6261 comments Mod
Traction Man Is Here! is such a fun book! I really love it. I have a lot of great nostalgic memories playing with my toys and this stirred up so many of them. Fans should note the sequels (yay!) I enjoyed Traction Man and the Beach Odyssey and hope to be able to find Traction Man Meets Turbo Dog at our new library.

-----
my review:
What fun! Fans of "Toy Story" will love "Traction Man Is Here!" as it follows the adventures of Traction Man throughout his adventures (led by the imagination of a little boy). I love how the imagination makes everyday "chores" (such as doing the dishes or taking a bath) fabulous opportunities for Traction Man to save the day! :-) I do wish that Grey had used more creative names for some of the everyday objects Traction Man encounters (I think most kids are more creative than her names indicate) but overall this is a joyous ode to the bond between child and toy--and a celebration of imagination.


message 27: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 6261 comments Mod
Unfortunately, I've just never really connected with Lois Ehlert's work and Leaf Man was just so-so for me when I read it several years ago. I can see the appeal of her work and I appreciate the collages, they just don't really wow me personally.


message 28: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 6261 comments Mod
Bubble Trouble
"Little Mabel blew a bubble, and it caused a lot of trouble... Such a lot of bubble trouble in a bibble-bobble way. For it broke away from Mabel as it bobbed across the table, where it bobbled over Baby, and it wafted him away."

What fun! This is a great story for those who love words; as a child, it would have just made me giggle with adoring all those fun words, string together so charmingly, creating a zany and delicious read-aloud.


message 29: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 6261 comments Mod
Beverly wrote: "Big Momma Makes the World
This story is very loosely based on Genesis 1. Instead of the Lord doing the creating, it is a woman (Big Momma) with a baby. And by very loosely, the author has reversed ..."


That is certainly a surprising retelling! I do enjoy Phyllis Root's illustrations and I'll be curious to read the book if I find it at our library.


message 30: by Manybooks (last edited Sep 04, 2018 11:49AM) (new)

Manybooks | 8775 comments Mod
Kathryn wrote: "Manybooks wrote: "The Man Who Walked Between the Towers

Now I do indeed and well realise that Mordicai Gerstein's The Man Who Walked Between the Towers is both a Caldecott and a Bost..."


I live near many waterfalls and so often people have had to be rescued due to foolishness that now many of the waterfalls are off limits to everyone, including those of us who are not about to go out of bounds and Philippe kind of reminds me of this.


message 31: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 8775 comments Mod
Kathryn wrote: "Unfortunately, I've just never really connected with Lois Ehlert's work and Leaf Man was just so-so for me when I read it several years ago. I can see the appeal of her work and I app..."

I had the same reaction to Leaf Man as I have had to Ehlert's Red Leaf Yellow Leaf, liked if not loved the illustrations, could get nothing out of the text.


message 32: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 6261 comments Mod
Yes, so many natural wonders (and even man-made ones) are now off limits to the respectful many due to the selfish and damaging behaviors of a few. It’s a true shame.


message 33: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2594 comments Mod
Kathryn wrote: "Beverly wrote: "Big Momma Makes the World
This story is very loosely based on Genesis 1. Instead of the Lord doing the creating, it is a woman (Big Momma) with a baby. And by very loosely, the auth..."


Actually, the illustrations were rendered by Helen Oxenbury.


message 34: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 6261 comments Mod
Sorry, that’s who I meant. Thanks. (Still sleep deprived from our move!) I have enjoyed Phyllis Root as an author, too.


message 35: by Cheryl , Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 6832 comments Mod
I couldn't the Dog & Bear that's listed, so I read Dog and Bear: Two's Company. Very predictable tropes, with almost retro art, but just a bit updated for today's rugrats. So simple that I'm not surprised they charm some and bore others.


message 36: by Cheryl , Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 6832 comments Mod
Leaf Man is creative. And oversized, so it's grabbable in the library, and shareable in circle time. Day care teachers might see if their children can assemble leaf critters and orchards, etc., themselves. (Some children might like to make patterns, like mandalas or grids, and that should be accepted, too, of course.)

I probably would have liked it more when I was a child or when my children were young. Now, well, it's just odd.

I do like Ehlert's Eating the Alphabet.


message 37: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2594 comments Mod
At Night
This was such as sweet, simple story of one young girl's insomnia. I'm guessing that she was too hot to sleep, so when the breeze came through her window, of course she wanted to follow it to someplace cooler--the roof. While lugging all her bedding upstairs, she unwittingly wakes her mother, who quietly follows her, but instead of telling her to get back to her room, allows her to sleep in the lounge chair on the roof. And the little girl is finally able to quiet her mind by thinking of the big wide world. The lovely watercolors are detailed and as sweet as the story itself.


message 38: by Cheryl , Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 6832 comments Mod
Upon this reread of Henry Hikes to Fitchburg I particularly appreciated that the author doesn't over-simplify the message for children.

