Tag Archives: friendship

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.

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The Green Umbrella

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Green Umbrella
by Jackie Azua Kramer, illustrated by Maral Sassouni
North South Books, 2017

A lovely friendship story with structure, repetition, and an introduction to lots of fun things about the world.

On a rainy day, Hedgehog said to Elephant, with a green umbrella, “I believe you have my boat.”   Elephant disagrees, but offers to share it with Hedgehog.  Then Cat says, “I believe you have my tent.”  Again, elephant disagrees, but offers to share it with Cat.  Following the structure similar to Jan Brett’s “The Mitten”, the story goes on.  What makes the story interesting is what each animal does with their green umbrella.  Hedgehog, among other things, watches dolphins leap two by two; Cat studies plants and flowers in wooded forests.  Following each animal, young readers are introduced to all kinds of different things done by each animal. When it stops raining, Elephants closes the umbrella and starts to go on his way, but they all call out.  Soon this eclectic group of animals all become friends.  A fun read for family.

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There, There

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There, There
by Tim Beiser, illustrated by Bill Slavin
Tundra Books, 2017

As half the work of a picture book is the illustrations, this book’s textured, rich acrylic pictures, kept me turning the pages, again and again.  I was not familiar with Bill Slavin‘s books, but I’m reading them now.  A Canadian artist, he’s won numerous awards.

The text, written in well-done rhyme also pulled me in.  The story features a whiney rabbit who complains of just about everything, and a patient bear who accepts his friend’s quirks up to a point.  Tired of all his complaining, he marches his friend out and show’s him an earthworm who spends all his time in dirt, has no arms or legs and gets happy when he mistakes his own rear end for a friend!  Fortunately, rabbit gets it, and suddenly the day turns warm.  But the worm, tossed into the dirt was insulted!  The story ends on a humorous note in perfect rhyme.

A fresh story with a good lesson.

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The Monster Next Door

monster
The Monster Next Door

By David Soman
Dial Books for Young Readers, 2016

A boy builds a tree house in a great field and a monster builds a tree house nearby.  They play well together until the monster’s tuba playing is louder than the boys flute playing.  When the boy asks him to stop, the monster continues to play.  They call each other names, have a water balloon fight and become enemies.  The boy writes a note, “Not Friends” and goes to the monster’s house to deliver it, when he notices things.  You’ll have to read the story to find out what he learns and how the two become friends again.

Watercolor, charcoal and colored pencils offer spacious drawings, allowing plenty of space in which to dream.  The music is expressed with splashes of color that fill the page and excite the eyes.

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King Aurthur’s Very Great Grandson

King Aurthur’s Very Great Grandson
by Kenneth Kraegel
Candlewick Press, 2012

A whimsical story of a brave, six-year-old Henry who heads out into the world for adventure.  He comes upon a dragon and challenges it with, “BEHOLD, VILE WORM! I, HENRY ALFRED GRUMMORSON, A KNIGHT OF KING AUTHUR’S BLOOD, DO HEREBY CHALLENGE YOU TO A FIGHT TO THE UTTERMOST!”  But when the dragon only blow smoke rings, Henry says, “I have no time for smoke rings!  I want to fight, strength against strength, might against might!”  And he heads off for another monster who will match his challenge.  After facing four fearsome foes, he finds what he was looking for all along…friendship.  Cleverly written, fearsomeness builds upon fearsomeness, and bravery reaches its peak.  A fun adventure that will ignite a child’s dreams and fantasies.

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The Bear Who Shared

The Bear Who Shared
Catherine Rayner
Dial Books for Young Readers, 2010

Wise Norris the bear waits beneath a tree for a plorringe. Violet and Tulip, a bit more curious, climb the tree, study the fruit, listen to it, touch it and are about to lick it, when…the fruit falls onto Norris! But Wise Norris is kind and he shares the fruit with Violet and Tulip and they all become friends and share everything.

Illustrated in rich watercolors, the pictures alone tell the story. Illustrator/author Rayner captures the special looks and emotions of all the characters, building the tension adeptly. The story is illustrated and told with love.

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Otis

Otis
by Loren Long
Philomel Books 2009

This heartfelt story of an old tractor who is the only one who can save a calf became a classic when it hit the stores.

Otis, an old farm tractor, befriends a calf. They leap-frog hay bales, play ring-around-the-rosy with ducks, and sit together under the apple tree. Then one day the farmer brings in a new, bigger, yellow tractor and Otis is sent behind the barn. Forgotten, weeds begin to cover Otis’ tires. The calf tries to get Otis to play, like in the old days, but Otis is too sad. One day the calf gets stuck in the mud! Farm hands try to pull him out, the yellow tractor tries to pull him out, even firemen try to pull him out, but the calf only gets more and more scared and sinks further in the mud. Then the calf hears a familiar puttering purr! Happy to see his best friend, the calf follows his friend as Otis circles the pond. Soon the calf gets himself out. Otis is a heart-warming story of best friends.

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