Thursday, October 1, 2009

Quick Picture Book Reviews

Felicity Floo Visits the Zoo
by E. S. Redmond
Somerville, Mass. : Candlewick Press, 2009

Felicity Floo has a cold a no tissue. So what does she do? She uses her hand to wipe her nose then touches everything throughout the zoo with her germy little hands. This wasn't a very pleasant thing for the animals. The story was a little silly and not my favorite. However, the illustrations were great. Geddy especially loved finding what Felicity had been touching, this was shown by little shiny green handprints!

How to Potty Train Your Monster
by Kelly DiPucchio
ill. by Mike Moon
New York : Disney-Hyperion, c2009

Cute idea but I was not impressed with the end result.
I chose this book because I thought it would be fun to
read to Geddy who is pretty much fully potty-trained.
He got a kick out of the pictures and some of the text.
Yet a lot of the text was definitely geared towards giving
parents some tips on potty training their kids so it ended
up not being very cohesive.

The Super Hungry Dinosaur
by Martin Waddell
ill. by Leonie Lord
New York : Dial Books for Young Readers, c2009

Hal and his dog, Billy, are playing in the backyard when a dinosaur comes to visit. An extremely hungry dinosaur! It wants to eat Hal and Billy. Hal takes charge of the situation and calmly convinces the dinosaur that there are other things to eat besides little boys.
A cute story, fun to read-aloud. Great example of how kids can take control of situations and not be afraid. Illustrations were simple, yet effective.

A Crazy Day at the Critter Cafe
by Barbara Odanaka
ill. by Lee White
New York : Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2009

The cook and waiter of the Critter Cafe are enjoying a pleasantly slow-business day until a busload of critters stops by. Everything quickly spins out of control and they are wishing for peace and quiet again.
The story was a little weak, especially some of the rhymes. They seemed quite forced and did not have a good flow in parts. Yet the quirky illustrations made it a fun book to read with my son.

Cheech and the Spooky Ghost Bus
by Cheech Marin
ill. by Orlando L. Ramirez
New York, NY : HarperCollinsPublishers, c2009

 Cheech the bus driver stops and picks up some funny looking kids one morning. That is what a bus driver is supposed to do! After the initial panic when it turned out the new kids were ghosts, everyone ended up having fun and quite an adventure.
How could I not read a picture book written by Cheech (yes the one from Cheech and Chong fame). Especially one with a ghostly theme this close to Halloween. The illustrations were cute, but nothing special. Make it a fun read-aloud by adopting a "south-of-the-border" accent!

by Norbert Landa
ill. by Tim Warnes
Intercourse, PA : Good Books, 2009

Bear and Rabbite are best friends. They share everything and they do everything together. This perfect friendship was put to the test when they found a sparkly, shiny thing.
A pleasant little story that shows how greed and selfishness can ruin friendships and how the simplicity of a single word can make everything better. Sweet illustrations too.

The Goblin and the Empty Chair
by Mem Fox
ill. by Leo & Diane Dillon
New York : Beach Lane Books, 2009

A goblin is so distraught when he sees his own face that he decides to hide it from the world. As he tries to avoid any attention he discovers a little family who is suffering. Quietly and secretly (at least he thinks) he does all the little things he can for this family. In the end it is discovered that kind thoughts and deeds do a lot to heal those in need, and that healing goes both ways.
Fabulous in story and spectacular in art. When you read it, don't ignore the small details found at the top of each page.

All the World
by Liz Garton Scanlon
ill. by Marla Frazee
New York : Beach Lane Books, 2009

A book of discovery for family members and neighbors. They find the beauty in everything around them including the shells on the beach, the sunset and more.
The text was well-placed to add to the wonderful illustrations. Reading this book gave me warm fuzzies. Do I smell another Caldecott for Frazee? Maybe the winner this time. I sure hope so!

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