Henry did get indeed get in a little later. And while an introvert was glad to have the ramble, an extrovert might have found it lonely. Not to mention there is value in an honest day's work, and tasks like pulling weeds are more like a service to the community than they are something to be avoided as horrible. (Cleaning the chicken coop, otoh, was worth the whole fare, imo!)

I liked the inclusion of real names, too, i.e. Mr. Emerson, who of course is Ralph Waldo.


message 39: by Manybooks (last edited Sep 06, 2018 11:03AM) (new)

Manybooks | 8775 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "Upon this reread of Henry Hikes to Fitchburg I particularly appreciated that the author doesn't over-simplify the message for children.

Henry did get indeed get in a little later. A..."


While I liked the inclusions of the names, I have to admit that it kind of annoys me that there is not a glossary included explaining precisely who these individuals were in real life (and how they were linked to and friends with Thoreau). Sure, I know who they are (or who they were), but it would have been nice if the author had also included information on Bronson Alcott and company at the end of the story, perhaps as part of his author's note on Thoreau.


message 40: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2594 comments Mod
Bubble Trouble
I have to agree with Kathryn, this was such a fun poem, with all the wonderful word pairings and the strong rhythmic lines. The illustrations are great as well, following the silly poem with very expressive cartoon people and animals. This will definitely increase the vocabulary of young readers or listeners.


message 41: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 8775 comments Mod
Henry Hikes to Fitchburg

Now while I have indeed enjoyed D.B. Johnson's Henry Hikes to Fitchburg a tiny bit more than his Henry Builds a Cabin, nevertheless the combination of the author's text feeling a trifle too message-heavy for me and Henry David Thoreau being depicted and shown as a walking, talking and wearing period clothing bear does indeed make me on an entirely personal level groan a bit, mostly because I have NEVER and from early childhood on enjoyed stories of anthropomorphic animals all that much, and that actually in particular pertains to animals dressed in human costumes and clothing (and as this is something I have therefore always found somewhat if not even quite unnerving and even at times potentially creepy, honestly, if I want to read about Henry David Thoreau, and even in a picture book geared towards younger children, I want to read about Thoreau the man and not Thoreau the bear talking like a man, walking like a man and wearing human attire like a man).

Now with regard to the author's presented narrative (with regard to D.B. Johnson's actual text), while I actually both philosophically and emotionally very much do agree with both the morals and the messages featured in Henry Hikes to Fitchburg (as I most definitely tend to be of the opinion that one needs to slow down, that one should take pleasure in and with the simplicity of life, including such activities as hiking, taking the time to collect flowers, letting the beauty of a landscape imbue one's spirit and soul with bliss), the rather obvious and being hit on the head with a heavy rubber mallet like juxtaposition of Henry walking, of Henry hiking to Fitchburg and his friend rather joylessly toiling at various small and larger jobs in order to take the train to Fitchburg has at least to and for me felt more than a bit forced, artificial and indeed completely in one's proverbial face so to speak (with Henry's hike being simply too one-sidedly engagingly fun and positive and with his friend's all work and no play in order to financially earn his train fare to Fitchburg feeling just too one-sidedly tedious and negative). Not to mention that while I have certainly enjoyed D.B. Johnson's informative author's note on Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Bronson Alcott and Nathaniel Hawthorne at the end of Henry Hikes to Fitchburg, its woeful dearth of detail and more importantly, the lack of suggestions for further reading and study, the complete absence of any bibliographical information whatsoever really does rather rub me the wrong academic and intellectual way.


message 42: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 8775 comments Mod
Leaf Man

