Saturday, January 3, 2009

Picture Book Saturday...A Cow, A Bird, and an Animal Party!

My first book this week is the 2nd book in the "Millie" series by Alexander Steffensmeir, Millie in the Snow. It's winter, had to do a snow book even though we don't have any here in New Mexico! Bright and colorful illustrations, done by the author are a perfect accompaniment to this silly cow that simply can't find her way home!

In Millie Waits for the Mail, Millie the cow becomes a mail cow and in this follow-up, her mail cow duties take her out on Christmas Eve, the busiest mail day of the year. After a long day, the postman bids Millie goodbye, leaving her to find her way home with a trunk full of presents for her fellow farm animals that the postman spent days making. Millie manages to lose her way in the snow, making it hard for readers to imagine she'll ever make it back to the barn, with the presents in one piece.

Millie is an incredibly comical cow and one that will have kids in fits of giggles during a storytime read aloud or even just as a one on one read. The drawings are perfect for the story and the text is nice and bold on the page, definitely a plus for me. A great purchase for those that already own Millie Waits for the Mail, or those that are meeting Millie for the first time.

Next, How to Heal a Broken Wing, written and illustrated by Bob Graham, is one of the Cybils finalists for Fiction Picture Books. I've had it sitting on my TBR shelf for awhile, waiting to be read and when I saw the finalist status, I made sure to pick it up right away. I believe whole heartedly that the book deserved being placed in the top 7, as it's beautifully written and wonderfully illustrated.

When Will is walking the city streets with his mother, he finds an injured bird that no one else has noticed and takes the bird home to try to heal it. As each carefully crafted page indicates, with time, patience, and some rest, sometimes broken wings can heal and birds can fly again.

The illustrations are fabulous for this type of book, as the text is sparse and the pictures tell most of the story. The plot is sweet and sentimental without being overly focused on the sadness of an injured animal, but rather the hope instilled in a young boy that brings a positive ending.

Though I wouldn't recommend this one as a read aloud for groups, only because the text is so sparse and examining the pictures closely will help the reader to not miss any of the story, it's definitely recommended for families to share together and for one on one reads. A great inspirational story.

Finally, for the last animal choice for the week, Room for One More by Mathew Price and Ian P. Benfold Haywood. Kids are going to love this one, I can almost guarantee it! A memory game is built into the pages through a lift-the-flap system that will help to teach as well as entertain.

When a family takes an outing all over town, they find a stray "something" at each place, whether it be a frog at the story, a kitten alone at the park, or a free puppy at a cottage, each one goes home with the family in a different sort of container. The different containers (basket, jar, bird cage, etc.) each have a lift-the-flap, so the reader can ask children if they remember what is in each one.

The story is cute and the flaps make it an educational one. The illustrations are bit dull for my personal taste, but the flaps and the story are the main focus in this one. Good for a small group read aloud.

If you're interested in learning more about any of these titles, or to purchase, click on the book covers to link to Amazon.


Carrie said...

Amanda - the alphabet books arrived yesterday - and they are absolutely gorgeous! Thank you so much; the kids and I are going to have a lot of fun with them.

Clair said...

I can't wait to see the Millie in the Snow book. I just LOVE Millie waits for the mail.

Nina said...

I just saw your comment over on Young Readers. I will be back to read your Picture Book Saturday Posts. I don't review or recommend a book unless we really enjoyed it.