Thursday, August 4, 2011

Picture Book Parade

I try each week to grab a handful of picture books for some brief blurbs on the blog. Here are this week's winners.

EDWIN SPEAKS UP by April Stevens with art by Sophie Blackall (Schwartz & Wade 2011) features a little critter whose baby talk is not understood by his family. Edwin does more than gurgle and goo, however, and careful readers will notice that he is alerting family to potential problems such as Mom leaving her purse on the roof of the car. <358>

ENERGY ISLAND by Allan Drummond (FSG 2011) is the nonfiction story of how one island in Denmark decided to become more green. Not only did windmills play a role in this energy independence, each citizen was encouraged to come up with ways to become more energy independent. Sidebars provide more details, but the text is chock full of ideas as well. <359>

FARMYARD BEAT by Lindsey Craig (Knopf 2011) with illustrations by Marc Brown tells of chickens and cows and cats and dogs and other farm animals who feel the beat and must sing it out. Of course, they wake Sue who, despite her fatigue, joins in the fun. Add this one to a ladder with CLICK CLACK MOO COWS THAT TYPE. <360>

LOUISE THE BIG CHEESE AND THE BACK TO SCHOOL SMARTY PANTS (Simon & Schuster 2011) by Elise Primavera with illustrations by Diane Goode is a fabulous new entry in this series. Louise is determined to make straight As in school this year, and is certain that with Ms. Pearl as her teacher, this goal is attainable. Sadly, she learns Ms. Pearl does not give As. How is Louise going to achieve her goal? Kids will grin in (sometimes rueful) recognition. <361>

MELVIN AND THE BOY by Lauren Castillo (Holt 2011)is a quiet book from the text to the illustrations. A boy desperately wants a pet and finally settles on a turtle he finds in a nearby pond. He names him Melvin. The boy realizes, though, that Melvin is not happy at his new house. He must make a tough decision about Melvin's future. Read this before booktalking THE SECRET LIFE OF OWEN JESTER, a novel by Barbara O'Connor. <362>

SEE ME RUN by Paul Meisel (Holiday House 2011) is another in the "I Like to Read" series for early readers. While it may appear to be rather basal-like in text, the vibrant illustrations and nice plot twists make this way better than those drab basal readers. Follow the antics of a group of dogs as they dig, play in mud, bathe, and RUN! <363>

THIS IS THE GAME by Diane Short and Jessica Alexander with illustrations by Owen Smith (Harper 2011) is a patterned rhyme about baseball. Historic figures, outdoor ballparks, alley and street pick up games: all are here in this tribute to America's game. <364>

And finally, we come to WE LOVE OUR SCHOOL by Judy Sierra with illustrations by Linda Davick. This story is a rebus, one that kids will love reading aloud. Lots of rollicking rhythm and rhyme makes to easier to solve the rebus puzzle as well. <365>

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