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The Picture-Book Club > October 2019: Celebrating Steven Kellogg (Discuss Here)

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message 1: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited Sep 27, 2019 04:01PM) (new)

Kathryn | 5768 comments Mod
In October, we will continue celebrating notable children's book authors/illustrators with Steven Kellogg (born October 26, 1941). He has created more than 90 children's books in his career. For me, his illustrations bring back warm fuzzies from my 80s childhood, though I have by no means read all of his works and I know he has continued to create new work in more recent decades.

The books we will read together are a group are:
A Rose for Pinkerton
The Missing Mitten Mystery
The Christmas Witch
The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash
Johnny Appleseed: A Tall Tale
The Island of the Skog
How Much Is a Million?

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show...


message 4: by Manybooks (last edited Sep 23, 2019 03:07AM) (new)

Manybooks | 7235 comments Mod
I have heard mention Kellogg’s name before, but he is later than my childhood. And thus, I am actually totally unfamiliar with him and the list below is simply some of the Kellogg books my local library has available.

Johnny Appleseed: A Tall Tale
The Missing Mitten Mystery
The Pied Piper's Magic
The Mysterious Tadpole
The Three Sillies
The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash
The Christmas Witch


message 5: by Cheryl is busier irl atm., Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl is busier irl atm. (cherylllr) | 6250 comments Mod
Well, it's actually written by David M. Schwartz, but Kellogg's illustrations for How Much Is a Million? make it the book that I think everyone, from schoolchild to president, needs to read.


message 6: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5768 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "Well, it's actually written by David M. Schwartz, but Kellogg's illustrations for How Much Is a Million? make it the book that I think everyone, from schoolchild to pre..."

How Much Is a Million? is awesome. It made a big impression on me as a kid.

I also hope we can read at least one of his "tall tales" -- I remember a Reading Rainbow episode that featured Paul Bunyan, a Tall Tale.


message 7: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited Sep 27, 2019 04:01PM) (new)


message 8: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5768 comments Mod
Manybooks wrote: "I have heard mention Kellogg’s name before, but he is later than my childhood. And thus, I am actually totally unfamiliar with him and the list below is simply some of the Kellogg books my local li..."

Really!? Wow. I hope you will enjoy discovering him now. His work made a big impression on me as a kid :-)


message 9: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 1501 comments The one book I remember well is The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash, Weekly Reader Book Club Edition. The other one I remember is The Mysterious Tadpole. I think I read some of the tall tales too. I have a vague possible memory of my elementary school librarian reading these books to us in second grade.


message 10: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7235 comments Mod
Kathryn wrote: "Manybooks wrote: "I have heard mention Kellogg’s name before, but he is later than my childhood. And thus, I am actually totally unfamiliar with him and the list below is simply some of the Kellogg..."

I was already in high school in the 80s.


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

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2333 comments Mod
The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash
This was one of my son's favorite books when he was but a young tyke. I also think it very funny the way the little girl tells the story completely backwards. And Kellogg's watercolor and ink paintings are full of the energy and chaos of everything that occurred on the farm during the school trip. He is also great at capturing expressions on the faces of humans and animals alike.


message 12: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 1501 comments The Missing Mitten Mystery
A little girl searches through the snow for a lost mitten with her faithful pup. This is a cute little mystery. Kids will have fun trying to guess where the mitten is. I liked seeing all the fun things the kids did that day. I also liked her relationship with the grandmotherly neighbor and the surprise location of the mitten was very sweet. The illustrations are cute and show a lot of expression and excitement over a fun day in the snow.

The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash This is a zany story about a field trip to the farm. The mom doesn't ask the right question first resulting in the story being told backwards. Yikes what a crazy day! The poor teacher had to put up with rambunctious kids and the farmers had to deal with frightened animals. The twist at the end with the boa is cute but not exactly realistic since boa constrictors squeeze the air out of their prey. The illustrations reflect the chaotic day. The looks on the teacher's face in each scene are priceless and show what my co-workers and I feel like at the end of a field trip day. The kids are cute and look happy while wreaking havoc. I remember enjoying this one when I was a kid.

