Archive for the ‘Picture Book Review’ category

PB Review: WE WILL ROCK OUR CLASSMATES

October 15, 2020

We Will Rock Our Classmates

Penelope T. rex tends to stand out in a group. Penelope is a dinosaur. Her classmates only see her as a dinosaur, but Penelope is much more than that. She loves all sorts of things, but most of all she loves to play rock ‘n’ roll music on her guitar. Penelope signs up for the school talent show, but she’s nervous. At rehearsal, Penelope freezes and thinks maybe dinosaurs can’t play rock ‘n’ roll. She crosses her name off the list and is resigned to being just a dinosaur. Daddy T. rex steps in and shows Penelope pictures of all the accomplishments by her family and encourages her “to be anything you want to be.” The next day at school, Penelope almost loses her courage to sign up again until a few of her friends ask if they can be in her band. On the night of the talent show, Penelope is as nervous as ever, but she remembers what Daddy T. rex told her and she becomes a rock star. We Will Rock Our Classmates is written and illustrated by the talented Ryan T. Higgins who also wrote the hysterical We Don’t Eat Our Classmates. His newest book doesn’t disappoint. Clever lines referring to dinosaurs and amusing illustrations will keep kids and adults laughing with each page turn.     

PB Review: SOAKED!

October 8, 2020

Soaked!

It’s raining and Bear and his friends are not happy. Bear, a bit of a grump, finds nothing is fun in the rain. He and his friends retreat to Bear’s cave, but Hula-Hooping Moose is taking up too much room playing with his hula- hoop. Back outside in the rain, Bear wants his umbrella, but it’s missing so he grumps on his log. All the while, Hula-Hooping Moose entertains himself with his hula hoop until it lands in the branches of a tree. Bear, Badger, and Rabbit manage to build an animal tower to retrieve it, but they topple to the ground with the hula hoop. The friends encourage Bear to give it a try. He is surprised how much fun hula-hooping, splashing in rain puddles, and getting Soaked! with his friends can be. When the rain stops, what do you think happens? You’ll have to read this hilarious book written and illustrated by Abi Cushman. It’s sure to put a smile on your face.

PB Review: Swashby and the Sea

September 24, 2020

Swashby and the Sea

Captain Swashby and the sea have always been best friends. When Swashby retires, it is in a small house on a small beach by the sea. It is quiet and serene just as Swashby likes it. When a young girl and her granny move in next door, Swashby’s world is disrupted, and he is not one bit happy. He writes messages in the sand to discourage the girl and her granny, “which the sea fiddled with, just a bit.” Instead, the new message left by the sea encourages the young girl to sing, to make a wish, and to play. That disgruntles Swashby even more. But when the young girl finds herself in trouble, Swashby is the first one there to save her. There is no way for him to stop the thank yous, the hugs, and the celebration by the sea given by the young girl and her granny. With a little fiddling by the sea, Swashby becomes a true friend and neighbor. Beth Ferry has written a charming story of intergenerational friendship with delightful seaside illustrations by Caldecott Honor winner, Juana Martinez-Neal.

PB Review: A BOBBY-DAZZLER OF A POUCH!

September 10, 2020

Over the years, Janet Halfmann’s books have always created a sense of wonder in me. Her newest book, A Bobby-Dazzler of a Pouch! is sure to become a favorite.

Joey, a young kangaroo, practices diving into his mum’s pouch. It’s easy when it’s just he and his mum, but when there are other kangaroos around, Joey has a problem. When Mum calls, Joey doesn’t always find the right pouch. Boing! Boing! Boing! He dives into a pouch that’s already full. Boing! Boing! Boing! He dives into a male kangaroo who doesn’t even have a pouch!

Joey is discouraged, but when he sees Willy Wagtail, he comes up with an idea. Joey asks if he can have some tail feathers to put on his mum’s pouch to make it easier to find. Willy Wagtail agrees, and suddenly Rainbow Lorikeet, Echidna, and the Emu Family want to add something to decorate the pouch. Joey and his mum work together to arrange the decorations, but as Joey climbs into the pouch to sleep, he wishes they had MORE decorations. Koala overhears Joey. Even though Mum would rather not have anything more added, Koala, Sugar Glider, Brush-Tailed Possum, and Wombat all add something special. Joey declares Mum’s pouch a “bobby-dazzler.”

