Saturday, March 6, 2010

Picture Book Saturday

Happy Saturday everyone! I know I'm glad it's the weekend and I'm sure you all are too. Four fun selections for you this week...well...three fun and one kind of serious, but still worth your time. Enjoy!

Mathilda and the Orange Balloon by Randall de Seve and illustrator Jen Corace

Mathilda is a sheep, surrounded by other sheep. Boring, gray, and dull. Until she spots an orange balloon flying by and she decides that SHE is an orange balloon. Of course, the other sheep just laugh at her, but Mathilda realizes that she can be absolutely anything she wants to be, as long as she can imagine it.

Oh, Mathilda, you're so inspiring! This cute read aloud is definitely a unique spin on the classic "you can do it all" theme. It will be funny for your kids to imagine this small, gray sheep as a big, orange balloon, but then the message kicks in, opening up a nice discussion for your family. Kids can be anything they want to be!

Ooh and Jen Corace, the illustrator, also illustrated all of Amy Krause Rosenthal's "Little" books. How fun is that?!

Overall rating: 4 out of 5

Mathilda and the Orange Balloon
Randall de Seve
32 pages
Picture Book
Balzer + Bray
February 2010
Review copy received from publisher

Captain Small Pig by Martin Waddell and illustrator Susan Varley

The simple yet sweet story of a pig that just wants an adventure. And an adventure he gets when he convinces Turkey and Goat to go out for a row in a boat. That is, until Pig falls asleep. Uh-oh...

A charming little story that is a nice choice for bedtime. The illustrators are adorable and the insistence of this cute little pig is completely inspiring. I really enjoyed this one! Great for a family read aloud before bed.

Overall rating: 4 out of 5

Captain Small Pig
Martin Waddell
32 pages
Picture book
Peachtree Publishers
March 2010
Review copy received from publisher

Cupcake by Charise Mericle Harper

This was my laugh-out-loud pick of the week. And in a time where cupcakes seem to be all the rage, this just fits right in.

So, Vanilla Cupcake is feeling incredibly plain compared to all of his fancy siblings. There's Polka-Dot Cupcake and Pink Princess Cupcake and Chocolaty Chocolate Cupcake...and then, plain Vanilla. He begins to describe his sadness to Candle, who attempts to make suggestions to spice up Vanilla a bit, each more humorous than the last.

Harper's illustrations go perfectly with the hilariousness of the story. This would make a fantastic read aloud to your story time!

Overall rating: 5 out of 5

Charise Mericle Harper
32 pages
Picture Book
January 2010
Review copy received from publisher

Bag in the Wind by Ted Kooser and illustrator Barry Root

This is really the story of a plastic bag. Yep! A plastic bag that travels all over, being used and then not used, passing by environmentally responsible people and those not-so-responsible. And when the plastic bags story comes full circle, readers will hopefully understand the importance of recycling plastic bags.

So yes, this is a "message" book. Recycle your plastic bags, but more importantly, don't use them at all. The reason I liked it so much is that it intertwines the bag's story with that of one young girl, determined to do right by her planet, without even realizing it.
The book is quite long for young readers, lots of text, so I would recommend it to your older kiddos. A great message that's beautifully written. Nice for Earth Day next month!

Overall rating: 3 out of 5 (It would have been a 4 if it wasn't so long)

Bag in the Wind
Ted Kooser
48 pages
Picture Book
February 2010
Review copy received from publisher

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