How Much Is a Million? I couldn't find this one so I read If You Made a Million This isn't a storybook but a book that teaches valuable lessons on making money including how to invest it and why. The children in the book work at a variety of jobs making money starting at 50 cents and working up to a million. The jobs range from weird to downright wacky! The text is boring but this book should be taught in all schools and children shouldn't be allowed to purchase anything until they understand the value of money. ("How much is this?" "Do I have enough?" "I don't have enough? Um what CAN I buy?") The illustrations make this book worthwhile. They're laugh-out-loud funny! Steven Kellogg makes the scenes increasingly busier and funnier until the million dollar scene. That one is so crazy! His children seem happy to be working and earning money.


message 13: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5768 comments Mod
Hoping to get the books today! :-)


message 14: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5768 comments Mod
QNPoohBear wrote: "How Much Is a Million? I couldn't find this one so I read If You Made a Million This isn't a storybook but a book that teaches valuable lessons on making money including how to invest it and why.."

I read that one way back when, too, it's another good one.


message 15: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2333 comments Mod
A Rose for Pinkerton
Pinkerton is based on Kellogg's own beloved Great Dane, as Rose is based on a grouchy cat that he also had. On his website, Kellogg says: "My favorite illustrators delineate their characters so that animation is implied. The individual spreads are designed so that they crackle with graphic vitality. The characters seem to speak, cavort, and leap from the page so energetically that their life and movement are totally convincing." Which explains why the illustrations in his picture books are full of action and details. There is a lot of action in this picture book of the kitten that disrupts the poodle parade at the International Pet Show. The reader can almost imagine this book, and his others, made into short, animated films.


message 16: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (last edited Oct 02, 2019 11:20AM) (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2333 comments Mod
The Island of the Skog
This is my very favorite Steven Kellogg book. For one thing, it is a timeless adventure that will not go out of fashion. For me, it is the wonderful adventure of the little mice, taking a ship to an unknown destination; and then the having to cope on an island inhabited by an unknown monster. I also loved all the different personalities of the little mice, and the illustrations (I think in watercolor and ink) were so incredibly detailed. There was a short animated film made of this story, which I viewed many years ago. I was able to find it on YouTube, which is available to view for $1.99 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcEe5...). There is also a video on YouTube of Kellogg giving a presentation to a group of children; during a part of the visit, he retells Island of the Skog while drawing the pictures for it (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JriOe...). Very interesting.


message 17: by Cheryl is busier irl atm., Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl is busier irl atm. (cherylllr) | 6250 comments Mod
Primary selection: A Rose for Pinkerton. I agree that this is lively, full of detail, totally ready to be animated. All the words are dialogue (well, mostly monologue statements rather than give & take dialogue). No other artist could tell the same story as it's so reliant on Kellogg's own art. Learning that the dog and kitten are based on real pets makes me appreciate it more.


message 18: by Cheryl is busier irl atm., Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl is busier irl atm. (cherylllr) | 6250 comments Mod
Primary selection: The Christmas Witch. Well that's certainly original. And I liked how it took a lot of helpers a lot of work to bring about the happy ending. I kinda want a happier fate for the villain, but Kellogg's choice is fit. I also like how the angel friend isn't assigned a gender... not sure if there's some reason but it's a neat detail.


message 19: by Cheryl is busier irl atm., Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl is busier irl atm. (cherylllr) | 6250 comments Mod
Supplemental choice: Best Friends. Aww.... Now this one just hits me in the warm fuzzies. I've never had a best friend; nonetheless I feel as if I can feel everything that Kathy does. She and Louise and Mr. Jode are certainly lucky to have each other.

