On the blog:
My favorite book of the week was Sandra Merkle’s nonfiction picture book, The Great Leopard Rescue: Saving the Amur Leopards. The photos are absolutely gorgeous, and there is so much interesting information. I told my husband he had to read it, then proceeded to talk his ear off for twenty minutes with every single thing I’d learned.
When I saw Mr. Putter & Tabby Hit the Slope on the shelf at the library this weekend, I thought it was a Mr. Putter & Tabby title I’d somehow overlooked before. Nothing about it seemed familiar. Until I showed it to my son and he proceeded to tell me every single thing that happened in the book. Yep, we’d read it before. But he was a good sport and asked me if I’d read it to him again. You betcha! I wouldn’t say this is one of the stronger Mr Putter & Tabby titles (which is probably why I’d entirely forgotten it), but even a so-so Mr Putter & Tabby is better than so many other books!
I’m still thinking about James Sturm’s Birdsong: A Story in Pictures. There’s quite a bit of back story here in a detailed Author’s Note at the end of the book, and it was interesting to learn about Sturm’s inspiration in kamishibai, Japanese paper theater. But also unnecessary for appreciating Birdsong. The cover makes it look sweet and inviting, but this is a disturbing story of two cruel children and their unusual punishment. It would no doubt inspire rich conversation.
What I did discover this week is two Amy Krouse Rosenthal books I’d never read before! What a treat! Friendshape is a charming story about friendship, all the good things friends do with and for each other as well as the occasional challenges. Tom Lichtenfeld once again takes some very uninspiring objects to illustrate and creates appealing pictures that work to tell much of the story.
I really loved Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons. Jane Dyer’s animals are incredible, and the writing is so heartfelt and clever (plus, all about cookies! Yum!). But I had one HUGE problem with this book: MUCH OF IT IS PRINTED IN CURSIVE. Why, publishers, why? #1: many kids aren’t even learning cursive in school any more. And #2: how are kids with dyslexia ever supposed to read this? Now that my son is reading independently, I am hyper-aware of all the ways that something as simple as font can effectively mark a book as off-limits for so many readers.
Since I was in the Rosenthal section of the library, I couldn’t resist a quick reread of Plant a Kiss. That pairing of Rosenthal and Reynolds seems like such a natural fit of author and illustrator.
I love the Toon Graphic Novels for young readers. Tippy and the Night Parade is really lovely. Tippy wakes up to the world’s messiest room (filled with flora and fauna) and imagines how the room got this way when all she remembers is falling asleep. She takes the reader on a nighttime adventure through all kinds of landscapes, collecting animals and plants as she goes.
I’m collecting some Kevin Henkes titles to loan my students, and I had to reread this one before bringing it in. Wendell is the worst houseguest ever! I am so relieved when Sophie finally turns the hose on him, but I totally don’t buy her desire to have him over again.
A kid-pleasing title from Jory John and Bob Shea. Floyd is tired of being called a monster when he’s really a perfectly nice guy and has a perfectly good reason for doing all those monstery things.