Young Reader in the Making

Young Reader in the Making

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Book 62: The Adventures of Harold and the Purple Crayon

Book 62: The Adventures of Harold and the Purple Crayon, Four Magical Stories, by Crockett Johnson, first story published in 1955, collection reprint 1987, HarperCollins Publishers.   Toddler to Preschool

A while ago I reviewed "Not A Box" (Book 29) and commented on how it reminded me of "Harold and the Purple Crayon". I liked "Not A Box" because the genderless rabbit could be male or female and therefore could appeal to a boy or a girl. I love "Harold", though, because he reminds me of my fair-haired, toddling son.

Not only that, "Harold" is about a child's imagination, which I think is an excellent subject for a children's book, especially a clever child's imagination.

The illustrations are simple; the colors are few, although purple does play a prominent role; and the result is perfection in illustration.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Book 61: Just Like My Mom

Book 61: Just Like My Mom, by David Melling, 2004 Hodder Children's Books.   Toddler to Preschool

I recently reviewed "Just Like My Dad", also by David Melling (Book 41), and then promised to review the companion book, "Just Like My Mom".

"Just Like My Mom" is not quite as funny as "Just Like My Dad", but it is sweeter. There is probably an object lesson there. Certainly in my family, although my husband can be nurturing and I can be fun, usually the roles are reversed, or corrected, depending upon your opinion.

So I do like "Just Like My Mom". It make me say "awww" and smile instead of laughing out loud. And if you buy one of David Melling's mom/dad books, you should definitely buy the other. They tie together very well.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Book 60: The Little Engine that Could

Book 60: The Little Engine that Could, by Watty Piper, Platt & Munk 1930.  Preschool to Early Elementary

"The Little Engine that Could" is another much maligned book. It is often criticized for being too saccharine or preachy, and if I read it every day, I might find that to be true. But reading occasionally (maybe once a month), I find it delightful.

First of all, it features a train, toys and a circus. What more could you want? Personally, I could do with less of the clown (as in, not at all), but not everyone shares my quirk or phobia.

And it is a sweet story with an easy-to-grasp point. Is there anyone who grew up in before 1990 who can hear "I think I can" and not remember the engine? And the illustrations (again excepting the clown) are colorful and enjoyable.

Overall, it is no wonder this book is a classic of children's literature.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Book 59: I Saw Esau

Book 59: I Saw Esau, A schoolchild's pocket book, edited by Iona and Peter Opie, illustrated by Maurice Sendak, Candlewick Press 2000 (collection originally published in Great Britain in 1947).  Preschool to Elementary

This is one of those books that I picked up, years before my son was expected, just because the cover amused me. It helped greatly that Maurice Sendak was the illustrator, but it is an amusing book.

I don't want to give too much away, but in the introduction Iona Opie explains how this book came into being. She says the rhymes contained "were clearly not the rhymes that a grandmother might sing to a grandchild on her knee". However, for the past two Aprils, I have been choosing some rhymes out of this book to read to my toddler son for National Poetry Month. I've probably warped him for life, but maybe in a good way.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Book 58: It's A Colorful World!

Book 58: It's A Colorful World!, by Todd Parr, Discovery Kids 2006 (board book).  Baby to Toddler

This is the last of the books that I pulled from my son's stack to review when I was repairing them. And this is the book he's probably been missing the most.

It's A Colorful World! is not a paragon of brilliant writing, but for a toddler who likes to "read" books himself, it's probably even better. Not surprisingly, It's A Colorful World! is a colorful book. It also is the best lift-the-flap book I've encountered.

The pages of this board book are about one-an-a-half times to twice as thick as a regular board book. That makes the flaps almost as thick as a regular board board and strong enough to withstand repeated (read "endless") lifting. I'm not sure if my son understands how the pictures change when he lifts the flap, but he giggles all the same. I love his giggle, so, therefore, I love this book.