And now I'll have to add this to the thread on Inter-generational Friendships.


message 20: by Cheryl is busier irl atm., Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl is busier irl atm. (cherylllr) | 6250 comments Mod
Supplemental choice: The Three Little Pigs. Remember to look at the details in the pictures! Note that the pigs are doing very well against the ostriches (?) at school, for example, and of course pigs won't save their money in a piggy bank.... Also Kellogg does names like Dickens did; the brick cottage was built by Prudence. And I love the happy ending for all.


message 21: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7235 comments Mod
Johnny Appleseed: A Tall Tale

I have to admit that I am somewhat conflicted with regard to Steven Kellogg's Johnny Appleseed: A Tall Tale (and yes, in particular with regard to Kellogg's presented text). For while I have certainly enjoyed reading about John Chapman (that he thought hunting was morally wrong, that he not only appreciated the fauna around him but also seemingly often protected and helped injured animals, and of course how he earned his nickname of Johnny Appleseed), there is one part of Johnny Appleseed: A Tall Tale that does kind of make me cringe and growl with major annoyance. For honestly, that whole War of 1812 inclusion for one feels as though Steven Kellogg has just added it out of the blue and for two it is obvious in my opinion that Kellogg is also trying to insinuate and claim to his young readers that ONLY the British seemingly manipulated and incited Native Americans (which is simply NOT the truth, but I guess Steven Kellogg is more interested in trying to blame the British than in being historically accurate, for the truth of the matter is that during the War of 1812, both the British and the Americans used and manipulated Native Americans and often played tribes against each other). Furthermore, I also do wonder whether Johnny Appleseed: A Tall Tale should really be considered more of a for the most part realistic, non fiction account with a bit of legendary, folkloristic embellishments thrown in than a typical and traditional North American tall tale, because unlike in many traditional tall tales, John Chapman (Johnny Appleseed) does not (at least from my perspective) ever become truly larger than life and have related experiences fighting and besting massive bears, moose and other gigantic animals (and yes, even that bit about the rattlesnake and Johnny Appleseed's calloused feet, this is still in its core based on reality and not so much on fantasy and exaggeration, and it is actually only Steven Kellogg who illustrates the snake as being some huge and massive monster). Two and a half stars for Steven Kellogg's narrative, but rounded up to three stars, as even with my textual issues regarding Johnny Appleseed: A Tall Tale, I have still quite enjoyed my reading time and have certainly found the accompanying illustrations truly a wonderful visual and aesthetic feast for my eyes (except that I do wish that John Chapman/Johnny Appleseed himself were depicted as not so goofy and clown-like in appearance). And yes, I also am glad that Steven Kellogg has included an expansive author's note at thew back of Johnny Appleseed: A Tall Tale (although one that unfortunately is a trifle reader unfriendly, since it certainly would make supplemental research easier if the literary sources Kellogg had used for his text were presented in actual bibliographic form and as such separated from the text proper of the author's note).


message 22: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7235 comments Mod
The Christmas Witch

Although I have found the illustrations for Steven Kellogg's The Christmas Witch colourful and for the most part delightfully and yes often also humorously descriptive, I really cannot say that I have found the actual story, I cannot even remotely consider Kellogg's presented text to my reading tastes. For aside from The Christmas Witch feeling and reading like a rather strange mixture of Witch Academy (such as J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and Gillian Murphy's The Worst Witch series) and a bit of science fiction clad in the loose garments of Mediaevalism thematics, both the main antagonist, Madame Pestilence, and the positive and heroic characters presented, they are all and sundry in my opinion frustratingly and annoyingly too one-sidedly stereotypically evil or good (in a manner that while Steven Kellogg obviously means this to be humorous and engaging, it just becomes massively tedious and boring, with especially that angel character feeling like a standard Hallmark Christmas card with no deep significance and Madame Pestilence and her minions too cardboard thin to even somewhat find amusing and engaging). And in fact, the ONLY characters in The Christmas Witch whom I personally have found somewhat believable and relatable are the Pepperwills and the Valdoons (even if they are seemingly aliens, albeit aliens who both look and act like mediaeval knights and ladies). For yes, it does make basic common sense that even after Gloria has renovated the castle, that after centuries of animosity and feuding, both Pepperwills and Valdoons would naturally still be suspicious of each other and would not suddenly and out of the blue become firm and committed friends. And while I do kind of appreciate the final message of The Christmas Witch that in order to keep the magic of Christmas, to keep Madame Pestilence from reappearing and wreaking havoc, the Pepperwills and the Valdoons will need to permanently bury their proverbial hatchets and become allies, in my opinion, the entire storyline of The Christmas Witch has been at best rather forced and artificial, not to mention on the surface, and with not really all that much authorial originality either (for indeed, I do find that Steven Kellogg has just taken a a bunch of common fairy tale and fantasy plot ideas and melded them into a strange and uninspiring, monotonous whole, with a bit of science fiction thrown in for good measure and characters who are for the most part undeveloped and lacking in any kind of nuance). Two stars maximum (and yes, those two stars are actually and really only for the fact that I do find the illustrations accompanying the narrative visually enchanting and aesthetically pleasing, for if I were to consider The Christmas Witch according to how much I have not found Steven Kellogg's text to my likes and reading tastes, I would only be ranking this book with one star).