The next morning while Joey is playing, he hears his mum frantically calling him. A dingo is on the prowl! Because of Mum’s bobby-dazzler pouch, Joey knows exactly where to find her. Abira Das‘ adorable illustrations accompany Janet Halfmann’s delightful story. A variety of Australian animals, plants, and words are introduced as are the themes of a loving mother-child relationship, friendship, and creativity. This book is sure to entertain young readers with each page turn. The back matter includes Fun Kangaroo Facts and a glossary of Australian terms which help make reading this book a truly enjoyable experience. 

Bobby Dazzler Cover Back copy

 

Can you create a bobby-dazzler of an idea?

 

 

 

Hello Hello – Picture Book Review

July 16, 2020

Hello Hello! Welcome, welcome to an exotic collection of animals of all shapes and sizes. Brendan Wenzel has written and illustrated a fascinating book depicting the similarities and differences between animals.

hello

In spare rhyming text, the author introduces readers to a variety of animals. Some are small. Some are large. Some are brightly colored. Some are not. There are animals with patterns, animals with unique body parts, animals that are loud, and animals that are quiet. The illustrations are bold and bright rendered in a combination of cut paper, colored pencil, oil pastels, marker, and computer. The animals included in the book are favorites of Brenden Wenzel. Readers will delight in his illustrations and how he gives each animal a personality of its own. At the end of the book, Wenzel lists all the animals, noting which ones are endangered, critically endangered, threatened, near threatened, and vulnerable. This is a joyous book that celebrates the natural world of animals. The author note encourages readers to become familiar with the animals and let others know about them and how they can help keep these animals safe. Enjoy. Enjoy.

The Home Builders – PB Review

July 9, 2020

Have you seen The Home Builders? It’s not an HGTV program. It happens to be a delightful picture book about animals and their homes written by Varsha Bajaj.

home builder

Accompanying Bajaj’s lyrical tale are colorful illustrations by Simona Mulazzani, depicting animals building homes for their new family members. The mixed media art includes acrylics, colored pencil, and collage on paper. Varsha Bajaj’s rhyming text asks questions of the reader “Do you see the builders work? Do you see the homes? Do you see the babies? Do you see the families?” The text and illustrations encourage readers to become an active part of reading the book. The author’s choice of verbs such as “burrow and hide, shovel and plow, slumber, swarm” adds a lively dimension to the book. With each page turn, readers learn a bit more about each animal. The final spread shows the animals snugly in their homes as nightfall arrives. This is a perfect book to snuggle up with your child and read together.

PB Review: Sloth to the Rescue

May 28, 2020

Sometimes we need to move slowly, but sometimes there is a need for urgency. Sloth in Sloth To The Rescue written by Leanne Shirtliffe and illustrated by Rob McClurkan needs to move quickly even though it may be uncomfortable and scary for him. 

Sloth’s friend, Patti, spent the summer writing a report due on the first day of school. His favorite thing about Patti is she is never in a rush. When Sloth sees Patti has forgotten her report on a bench at the Rainforest Rescue Center, Sloth needs to hurry to get it back to her, but Sloth is not someone who hurries. He realizes he needs a little help from his friends. Sloth enlists Peccary, Boa, Capuchin, and Ocelot. With Patti’s report in hand, they leave the comfort of the Rescue Center and take a field trip to Patti’s school to search for her. They search in the schoolyard, in the coatroom, in the classroom, in the gymnasium, but Patti is nowhere to be found. Sloth remembers that to calm down he must take his time. That’s when he finds Patti, dawdling near the water fountain. Patti is thrilled to see her friend and her report. The animals stay and listen to Patti’s report. Sloth is happy to be with Patti who, like Sloth, isn’t in a rush. Leanne Shirtliffe has written a delightful story about friendship and overcoming the fear of stepping outside one’s comfort zone. Her use of clever comments and wordplay will put a smile on readers’ faces as will Rob McClurkan’s charming illustrations of rainforest animals.      

 


Waking up on the Wrong Side of 50

Navigating the second half of my life

Leslie Leibhardt Goodman

Children's Writer

VIVIAN KIRKFIELD - Writer for Children

Picture Books Help Kids Soar

%d bloggers like this: