Saturday, June 30, 2007

Picture Book Saturday!

I read some great picture books this week and can't wait to share them all with you guys! Hopefully you'll find some that you and the kids can both enjoy! Here we go...

The Kamishibai Man by Allen Say was one of the most sentimental books I've read in awhile. You really can't expect anything less when it's written by Allen Say. This story chronicles a old man living in Japan that used to be the local "kamishibai man," the storyteller of the town that would ride his bicycle into the city and tell children stories while handing out treats. Many years have passed since this man has ridden his bike into the town, or told any stories for that matter, but his wife encourages him to give it another try.

He returns to a city he no longer knows, technology and traffic having taken over, but still, the kamishibai man sets up his stand and waits for the children to arrive. Though the years have passed and times have changed, the art of storytelling has always remained magical and the kamishibai man is once again in business.

This story will bring tears to your eyes as you witness the sentimentality Say presents. The illustrations, also done by Say, are perfect for the story and never take away from the words written on the page. After reading it, I found myself wishing that we had the tradition of street storytellers in America. How great would that be?

We move on to a hilarious book that had me rolling in my seat! Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road" is written and illustrated by some of today's top writers and illustrators, including Mo Willems, David Shannon, Tedd Arnold, and Jerry Pinkney. That alone should make you want to read this book!

The basic premise of the book is the answering of the age-old riddle "why did the chicken cross the road?" Each author/illustrator takes a page to answer the question, including an illustration of their answer. Some of the answers such as Lynn Munsinger's "because the light said 'walk'" just make you laugh out loud. Kids will love this book and parents who are up on their knowledge of popular authors and illustrators will love deciphering who drew what. It's lots of fun!

Moving on...


Next up is I'm Pangoo the Penguin, by Satomi Ichikawa. This is a fairly simple book, great for a bedtime story or to help teach young ones to read. And if you know me, you know I love penguins, so of course, I smiled a lot while reading!

Pangoo is a stuffed penguin living with his owner, Danny. Danny loves Pangoo and takes him everywhere until Danny has a birthday party and receives new stuffed animals as gifts. Danny seems to forget about Pangoo, so the stuffed penguin decides he will go where he can find others like himself, namely the zoo, to the penguin exhibit. Once Pangoo finds out he is not like the other "real" penguins, he begins to feel as if he has no place to belong. The ending, like most children's books is quite happy and children will feel content after reading the story about true families.

To conclude this week's Picture Book Saturday, I have a specific series of books to share with you. They are the alphabet books "filled with fun facts" by Sleeping Bear Press. These books have really impressed me and I'm pushing them on as many patrons as I can. Each book focuses on a particular subject, giving an example of a word for that subject beginning with each letter of the alphabet. For example, a few of the books include : "A is for America, an American Alphabet. B is for Bookwork, a Library Alphabet. P is for Passport, a World Alphabet. W is for Wind, a Weather Alphabet." There is one (or more) for each letter of the alphabet. Each page also includes facts about the specific word being presented. In R is for Rhyme, a Poetry Alphabet, one of the letters/words presented is "S" is for sonnet. It gives an example of a sonnet in a fun, rhythmic way, but on the side of the page goes into detail as to what a sonnet is, where they originated, etc. These books really are great. All of them are filled with lively illustrations and tons of educational information.
Hope you enjoyed!!

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