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The Picture-Book Club > December 2011: Discuss Our "Toys" Club Reads HERE

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message 1: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5571 comments Mod
The votes are in! In December we'll be exploring the wonderful world of TOYS. I hope those who wish to participate will be able to find all of our official club reads:

Corduroy

Clown

Crispin: The Pig Who Had It All

I Love My New Toy!

Sophie and Rose

Sixth/Alternate:
Traction Man Is Here!

Discussion will begin on December 1st. Thank you! :-)


message 2: by Tricia (new)

Tricia Douglas (teachgiftedkids) | 312 comments Yeh! I'm so glad "Corduroy" is here. One of my favorites!


message 3: by Cheryl, Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 6157 comments Mod
looks like I'll be able to get most of them...
(Of course, I *remember* Corduroy! :)


message 4: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited Nov 15, 2011 07:46AM) (new)

Kathryn | 5571 comments Mod
Tricia wrote: "Yeh! I'm so glad "Corduroy" is here. One of my favorites!"

I loved it when I was a kid. Haven't read it since, so I hope I will still feel as fond of it now.

More recently, I read "Sophie and Rose" and "Traction Man is Here!" and enjoyed both. Very different feels to the stories, but each is such a wonderful celebration of the love a child has for her/his toy.

The others are new to me and I'm excited to try them. I can't get "Clown" but I don't feel too disappointed since I am not really a fan of clowns. Still, I'll look forward to hearing what others think of it.


message 5: by Wilhelmina (new)

Wilhelmina Jenkins | 229 comments I have had a bumpy summer and fall, but I'm hoping that I will be able to participate in this discussion. I love "Corduroy", of course, but I am nuts about "traction Man" and anything with Elephant and Piggy!


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

Kathryn | 5571 comments Mod
Wilhelmina wrote: "I have had a bumpy summer and fall, but I'm hoping that I will be able to participate in this discussion. I love "Corduroy", of course, but I am nuts about "traction Man" and anything with Elephant..."

;-) Yay, I hope you will be able to join us, Wilhelmina. We missed you!


message 7: by Wilhelmina (new)

Wilhelmina Jenkins | 229 comments I've been reading all of the discussions, but I wasn't quite up to finding the books and commenting. But late fall is always better for me!


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

Kathryn | 5571 comments Mod
Wilhelmina wrote: "I've been reading all of the discussions, but I wasn't quite up to finding the books and commenting. But late fall is always better for me!"

I'm glad. I hope life will calm down a bit for you now.


message 9: by Tricia (new)

Tricia Douglas (teachgiftedkids) | 312 comments Wilhelmina wrote: "I have had a bumpy summer and fall, but I'm hoping that I will be able to participate in this discussion. I love "Corduroy", of course, but I am nuts about "traction Man" and anything with Elephant..."

Hope all is well and continues so. My life is always a roller coaster ride, but I guess that's why it's so much fun!!!??? I'm just know learning about "Traction Man." Ordered a copy for the holidays for my grandson and I'm sure he'll love it. Always happy to meet a new book/author.


message 10: by Claire (new)

Claire Caterer | 24 comments I fondly remember CORDUROY--one of my now-17-year-old's old favorites. :)


message 11: by Crystal (new)

Crystal Marcos (crystalmarcos) | 477 comments Oh my, I still have a stack of this months reads to get to. Is it really almost December! I missed the voting. However, I do love the theme for the month. Eager to get started at a more reasonable time this month...hopefully. 'Tis the season!


message 12: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5571 comments Mod
Crystal wrote: "Oh my, I still have a stack of this months reads to get to. Is it really almost December! I missed the voting. However, I do love the theme for the month. Eager to get started at a more reasonable ..."

I know, it's amazing how time flies--especially during the holidays! Feel welcome to join in for the "Inventors" theme any time and I hope you can get the books for the "Toys" theme, too.


message 13: by Crystal (new)

Crystal Marcos (crystalmarcos) | 477 comments Kathryn wrote: "I know, it's amazing how time flies--especially during the holidays! Feel welcome to join in for the "Inventors" theme any time and I hope you can get the books for the "Toys" theme, too."

