Saturday, July 24, 2010

Picture Book Saturday

Summer is more than halfway over (THANK GOODNESS), but I thought showing off two of my favorite "outdoorsy" reads of the week was a good plan. I'm giving you a story about bees and a story about a dog and a frog. Enjoy!

City Dog, Country Frog by Mo Willems and Jon J. Muth is a great mixture of cute, sweet, and funny. Something a bit different than we've seen from Mo Willems in the past, but I really enjoyed it.

City Dog is lucky enough to be running free in the country for the first time and comes across Country Frog, who is waiting for a friend. A sweet friendship is created that lasts over the seasons, with the pair playing different games and having chats each time City Dog comes to the country. When spring comes around again and Frog is nowhere to be found, City Dog befriends another animal, but we are assured through a "froggy grin" that Frog will never be forgotten.

The perfect amount of sweet, without being too sappy, this is one of my favorite picture book reads of the year. Simple illustrations and a warm and friendly plot will please readers of all ages.

Overall rating: 5 out of 5

City Dog, Country Frog
Mo Willems
64 pages
Picture Book
June 2010
Review copy received from publisher

Buzz by Eileen Spinelli and illustrator Vincent Nguyen is a cute "be yourself" book with some fantastic illustrations.

Buzz absolutely loves being a bee...especially flying! She zips around everywhere she can, taking in the picturesque landscape and the smells all around her. Until she reads a snippet of an article that states "Bees Can't Fly!" Buzz is devastated and unsure of what to do with herself. If she can't fly....what CAN she do?

When Owl's tree catches on fire, Buzz has a dilemma. She isn't supposed to fly and doesn't think she can save Owl from the flames. After some self motivation, Buzz flies up to the top of the tree and saves Owl, learning that it doesn't matter what some people say...being yourself is what's most important.

Now, the concept is nothing new and even a tad cheesy. "Be yourself" is a fairly common theme in children's books, however the accompany illustrations really make this one a nice choice to read aloud. Not to mention it's about an adorable bee and how much cuter can you get than a bee that loves her life?!

Overall rating: 3 out of 5

Eileen Spinelli
32 pages
Picture Book
Simon & Schuster
July 2010
Review copy provided by publisher

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Brimful Curiosities said...

I was worried how my kids would receive Willem's Dog/Frog but they seemed OK with it, even my soft-hearted daughter. It is definitely different from his previous books - a little more serious. I like how the different seasons are portrayed.

Books That Heal Kids said...

I really liked City Dog, Country Frog...I just struggled with the ending a little bit.

Stephanie aka The Stark Raving Bibliophile said...

I love this picture book Saturday feature!! I can't wait to get a hold of City Dog Country Frog for my little girl.

CoffeeShopBloggers said...

What a rock star combination: Mo
Willems with Jon Muth! It doesn't get any better than that! And isn't Eileen married to Jerry Spinelli -- LOVE his books!

Pragmatic Mom
I write a blog on parenting, education and children's literature.