Saturday, August 11, 2007

Picture Book Saturday Returns!!

I have been feeling slightly under the weather since about two weeks ago, having no energy and last Saturday my weekly Picture Book post just got pushed to the back burner. To make up for that, this week I'll give you a (almost) a double dose. 5 books reviewed! Hopefully you'll find something good!

Wolves by Emily Gravett was hilarious! This is definitely a visual book (the author also did the illustrations) and one meant to be read outloud. Please, please, please go check it out with your kids (or by yourself :-)!!!

Rabbit heads to the library to find a book to read, choosing one on wolves. He walks around reading the book, learning all about wolves and what they like to eat, oblivious that a big wolf is behind him the whole time. And that's all I can say because I'll give away the surprise ending! If your children are sensitive, Ms. Gravett has created an alternate ending for you!

Next, we have Hannah Mae O'Hannigan's Wild West Show by Lisa Campbell Ernst. I think I enjoyed this book because it was so incredibly ridiculous. A feature that always makes books fun!

Since the day she was born, Hannah has dreamed of being a cowgirl. She loves all things about the Wild West and practices roping and cattle driving every day (with hamsters of course). The only problem is, Hannah lives in the city! Her parents decide it would be alright for Hannah to go visit her Uncle Coot's ranch and try her hand at being a real-live cowgirl. When Hannah arrives, Uncle Coot doesn't believe she can do any real cowgirl things and only gives her a bunch of boring chores to complete. When a mysterious herd shows up in the fields, Hannah finds out that with her quick thinking, she just may be able to save the day.

The illustrations, also done by Lisa Campbell Ernst fit very well with the story and will have you laughing out loud. I really enjoyed this one!

Not Norman written by Kelly Bennett and illustrated by Noah Jones was delightful. I especially enjoyed the simple illustrations with bold and very bright colors.
A young boy (never named in the story) gets a fish for his birthday, who he proceeds to name Norman. He is not happy. He wanted any other pet besides a fish, but a fish is just what he ends up with. The boy tries to figure out a way to trade Norman for another, more interesting pet, even bringing him to show and tell to try and swap Norman with one of his friends pets. While the boy is trying to get rid of Norman, he starts to learn what a good pet Norman can be and even begins to like him, finally realizing that he wouldn't trade Norman for any other pet in the world.

This is a great "first fish" story. Lots of children want dogs or cats as a first pet, but get fish instead. Fish are seemingly easier and though they may seem boring, can be anything but. I really enjoyed Not Norman and hope you will as well!

Pigs Can't Fly, written and illustrated by Ben Cort, was very cute. Not fantastically cute, but almost there. The illustrations were great and the story was good, just a lot like many other books I've read in the past. Still worth reading though!

Little Pig is bored with being a pig. He thinks that pigs never get to do anything fun and sets out to transform himself into a more "fun" animal. He tries being a giraffe by walking around on stilts. Nobody buys it. He tries being a zebra by painting on stripes, but nobody buys that either (and Elephant just sprays him with water, washing it all away). After trying several other animals and learning in the process that he definitely cannot fly, Little Pig decides that being a pig isn't so boring after all.

I'm sure we can all think of a few books that are similar to this one's plot line, but it was still enjoyable. Little Pig was very innocent and sweet and I liked him as a main character. Fun!

Finally, The Terrible Underpants, written and illustrated by Kaz Cook, was AMAZING!!! I laughed SO hard when I read this, not believing someone actually wrote a book about bad underwear. You have to run to the library and check it out, you can't miss this one!

Wanda-Linda (and her sidekick, a wombat) have quite the problem. Wanda-Linda is out of clean underwear! Her mother forces her to wear an old, baggy, ugly pair that Wanda-Linda is mortified to even own, saying that no one will even know Wanda-Linda has them on. Well the young girl knows better! She puts on the old, baggy, ugly pair and soon has managed to show them to the whole world...completely on accident.

I thought this book was hilarious and throughly enjoyed it. I have, however, read other reviews that weren't so stellar. I had fun though and you should use your own judgement as to whether or not you want to check it out...though my own recommendation is to go for it!


Susan said...

My kids love Not Norman. It's hilarious, and a great book to get if your kids are asking for a "real" pet, not "just" a goldfish :)

Jenny said...

We read The Terrible Underpants and my girls LOVED it! My 4 year old had us read this to her over and over. We even brought it on vacation and had her grandparents read it to her. They were a bit shocked :)