Saturday, March 13, 2010

Picture Book Saturday

I hope you're enjoying your weekend as much as I am. Boy, has it been a busy one! My husband is leaving for a week in Haiti, bright and early in the morning (like 330am early), so we've been running around getting last minute items he needs and attempting to find a pair of durable sandals which is proving impossible. Anyways, I still wanted to share some of the picture books I enjoyed during this week! Hopefully you'll find something you like.

Willows Whispers by Lana Button and illustrator Tania Howells

Ok, so the story in this one is not exactly unique. I've seen tons of books that focus on a child that is shy and learns to speak up or stand up for themselves, which is exactly the premise of this one, however, I really liked the solution to the problem Willow faces. It was done well and somewhat differently from other stories I've seen around.

Willow speaks quietly and no one can ever hear her, because she just won't speak up. She creates a magic microphone that helps her to come out of her shell, which is probably the most simplistic and obvious way to master this particular hurtle. She made the microphone herself (so she knows it must work) and has no problem speaking up when she's using it. And when the time comes that it doesn't work anymore, Willow has realized that she doesn't need the microphone.

Again, not the most original, but definitely done well. I wasn't a huge fan of the illustrations, they were just ok for me. Definitely bold in color, but the simple pencil drawings were a bit boring.

Overall rating: 3 out of 5

Willows Whispers
Lana Button
32 pages
Picture Book
Kids Can Press
February 2010
Review copy received from publisher

Over at the Castle by Boni Ashburn and illustrator Kelly Murphy

This was definitely one of the more fun books I've read in a long time. A cute counting story with an addictive rhyming'll probably be saying it in your sleep, just a warning.

We get to learn about different jobs throughout a castle, while counting different items throughout the story. And we have an intriguing Mama and Baby dragon that keep popping up throughout, leaving us to wonder just what they're up to! Set to the folksy "Over in the Meadow" rhythm, verses like:

"Over at the castle, in the dungeon, still alive,
Scheme the old wily prisoner and his pet rats five.
'Plan!' says the prisoner. 'We plan!' say the five.
So they plan their great escape, in the dungeon, still alive."

will be stuck in your head for awhile!
Perfect for a story time with interesting illustrations and a fun concept! I really liked this one!
Overall rating: 4 out of 5

Over at the Castle
Boni Ashburn
32 pages
Picture Book
March 2010
Review copy received from publisher

Animal Crackers Fly the Coop by Kevin O'Malley

Kevin O'Malley is hysterical, let's just get that out of the way now. You can't NOT laugh at his books. And this one had me chuckling all the way through, both at the concept, the plot, and the illustrations.
Aimed at children a bit past normal "picture book age" we get to meet a chicken, a cat, a dog, and a cow, all setting out to be comedians. Each has been forced to leave their homes because farm animals are supposed to do animal things...not make jokes. They have quite the interesting, adventure filled journey, that you will seriously laugh all the way through.
I don't think kids under 6/7 will "get" the book. But those on the older side will get a kick out of it for sure. And the illustrations are fantastic! This one won't be out until April, so keep it on your radar!

Overall rating: 3 out of 5

Animal Crackers Fly the Coop
Kevin O'Malley
40 pages
Picture Book
Walker Books
April 2010
Review copy received from publisher

To learn more or to purchase, click on the book cover above to link to Amazon. I am an Associate and will receive a small percentage of the purchase price. Thanks!


The Book Maven said...

Thank you for these recommendations! I have added them to my list!

Amanda said...

So glad you found some things you liked!

K said...

great,thanks for sharing!