message 23: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (last edited Oct 03, 2019 04:14PM) (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2333 comments Mod
The Christmas Witch
I had a different reaction to this story than Gundula, because I really enjoyed it. I don't have a problem with the evil characters being thoroughly bad and the good characters being thoroughly angelic. In this way, younger readers are not confused about who is who. My review:
This is a funny and energetic story about a young witch trying to make peace between two warring factions during a Christmas celebration. The illustrations are crammed full of details and humorous situations. As much of the story is carried in the illustrations as in the text.


message 24: by Manybooks (last edited Oct 05, 2019 06:58AM) (new)

Manybooks | 7235 comments Mod
While The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash is a funny and wild story about actions and consequences, personally I found Trinka Hakes Noble’s narrative annoying and especially that the field trip children never face any adult in other words teacher criticism for throwing around the farmer’s eggs and corn (basically wasting his products). And how did Jimmy manage to bring a huge boa constrictor along? The teachers etc. must have been blind not to notice this. Steven Kellog’s pictures are bright and fun, and certainly mirror the zaniness of the author’s text, but are still too cartoon like and exaggerated for my personal visual tastes.


message 25: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited Oct 05, 2019 07:10AM) (new)

Kathryn | 5768 comments Mod
Manybooks wrote: "Johnny Appleseed: A Tall Tale

I have to admit that I am somewhat conflicted with regard to Steven Kellogg's Johnny Appleseed: A Tall Tale (and yes, in particular with regard to Kello..."


I did not pick up on the point you raised regarding the War of 1812 but I do see where you are coming from on that. Too bad.

I did thorough enjoy reading this and I, too, was surprised that it was not more quintessentially "Tall Tale" in nature. From my recollection, Kellogg's Paul Bunyan, a Tall Tale begins with the outrageous exaggerations from the very moment of Paul's birth and never really presents him as a real person (I think the reality of his existence is more ambiguous than John Chapman, though). That said, I actually really did appreciate the telling of this story. How it was more historically-based about Chapman's life and then showed how, through his personality and deeds, he grew into something of legend. I think it will appeal to children because, especially with some of the superhero movies out there right now, there is a charge to "be a hero" in your own right. I think showing that Chapman was an ordinary man doing extraordinary things with a kind and generous nature and became something of a "super" hero from that (through the "tall tale" stories that so lovingly evolved about him from those whose lives he touched) might really resonate with children. These "Tall Tale" heroes were kind of the supernatural legends before we had Superman and Spider-Man and X-Men, etc. etc. I agree the Author's Note really adds to the story, too.


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

Kathryn | 5768 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "Supplemental choice: Best Friends. Aww.... Now this one just hits me in the warm fuzzies. I've never had a best friend; nonetheless I feel as if I can feel everything that Kathy does...."

I'll have to see if my library has this one!


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

Kathryn | 5768 comments Mod
Beverly wrote: "The Island of the Skog
This is my very favorite Steven Kellogg book. For one thing, it is a timeless adventure that will not go out of fashion. For me, it is the wonderful adventure of the little m..."


