Young Reader in the Making

Young Reader in the Making

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Book 70: What Am I?

What Am I?, Sterling Press 2003.   Baby to Toddler

This was one of those books that my son picked out from the library and didn't want to return. Because I am a former children's librarian, I cannot condone that. To prevent an ethical quandary, I ordered him his own copy before the three-week check-out period ended.

Although this book is wonderfully colorful and delightfully drawn, it is not one I would have bought on my own. Never underestimate the power of concentric circle eyes. Not only does my little boy love to run his finger over the ridges, he also discovered that the eyes are just the right size for the Pier One ceramic balls I bought for Spring. He also discovered that those balls do NOT bounce on a hardwood floor -- that would be another story.

As far as the writing goes, it is super-simple and rhymed, although sometimes the rhyming feels a bit forced. I can't fault it too much, because sometimes so does mine. Anyway, as I said, I would not have decided to buy this book except for the fact that my son loves it so much. And your child loving a book is a pretty darn good reason to buy it.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Book 69: Blue Moo

Blue Moo: 17 Jukebox Hits from Way Back Never, by Sandra Boynton, Music by Boynton and Ford, Workman Publishing Company, 2007.   Toddler to Preschool

In earlier posts, I mentioned I like silly books, and song books and Sandra Boynton books. Well, this book has all three. To be honest, I haven't really read the book, except to sing along with the enclosed CD, but the drawings are Sandra Boynton-charming and the words/lyrics are hysterical. What I really love about this book is the enclosed CD.

The CD contains the silly lyrics of a child's song with sophisticated tunes of really, really good music. And the recording artists -- well, B.B. King sings about a missing shoe, just to give you an idea of the quality of the recording artists on this CD. It's crazy. It's outstanding. I love listening to the CD. My son loves the music and loves the accompanying illustrations. Now if I could only get the Uninvited Parade by the Uninvited Loud Precision Band out of my head. Or maybe not. It is a great tune. Even if I don't know all the words. I just boom, boom, boom to the tune and my little boy is in giggles every time.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Book 68: Over in the Jungle

Over in the Jungle: A Rainforest Rhyme, written by Marianne Berkes, illustrated by Jeanette Canyon, Dawn Publication, 2005 (board book 2008).   Toddler to Preschool to Early Elementary

As mentioned in a previous post, I am a sucker for signed books, so when I saw one of Marianne Berkes' books in a pamphlet of 100 Picture Books for Preschoolers, I just knew I could renew our acquaintance and have her sign a book or three for my son. Actually, Marianne is very gracious and would sign a book for anyone who asks.

Over in the Jungle: A Rainforest Rhyme was the book listed in the pamphlet, so I'll review it first. This book is deceptively simple. Marianne Berkes takes a simple tune (Over in the Meadow) and replaces the lyrics with counting verses about rainforest animals. Sounds pretty easy in theory, but not so much in practice. Anyway, it works very well in this book.

Jeanette Canyon uses polymer clay to create brilliant, dimensional illustrations. I'm not sure I would like that style of illustration in too many books, but with the rainforest book, it is a perfect marriage.

When I was reading this book for the first time to my two-year-old son, he walked over and pointed to the 4 on the leaf and said "four". I thought he was a genius. Then he pointed at the 5 and said "four" and the six. Oh well. So much for great expectations. :)