Saturday, November 19, 2011

friday's five

The kids have gotten used to asking lately, "Are we reading a Cybils book tonight?" With our Mondays through Fridays spent at school all day, our reading at home has significantly decreased, but thankfully, our supply for our daily bedtime stories is beyond ample. I love having Red and Pudge's perspectives to call upon when I review and sort the two hundred sixty-four books that were nominated.

Here are five books that I've read either with the kids or on my own this week:

1. Is Everyone Ready for Fun? by Jan Thomas -- My kids adore anything that makes them laugh, and Jan Thomas routinely brings out the giggles for them. She's at it again, and this time a trio of cows are really messing with a chicken and her furniture. I guess the concept of fun is subjective, but the laughs here are undeniable. Thomas' wacky looking illustrations are as good as ever, and my kids can recognize them a mile away.

2. The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes by Gary Rubinstein and illustrated by Mark Pett -- One might say that this book is a little too lesson-teachy, but I think there's enough value in the lesson for older picture book readers. For Beatrice, there's a level of perfection she feels compelled to uphold ever since she began winning the talent show three years ago for her impeccable juggling tricks. What will happen when things don't go perfectly? I'm a fan of the depiction of "regular" life here vs. the need to always be perfect and fawned over.

3. I Spy with My Little Eye by Edward Gibbs -- The class I Spy game meets the animal kingdom in this visually striking picture book. Children will love the cutout feature that encircles the eyes of each animal spied, and the text is simple enough for beginning readers to tackle it independently. The digitally created illustrations have incredible color, and the final page showcases a wonderfully creative picture that makes you look twice. This is the perfect kind of book for children to read again and again, and I predict they'll never tire of it.

4. Nothing Like a Puffin by Sue Soltis and illustrated by Bob Kolar -- This one is definitely funny, but it also gets kids thinking about similarities and differences in a way that they might not have before. How could a house, a pair of jeans or a newspaper be like the funny little bird that is a puffin? Trust me, the ways in which they are alike are understandable, and they'll probably make you giggle!

5. Mitchell's License by Hallie Durand and illustrated by Tony Fucile --
Okay, I'm not the biggest fan of the illustrations in this one, but the story is adorable, and one that I know young kids will enjoy the bedtime fun. Here's a dad who's willing to take a daily happening that causes resistance from his little boy and changing it into an adventurous, silly non-routine event. Perhaps after reading this one, more dads will be driving with their sons to bed each night.

As always, all opinions expressed here are mine alone, and not representative of the other judges or the Cybils Awards. I hope you find some books here that will bring a smile to your kids' faces! I encourage you to check out all the other nominated titles over at the Cybils Awards, and I am having a ton of fun reading through all the books and sharing my opinions with you all!

Reading, reading, reading,