I agree it's a great, swashbuckler with lots of great details in the illustrations. (I must say, though, I found the depiction of the cats a bit disturbing. I realize it's from the perspective of the mice, but sensitive readers may be upset by just how vicious the cats look and how "one got Granny this morning" -- yikes!) I do like that it has a sense of old-fashioned adventure but with a message that is (sadly) still so relevant in our world today. When encountering the new, the "scary" and the "other" what response comes when one acts from a place of fear and violence or out of a place of empathy and kindness.


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

Kathryn | 5768 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "Supplemental choice: The Three Little Pigs. Remember to look at the details in the pictures! Note that the pigs are doing very well against the ostriches (?) at school, for example, ..."

This one sounds great, too!


message 29: by Manybooks (last edited Oct 05, 2019 09:44AM) (new)

Manybooks | 7235 comments Mod
Kathryn wrote: "Manybooks wrote: "Johnny Appleseed: A Tall Tale

I have to admit that I am somewhat conflicted with regard to Steven Kellogg's Johnny Appleseed: A Tall Tale (and yes, in particular wi..."


I actually enjoyed Johnny Appleseed more than traditional American tall tales, which often have way too much of bears and other large animals being described as monsters and killed by the protagonists (which is why it is also so great to see Johnny being friendly with raccoons, bears, deer etc.). I just do not think the story itself is really all that much a tall tale in the traditional sense, but more a generally true account that has been embellished a bit, a typical legend, where the person being described was real but has been made a little larger than life as the years progressed.


message 30: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5768 comments Mod
Beverly wrote: "A Rose for Pinkerton
Pinkerton is based on Kellogg's own beloved Great Dane, as Rose is based on a grouchy cat that he also had. On his website, Kellogg says: "My favorite illustrators delineate th..."


Thanks for including that quote from Kellogg. Always great to get some insight into their methods and inspiration.

The book itself was a bit too madcap for my taste, but I can see the appeal. I'm going to see if the library has the first Pinkerton book for comparison.

I have warm-fuzzy childhood memories of Kellogg's illustrations and still do find many of them charming and full of joy and warmth. That said, adult me has been rather surprised to find how very ferocious and mean-looking some of his animals look at times (such as the poodles in this story). I do think he is an animal lover, so I'm not sure if this was done on purpose or if it's just kind of a stylistic thing that I interpret in a certain way. Anyone else notice that?


message 31: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5768 comments Mod
Manybooks wrote: "While The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash is a funny and wild story about actions and consequences, personally I found Trinka Hakes Noble’s narrative annoying and especially that the fie..."

I agree. I remember it being really funny when I was a kid -- the backward storytelling and zany escapades on the farm. As an adult, I felt the same way you did -- where the heck are the adults and the consequences!? Sigh. Sometimes it's no fun being a grown up.


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

Kathryn | 5768 comments Mod
The Christmas Witch Well, I'm somewhat in the middle of y'all here, neither disliking it as intensely as Gundula did or liking it as much as Cheryl and Beverly did. I kind of see all of your points. I found it a bit too long and too jumbled but I also felt its heart is in the right place and that it had a good message. It's not one I'd be eager to seek out again but I'm glad I read it.


message 33: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5768 comments Mod
The Missing Mitten Mystery I loved this! It just glows with warmth, joy and good spirit. I love how we are just plopped right into the middle of the action, the story opens with the little girl declaring to her puppy, "Oscar, I lost my other mitten." The footprints behind her through the snow tells us there must have been an adventure that day, and I love how she backtracks through the snowy-now to the places she played that day, remembering what she did and imagining the fate of her mitten. It's so very child-like and joyous and the sunset scenes with the snow truly glow and are beautiful. I love the illustration when she imagines an eagle took her mitten to keep the baby eagle's head warm -- I've never before seen an eagle look that loving and maternal ;-) I think my favorite is her imagining the mitten growing a mitten-tree and then giving all the mittens as gifts. I love including the elderly neighbor and, while perhaps the answer of what happened to the missing mitten might be deemed by some to be a bit saccharine, I thought it was perfect.


message 34: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7235 comments Mod
Kathryn wrote: "Manybooks wrote: "While The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash is a funny and wild story about actions and consequences, personally I found Trinka Hakes Noble’s narrative annoying and espec..."

