Saturday, July 14, 2007

Picture Book Saturday

It's been a slow week in children's picture book land, but I do have 3 reviews for you. 2 new books and 1 that has been a favorite of mine for the past few years.

Brothers, by Yin, was a very moving read. It tells the story of Ming, a young boy that arrives in San Francisco from China ready to work in his brother's store in Chinatown. Ming soon learns that the store is not doing well and vows to help his brother start to prosper before they are forced to close up shop. Ming soon meets an young Irish boy that begins teaching him English. The two boys, though very different in culture, form a friendship and together devise a way in which Ming can help his brother get customers into his shop.

This book is a great lesson on immigration experiences as well as friendships even across barriers. The illustrations, by Chris Soenpiet are very tastefully done and contribute well to a somewhat sad story, beginning quite dark, but lightening up as the story progresses.

Next, is another story about friendship across barriers. Another very sentimental story, Across the Alley, by Richard Michelson and illustrated by E.B. Lewis showcases a bond created by another set of boys, this time one being Jewish, the other being black.

Jewish Abe's grandfather has great dreams of Abe becoming a famous violinist, having him practice in his room many hours a day. Across the street, African-American Willie's father has dreams of Willie becoming a top-notch baseball pitcher. The boys meet in their windows, across the alley from each other and begin teaching each other their respective "hobbies." They are worried that their friendship will not be accepted outside of their windows, but are surprised at the result, just as their grandfather and father are surprised at what happens when the boys switch hobbies.

This was a very sweet story that put a big smile on my face. It was a lesson in tolerance, not only in regards to race, but also in different talents.

David Kirk, of Miss Spider book fame, has been a favorite author of mine for awhile, surprising due to my pure hatred of all things arachnid. His books however are sweet, flow nicely, and have absolutely beautiful illustrations. Little Bird, Biddle Bird is no exception. This book is very small in size, with only a few words on each page, but with those fantastic illustrations I love so much.

When Mommy is too busy to get him food, the little bird must figure out what to eat on his own, and how to get it into the nest! Trying to decide what is yummy, while staying away from yucky options is difficult, but in the end, the little bird finds the best food for him, making the Mommy bird very proud.

Short, sweet, and to the point this book is. All with Kirk's famous pictures to accompany the cute, rhyming words. This is great for the younger crowd!

1 comment:

Becky said...

Amanda, just wanted to make sure you were aware of the Picture Book Blog Carnival. You should definitely submit one of your 'picture book saturday' posts for this. The carnival is just getting started--this upcoming one will be the first--but the more the merrier. I think it will be awesome. :)