Thanks, I certainly will.


message 14: by Cheryl, Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 6157 comments Mod
oops, I got confused and already read & returned Sophie and Rose - I'll come back tomorrow and copy over my review & see if I can remember anything to add...


message 15: by Tricia (last edited Nov 30, 2011 10:38PM) (new)

Tricia Douglas (teachgiftedkids) | 312 comments I just finished Crispin: The Pig Who Had It All and thought it was very appropriate for young children. Yes, Crispin is very spoiled, but in the end, he learns an important lesson. (You will have to read it to find out! Sorry). This was a new book for me and I will have a lot of fun seeing what my three-year old grandson thinks about it!


message 16: by Dolly (new)

Dolly (dollymart) | 252 comments We all love Corduroy and pretty much anything written by Mo Willems (I Love My New Toy! included.) We are excited to read the others, but I'm disappointed that I cannot get Sophie and Rose.


message 17: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5571 comments Mod
Looking forward to beginning our "official" discussion now that it's (gasp!) December 1st (already!?) Hope that everyone is enjoying this festive time of year and looking forward to a little return to childhood with books celebrating toys! :-)


message 18: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 6877 comments Mod
Dolly wrote: "We all love Corduroy and pretty much anything written by Mo Willems (I Love My New Toy! included.) We are excited to read the others, but I'm disappoint..."

That's too bad, Sophie and Rose is a wonderful story.


message 19: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5571 comments Mod
Dolly wrote: "I'm disappointed that I cannot get Sophie and Rose."

:-( As Gundula said, that is such a good one!

Another wonderful book about a girl and her doll, featuring just lovely illustrations, is
Dahlia--maybe you could substitute that one if your kids would like a doll story.


message 20: by Dolly (new)

Dolly (dollymart) | 252 comments Kathryn wrote: "Another wonderful book about a girl and her doll, featuring just lovely illustrations, is
Dahlia--maybe you could substitute that one if your kids would like a doll story.


We really liked that one (Dahlia)!

Good news! I have found Sophie and Rose at our girls' elementary school library, so now I need to go over there and borrow it (I love that they issued me my own card!) or convince one of my sweeties to borrow it for us during library time...


message 21: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5571 comments Mod
Dolly wrote: "We really liked that one (Dahlia)!

Good news! I have found Sophie and Rose at our girls' elementary school library, so now I need to go over there and borrow it (I love that they issued me my own card!) or convince one of my sweeties to borrow it for us during library time... ."


Oh, hooray on both counts! :-) :-)


message 22: by Cheryl, Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 6157 comments Mod
Here's my review of Sophie and Rose:

"I still think The Velveteen Rabbit did it better, and I'm painfully envious of anyone who has an attic of trunks and a flower garden. But if you are looking for a sweet story of unconditional adoration, here ya go."

I'll have to see about using my son's school library - interesting idea....


message 23: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited Dec 02, 2011 02:16PM) (new)

Kathryn | 5571 comments Mod
Here are my reviews of the two books I read previously (I'll get to the new-to-me ones next week).

Sophie and Rose
This is the sweet, simple story of that deep love between a girl and her doll (no matter (or, perhaps, because of!) how old, tattered, patched and dirty the doll may become). Lovely, and the illustrations fit perfectly. I am a huge fan of Wendy Anderson Halperin!


Traction Man Is Here!
What fun! Fans of "Toy Story" will probably love "Traction Man Is Here!" as it follows 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.

I am glad that we read books featuring both "boy toys" and "girl toys" -- though I would also love to find more books that feature children playing with toys that aren't necessarily what their gender is "supposed to" play with, such as in William's Doll. I think that play allows children so many wonderful opportunities to explore many facets of what it means to be human. Then again, I also know that sometimes the toy itself doesn't really matter. For example, I would take my ultra-girly looking Barbies on very wild adventures in our backyard where they would get quite dirty--my dolls certainly didn't live in Barbie's Dream House ;-) But, then again, on other days I would really enjoy dressing them up and the beauty of their clothes, etc. And I've heard of little boys being quite gentle and nurturing with toy cars, for example. So, I think much of it comes from imagination and the environment, not necessarily the toy itself. And, while I certainly don't mind that the child playing with Traction Man is a boy, and that the child playing with Rose is a girl, it is nice to find a few books that go beyond this usual pairing.


message 24: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 213 comments Yay!!! Corduroy is on the list! I'll get started!!


message 25: by ABC (new)

ABC (mary6543) | 341 comments The only one we have read is Corduroy, which I love.

