Monday, November 24, 2014

Shh! We Have A Plan by Chris Haughton


 "Shh! We Have a Plan" revolves around four friends going into the woods to capture a bird. The smallest (or youngest) friend has another idea, however. He just wants to talk to the bird: "hello birdie". After several attempts, the youngest succeeds and draws a whole forest of red-hued birds to him.  A large angry bird chases them off when the friends again attempt to capture a bird. At the end, the youngest points out a squirrel and they're off and running again. Younger readers will appreciate this book's slapstick humor, simple art and minimal text.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

This Book Just Ate My Dog! by Richard Byrne




This is a clever little picture book where the gutter of the book "eats" various items starting with Bella's dog. Soon the gutter starts swallowing the fire truck,  dog rescue truck and Bella also. The girl tosses a note out of the gutter asking the reader to help by shaking the book. Finally, the entire crew of helpers, the girl and and her dog fall out of the gutter. The book's premise sounds scary for little ones, but the drawings are whimsical and with the reader's help it becomes a funny, interactive story.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett





This is a sweet tale about a girl who finds a box of yarn and proceeds to knit for all the townsfolk. An evil archduke covets her box of yarn and steals it, only to find out that the box is empty. He curses the girl, but she gets the box back and continues to knit. There's a message to the story: it's the kindness of the girl's heart that enables her to knit with no yarn. The message is subtle though, and doesn't overwhelm the whimsy of the story. The illustrator, Jon Klassen, even includes his bear from I Want My Hat Back (wearing a sweater). Extra Yarn is a simple story with illustrations that give the book an instant classic feel.

Happy Birthday Madame Chapeau by Andrea Beaty




Madame Chapeau lives in what seems to be Paris and makes hats for other people. Madame herself is a sad eyed, but fashionable young woman. Every year on a special day she goes out in her finest hat and matching outfit. But this year things go wrong and she loses her hat to a bird. The rest of the story is about Madame Chapeau looking for her hat while others offer theirs. She refuses their kind offers until a girl gives her a hat she knit specially for her.
The clever rhyming and unique illustrations make this a great book, particularly for kids who like fashion.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Bad Dog Flash by Ruth Paul




If you like dogs, even mischievous ones, you'll enjoy Bad Dog Flash. Ruth Paul captures the energy of a young dog getting into trouble all throughout the house. Flash eats shoes, chases the cat, tracks mud into the house and shreds the laundry among other things; all the while maintaining a look of innocence.The text is easy for the little ones and the illustrations are soft and sweet. In the end, Flash is forgiven by the little girl who loves him.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Books Always Everywhere by Jane Blatt


This is an adorable celebration of books for the little ones. Babies and toddlers are everywhere and so are books. The simple text shows children in what ways and where you can enjoy books: on sunny days, rainy days, in scary ways and funny ways. Though the text is simple, the illustrations are charming and fill out the sparse text. Lots of color and little details (like a mouse hiding on each page) are fun for kids to play search and find.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Froodle by Antoinette Portis


Froodle is a funny book, with lots of silly words for kids to say aloud. The story begins with a normal neighborhood filled with animals making normal sounds, bark, coo, cheep etc. Then a little brown sparrow decides to say something besides peep. Soon all the birds except for crow are saying weird things. Crow is not amused. Finally, he comes around and says, "Wuppy!" then the cats and dogs join in. It's verbal mayhem! Lots of puns (which will amuse the adults), simple pictures and fun words keep the story going in this book about a not-so-normal neighborhood.

Draw! by Raul Colon



This is a wordless picture book which is full of adventure. A boy drawing in his bed imagines himself on a safari and soon he is on the savannah with the animals. He has lunch with the zebras, rides on an elephant, shares his bread with monkeys and is chased by rhinos. Finally he draws himself back to his room, sketching his way across the savannah. At the end, he's at school showing his art to his classmates. To help differentiate between  the imagined scenes and the "actual" scenes, Mr. Colon uses different techniques: colored pencil for the imagined and ink/watercolor for the realistic scenes. As with most kids, the imagined world is more lush and vivid than the real one.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Flashlight by Lizi Boyd



This is a simple but cute picture book for younger children. The whole book is wordless and takes place at night. It features a boy who's camping near the woods and decides to go on a walk with his flashlight. The beam from the flashlight reveals the hidden world of night to the boy. Other select parts of the woods are lit as well: birch trees, luna moths and june bugs. The moon rises and offers another source of light. Interspersed are cut-out shapes offering glimpses of critters in trees and ponds. At the end, the animals get to use the flashlight and have fun shining it on the boy. A unique and fun picture book!