Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Flashback Tuesday: The Quiet Lady by Charlotte Zolotow illus by Anita Lobel

In honor of Charlotte Zolotow's birthday I thought I would recommend one of my favorite books of hers.  It was actually very hard to do as I have always loved her books.   This one holds a very special meaning to me.

The Quiet Lady by Charlotte Zolotow and illustrated by Anita Lobel was always a favorite book to me because it reminded me  of my Mom.   Part of that are the beautiful illustrations by Anita Lobel but mostly because I could relate to the story by Ms Zolotow.   When I was  little girl I loved to listen to my Mother's stories of her childhood.   I loved looking at photos of her as a baby and thinking she was so cute.   I also loved to hear her stories about growing up with her sisters in Brooklyn.   This is a great book for Mom's to read with their children.  It would make a wonderful new baby gift or a first Mother's Day gift too.

Happy Birthday Charlotte Zolotow!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Reference Sunday: Through Time: Olympics by Richard Platt

Last night while flipping channels on the TV I stopped to watch some Olympic qualifying Diving competitions.  I felt so bad for the team who came in second...they missed winning by a literal hair.   This is why I am not much into sports....I always feel sorry for those who lose.   Anyway I realized that the Summer Olympics in London were fast approaching so I thought I would recommend a book that would be a great way for kids to prepare for the fun.  

Through Time: Olympics by Richard Platt and published by Kingfisher is a great illustrated history of the Olympic games.   It starts with the history of the games all the way back to ancient times. It  concludes with the London 2012 games.  The book talks about each host city and nation giving the reader information about the cultural and social impact the games had on their cities.   There are details about the events themselves with listings of records that were broken as well as the major highlights of each game. I especially liked the illustrations and the wonderful cross-sections that show with meticulous detail the stadiums and cities throughout time.  A perfect way to introduce the Olympics to a child and to help them enjoy them more.   This also makes a great gift for the young sportsperson in your life.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Lonely Book by Kate Bernheimer illustrated by Chris Sheban

Sometimes I come across books that at first glance seems to be catering to a specific audience.   I read books that scream ----library or teacher books.  What I mean by that is sometimes an author, consciously or unconsciously writes a book that speaks to librarians or teachers sometimes to parents more than children.   When I first saw today's book  that is what I first thought.....but I was soooo WRONG.

The Lonely Book by Kate Bernheimer and illustrated so sweetly by Chris Seban brought me back to the books of my childhood.   I loved books just like the little girl in the story does.   As I read it I realized that it isn't a story time book but a "read by yourself in a quiet corner"  book....

It reminded me of two of my favorite books:  The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton (which I apparently have talked about before but have never written about it.) and The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams. I love how it is the little girl's father who brings her to the library.   I love how the story and pictures flow.   This is a book that has a classic feel but at the same time seems new and refreshing.   I would give this book to any child who loves to read.  I think this is the perfect book for grown ups too....the ones who always felt that books were their best friends...

Sunday, June 10, 2012

the little pea by Éric Battut

I usually write about a reference type of book on Sundays I felt that I couldn't make it work for today's book.   Part of me thought that  because it is about a seed and how it plants itself and grows into something wonderful,   it could fit within a nonfiction parameter....but I couldn't even make myself believe that.   I do think it is a really sweet book that should be recommended.   

the little pea by Eric Battut and  translated by Sophie Pouze is the story of a little pea who thinks it can be anything it wants to be.   Even when he is laughed at by his friends he believes in himself.   I love the illustrations ----simple but powerful.   I love how it reads, sometimes translated stories losing something in translation but Ms Pouze does a marvelous job that, I think conveys the author's message clearly.   This is a great book to read at story time at bedtime.   It subtly shows a child that it is OK to be different even if others don't agree.   A great little gem of a book that will be read again and again.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Flashback Tuesday: Rap a Tap Tap: Here's Bojangles, Think of That by Leo & Diane Dillon

Last week we lost one of my favorite illustrators.  Much has been written about the wonderful Leo Dillon, he was an artist in the true sense of the word.   His illustrations and stories were complete works of art.  I thought today I would recommend one of my favorite books of his.

Rap a Tap Tap: Here's Bojangles, Think of That! by Leo and Diane Dillon is one of my favorite books because I am a big fan of Mr Bojangles ever since my brother and I used to listen to the song about him.   When this book came out I was thrilled because I got to introduce a favorite performer of mine to a new audience.   I loved how the book was fun to read and still convey information.   It is a great picture book biography, not wordy and cumbersome to read aloud.   I have always loved the richness of the Dillon's artwork, they were like paintings in a book.   This was a different style but no less wonderful and rich but in a simpler way.   It represents the time that is described in the book.   The Dillon's are masters because
they were able to adapt their art to the story.

 Leo Dillon may no longer be with us but his work will last forever. 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Reference Sunday: Just One Bite by Lola Schaefer illustrated by Geoff Waring

Just One Bite: 11 Animals and Their Bites at Life Size by Lola Schaefer and illustrated by Geoff Waring practically jumped off the shelf at the Mahwah Public Library mainly because of its size.   It is an oversize picture book that would have driven me crazy trying to shelve it when I worked in the stores but as a consumer it is wonderful.  With simple text the author Lola Schaefer conveys to her audience what an animal eats in one bite.....this is a case where she needs the pictures to illustrate her thoughts.   She only deals with a few animals but they are an eclectic bunch.  I also like how she goes from the smallest animal, an earth worm to the largest, a sperm whale.   My favorite is the giraffe and the elephant.  Oh but the bunny is cute too. The illustrations are fantastic Mr Waring really makes them feel life size with gatefolds when the animal is just too big, like the sperm whale and the octopus.   Anyway it is a great beginning science book for the curious child who always asks "why?".....

An added feature is the more detailed glossary in the back that gives a better description of each animal. 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

One Dog and His Boy by Eva Ibbotson

I am always looking for books that I know kids will love and understand.  I have many friends who are animal lovers....dogs especially so I love when I find something for them to appreciate.  Eva Ibbotson has always been on my radar as a very prolific writer who always has something for everyone.  I was so happy to see her new book but it wasn't until I finished it that I read the back flap where it says this was her last book before she died.  It is sad to think she will no longer be able to delight the world with her words, but at least she went out on a high note.

One Dog and His Boy by Eva Ibbotson is a sweet and fun book about a sad and lonely little boy who always wanted a dog of his own.   This book has everything; friendship, adventure and heart.   It is very Dahlesque with a little bit of Jean Ferris thrown in....although for a younger audience.   This is a perfect summer reading book for young children ages 8-12.....not too hard but not too easy either.

Thank you Eva Ibbotson---you will be missed.....