Friday, January 29, 2010

Looking at picture books

I have a selection of picturebooks here....what do you think?

The Best Family in the World by Susana Lopez, illustrated by Ulises Wensell. This is a simple story of a little orphan who dreams about the amazing new family she's going to have....when they show up, they're not exotic or exciting or wildly indulgent, as they are in her dreams; but they're HER family and she loves them. I like the imaginative different families. The art isn't my favorite style - something about the faces perhaps? But that's just me and I do love the tigers!....This would be a fun one for a family storytime or maybe to read to an adoptive child. Or just for fun, to imagine the different kinds of families you could have.

ISBN: 978-1935279471; Published January 2010 by Kane Miller; Review copy provided by publisher through Raab Associates

Boom Bah! by Phil Cummings, illustrated by Nina Rycroft. Oooooh, Miss Pattie, wait 'till you see this one! This is the PERFECT picturebook for a musical storytime with toddlers. Get out your noisemakers or do a craft making shakers and drums and then read this story and watch the delight erupt.....One by one, various animals find "instruments" in the kitchen, each one with a different sound, and create a band. I foresee hours of delight with the different pots and pans, the silly sounds, and identifying the different animals. Plus, the story is interactive! It tells you to play louder, softer, etc. and offers the opportunity to guess what's coming next. If you offer toddler storytime at your library, you MUST have this book!

ISBN: 978-1935279228; Published January 2010 by Kane Miller; Review copy provided by publisher through Raab Associates

One night in the zoo by Judith Kerr.  I first read Judith Kerr's When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit as a child and was blown away. Somehow, though, I never thought of her writing anything else. Well, a month or two ago I discovered The Tiger Who Came to Tea and was blown away all over again by the delightful story and art - why had I never discovered this classic? Happily, it is being reprinted and I have ordered our library a copy. And then, it happened's another book by Judith Kerr! At first, I was doubtful. Coming from The Tiger the colors seemed too muted, the text too short and simplistic. So I read it again....and again...and again....and I was blown away once more. The colors are the perfect hues for a nighttime adventure, drawn in colored pencils and glowing softly with life and gentle humor. The simple rhyming text is perfect for toddlers and preschoolers and easily adapted for interactive storytime, as children count the animals and guess each new crazy antic. Add this to your concept picturebook collection (you do have one, right?) and pull it out for storytimes about the zoo, counting, bedtime, animals, or just for fun!

ISBN: 978-1935279372; Published March 2010 by Kane Miller; Review copy provided by publisher through Raab Associates

My Father Knows the Names of Things by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Stephane Jorish. 
There aren't that many good dad picturebooks for older kids. Toddlers, yes there's quite a few of the "I love my daddy" variety (including Sebastien Braun's gorgeously tender books) but for older kids? Nope. Now, we have an excellent one. Jane Yolen's simple rhyming text accompanies Jorish's sparkling colors and energetic art to extol all the many things a child's dad knows, from the names of clouds to "which dinosaurs are meanest." Don't just pull this out on Father's Day, bring it out all year to enjoy. I'm looking forward to having the kids guess at the names of things in the many will they know? And how many can they make up?
ISBN: 978-1416948957; Published April 2010 by Simon & Schuster; Review copy provided by publisher through Raab Associates

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