Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Rylant and Catalanotto team up effectively in this (I was trying to think of a better adjective than "lovely", but that's the one.) lovely story. Both the text and illustrations are exceptionally well-crafted. Warm, human, and hopeful, this picture book pairs nicely with Uri Shulevitz's Toddle Creek Post Office. 1992
Sunday, February 13, 2011
The tone is just right in Doris Burn's Andrew Henry's Meadow. (1965, reprinted in 2005) "Combining a delicious understanding of childish longings and a gift for comical understatement, she creates a picture book sure to become a dog-eared favorite of both parents and children." This one makes my "100 Best Picture Books of All Time" list.
Monday, January 24, 2011
This is another one of those picture books that never should have been allowed to go out of print. Mrs. Christie and Rachel move to the country and teach the King (who is capital O Organized) a thing or two. Caroline Browne's lean, flowing text and more than competent, detailed illustrations make this a GOOD book. Doubleday, 1977.
Saturday, January 15, 2011
If there's such a thing as a gorgeous book for boys, surely this is it. Ann Herbert Scott's "laconic, wonderfully well-honed descriptions" tie together Ted Lewin's "splendid watercolors...in glowing impressionistic detail. Authentic information, presented with real artistry." Kirkus Reviews
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
What we have here is lots of animals, bears especially, tons of action, and a modest moral dilemma; in other words, the things that David McPhail went on to perfect, following this 1979 title. Grandfather's Cake is still a very good, short read-aloud for five to nine year olds, and one more reason to keep old Weekly Reader hardcovers in your library. P.S. Make sure the "tremendous BOOM" rocks the room.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Our generation has been said to be the first to grow up on slogans rather than proverbs. To our loss. One way to combat that omission is to read picture books, especially those serving up folklore. In 1836, when he was thirty years old, Hans Christian Andersen published a simple poetic version of the proverb--Don't count your chickens before they hatch. In 1974 Jan Wahl and Ray Cruz teamed up to put that poem into what is probably the most colorful picture book I have seen. This out-of-print, hard-to-find book is, of course, available to borrow from the Mason County Christian School library.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Arnold Lobel's 1981 "I Can Read Book" is the perfect introduction to chapter books; definitely a Don't Miss Book for Kindergarten. When a little elephant's mother and father are lost at sea, he learns many important things from his kindly uncle, things he would not have learned apart from his (temporary) orphan experience.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
So, with more than 200 different A-B-C books on the shelf, why get excited about a slim, 25 year old title that showed up yesterday?
Because What's Inside? The Alphabet Book by Satoshi Kitamura is great fun for both parents and kids. Full of engaging animals, music, color and surprises, this one passes the test--you'll want to read and re-read it.
Available to borrow, of course, from the Mason County Christian School library.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
"My mother made illustrations and dust covers for books all day long and well into the night. Every book she contributed to she got free when it was published, our bookcases grew all over the walls and I read without restriction, anything and anywhere, with pocket flashlights under the bedcovers and on the dumpsters down in the yard if I was told to get some fresh air. If any book was really unsuitable for a child my mother only had to say, "that one you should read, it is very instructive, to ensure that I didn't...The happiest childhood is, I think, the one which offers both security and excitement...In my books...if there are any greys they are not the colour of gloom but rather those half tones necessary for the unspoken, the hidden. In a book for children I think there should always be something left unexplained and without any illustration. There should be a path at which the writer respectfully stops to let the child continue alone."
Tove Jansson, winner of the 1966 Hans Christian Andersen Medal,in Third Book of Junior Authors, 1972