I just wanted to say we rented the Corduroy DVD from the library recently. it was a liitle weird because it was live action, not a cartoon. But ds and I were laughing so hard at it. It was so strange that it was hilarious.


message 26: by David (new)

David | 101 comments Kirei, did this DVD have a sequence where Corduroy is riding a train? If so, that's the version that is one of my favorite picture book adaptions. It's not identical to the book, but is VERY funny.


message 27: by ABC (new)

ABC (mary6543) | 341 comments Yes! Corduroy is a puppet, or a person in a bear costume. It was filmed in the 'eighties. I am glad you liked it!


message 28: by June (new)

June (june_krell) | 121 comments Kirei wrote: "The only one we have read is Corduroy, which I love.

I just wanted to say we rented the Corduroy DVD from the library recently. it was a liitle weird because it was live action, not..."


It was a favorite when my library used to do a preschool film program. Both the book and the film are favorites.


message 29: by David (new)

David | 101 comments I also used to use this Corduory version as a film in the 1980's and more recently. The actor or puppet pulling and pulling on the button on the matress was a hoot.


message 30: by Tricia (last edited Dec 06, 2011 02:52PM) (new)

Tricia Douglas (teachgiftedkids) | 312 comments I just finished I Love My New Toy! and thought it was great! Even though I'm a bit older than most of the intended readers for this little book, I was surprised and happy on how it ended as I assume young children will be too! Mo Willems is amazing. I just ordered a bunch more of his books to add to this one to give to my grandson. Willems's books are so simple, but have enormous content and lessons sunk into each story. This was the first one I had read by him, but it will definitely not be the last!


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

Kathryn | 5571 comments Mod
Tricia wrote: "I just finished I Love My New Toy! and thought it was great! ... Mo Willems is amazing. I just ordered a bunch more of his books to add to this one to give to my grandson. "

Although I haven't yet read this title, I agree that Willems is an outstanding children's book author! I'm glad you are getting a collection for your grandson. I have really enjoyed almost every Willems book I've read, though I think my favorite was Edwina, the Dinosaur Who Didn't Know She Was Extinct. I agree he is great in his books being so "simple" (and full of humor) yet so rich in depth.


message 32: by Cheryl, Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 6157 comments Mod
I too love Mo Willems. For some reason this wasn't my favorite - but ya gotta love the facial expressions and body language. I've no doubt the intended audience would love this.

I think, to me, it seemed just a little off. I mean, Piggie cherishes the toy even though she doesn't know anything about it. Then gentle Gerald breaks character and throws it up very aggressively. Piggie has an justifiable temper tantrum, but her feelings aren't fully respected. But then again, her feelings must have been pretty shallow as she moved on so readily....

So, is that the worldview of toddlers? I don't remember... If so, then my objective rating (as opposed to personal opinion) would have to get another star...


message 33: by David (last edited Dec 08, 2011 06:19AM) (new)

David | 101 comments I'm working on my revised review of Corduroy, but thought I'd share details of the wonderful 40th Anniversary edition (2008) that I borrowed from my library branch. Awesome extras include: original sketches, a complete early draft of the manuscript, letters between Freeman and his editor/publisher from the 1960's, two obituaries for Freeman, and an editorial from the Santa Barbara New Press.

The sketches, the early manuscript and the letters are fascinating. Originally Corduory never pulled at the buttons on the mattress, and he went to Lisa's home packed in a gift box! The letters have a number of details about Freeman's activities, and an additon to the dedication. A letter from his editor contains the suggestion of having Corduroy find an uncovered mattress, see the buttons and pull on one! She also reminds him to keep the text away from any colors, fixing the problems in A Rainbow of My Own and The Guard Mouse. Don mentions painting on the title on clear acetate rather than directly on to the cover.

