Saturday, April 26, 2008

Picture Book Saturday!!

It's Picture Book Saturday! Here are three reviews of books I've read and written about this past week. Enjoy!

The Way to Slumbertown
This is actually the book that I read to my son every night before bed. Though he may still be growing in my belly, I know he can hear my voice and I'm hoping he loves the book once he is born, as much as I do now. The Way to Slumbertown was originally published by L.M. Montgomery, as a poem, in 1916 and has now been made into a beautiful lullaby book, complete with soothing and calm illustrations by Rachel Bedard.

The rhymes are simple, yet contain words and phrasing that just make the reader sleepy! My favorite line is "But after all, the surest and the safest passage there; is by the way of mother's arms and mother's rocking chair" referring to the best manner in which to reach slumbertown. I loved all the subtle rhyming and the beautiful illustrations, done in soft blues, greens, and whites, definitely make this an exceptional bedtime book.

The Unicorn Races
If you're in need of a girly book, Unicorn Races by Stephen Brooks is an excellent choice. Combining princesses, unicorns, tiaras, and sparkles, this book packs a ton of girly into a little picture book. Beautiful illustrations, done by award winning artist Linda Crockett, helps tell the story of Abigail, a young girl who, at bedtime, travels to a magical world where she is royalty and overseas the nightly unicorn races. There are elves, a wonderful feast, a beautiful gown, and of course, a royal throne.

Though I felt the illustrations almost carried the text at times, the story is still bound to please that little girl in your life that dreams of being a princess. I also enjoyed the fact that the cover of the book was almost raised a bit, resulting in a puffy feeling. That and the holographic title certainly made this princess want to read the book!

The Adventures of Isabel
Finally, my last book for this Saturday is one that had me laughing out loud, but is definitely for children a bit older than the previous two selections. The Adventures of Isabel, written by Ogden Nash, is the hilarious account of a young girl that comes up against four things that would normally scare little girls, but she is courageous, incredibly brave, and stands up for herself in very unique ways.

Written in poem form (and read by the author on a CD that accompanies the book), Isabel encounters a scary bear, who she proceeds to eat, an old witch, who she eventually drinks, and a giant, whose head Isabel just happens to cut off. All is done in a lighthearted and humorous manner, not intended to frighten smaller children, and is actually quite clever. Though eating bears is not exactly the manner in which I would teach my child to handle his fears, the book does illustrate how being courageous is important and rewarding.

The illustrations in the book, done by Bridget Starr Taylor, are fantastic, bold, and often very funny, while the reading of the poem, done by the author, is great as well. Overall, this is an excellent book for both boys and girls, and one I think parents will enjoy as well, whether reading it out loud, or listening to the CD.


Alison Boon said...

Thank you for those reviews. I hadn't heard of the L Montgomery one.

April said...

The Way to Slumbertown looks and sounds so beautiful! The Unicorn Races also looks like a great read. I have a 6 year old who loves anything to do with horses or unicorns. I am going to see if I can get a hold of both of these books!