Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Kidlit Tuesday: Pictures Books and Book Club

I brought cookies to my local elementary school for book club yesterday, and we had a fun half hour talking about Eva Ibbotson's Dial-A-Ghost. It was hugely popular, and I tried to talk the girls (we were all girls this month) into checking out some of her other books as well. I'm a big fan of Ibbotson's kidlit, YA, and adult books, so I always like hooking new readers. The book was so well liked it was almost hard to get a discussion going, since we all agreed about everything -- it was funny, the scary ghosts were nasty but not disturbing (although we decided that you should be careful if you read it aloud to a first grader or younger), and we all liked the balance of danger and resolution. I stuck in the idea of the definition of a main character -- who was the book about? And I also talked a little about plot structure, especially books with many little pieces that all come back at the end.

Sadly, that was the only kidlit I read last week.

While browsing at the library last Thursday and moaning at the self-imposed restrictions of the TBR Triple Dog Dare (no new books! The horror) I pulled down some of the pictures books from the library display shelves. This are sometimes new and sometimes just staff favorites.

Paul Meets Bernadette
Paul Meets Bernadette,  Rosy Lamb. A fish-eyed optimist populates the world for her gullible friend. My kids would have been utterly appalled at their confident errors, and I was left wondering if Paul was better off being delusionally happy with Bernadette or sane but lonely. If I see it next time I'm in there I will get the boys to read it. The pictures capture the world view and possibilities of the fish-eyed world delightfully.

What Is Part This, Part That?, Harriet Ziefert. This would be a great read-aloud with young children -- I can imagine my kids enjoying the riddle-like structure, especially with the participation of lifting flaps. I guess it's aimed at the talkative toddler/early preschooler.

Hide and Snake
Hide and Snake, Keith Baker. Actually, this looked very familiar. I bet I did read this with my kids during their tiny days. I'm a huge fan of Keith Baker -- his Who Is the Beast is one of my go-to baby gifts for new parents or family birthday parties. This book skipped the profound philosophical statement but kept beauty and simplicity that rewards careful observation and return visits.

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