Sunday, August 9, 2009

Picture Book...Sunday?

Wow, this week totally got away from me. Between applying for just about every full time job available, having two sick dogs, only one car, and attempting to get the yard in somewhat of an attractive state, reading and blogging were definitely put on the back burner. I'm sure I'm not the only one in this boat! I had thought about just skipping my regular Picture Book "Saturday" post this week, but I had some great choices planned and as you'll see, they're all good choices for this time of year. Maybe I'm just hoping that fall is coming around the corner faster than it may seem in early August :) And school is about to start...and I'm sure you parents like that part of fall! These are some nice choices for first timers to school or just in anticipation of the fall reading season.

Count Down to Fall, written by Fran Hawk and illustrated by Sherry Neidigh, is a great introduction to all the great things about fall, from the very end of summer to the very beginning of winter.

Counting backwards from ten to one, readers will get to watch and learn as animals, trees, and all of nature readies itself for the cold weather. Chipmunks are storing food, leaves and pine needles are falling, and two children are witness to it all. The rhymes are great, allowing the numbers to stand out and be learned, and the illustrations are done in the beautiful colors of fall.

There are also fabulous activities included after the story is over, which will truly bring the story to a real-life perspective. Count Down to Fall is a great choice for libraries, classrooms, homeschoolers, or just as a gift!

Count Down to Fall
Fran Hawk
32 pages
Picture Book
Sylvan Dell Publishing
June 2009

Marley Goes to School, another extension of the beloved Marley series that all began with Marley and Me, is written by the original memoir author, John Grogan, and is illustrated by Richard Cowdry. Featuring the adorable, yet trouble-making Lab on a mission to find his best friend at school on her first day, all sorts of crazy antics take place from eating hot dogs in the cafeteria to setting mice loose and completely disrupting the library, this new favorite character is filled with energy and guaranteed to make kids giggle.

I do feel that the Marley picture books are a bit over the top at times, which is certainly not a bad thing for kids, the more over the top the better with them! More over-the-top in the "too much of a good thing" sense. I read Marley and Me, loved it, and now feel the author is just taking every single avenue he can to continue to bank on his crazy dog. That being said, my opinion on why the picture books are being written is certainly not going to take away from kids loving the stories and laughing out loud at Marley!

A great one to read aloud to your kids just before school is starting. It might help to take away some of those jitters, with them watching Marley get into all sorts of crazy trouble.

Marley Goes to School
John Grogan
40 pages
Picture Book
July 2009

An Anaconda Ate My Homework!, written by Alice Schertle and illustrated by Aaron Renier, is another way to "make fun" of school and homework, hopefully easing some of those first day jitters little ones often have. The ultimate "what if a....ate my homework?" story.

Digby is pretty upset when a Gigantic Repulsive Raptor came down from the sky and stole his homework. Well, really, the Raptor stole Digby...and that's the just the beginning of his trouble. Finding himself in a Raptor's nest, then being dropped into a crocodile and anaconda infested river, played with by a gorilla, and then sitting on a rogue elephant's head (eventually to be discovered by the news crew that happened to be scouting the jungle for breaking news), Digby has a quite a journey on his way home from school!

Completely ridiculous and utterly silly, imaginations run high in this picture book! You parents will be shaking your heads, but kids will be loving Digby's story of homework.

An Anaconda Ate My Homework!
Alice Schertle
40 pages
Picture Book
July 2009

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


MoziEsmé said...

I've seen some great reviews on these - I bet my daughter would lvoe them...

Kelly H-Y said...

Fabulous recommendations ... Sylvan Dell is one of my favorite publishers!

Amanda said...

Oh how I love Sylvan Dell! Fun AND educational!

Tif said...

I just received a copy of Count Down to Fall last week! I love Sylvan Dell's books!! Oh, and did you want in on a little secret? I will be having a giveaway of four Sylvan Dell books starting in the next couple of days! And, Count Down to Fall is one of them!!!