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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Picture Book Reviews: five mini reviews

I have five mini reviews* of some awesome picture books to share with y'all today...

by Michael Slack
Fly along with Elecopter as she soars above the savannah, patrolling the skies with her fire-hose nose at the ready. The other animals are safe with Elecopter on the scene—Elecopter is a hero for all! Preschoolers are in for a treat in this chant-along companion to Monkey Truck.

Michael Slack’s Elecopter is a delightful and surprising rhyming picture book. The shining star, Elecopter, is a brave, helpful helicopter elephant, who patrols high above the savannah, saving animals and keeping the land safe.

The story is told in simple, yet addicting rhymes that young readers will have a lot of fun mimicking in a chanting manner. Bright, astonishing colors burst off every page and Slack’s illustrations are done in a completely unique and unforgettable style and have a fun sense of texture and composition. The eye catching landscapes are an exciting mix of unexpected blues, greens, pinks, oranges, and yellows.

Elecopter is an epic and lovable hero worth rooting for and children will want to dive into her story again and again. 

purchase: amazon / b&n / indiebound
Michael Slack

A Moose That Says Moo
By Jennifer Hamburg
Illustrated by Sue Truesdell
From  jump-roping skunks to book-reading sharks, the animals in this girl’s make-believe zoo will do whatever she wants. Messing with nature is fun at first, until we see how hilariously wrong things go. Oinking otters! Picketing ground hogs! Stage-crashing pigs! What could be next? With deadpan text and eye-popping art, this raucous picture book builds gleefully to a riot of craziness that brings the whole fantasy tumbling down—in a comedic warning against imaginary menageries that kids will find hilarious. 
In Jennifer Hamburg’s A Moose That Says Moo silly chaos erupts when a little girl imagines her own unique zoo filled with animals that do unexpected things. A mooing moose, book reading sharks, tap dancing pig, car driving bears, oh my!

Young readers will be absolutely charmed by Hamburg’s delightfully deadpan, yet whimsical rhymes. The heroine’s imagined zoo is filled to the brim with wacky, exciting fun and surprises in every corner. Sue Truesdell’s bright, comical illustrations are the perfect companion to the little girl’s wild imagination. And little readers will love looking at the busy, eye-popping pages and will delight in all they find.  

A Moose That Says Moo will surely entertain all the little ones in your life and will encourage their own imaginative musings.

purchase: amazon / b&n / indiebound
Jennifer Hamburg

Sue Truesdell

Hello, My Name is Ruby
by Philip C. Stead
Join Ruby, a plucky little bird, as she ventures through life, making new friends, learning new skills and asking questions which may have some very surprising results.  Fearless Ruby's search for adventure, friendship and her place in the world comes to life through acclaimed author/illustrator Philip C. Stead's whimsical illustrations and succinct, charming text.

Philip C. Stead’s Hello, My Name is Ruby is a gorgeously rendered and surprisingly poignant tale about a brave little bird that sets out to make friends and find her place in the big ol’ world.

Stead’s sweet Ruby may be tiny, but her courage and compassion are HUGE. The story itself is seemingly simple and easy to grasp, but tells a lovely story about friendship and love. Readers of all ages will be able to relate to Ruby’s quest for friends and her journey offers such a wonderful and heartwarming lesson about seeing the good and beauty in others. Stead’s storytelling is charming and affecting and his illustrations are absolutely charming. The illustrations are done in an exquisitely childlike manner and Stead has seemed to use crayons, markers, and colored pencils to give his pictures texture and movement. The various animals are expressive and have such personality.

Hello, My Name is Ruby is a superbly crafted story with an unforgettable heroine and pictures that readers will want to gaze at all day.

purchase: amazon / b&n / indiebound
Philip C. Stead

One Word Pearl
By Nicole Groeneweg
Illustrated by Hazel Mitchell
Charlesbridge Publishing
What is your favorite word?Pearl loves words. All kinds of words. Words make up songs, stories, poems . . . and what does a lover of words do? She collects them, of course!
But one day, most of Pearl’s words are blown away, leaving her only a few which she keeps safely in her treasure chest. After that day, she uses each word carefully—one at a time, until she has no words left. When her teacher asks her questions at school, she doesn’t answer. When her friend wants to know what she has for lunch, she can’t respond. What will Pearl do without her precious words? Will she ever find them?
One Word Pearl explores the power of words to transform, inspire, and cultivate imagination. This whimsical story is the winner of the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) Children’s Book Competition in the Picture Book category.
 Nicole Groenewg’s One Word Pearl is an utterly dazzling display of words and Pearl, the book’s charming heroine, would definitely approve of my chosen words! Pearl loves words so much that she collects them in a chest, but one day the words whirl and swirl into a word tornado and escape. Pearl then decides that she must only use one word a time in order to save the few words she has left.

I LOVED this quirky, whimsical word filled tale! Groeneweg’s smart, snazzy use of words will delight and captivate readers of all ages. Younger readers will love the delicious way Pearl’s words roll of the tongue and sound and parents will appreciate the way this story will encourage kids to think about how and why they use words. Pearl is such a lovable, endearing, and imaginative character. Hazel Mitchell’s bright illustrations wonderfully bring Groeneweg’s words to life and she has given Pearl such style and flair.

Word lovers, Word makers, and Word collectors will be smitten by this book and fall in love with all of its words. 

purchase: amazon / b&n / indiebound
Nicole Groeneweg

Hazel Mitchell

The Ghastly Dandies Do the Classics
By Ben Gibson
They’re Dapper. They’re Monstrous. They’re Erudite. They’re the Ghastly Dandies, a breed of beast as well-versed in classics as they are well-dressed in knickers and neckties! These ghastlies are guaranteed to delight readers of all ages with their quick and clever renditions of classic tales: Moby Dick, Hamlet, The Great Gatsby, Frankenstein, Don Quixote, Pride and Prejudice, and Sherlock Holmes. Each story is told like never before—by impeccably attired monsters!

Ben Gibson’s The Ghastly Dandies Do the Classics is laugh-out-loud funny, super entertaining, and surprisingly educational. The Dandies are a classy breed of monsters that tell quick and smart renditions of classics like Don Quixote, Frankenstein, The Great Gatsby, Moby Dick, Hamlet, Sherlock Holmes, and Pride and Prejudice.

I’ve re-read this book at least five times and love it more each time! Gibson’s Ghastly Dandies are a rare breed of monster indeed: smart, refined, and grand (and silly and funny and giggle-inducing) storytellers. The Dandies’ brief summaries of the included classics are wonderfully imagined and done in a way that will captivate and resonate with young readers. Even the biggest fan of these classics will find themselves laughing! Gibson’s collage like illustrations are bright, smooth, and delightful. Bits and pieces of each classic are cleverly brought to life, with fun little surprises sprinkled throughout, And the big, furry Dandies are simply irresistible and lovable.

If you’re looking for a way to introduce young readers to the classics, but not overwhelm them then The Ghastly Dandies Do the Classics is the perfect book for you. 

purchase: amazon / b&n indiebound
Ben Gibson

*Please note that I do not rate picture books, I merely review them

1 comment:

YA Sleuth said...

I was just in a picture book kind of mood, so this list is perfect. Thanks!