Thursday, March 3, 2011

Reading My Library: Good Batch

I'm continuing my glacial pace through the picture books, with mostly good results this week.  The kids read most of the books with me, and gave everything a thumbs up with various degrees of enthusiasm.

We read:

  • Image of itemLittle Black Crow, by Chris Raschka.  Neat water colors and tiny thought poems intrigued us, but I'm not sure how it would work with the tiny toddler set.  Made me wish I had one to try it on.
  • Image of itemFrankenstein Takes the Cake, Adam Rex.  Fourth grade P and I liked the mix of illustrations and poetry, but sixth grade X does not do poetry and felt betrayed by his love of the illustrations.
  • Image of itemFurious George Goes Bananas, by Michael Rex.  A universal favorite from the eight year old on up, this parody of Curious George address most of the questions you ponder, such as what is it with that yellow hat man.
  • And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, illustrated by Henry Cole.  This cute story of a foster penguin child in the Bronx Zoo has the shocking twist that the penguin pair raising her are both male.  If this does not shock you, it's a rather quiet book.  The kids thought it was OK but weren't sure why it got banned; one suggestion was the depiction of a penguin birth (you see the egg cracking).
  • Image of itemSergio Makes a Splash, Edel Rodriguez.  I grabbed this one because I had penguins on my brain, and it was a bit of a mind twist to sink into it, since the penguins are anthropomorphic, very unlike Tango.  But the story of a young penguin dealing with fear of the ocean was cute.
  • The Biggest Frog in Australia, by Susan L. Roth.  Although we liked this version of the Tiddalik story and the torn paper illustrations, the refusal to use Tiddalik's name was confusing (it's always "the biggest frog in Australia.").  We prefer the version from PlaySchool that a friend sent us.
  • Image of itemRain School, James Rumford.  A quiet, cosy and colorful tale of a school year in Chad, from building the school and desk through respectful learning and into the end of the year and the dissolving of the school in the summer rains.  
  • Image of itemBaloney (Henry P.), by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith was the hands-down favorite of my two sons, who loved the tall tale structure, nonsense words, and wild illustrations.  It was a neat aftershock to find that all the nonsense words are Earth words from different languages.
  • Image of itemTarzan, by Robert D. San Souci, illustrated by Michael McCurdy.  Good retelling of the first part of Burrough's book, with dark but attractive pictures.  The boys enjoyed it but show no signs of heading for the original text.
  • Image of itemGive a Goat, Jan West Schreck, illustrated by Aileen Darragh.  I hoped the book was actually about a goat, but instead it follows a class raising money to donate a goat through Habitat for Humanity.  The watercolor pictures weren't too exciting.

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