Editor Annis Duff also includes this classic P.S.: "P.S. Let's not plan decorated endpapers for this book - the libraries only paste card-pockets and date-slips over them, and so wast(e) the time, effort and expense of providing them."

If you ever get a chance to see this special edition, please take the time and effort. It's great!


message 34: by Cheryl, Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 6157 comments Mod
I'm guessing you actually mean A Rainbow of My Own and The Guard Mouse. (Your links took me to different books entirely.)

I had no idea Freeman was so prolific, or that there were any sequels besides A Pocket for Corduroy.

Usually editors are the objects of scorn, the goats of frustration - but I'm so glad Freeman's suggested the bit with the mattress button - that was our favorite part when my boys were little!


message 35: by David (last edited Dec 07, 2011 07:41PM) (new)

David | 101 comments Cheryl, sorry about the mistake on the links. I should have checked them. I was quoting directly from a letter in the book dated May 3, 1967 from Annis Duff to Don Freeman. It states in part: "please don't surround any text with color as you did in RAINBOW and GUARD MOUSE because as you know it causes production problems." I assumed the editor was using the full and correct title. (I should know, never assume). I'll try to correct the links.


message 36: by Cheryl, Newbery Club host (last edited Dec 08, 2011 11:15AM) (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 6157 comments Mod
Oh I ass-ume all too often, no worries. :)

I just read Traction Man Is Here!. I can def. see the appeal for the right children. Neither I nor my sons ever had that good an imagination, unfortunately. So I have to be honest and say it's not one of my favorite picture books.

I also think Granny gets points for making the romper Jungle "Camouflage' green.

My favorite page is the first interior (don't forget to look at the title page). I love how all the mess is on the far side of the child's bed, but it's clear for the parents to get from the door to the bed. That's all I asked of my kids, too!


message 37: by Cheryl, Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 6157 comments Mod
Some more thoughts. What does the 'Traction' mean in his name - or is it just a rhyme for 'Action' - ?

Did the child have to be a boy? Could he not have been drawn ambiguously to broaden the appeal? Or don't children tend to like books that don't define the characters' genders?

If your child loved this, s/he would probably also love Captain Pajamas: Defender of the Universe. Also, of course, the sequels to this.


message 38: by Emily (new)

Emily Cheryl wrote What does the 'Traction' mean in his name - or is it just a rhyme for 'Action' - ?

I think it's a joke, albeit one likely to go over kids' heads. "Traction" sounds like "action", but suggests the sort of accidents and broken limbs one might have if one tried to behave like a super hero - that's my guess, anyway.

Did the child have to be a boy? Could he not have been drawn ambiguously to broaden the appeal? Or don't children tend to like books that don't define the characters' genders?

I guess it didn't have to be, but I didn't particularly mind. Did you notice that the boy's teen-age sister, is, not stereotypically at all, into woodworking? I thought that was a fun detail.


message 39: by Cheryl, Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 6157 comments Mod
I did miss that about the girl liking woodworking - nice. And I like your guess about getting injured and having to be in traction. :)


message 40: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5571 comments Mod
Cheryl in CC NV wrote: "I did miss that about the girl liking woodworking - nice. And I like your guess about getting injured and having to be in traction. :)"

Haha, that is a great interpretation of his name, Emily :-)

And, as for the child being a boy, I didn't mind in this case although, as I said in my above post (#24), I do appreciate books where boys play with toys that aren't necessarily "boy's toys" and girls play with toys that aren't necessarily "girls' toys".


message 41: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5571 comments Mod
David wrote: "Cheryl, sorry about the mistake on the links. I should have checked them. I was quoting directly from a letter in the book dated May 3, 1967 from Annis Duff to Don Freeman. It states in part: "plea..."

Thank you so much for posting the letter, David! Those insights are just wonderful. I will have to see if my library has the 40th Anniversary edition as I'd love to see those sketches!!!


message 42: by Cheryl, Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 6157 comments Mod
(I'm waiting for ILL on Clown, can't get any Crispin.)


message 43: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5571 comments Mod
Cheryl in CC NV wrote: "(I'm waiting for ILL on Clown, can't get any Crispin.)"

