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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Picture Book Round-Up

It's been a long time since the last Picture Book Round-up. Over the summer there's slim pickings at the library most of the time, and so now that school is back in session, we've snagged great finds again. Here are just a handful of 'em.

I was skeptical of this book when I heard it was about manners. But it's done in a fun way and my boys both enjoyed it. They were wishing that could maybe have elephants, lions, or camels for parents for a day or two so they could go wild with no rules. Ha! But it's nice to read a fun book that also reminds them that their parents aren't the only ones with rules. The chart in the back that shows the rules for various animals was pretty fun too!

This book is written to the tune of Over in the Meadow, which I have to admit I'm not a huge fan of. But I really liked this Halloween version. Ghosts, witches, goblins, skeletons! The rhymes were clever and rolled of the tongue so easily, which makes it a really fun read aloud. My boys both had glowing things to say about the book as soon as I finished reading it. I might use this with my Literacy Launchpad students next month. Really liked this one!

Crisp and vivid illustrations in this one, collaged and with a great textured look. I really loved the illustrations! How many different onomonopias can you use to describe bird sounds? I wasn't so sure how I was going to like this when I started it. But the bird sound onomonopias were so fun; my little guy stayed glued to the book as I turned each page to reveal a new bird. There was counting, and discovering new birds, and making fun noises, and exploring each cool illustration... Even the way the text was laid out on the page became a visually interesting part of each illustration. The brief bird facts at the end were a pleasant discovery, as my son had a few questions as this intriguing book wrapped up and he wanted to know more about these cool birds!

We snagged this book at the library at the perfect time; there have been caterpillars and butterflies (or are they moths?) all over the place by us this past week. My son caught a caterpillar and brought it inside and watched it build its chrysalis. I remembered that we had this book and we sat down and enjoyed. It's basically a counting book, with beautiful Lois Ehlert illustrations. Simple. I think it would be wonderful in a board book format; toddlers would love this. Great for spring time... Or I guess for fall too! Ha!

One of those warm, fuzzy boy-meets-pet stories. A boy wants a dog, a duck wants to be a pet, so he dresses up like a dog. The duck is so adorable. I can't help but imagine gifting this book to a niece or nephew with a cuddly, plush duck to go with it. I mean, the illustration with the duck tear, and then the boy carrying the duck with the duck's head on his shoulder...? Melt my heart! I guess I'm just a sappy, softy. This is a great book to cuddle up with your little one(s) with at bedtime. I'm thinking about doing a pet unit too, and might use this book for that.

I had to grab this book when I saw it at the library because my boys are obsessed with ninjas (thank you, Ninjago). This story is clever, and funny, and just a hoot to read. This is the kind of book my boys and I love; it was a great discussion starter, and great for encouraging creativity and imagination. It's kind of off-the-wall and I love reading books that get my boys to think in a kind of off-the-wall way. And what kid doesn't love a story where the child protagonist is right in the end and gets to have a told-you-so kind of moment with their parents. This book delivers that. Ha! Love it!

A big ole game of "Telephone" between a bunch of forest critters, only the secret makes it all the way around without getting warped into something its not. The illustrations were very visually interesting. I loved how the illustrations showed a little dotted trail throughout the pages of the path the animals took. It was like a little map, and it had me thinking up fun craft activities that would be great to do with this book. Pair a map activity with a real game of "telephone" with your group you're reading to, and you've got a fun little story time. Definitely going to use this book for a lesson, either with my students, or just with my kids at home.

I'm pretty hard to please when it comes to alphabet books, but this was one I liked. The problem I have with most alphabet books is that they try to get too cute and clever with it, and it just ends up feeling awkward and doesn't work for me. This book doesn't do that. I love the illustrations of the alphabet letters; they remind me of the way I used to draw big block letters myself when I was younger. I could see doing fun art projects that mimic the illustrations in this book. There's a quaint simplicity to this book that is sweet, but still beautiful. And the illustrations are perfect for lingering over with your little one on your lap and talking about the letter names, sounds, and what each of the letters are doing on each page. This book begs to be read over and over, taking your time. 

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