I guess if I had actually read this as a child, I might have felt some nostalgic fondness but adult I could really only growl at both the kids and the teacher and feel sorry for the farmer and his wife.


message 35: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 1501 comments While nothing quite so outrageous happens on my field trips the way it did with Jimmy's boa - we wouldn't allow that - teachers do sometimes check out and use the field trip as an excuse to allow other people to entertain their students. Kids see it as a way to get out of the classroom and they like to work out their energy. You don't know how many times I have to say "No running! No jumping! Get off! Don't touch!" When you have one teacher and that may kids it's hard to control them all. Once some kids deliberately dropped food through a hole in the floor down into the gift shop and thankfully not on the machines. There was no way it could have been an accident. The story is a funny exaggeration of what happens on a field trip.


message 36: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2333 comments Mod
QNPoohBear wrote: "While nothing quite so outrageous happens on my field trips the way it did with Jimmy's boa - we wouldn't allow that - teachers do sometimes check out and use the field trip as an excuse to allow o..."

In my opinion, when one is reading a zany children's book like this one, one will enjoy the story more if they put aside their adult sensibilities and read it as a child would. While an adult realizes that the children's actions are irresponsible, and perhaps damaging to the farmer; a child will probably just laugh at all the chaos that is going on.


message 37: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7235 comments Mod
Beverly wrote: "QNPoohBear wrote: "While nothing quite so outrageous happens on my field trips the way it did with Jimmy's boa - we wouldn't allow that - teachers do sometimes check out and use the field trip as a..."

I agree but sometimes I can and sometimes I cannot.


message 38: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 1501 comments Beverly wrote: "In my opinion, when one is reading a zany children's book like this one, one will enjoy the story more if they put aside their adult sensibilities and read it as a child would."

That's exactly what I did and this book was really funny and popular when I was a kid, "But you don't have to take MY word for it!" Or LeVar Burton's but the book was featured on Reading Rainbow Season 1 episode 14. We always knew Reading Rainbow books would be good and to look for the sticker on library books.


message 39: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2333 comments Mod
The Missing Mitten Mystery
I really enjoyed this story very much. Kathryn already said about all there is to say about it--I loved that it jumped right into the "mystery," and all the girl's wild imaginations of where it might have ended up. I loved the girl's dog--a Dandie Dinmont terrier, with its mop of hair on its head and its short front legs. I also loved that he put a Pinkerton toy on the mantle of the fireplace in the Christmas scene. There are also some children's drawings of Pinkerton on the birthday mitten page. I really liked all the detail he put into each page. And I also adored the ending.


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

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2333 comments Mod
How Much Is a Million?
I first read this many years ago. I really liked how Schwartz made such a large numbers at least somewhat understandable for young children. The back matter is wonderful to help the adults to understand the concepts as well, and how he did his calculations. And those 7 pages of teensy weensy stars! (Did they have copy and paste in 1985?) Once again, I love all the details that Kellogg puts into his illustrations. Only one observation--a wrap-up sentence or two on a page before the back matter would have been nice. Otherwise, it's a funny and interesting concept book.


message 41: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7235 comments Mod
The Missing Mitten Mystery

The Missing Mitten Mystery is basically and simply a sweet little tale of a young girl and her dog trying to find her one missing mitten (mostly by retracing her steps to where she had previously been playing with her friends, but also having her muse that perhaps her mitten might equally have been absconded with by a bird or a mouse). And while there is in my opinion nothing in any manner spectacular or outrageous with regard to either Steven Kellogg's narrative or his accompanying illustrations, I certainly have found The Missing Mitten Mystery (both narrationally and illustratively) fun, engaging and yes also full of what often makes winter such a delightful season especially for children (with sledding, building snow castles making snow angels, and indeed I certainly did not expect the missing mitten to be found where it ended up being found, and yes, this has definitely made me smile).

