Saturday, October 31, 2009

Picture Book Saturday

Happy Halloween to all of you out there! Hope you're enjoying some nice weather and are anticipating trick or treating with the little ones later. We don't have any kiddos in our house, so we're just handing out loads of candy, if the rain holds off.

I did my Halloween post last weekend, hoping to get the books into your hands before the big day, so for today's Picture Book Saturday, we're just focusing on a couple of books I enjoyed this week. And only two because I had an absolutely exhausting week and am spending my time decompressing rather than blogging. :)

Really, who doesn't like Jane Yolen's picture books? She's one of my favorites and one of her newest, The Scarecrow's Dance, tells a magical story of how a simple wind can turn a hay-stuffed scarecrow into a fantastical dance.

The wind starts to blow and up goes the scarecrow! He dances down the rows, through the cow pastures, past the barn, and was given a rare glimpse into the farmer's house, where he listened to a boy pray. Such a sweet, simple, rhyming story, but one with such a satisfying ending.

Illustrator Bagram Ibatoulline does such a magnificent job at creating the night scenes. He definitely enhances the magic Yolen creates with her story, given the scarecrow a true character. Just as a side note, he's also the illustrator of one of my favorites by Kate DiCamillo, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. Love that one!

Great for a bedtime story (definitely appropriate for a Halloween read) or in anticipation of some autumn-themed storytime crafts.

The Scarecrow's Dance
Jane Yolen
32 pages
Picture Book
Simon & Schuster
August 2009
Review copy received from Raab Associates

If you need a story in which the main theme is about being one's self, Wanda's Freckles by Barbara Azore is a great choice. Book three is a series about Wanda by the author and illustrator Georgia Graham, this one shines with a self-esteem boost.

Our main character has lots and lots of freckles on her face (which her little cousin cutely refers to as "sparkles") and loves them. When other kids at the park start making fun of Wanda's "spots," she starts to think that maybe having freckles isn't so cool after all, attempting to get rid of them with various silly methods.

Kids can definitely be cruel sometimes, as I'm sure we've all experienced, and Wanda is a great role model for those kids. She ends up remembering why she loves her freckles...they make her who she is!

A great read aloud for all kids, reminding them not to make fun of people just because they may be different in some way. Great, eye-catching illustrations too.

Wanda's Freckles
Barbara Azore
24 pages
Picture Book
Tundra Books
August 2009
Review copy received from publisher

To learn more about either of these books, or to purchase, click on the book covers above to link to Amazon. I am an Amazon Associate and will receive a small commission for your purchase.

1 comment:

Katie said...

I just read A Scarecrow's Dance for Cybils reviews... and I love it enough that I've swapped it out with another scarecrow book to use with my reading group next week!