Saturday, January 24, 2009

Picture Book Saturday

Another random week of picture books from my TBR shelf. I really enjoyed each of these!

I Know an Old Teacher by Anne Bowen, illustrations by Stephen Gammell is yes, yet another book based on the old classic "I Know an Old Woman," but this one is really awesome. The same elements are there:

"I know an old teacher who swallowed a spider.
It crawled down the wall and then sat down beside her.
She swallowed the spider to gobble the flea
that fell from her hair and plopped into her tea. (4)"

And on and on it goes. The illustrations are really what make this book. Miss Bindley is a completely disheveled mess with crazy, flaming orange hair and frumpy clothes and watching her actually swallow different things on each page is pretty funny. I especially enjoyed when she swallowed the snake!

As long as your children aren't afraid of women swallowing weird things, they should be fine with this great read aloud. Get your voice going faster and faster as the verses get longer and longer with each item she swallows and the giggles will be loud!

I Know an Old Teacher
Anne Bowen
Picture Book
Carolrhoda Books
September 2008

Transitioning to a more mellow, though still wonderfully enjoyable title, Willoughby and the Lion, written and illustrated by Greg Foley (who should be one of Fuse #8's Hot Men of Literature Series if he isn't already. Goodness!). The illustrations and coloring are fabulous...and just a bit brilliant...and the text is written in a kid-appealing manner, easy enough to understand the "surprise" at the end.

This is the story of Willoughby, a young boy that has just moved to a new house that feels much too small. When an enchanted lion offers to grant the boy 10 wishes, the very first wish just happens to be a huge house, quickly followed by a rollercoaster, friends to ride the rollercoaster with, and so on. The lion wants Willoughby to ask for the "most wonderful thing of all," for if he fails to do so, the lion will be forever stuck on a rock in Willoughby's backyard. As the boy wastes wish after wish on frivolous items, the lion begins to wonder if it's truly his destiny to live on a rock.

With a beautiful story and illustrations done in simple black, white, and stunning gold, (not to mention a...ahem...very attractive author, Willoughby and the Lion is going to be a great addition to this year's list of picture books.

Willoughby and the Lion
Greg Foley
Picture Book
February 2009

My sweet story of the week is David Elliott's What the Grizzly Knows, illustrated by Max Grafe. Aimed at a younger crowd than the previous two titles, this one has soft, touching pictures that accompany a text perfect for a bedtime book.

As a young boy falls asleep holding his beloved teddy bear, he begins to dream. The boy's bear turns into a real grizzly bear... and then the boy does too! Together they have the ultimate adventure; fishing for food, playing in the forest, and walking up mountains. When their adventure is over, both morph back into their original beings and continue to sleep, leaving no trace of their journey, except of course...what the grizzly knows.

What the Grizzly Knows
David Elliot
Picture Book
October 2008

To learn more or to purchase any of these titles, click on a book cover to link to Amazon.


Katie said...

Never heard of I know an old teacher! It looks awesome. I've got a bunch of I Know an Old Lady versions coming up for review in honor of Sims Taback's birthday in a couple weeks!

The Book Chook said...

I like the sound of I Know an Old Teacher, too. Heck, I am probably the model for the book! Thanks for the great review - this is one I'll search for.