Saturday, July 3, 2010

Picture Book Saturday

Happy Saturday! It's time for another round of picture books! These are ones I've enjoyed this past week and hopefully you'll find at least one that you and your family can enjoy together.

"I'm Not Sleepy!" by Jonathan Allen

If you haven't picked up a Jonathan Allen book for your children yet, you (and they) are definitely missing out. His latest is another addition to the adorable and wildly successful series featuring Baby Owl...and this time, the owl is quite insistent that he "is NOT sleepy!"

These make great read aloud choices, as the text is short, yet very readable, and the illustrations are bold and simple. Your younger children will be able to sit through the entire book and will giggle as more and more animals tell Baby Owl that he looks very sleepy. When he yawns or starts to nod his head, he insists he's thinking/stretching/bored. Very cute!

A very nice choice for a toddler storytime (pair with an owl craft) and for a bedtime read at home.

Overall rating: 4 out of 5

"I'm Not Sleepy!"
Jonathan Allen
32 pages
Picture Book
June 2010
Review copy received from publisher

Zero, Zilch, Nada: Counting to None by Wendy Ulmer and illustrator Laura Knorr

Most counting books for young children cover the basic 1-10 counting ladder, but this one is most definitely of a different sort, as we learn a few methods of counting to 100.

Harry has a new job at the balloon factory and his first task is to blow up 100 balloons for a party. Once he does, he isn't sure if he has actually completed the full 100, so he starts getting tips from the other workers as to how to check. George encourages Harry to count by tens, Marcie wants him to count by fives, and Joe thinks the best way is by twos. Harry pops the balloons as he goes, to be certain he has counted each one.

After Harry has taken all of the advice, how many balloons is he left with? Zero, zilch, nada. Silly rabbit!

The unique approach was definitely refreshing for a counting book, though the more complex counting methods may be best suited for children a little bit older than typical counting books are marketed towards. A nice addition to any elementary school classroom.

Overall rating: 3 out of 5

Zero, Zilch, Nada: Counting to None
Wendy Ulmer
32 pages
Picture Book
Sleeping Bear Press
May 2010
Review copy received from publisher

Yasmin's Hammer by Ann Malaspina and illustrator Doug Ghayka

I wanted to include this one for your older readers/listeners, as the message is really an important one.

Yasmin and her family live in Bangladesh, where she and her little sister must work each day, breaking bricks in the hot sun. The family cannot afford to send the girls to school, though Yasmin very much wants to learn to read and write. After a lot of very hard work for her entire family, Yasmin and her sister are finally able to acheive their dream and attend school.

Giving a very real glimpse into the lives of children around the world. Working labor intensive jobs before they've reached adulthood is a reality for so many children and while ours complain about having to attend school each day, those other kids often don't get the chance at all.

The flow of the writing is done very well and the reader is able to learn a lot from a rather short story. A great discussion starter! A resource list for helping out children like Yasmin is included in the back, as well as a map and glossary.
Overall rating: 3 out of 5

Yasmin's Hammer
Ann Malaspina
40 pages
Picture Book
Lee & Low
May 2010
Review copy received from publisher

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