Friday, August 19, 2011

friday's five

Picture books, picture books, it's time for picture books!

Starting next week, our reading-together-at-home times are going to be fewer, though the kids will most definitely continue to have fantastic literature experiences at school. Thankfully, our last library trip involved bringing home about 50 books, so our supply of new books should last a while. This week, we've had some fun with these books, a few of which are really quite funny.

1. Baby Says "Moo!" by JoAnn Early Macken and illustrated by David Walker -- Even though this picture book is probably more geared toward the 2 year old set, Red and Pudge still giggled as Baby confused animal after animal with a cow, and they moo-ed right along with her. The illustrations can be described as soft and gentle, with warm colors, and are inviting and engaging. If you've got a toddler who's just mastered the whole barnyard vocabulary set, this would be a fun book to read together, allowing your child to correct the silly baby in the book!

2. Dino Pets Go To School by Lynn Plourde and illustrated by Gideon Kendall --  Pet Day at school goes seriously awry when in addition to rabbits, dogs, and guinea pigs, dinosaur after dinosaur visit the classroom, too. The excited child bringing them in happily explains their best characteristic, from the biggest dinosaur to the loudest one, and even the spikiest dino. Even though this is clearly a fictional piece, the back of the book provides a couple of pages of information about the types of dinosaurs that were featured in the story. Since this seems to often be a topic of interest for preschool-aged kids, this is a great addition to any dino-loving child's library.

3. I Won't Comb My Hair! by Annette Langen and illustrated by Frauke Bahr -- I picked this one up for two reasons: 1)because of the cool hologram cover that goes back and forth between a girl with big curly pigtails and the image you see over there, with a forest growing in her hair, and 2)because someone I know (Red) pitches a fit (Red) every morning when I ask her to get the brush (Psst. It's Red, if you didn't catch on.). It strikes me as a little odd all in all, though, and I think it's because on the copy we have, the images of the girl don't match from the cover to the inside-- she looks much more dark-skinned in the story, which then brings a cultural/ethnic question to mind about the focus on "wild" hair. I'd be interested in the impressions of parents for whom this might be a weighty subject, actually. For us, it still applied about the tangles and such that happen very quickly in Red's hair-- if she goes even a morning without brushing it, it's all in knots at the back of her head-- so she could relate to the story in that way.

4. Wink: The Ninja Who Wanted to Nap by J. C. Phillipps -- What's that you say? You really feel there's a hole in the children's literary offerings in regard to the paparazzi? Well, do I have a story for you. Seriously. Wink, a beloved and famous ninja, is besieged by fans in Japan, and even though he's polite about it, they won't leave him alone, even when he goes inside his grandmother's house for a nap. Peeking in his window and giggling away, they push Wink to extreme measures just to ensure that get a little shut-eye. Think A Hard Day's Night, only ninja style. It's a funny book, and lead to an interesting conversation about respecting people's privacy, even when they're famous and you really love them.

5. Edwin Speaks Up by April Stevens and illustrated by Sophie Blackall -- Oh, I wish they had the cover that ours has, because it's just a crack-up. See, the book is about the babbling baby Edwin, whose babbles should probably get more attention than they do from his frazzled and somewhat spacy mom, since they make sense if you really listen. Our cover is titled Edwin Speckin Poopa Up, which made us wonder if it was going to be a book about poop. Happily, it's not, and it's quite funny. With five kids in all, Mrs. Finnemore, a ferret I believe, heads out to the grocery story, but the four older kids are OUT OF CONTROL. She happens to be one of those parents who's somehow oblivious to it all, and she's scatterbrained about the shopping mission at hand. Edwin, though? He just might be the savior this family needs, if anyone listens to what he's babbling away about. The kids loved seeing all the things in the pictures that the text doesn't address, and we all agreed that Mrs. Finnemore needs a night out to recharge her batteries. :)

Happy reading as always,