Thursday, May 26, 2011

Some brief picture book thoughts

I read a lot of picture books, mainly from other libraries, looking for good storytime selections or checking out possible purchases for our library. FYI, added to my order list means just that - I have huge order lists. Doesn't mean I have the money to order everything....Here's a few I've read recently:

Can you growl like a bear? by John Butler. Sweet, gentle illustrations, lots of interaction with animal sounds and possible movement. Nice storytime selection for toddlers and a good bedtime selection as well.

Little Red Pen by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel. The little red hen retold with desk supplies. A cute idea, but seriously? "If the papers aren't graded the students won't learn. The school might close. The walls might tumble. The floors might crumble. The sky might fall. It might be the end of the world!" I assumed at some point the book would be about loosening up a little, or the importance of learning over mere grading, but noooo the point was all the office supplies had to take risks, be willing to be broken or used up, and work together so that the all-important grading might go on! *Gag* (ok, one of my friends thinks it's supposed to be tongue-in-cheek, but I don't get that)

Fox and Hen Together by Beatrice Rodriguez. Cute! Very fun and funny sequel to Fox and Hen and most kids will probably actually grasp what's going on better in this story. Definitely add to my order list.

When I grow up by Al Yankovic, illustrated by Wes Hargis. Bought for my library after several parents requested it. Nice if somewhat pedestrian Seussish rhyme. Was inordinately annoyed however, by yet again seeing a nicely diverse class of students....all obediently listening to the star of the story, who is, of course, blonde, blue-eyed, etc.

No Kiss for Mother by Tomi Ungerer. Too long for most picture book audiences nowadays and out of print anyways. Plus, most of the parents I know would freak out at the child's view of independence posited here.

365 Penguins by Jean-Luc Fromental. I was looking for a "counting to 100" book and realized this one I'd seen recommended on a blog was perfect. Very funny, lots of counting and math. Will add to my order list.

This Little Chick by John Lawrence. Fresh from my early literacy workshop, I can see this book would be GREAT for clapping, slapping, or stamping out syllables or rhythm. The illustrations are Woodcuts As They Should Be Done for toddlers and I think preschoolers would have fun with it too. I see it is in boardbook format, added to order list!

Dog in boots by Greg Gormley. Funny and nice pictures. Nothing particularly stands out to me though.

Slow Loris by Alexis Deacon. The art isn't conventionally pretty and it's an odd story but....enormously appealing. Lots of movement and kids will love the "big secret". Darn, it's not available on my vendor.

The Green Frogs: A Korean Folktale retold by Yumi Heo. Yeah....I think my parents would freak if I read a story about a mother dying and her perpetually disobedient frogs burying her near a river and worrying about her grave washing away. Nice rhythms to the text though...

Bunny Fun by Sarah Weeks. I've actually read this one before, but this reminds me I should add this to our collection...It's a nice, simple toddler story with bright pictures.

Down by the cool of the pool by Tony Mitton. Lots of action, fun rhymes, animal sounds, great interactive book. Added to order list...

Big rabbit's bad mood by Ramona Badescu. A rabbit has a bad mood - a gray, hairy creature that follows him around, until a happy event occurs and his bad mood is gone. Meh.

Little Mist by Angela McAllister. Text is a little gooey for my taste, but gorgeous pictures. Lovely, lovely snow leopards...

Starting School by Janet and Allan Ahlberg. Great format but unfortunately too different from modern schools. Has kids using a "cloakroom," giving the teacher lunch money (do some schools still do that? Not sure) names for specific areas like a "home corner" and an "interest corner" as well as school prayers and a class nativity play.


Brimful Curiosities said...

Yes, I can send a "lunch money" check along with my daughter to school. The teacher helps her make sure the check finds its way to the office. Is that the kind of lunch money you're wondering about?

Jennifer said...

Well, the book had the kids bringing in a handful of coins, so it looked like a daily thing to me.