Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Flashback Tuesday: A Giraffe and a Half by Shel Silverstein

Today is Shel Silverstein's birth anniversary.  He was such a talented writer who wrote such iconic books.   In his honor I give you one of my favorite Shel Silverstein books.

A Giraffe and a Half by Shel Silverstein is one book that I always loved to read to children.   It is a fun rhyming book that always has it's audience laughing with it's silliness.   Shel Silverstein wrote so many fun books for kids that sometimes this book gets lost in the shuffle.   ( I am also partial to giraffe's).  I like it because it is the kind of story that builds and builds with repetition that is a great story for a group during story time.   If your child love books like If You Give a Mouse a Cookie , which has a similar structure but id not quite as elaborate.   They will love this wonderful classic picture book.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Goldilocks and Just One Bear by Leigh Hodgkinson

Who doesn't like sequels?   Sometimes sequels are not as good as the original but sometimes they can be a pleasant surprise as in today's book:

Goldilocks and the Just One Bear written and illustrated by Leigh Hodkinson is a sequel that totally surprised me.   I have mentioned before and will probably mention again that I love fractured fairy tales.    This takes that idea to a new level.  When I saw this book in the library I was intrigued by the title and the cover art.   I knew it was going to be a "new" version of the fairy tale Goldilocks and the Three Bears.  As I was reading it I realized it wasn't just a new version but the story of what happened to Goldilocks when she grew up. I also recognized the illustrations as being similar to  the Boris books I like so much and was to discover it is the same author. I love the expression's on the bear's face--priceless.  This is a really fun story to read aloud.   I think this is the perfect story time book or bedtime book.   It is the kind of book that is just read straight through but discussed as it is read.   I like all the comparisons to the original fairy tale and the little twist at the end.   Not a surprising twist but one a child would understand.   It really is a clever book.   A must have for the classroom or child's library.   

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Flashback Tuesday: Edward and the Pirates by David McPhail

Tomorrow is the 10th Anniversary of the International Talk Like A Pirate Day! In honor of such an auspicious day I would like to recommend one of my all time favorite pirate books.

Edward and the Pirates by David McPhail has always been one of my favorite stories.  This is the story of a little boy who discovers the joy of reading.   He reads everything he can get his hands on.  One day he discovers a book about pirates which comes to life around him.   I loved this book because it fosters a child's imagination.   The pirates who "invade" his room are searching for treasure, they think that Edward's book will tell them where it is.  After a huge ruckus Edward gives them the book only to realize they can't read.   I love that part---I love when children like to become teachers.   The illustrations are wonderful....so rich and colorful.   David McPhail is not only a great writer but an incredible illustrator.   This is great book for story time and perfect to read on International Talk Like a Pirate Day!  It also makes a great gift for a child who has a great imagination.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Flashback Tuesday: Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson

I don’t often write about Young Reader Books but during a Labor Day barbecue, a friend’s daughter mentioned she still had to complete her summer reading project. My little friend is one heck of a soccer goalie and like many kids, would rather play sports than read. I teased her because she only had a few days left - but  I also began thinking about the Newbery Award winning book my little friend had just read.

Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson is a book about sibling rivalry. The narrator of the story, Sara Louise, is jealous of her twin sister, Caroline. If Sara Louise is ever to grow up and become her own person, she must must break free and let go of her resentment towards Caroline.  
I know a few siblings in a similar situation.  The older sibling has always been the favored one while the younger sibling struggled to make her way in the world. Although the parents loved each child equally, the older one was more talented, more accomplished. 
 My little friend doesn’t understand sibling rivalry.  She has a great sense of self and seems to get along with her siblings. I too never felt that way. I have always loved my siblings and have been proud of their accomplishments. I knew my parents loved us all equally.  In fact my Mother always said we were all her favorites....  
In the book  Jacob Have I Loved, Sara Louise learns to find her way without burning bridges or becoming selfish.   She breaks free of her sister's shadow and becomes a better person in the end.  
My young friend is still in the process of growing up and perhaps, the final revelations may be lost on her.   Jacob Have I Loved is the kind of children's book that isn't just for children. Young Reader books such as this one are sometimes best understood when shared with a caring adult!