Now personally, I do rather think that the scenario of the little girl imagining planting and growing mittens en masse feels a bit gratuitous and tacked on (read a trifle unnecessary). However, I guess that it does kind of give Steven Kellogg the opportunity to present and feature some visually sweet and colourfully descriptive "four seasonal" illustrations, although yes, I do find the whole planting mittens episode rather forced in scope and that it also does not really have all that much to do with the actual storyline of The Missing Mitten Mystery, namely with searching for and finding the little girl's lost mitten (and that it also kind of makes the subsequent discovery of the mitten, at least in my opinion a bit of a let-down and not all that exciting and special in and of itself anymore). Still The Missing Mitten Mystery is most certainly a delightful combination of text and images (with Steven Kellogg's bright and lively pictures also mirroring his narrative, the little girl's search for her mitten, and that it is finally found in an unexpected but as such and for the winter season really perfect place).


message 42: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 1501 comments How Much is a Million was checked out today so I went for some electives.

Chicken Little is a funny retelling of the original tale and show the meaning of the terms "bird brain" or "bird witted" because none of these fowl are very bright. The fox is cunning and clever but not as clever as he thinks. The illustrations are funny, showing each type of fowl in a different type of clothing reflecting an occupation such as a mother with baby carriage, an athlete, etc.

Pinkerton, Behave! Oh my gosh! This captured my heart. I KNOW Pinkerton is a very bad dog and needs training but the bad dogs are the best. They tend to be the ones that worm their way into your heart and break it at the end. I tried hard not to laugh out loud in the library at Pinkerton's antics. I love Pinkerton! The colors in the book have faded but I can see Steven Kellogg's signature style for the people. They look a little strange. The mother is kind of short and squat and not to scale to the child. The dog trainer has a mean old lady look- tall and spare. I loved looking at all the other dogs and seeing the things they learned. The ending is rather far-fetched, not to mention dangerous, but it's a fun surprising ending.

Aster Aardvark's Alphabet Adventures I flipped through this but it was too silly and too much alliteration to read. It doesn't seem to have a plot. It's a useful tool for teaching language but I wouldn't have put it in the fiction section. The pictures are busy and full of detail.


message 43: by Cheryl is busier irl atm., Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl is busier irl atm. (cherylllr) | 6250 comments Mod
I liked Johnny Appleseed: A Tall Tale a lot. I think it's fine to call it a Tall Tale even though Chapman didn't actually have Bunyanesque talents... as the author's note makes clear, the myth around the man is even more important to our American cultural consciousness than the facts.

The bit about the war of 1812 can be skipped by closing one spread. Most of us don't know a whole lot about that event anyway, I don't think. I don't, for sure.

My four star review: A simple introduction to the man and the myth. When I was a schoolchild in Wisconsinwe were taught of him as a hero for bringing apples west, and that's all I remember five decades on. To learn that he didn't hunt and was intelligent is bonus. Kellogg's signature lively illustrations make this story a joy, and the note makes it a resource.


message 44: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2333 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: " and the note makes it a resource...."

Which is why the copy I put on hold hasn't come yet.


message 45: by Cheryl is busier irl atm., Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl is busier irl atm. (cherylllr) | 6250 comments Mod
:)


message 46: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7235 comments Mod
The Pied Piper's Magic

While I know that some seem to consider Steven Kellogg's The Pied Piper's Magic an adaptation of the world-famous Pied Piper of Hamelin legend, personally and after having just completed reading The Pied Piper's Magic, there is NO WAY I would even remotely consider Kellogg's featured text in any manner a retelling (or rather a rewriting) of the former, but rather a completely and altogether original story, a tale that might indeed feature a plague of rats and a chief protagonist who succeeds in getting rid of those rats by the use of a pipe, but indeed really NOTHING else (no town of Hamelin, no townspeople making empty promises to the piper, no subsequent but also understood revenge of the piper when the townspeople renege on their promise of delivered riches upon completion of the task).

