Monthly Archives: January 2018

Flashlight Night

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flashlight Night
by Matt Forrest Esenwine, illustrated by Fred Koehler
Boyds Mills Press, 2017

A story for those who dare to adventure. The words, done in rhyme, set up the ‘scare’ and the illustrations keep readers turning the pages to see what is next, imagining what it might be like for them.

In this story, a brother, sister and their little brother are outside in their treehouse at night. The older brother uses the light to make everything appear scarier, leaving the rest to the others’ imaginations. The flashlight,

“leads you past old post and rail
alongside a long-forgotten trail
into woods no others dare,
for fear of what is waiting there.”

This story’s action takes place outside the treehouse.  Illustrations show what could be in the shadows, like tigers.  They explore water, underbrush, walls and halls where wolves and lions and skulls and bones might lurk. They travel to foreign shores, where pirates and octopi threaten the trio.

After the scary stories are shared, we see the trio in the tree house and it’s lights out.  In the shadows we see the little brother smiling and the tiger below preparing itself for another adventure. While the story threatens danger, the characters are always safe.

Read more reviews on Amazon.

Little Excavator

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Excavator
by Anna Dewdney
Viking, 2017

Written in rhyme, big rigs drive through town to a new project they’ll undertake:

Here come the BIG RIGS,
rolling down the street.
Thumpa-thumpa bumpa-bumpa
BEEP BEEP BEEP!

Little Excavator is brought along, for his special job. The dozer knocks down walls, but when Little Excavator tries, he falls.  Loader lifts trash into a truck, but when Little Excavator tries, he falls.  No matter how hard he tries, he just isn’t big enough to help.  The Big Rig tell him when he grows up he can help.  But for the last part of the project, all the Big Rigs are just too big, and Little Excavator gets to shine.

A fun read, lots of rhyme and onomatopoeias makes this an interactive book where the youngest can ‘read’ all the sounds!

Read more reviews and purchase on Amazon.

When We Were Alone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When We Were Alone
by David A. Robertson, illustrated by Julie Flett
Highwater Press, 2016

This story introduces in simple terms how (white) governments treated Indigenous families, trying to make everyone the same.  Her kokom shares with Nosisim how the government took away the colors they wore and made everyone wear a black and white uniforms. How they cut their long hair short and did not allow them to speak their native language.  Using the same basic story structure between Nosisim and her kokom, each item removed is introduced and ends with how things are now.  This is a book where the meaning of what was removed will grow as the child grows.  To further emphasize the meaning, the illustrations of the items being removed are done in blacks and whites, where the illustrations of where they have their items are done in colors.

Read more reviews and purchase on Amazon.

The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine by Mark Twain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine
by Mark Twain and Philip Stead, illustrated by Erin Stead
Doubleday Books for Young Readers, 2017

If you’re a Mark Twain fan, you’ll love his newest book—yes, his newest!  An incomplete set of notes for a story were uncovered and Philp and Erin Stead were asked to complete the story and bring it to life.

Breaking all traditions, as only Mark Twain can, this 148-page picture book will take you on a meandering journey through a time long ago.  A young, unhappy, yet imaginative, boy, Johnny, sets out to sell his best friend, Pestilence and Famine (a chicken) as directed by his dreary grandfather.  It’s a two to three day walk to the nearest market where a lot can happen, and, with Twain at the helm of the story, it does.  A delight for the ears and the heart when Johnny saves the purloined Prince Oleomargarine and ends up transforming his own life.

Read more reviews on Amazon.

The Almost Terrible Playdate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Almost Terrible Playdate
by Richard Torrey
Doubleday Books for Young Readers, 2016

A visual delight where illustrations exaggerate the story told in words.

A boy and girl try to figure out what to do together, only each has their own specific, yet very different, ideas. After ‘arguing’ back and forth what they each want to share, they get mad at each other and play alone.  But, after a while, that gets boring.  They soon start finding small ways they can share playtime and end up having a great time.  But they start all over when they meet up again the next day.

A delight to read the words said to each other, watch each child’s body language and read each child’s imaginative thoughts showing what they are really thinking.  The illustrations tell the entire story visually.

Read more reviews and purchase on Amazon.

Invisible Lizard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Invisible Lizard
Kurt Cyrus, illustrated by Andy Atkins
Sleeping Bear Press, 2017

The agony of not being noticed is beautifully portrayed in Invisible Lizard., as is the satisfaction of having friends.

Napoleon, the chameleon, tries everything he can think of to attract the attention of other potential playmates like parrot and monkey, but, as readers soon learn, chameleons move extremely slow and he goes unnoticed. He builds a welcome mat, birdbath and makes faces, but no one sees him.  Finally, he resorts to the one thing he can do fast and he gets noticed.

Richly illustrated in color and details, the book is a feast for the eyes. Searching for the characters, it’s a bit like reading Where’s Waldo.

Read more reviews on Amazon.

The Little Red Cat Who Ran Away and Learned His ABC’s (the Hard Way)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Little Red Cat Who Ran Away and Learned His ABC’s (the Hard Way)

by Patrick McDonnell
Little, Brown and Company, 2017

Illustrated in clean, crisp drawings, we follow a little red cat who decides to go for a run.  But yikes! He runs into an alligator. Then a bear chases the alligator and cat.  Then a chicken follows them. They run through the entire alphabet, slipping on Ice, swinging through Jungles and all the way back to where he began in his bed, where he Yawns and sleeps (ZZZZ’s).  Clever, fun, imaginative; there’s ‘energy’ on each page. The drawings leave it up to the reader to discover each letter’s “word”, although words are given at the end.

Read more reviews on Amazon.