Monthly Archives: April 2016

Bear and Bunny

bear&bunny

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Bear and Bunny

by Daniel Pinkwater, illustrated by Will Hillenbrand
Candlewick Press, 2015

Bear and Bunny is the perfect friendship story filled with love and humor.

Rendered in mixed media, each scene is filled with clever extras to delight the mind and endearing expressions that move the heart.  Bear and Bunny are friends.  Bear thinks Bunny is a little bear.  Bunny thinks Bear is a big bunny.  They delight in exploring their world and sing songs together.  After their naps, they wonder why they don’t have a pet.  They discuss what a pet is and think about what pet they would like.  After a lot of thinking, they take another nap.  When they wake, they see something up in the tree.  The animals goes, “Croak!” and they climb the tree to take home their new pet, a kitty.

A quiet, yet humorous book about friends, perfect for bedtime.

Read more reviews and purchase on Amazon.

Giraffe Meets Bird

giraffe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Giraffe Meets Bird

By Rebecca Bender
Pajama Press, 2015

The expressive illustrations drew me into this friendship story between Giraffe and Bird.  The two become friends when they first meet, but soon get cross and angry with each other when things don’t go each of their ways.  But deciding they want to remain friends, Bird learns he must be pleasant and Giraffe learns to be polite.  Soon, “Bird’s feathers are ruffled when Giraffe tells him what to do.  Giraffe is peeved when Bird makes a fuss.”  They take a time out from each other and Bird attempts to fly and lands on the ground—where a lion is lurking.  Giraffe spots the danger and scoops Bird up and back into the tree.  Bird decides this tree, near a lion’s den, is too dangerous and he must leave; but all is good when they leave together to find a new home.

The book shows how to manage one’s own emotions and is perfect for opening a discussion on sharing and dealing with one’s emotions.

If you like this story, read When Sophie Gets Angry—Really, Really Angry…

Read more reviews and purchase on Amazon.

Ella and Penguin Stick Together

ella

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Ella and Penguin Stick Together

by Megan Maynor, illustrated by Rosalinde Bennet
HarperCollins Children’s Books, 2016

This first book by Megan Maynor is a hit.  Ella and Penguin are full of character and will delight readers.

Ella shares with Penguin her new special stickers.  Trying to guess what’s special, Penguin asks, “Are they smelly?  Can you eat them?  Do they talk?”  Ella says they glow in the dark, but, together, they stare at a closet door, too afraid of the dark to open it…and so the suspense begins.  Together they try many semi-dark areas until they realize the only option is the dark in the closet.  Pretending she is brave, for Penguin’s sake, Ella baby-steps into the closet, and calls out to Penguin to come in.  Each page is full of BIG emotions or FUN surprises as these friends explore their world and test their mettle.  Readers will easily find new friends with Ella and Penguin.

French artist Rosalinde Bennet brings full, relatable expression to Ella and Penguin with watercolor and pencil renderings.

Read more reviews and purchase on Amazon.

Where’s the Elephant?

elephant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Where’s the Elephant?

by Stephane-Yves Barroux
Candlewick Press, 2016

When I opened the pages, I assumed the book was like a “Where’s Waldo”, where I was to look for the elephant, parrot and snake on each page, but as I kept turning the pages, a new light dawned.  With each page-turn the forest grew smaller and smaller.  A few cut trees soon grew into a growing city.  Eventually the animals were captured in a zoo.  To my relief, they escaped and returned to the wild.  Where’s the Elephant? is a very clever way to introduce children to deforestation.  The story was inspired when author/artist Barroux watched parts of the Amazon be burned down to turn into soy production.  A must read for environmentally-conscious families; even the youngest can grasp the concept in this brilliantly told and illustrated story.

Read more reviews and purchase on Amazon.

Say Hello, One Little Word Can Make a Big Difference

Hello

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Say Hello, One Little Word Can Make a Big Difference
by Jack and Michael Foreman
Candlewick Press, 2008

This is a perfect book for anyone who’s felt alone and lonely.

The story opens with a dog who is left outdoors.  Alone.  Eventually he sees a crowd of kids playing basketball and he asks if he can play, too.  He’s happy with his new friends.  While the dog and his new friends play wildly, a boy far off to the side feels left out, alone and lonely.  The kids do not really see the boy, but when a ball is tossed in his direction, the dog notices the boy.  The dog acknowledges the boy, then offers him to come and join the fun.  All the children greet him, “Hello!”

The simple, loose drawings in charcoal, colored pencils and pastel, using minimal color, accentuate being alone.  The lines show only what the illustrator wants you to focus on and nothing else exists, kind of like it is when one feels lonely and alone.

Read more reviews on Amazon.

Blue on Blue

BLUEONBLUE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blue on Blue
by Dianne White, illustrated by Beth Krommes
Beach Lane Books, 2014

Beth Krommes’ rich illustrations, done on scratchboard and watercolor, and Dianne White’s sparse, moving poem take readers through both the joy and misery of a rainstorm on a farm.

The story opens on a sunny day, but the weather patterns soon begin to change:
Clouds swell.
Winds blow bolder
Weather changes.
Air grows colder.

Each page is detailed with shadows and highlights depicting the emotions weather can arouse in a child.  From being frightened and hiding under bedcovers, to sitting and waiting for the rain to stop, readers will relate to being trapped inside.  Children unfamiliar with farm life learn how farm animals endure the monotony of rain and wet.  As the rain slowly recedes and the sun pushes aside the clouds, one can almost smell the after-storm freshness of a good rain.  Blue on Blue is a sensory delight.

Read more reviews and order on Amazon.

Raindrops Roll

RainropsRoll

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Raindrops Roll

by April Pulley Sayre
Beach Lane Books, 2015

Introducing creatures in their natural habitat, Raindrops Roll engages children to wonder what it might be like to live in the rain.  Photographer/Artist April Pulley Sayre blends loosely rhyming word descriptions with richly detailed photos to show nature’s experience of rain.  We see mini-showcases of grasshoppers, fireflies, leaves, birds, and lizards glistening in the beauty of wetness.

I don’t have many words for this book, but I am so attracted to it; I had to write a review.  Perhaps it’s because I’m from Seattle where rain is familiar and I want to savor each photo.  My imagination wonders how the author came to choose the minimal words used and what words would I have chosen.  It’s a great book to dwell upon on a rainy day.

Read more reviews and order on Amazon

 

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to School

school

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to School

by Davide Cali, illustrated by Benjamin Chaud
Chronicle Books, 2016

This whopper of a tale a young boy tells his teacher as to why he’s late for class is a fantasy that some young people wish they could share.  The young boy’s imagination starts with giant invading ants, moves to a full-on attack by ninjas, then to a massive ape that thinks the school bus is his banana. The tale is so long, one might think it’d get repetitive, but each interruption, each action-filled page holds the interest.  Each illustrated page is so hilarious, young readers have to think to fully comprehend all the humor.  It’s a book that can be read over and over to uncover new nuances.  When the teacher challenges the young boy’s tale, the illustrations show that—maybe—he really was telling the truth!

A fun read.  It’s smaller 6×8 format is perfect for young hands

Read more reviews on Amazon.