And although main elfin character of Peterkin certainly is a sweetly enough constructed and very much humane and loveable character (and that I do appreciate how in The Pied Piper's Magic Peterkin's pipe plays words and not musical notes), personally do I have to admit that I have found Steven Kellogg's narrative not really at all to my personal fairly and folklore tastes, as yes, I have always very much loved the traditional Pied Piper of Hamelin story with its not happily every after ending and have therefore and naturally so in my opinion found The Pied Piper's Magic much too saccharinely positive and the optimistic ending for all kind of majorly annoying and frustrating (and of course also lacking in that all important message of the original Pied Piper tale that if one breaks ones' sworn promises, terrible, horrible events could, might well occur).

Therefore but two low and not all that luminous stars for The Pied Piper's Magic, as aside from my totally lacklustre response to Steven Kellogg's invented story, to his presented narrative (and that it really does not at all correspond to Hamelin's Pied Piper), I also and equally am not very much aesthetically impressed by and pleased with his (with Kellogg's) accompanying illustrations, finding the pictures for the most part too garish and gaudy for my visual tastes, and in particular, the many depicted pink hearts at the end totally and overly exaggerated.


message 47: by Cheryl is busier irl atm., Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl is busier irl atm. (cherylllr) | 6250 comments Mod
Huh. Too bad.
But I always thought the story was made up by the poet Browning. Thank you for sending me to take a look... a glance at wikipedia convinces me that it is a legend based on a much older true event. Very cool, and a shame Kellogg changed it so much.


message 48: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7235 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "Huh. Too bad.
But I always thought the story was made up by the poet Browning. Thank you for sending me to take a look... a glance at wikipedia convinces me that it is a legend based on a much olde..."


Browning's is just another retelling of the legend. Interestingly enough, the Germans of Romania have a folklore that they are the descendants of the lost children of Hamelin.


message 49: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7235 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "Huh. Too bad.
But I always thought the story was made up by the poet Browning. Thank you for sending me to take a look... a glance at wikipedia convinces me that it is a legend based on a much olde..."


I really really did not at all like this story.


message 50: by Manybooks (last edited Oct 08, 2019 11:47AM) (new)

Manybooks | 7235 comments Mod
Jack and the Beanstalk

Truth be told, but I do feel rather conflicted regarding Steven Kellogg's Jack and the Beanstalk. For indeed, I have absolutely loved loved loved from a textual and narrational point of departure, Kellogg's retelling of Joseph Jacobs' 1889 Jack and the Beanstalk story as it appears in his delightful English Fairy Tales, with the author, with Stephen Kellogg in my humble opinion actually sticking really quite close to Jacobs' original words whilst also successfully adapting textual flow in particular to suit contemporary children (and yes, I also think that the reference to the nursery rhyme of Jack and Jill is a wonderful added touch, as I certainly have smiled at Steven Kellogg's verbal image of the giant falling down and breaking his crown and the beanstalk come tumbling after). However and as much as I have indeed enjoyed Jack and the Beanstalk narrationally, from an emotional and personal, as well from a visual point of view, I simply do find the illustrations that Steven Kellogg provides as accompaniment to and for his presented text, albeit of course aesthetically awe-inspiring and full full full of colour, expression and much detail, also and at the same time quite too visually creepy for me with regard to how the ogre, how the giant has been drawn and depicted. And while I can as an older adult naturally and of course aesthetically, visually handle that the giant is always baring his hugely pointed teeth and even constantly staring with glaring, baleful yellow eyes seemingly directly at me, if I had encountered Steven Kellogg's illustrations of the ogre as a child, if I had encountered Jack and the Beanstalk as a youngster, even though the text, while Steven Kellogg's adapted narrative would most certainly have been totally and absolutely fine for me, in particular his vividly horrific and toothsome depictions of the giant ogre, they would very likely have given me some very bad and frightening nightmares.


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