I can't get the clown one, so I will be curious to hear others' responses.


message 44: by Dolly (new)

Dolly (dollymart) | 252 comments I have to admit that I cringed when I saw that Clown was one of our selections as I do NOT like clowns. (shiver) But I bravely borrowed it from our local library and we read it last night.

I actually liked the story and wasn't too creeped out by the clown toy coming alive. I'm now glad that it was one of the selections as I know that I would never, ever choose to borrow it otherwise. We all liked the story in pictures and it was fun to narrate it using our own words.


message 45: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5571 comments Mod
Dolly wrote: "I have to admit that I cringed when I saw that Clown was one of our selections as I do NOT like clowns. (shiver) But I bravely borrowed it from our local library and we read it last n..."

Haha! I have to laugh because I felt much the same way. Fortunately, I was spared having to brave it because it is the one that my library does not have ;-) But, I'm very glad to hear that you were able to enjoy it despite the protagonist!


message 46: by Randie (new)

Randie D. Camp, M.S. (randie87) | 158 comments I have not had much luck in tracking down books lately. I wish I could get my hands on “Clown” by Blake, he is brilliant, love his work. My local library is searching for “Traction Man is Here,” apparently it is lost somewhere in the library, lol… Anyhow; here are the books I did have the opportunity to read.

Corduroy: I have never really been able to understand why this book is so popular. It is a good story but it does not hold my attention. However, I do see the value in this story. I grew up with a special bear, my son has a special bear--every child should have a special bear or toy to comfort them, to go on adventures with, to share their childhood with.

I Love My New Toy: Mo Willems is quickly becoming one of my go-to authors for picture books. His characters Piggie and Gerald are real; children can relate to them and see themselves in them. This story can help children process their feelings about a very common event—a friend breaking a toy—without being too preachy. Love the simple illustrations, easy to read text, and facial expressions of the characters. Great book!


message 47: by Leslie (new)

Leslie (onthemove) Clown- my son and I read this about 1 year ago, when he was 4 years old. Boy what a difference a year makes. This year, he was perplexed by the fact that the Clown lost his feet on the first pages. He noticed it feet on the steps, but got past this once he got shoes on. We loves that this is a wordless book, so we can read it again and again and change the story a little bit.

I love my new toy- Not sure why, but Mo has never really done it for me or my son. So we quickly read them and move on.

Traction man- a ok book, not to special for my son.

His favoriate this month has been Chrispen the pig. This was our first time reading this and my son LOVED it. He so enjoyed that the pig got the box and .... don't want to spoil it. But my son has asked for this book a lot. in fact one night when he tried to hide it then tell he "My teacher told us we should "revist books often" " . How could I refuse to read it one more time.

We have not read Sophie and Rose yet. But have enjoyed the others this month.


message 48: by Tricia (new)

Tricia Douglas (teachgiftedkids) | 312 comments I just finished Sophie and Rose. I liked the illustrations and the simple basics of the story. It's so nice to see children "wearing out" toys and passing them on from one generation to another. Too bad this book is mostly written with girls in mind. Maybe Lasky could do one for boys!!!


message 49: by Linda (new)

Linda (lindajane) Dolly wrote: "I have to admit that I cringed when I saw that Clown was one of our selections as I do NOT like clowns. (shiver) But I bravely borrowed it from our local library and we read it last n..."

Oh Dolly - I'm relieved that once you braved facing your clown-aversion it proved enjoyable! I admit to being the one who suggested 'Clown' because I found it so much fun letting my child 'read' it to me and I'm partial to Quentin Blake's 'messy' illustration style.


message 50: by Linda (new)

Linda (lindajane) Randie wrote: "I have not had much luck in tracking down books lately. I wish I could get my hands on “Clown” by Blake, he is brilliant, love his work. My local library is searching for “Traction Man is Here,” ap..."

Randie I have to agree about Corduroy - I only tracked it down because it seemed to be such an enormously popular picture book in the States (I'm in Australia) but my youngest son and I just couldn't connect with it. Maybe it 'looks' too unfamiliar - I'm not sure.


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