While I absolutely and with all my heart do love the imaginative and oh so evocative autumnally colour schemed leaf illustrations of Lois Ehlert's Leaf Man (and considering that Halloween will soon be upon us, I actually have also quite enjoyed that some of the depicted and presented leaf people and animals even kind of look delightfully and mildly creepy, not enough to in any manner ever frighten, but definitely sufficient to potentially give a few mild shivers and frissons), I really can only be positive and lauding with regard to Lois Ehlert's pictorial renderings. For the accompanying text of Leaf Man is not only rather thin and sparse with regard to information and detail, the entire sequence is also penned in such a tediously monotonous, choppy and at times annoyingly, unnecessarily repetitive style of expression that I actually have ended up focussing on only the illustration and trying my hardest to completely, to actually ignore the author's, Lois Ehlert's printed words, as they are and remain totally and utterly not to my taste, completely empty of what I would consider substance and form and are actually in my opinion even a bit of a potential burden to and for the truly spectacular fall-time leaf illustrations (pictures that are an absolutely spectacular aesthetic delight, with subtle coulors and shapes that just so totally and completely celebrate and commemorate the glory of autumn and the changing colours of deciduous tree leaves, or rather, this would be the case if the text, if the accompanying narrative were a bit more substantial and equally descriptive and evocative, if Lois Ehlert's presented and featured narrative were actually a celebration and adequate mirror of her illustrations). And thus, although if I were to just consider Leaf Man with regard to the illustrations, I would indeed and without question be rankling this book with a solid five stars, the at best totally lacklustre and colourless, overly sparse and tedious text, this does indeed leave very much to be desired to and for me, and makes me (although with a bit of guilt) only consider a three star maximum ranking for Leaf Man (and really, Lois Ehlert should in my opinion have considered just making her Leaf Man a wordless picture book, as her illustrations do certainly in every way capture my fancy, my imagination, and caress my sense of the aesthetics of autumn in a manner that her text has not and simply, utterly cannot, as sorry, but compared to the illustrations, the accompanying text of Leaf Man really is rather a pale nonentity at best).


message 43: by Karen (last edited Sep 08, 2018 04:38PM) (new)

Karen Witzler (kewitzler) | 52 comments Manybooks wrote: "I enjoyed At Night, but I certainly liked the illustrations more than the text, which for me was once again a bit lacking in details.




I read At Night and as the mother of a child who was prone to night- wandering, I was made too uncomfortable by the premise.



message 44: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 8775 comments Mod
Karen wrote: "Manybooks wrote: "I enjoyed At Night, but I certainly liked the illustrations more than the text, which for me was once again a bit lacking in details.

I read [book:At Night|9196147..."


I can understand that, especially since the little girl is up on the roof.


message 45: by Cheryl , Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 6832 comments Mod
The Man Who Walked Between the Towers just isn't a book that I can imagine recommending to any child or recommending as a purchase to any library. I see the message of Phillippe's inner passion to be free, but I don't feel it. All I feel is the selfish recklessness. The book has no value that I can sense.

(I'm not saying censor the book, I'm just saying that budgets are finite and I'd allocate otherwise.)


message 46: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 8775 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "The Man Who Walked Between the Towers just isn't a book that I can imagine recommending to any child or recommending as a purchase to any library. I see the message of Phillippe's inn..."

And I am so glad that I am not the only one who has had that kind of an attitude, as I also only see how reckless and callous Philippe is.


message 47: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 2239 comments I totally agree about At Night. The illustrations are really cute but the text is pointless. Children could easily read this to themselves without it. This is a rather unremarkable book.

Traction Man Is Here! This book is hilarious fun! It's very much like Toy Story, from the point-of-view of the toy. I had fun looking at the details of the illustrations, picking out the text on the products in the background. The author has a great sense of humor. This is really how boys play and I can totally see my crazy 6 year old nephew doing those things with his toys. I will try to read him the book soon. The one thing I did NOT like was that his first Traction Man broke and he had a ton of toys that looked like they might be broken or get broken all over the floor of his room. I would have liked to see him earn the money for the toy or have it be a much longed for gift but not a gift replacement for the one he broke.


message 48: by Manybooks (last edited Sep 10, 2018 07:32PM) (new)

Manybooks | 8775 comments Mod
QNPoohBear wrote: "I totally agree about At Night. The illustrations are really cute but the text is pointless. Children could easily read this to themselves without it. This is a rather unremarkable b..."

Oh boy, you would not have liked how I used to play with my Barbie dolls either, as aside from the horrible haircuts my friends and used to give them, we also took them to the barn and the riding arena (and it is not good for Barbie's legs to try to make her ride on a real horse).


message 49: by Cheryl , Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 6832 comments Mod
LOL Gundula!

Yes, QNPoohBear, I agree; if my boys broke toys due to carelessness they did not get free replacements.

I thought I read Traction Man but I'm not remembering all the details that you folks are seeing... hope I get a a chance to read it....


message 50: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 2239 comments Manybooks wrote: "Oh boy, you would not have liked how I used to play with my Barbie dolls either, as aside from the horrible haircuts my friends and used to give them, we also took them to the barn and the riding arena (and it is not good for Barbie's legs to try to make her ride on a real horse). ."

Yikes! I never played with Barbies. My American Girl dolls (I only had one and my sister had one) are expensive and I knew to take good care of them. My Cabbage Patch Kids have seen better days but I don't believe any were deliberately damaged. I was sad to see the shape they were in after being stored improperly after 30 years and the accessories are long gone if we had any.


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