Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Red A Crayon's Story review


Red has a bright red label, but he is, in fact, blue. His teacher tries to help him be red (let's draw strawberries!), his mother tries to help him be red by sending him out on a playdate with a yellow classmate (go draw a nice orange!), and the scissors try to help him be red by snipping his label so that he has room to breathe. But Red is miserable. He just can't be red, no matter how hard he tries!(goodreads summary)

Although Red crayon's label says red, he is definitely not. No matter how hard he tries, even with the help of family and friends, he is the color blue. Then one day, he meets a new friend who asks if he would color the ocean for his boat he is making. After that moment things change for Red as he finally learns he can reach his full potential by just being himself.  This book reminds me of the saying "you can't fit a square peg in a round hole".  It offers a wonderful message about seeing past the label and finding your true self....no matter how hard others want you to be something you are not. Even though Red had the help of his teacher, family and friends, he just could not be forced into something he wasn't. He definitely wanted to please everyone by trying hard but it ends with a very good lesson about acceptance. The story is well written and definitely thought provoking.  Great illustrations with bold colors, simple text and a happy ending for Red who learns his true self is amazing! I think this is a "just right book" for ages 4-7.~

Title: Red A Crayon's Story
Author: Michael Hall
Pub. Date: February 2015,  Greenwillow Books
Genre: picture book
Hardcover, 40 pgs.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Click Clack Peep review


There's more trouble on the farm, but Duck has nothing to do with it, for once. This time the trouble is a four-ounce puff of fluff who just won't go to sleep, and whose play-with-me "peeps" are keeping the whole barnyard awake with him. How do you get a baby duck to hit the hay? Poor Farmer Brown will find out - and Duck might just find himself in trouble after all...(goodreads summary)  

Since the arrival of a new baby duck, Farmer Brown's barnyard animals are having trouble falling asleep. Baby duck does not want to go to sleep himself and keeps everyone awake with his constant peeping.  As the chickens try singing a lullaby and the sheep knit blankets, baby duck will not keep quiet! So finally, Duck comes up with a plan that just might save the sleepless night.  Here is another cute and funny book in the Click Clack series that I think we can all relate to;  how to get a little one to sleep!  When all else fails, Duck takes charge once again for a humorous outcome leaving Farmer Brown scratching his head.  The story is short but the expressions and the things the animals come up with are always good for a giggle. These books have always been a favorite for my family and this one will be added to the list. I think this is a "just right book" for ages 3-5.~

Title: Click, Clack, Peep!
Author: Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Betsy Lewin
Pub. Date:  February 2015, Atheneum Books
Genre: picture book
Hardcover, 40 pgs.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Such a Little Mouse review

Every season of the year, "such a little mouse" pops out of his hole and goes out to explore the wider world. (goodreads summary)

This cute little mouse is curious and hard working!  Each morning he pops his head out of his hole and goes exploring. He stops to investigate many things while out and about. When his day is done, he always brings home something special for his store room.  One morning when he sees snow, he goes back down to his warm and snuggly house all ready for the winter. The illustrations are not only sweet and delightful but the bright bold colors depict the change of seasons nicely as we follow along during his busy year. His effort pays off when he gets to enjoy his cozy home he has prepared for the winter.  Kids will want to point out what he has taken back at the end of the day to add to his store room.  This cheerful spring to winter story is simple and would make a wonderful read-a-loud. I think this is a "just right book" for ages 3-6.~

Title: Such a Little Mouse
Author:  Alice Schertle, illustrated by Stephanie Yue
Pub. Date:  March 2015, Orchard Books
Genre: picture book
Hardcover, 32 pgs.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Finding Spring review


A baby bear cub named Maurice is curious about spring--and he's upset when Mama tells him that before he can experience his first spring, he has to hibernate through his first winter! Mischievous Maurice decides to leave their warm den and go find spring for himself. He asks all his friends for help . . . and finally finds something beautiful and full of magic and light. Spring!(goodreads summary)

Little Maurice is so impatient waiting for his first Spring that he does not want to hibernate as Mama Bear suggests. So while she is taking a winter nap, he sets out on his own to look for it. Along the way, he runs into his friends who seem to be too busy to think about Spring. He eventually finds what he thinks is Spring and wrapping it up, takes it back to his den . After he awakens, he is excited to show everyone that he finally found Spring but when he opens his scarf it is gone!  When he returns to the spot where he found it, there is a beautiful surprise waiting for him that is even better. 

This was a nice story about waiting and having patience. The illustrations were made from hand-cut paper and are definitely intricate with plenty of detail.  Looking at all the different pieces of paper added a fun element to the story. It was quite creative turning the forest and its creatures into original cut-out artwork making it visually appealing. The story was a little predictable but with the illustrations they make it worthy of a quick read-a-loud. It would be fun for kids to write their own Springtime storybook and make paper collage illustrations to go along with it. I think this is a "just right book" for ages 3-7.~ 

Title:  Finding Spring
Author:  Carin Berger
Pub. date:  January 2015, Greenwillow Books
Genre:  picture book
Hardcover, 40 pgs. 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

What Forest Knows review

The forest sees every season, from the first snowflake to the blossoming flower buds. The forest sees the ever-moving life in nature and the beauty it emanates. With lyrical language and rich and textured illustrations, What Forest Knows takes you on a hike through the trees, beyond the meadows, between the deer and foxes, and into the heart of the outdoors.(goodreads)

When you think of a forest would you ever see it from Its' point-of- view?  This gentle, poetic book will do just that as it takes you on a journey with its' beautiful text and illustrations. It guides you through the changes of the season while a boy and his dog explore the forest beginning with winter. Forest soon turns into spring, then summer and fall while knowing every new beginning and ending that follows.  As the buds begin, animals awake and food becomes plentiful, the forest knows many wondrous things letting us know the magic it holds.  The illustrations were soft and gentle reminding me of a nature walk in one of my favorite places taking in all that it has to offer. Spotting the dog on every page as the story flows will be a favorite for the little ones.  This book could also work well with a nature themed unit just as the seasons are about ready for a change. What about adventuring out for a nature hike afterwards!  I think this is a "just right book" for ages 3-7.~

Title:  What Forest Knows
Author: George Ella Lyon, illustrated by August Hall
Pub. Date:  November 2014, Anthem Books for Young Readers
Genre: picture books
Hardcover, 40 pgs.