Today’s post will be semi-short today.
I’ve got a lot of do, but wanted to share a bit of what I’ve been reading amidst “Life Happens” moments. Keep in mind, I’ll likely review these in-depth, so these are only bullet points of books you might want to read with or without your child-
I have been reading a LOT of picture books I want to review on T.A.A., and a few early readers, as well. I can’t write these books (YET) but they are are a joy to read-
I, Crocodile by Fred Marcellino
He’s one of the few illustrators I know of who mostly illustrated other authors books, and this is one of the few (If not only) book he wrote and illustrated. His art has a vintage feel without being hokey or saccharine. Humor here is dry yet cheeky, but not as subversive as Dahl or Sendak. Something in the middle.
That said, if your kids or students love Dahl or had the debate about Jon Klassen’s “I Want My Hat Back” about “if he or didn’t he” to a certain rabbit, they’ll love where this story ends. I personally found it a bit sadistic for my tastes, but it was true to the character, and I respect that.
Carousel Cat by Robert J. Blake
Sweet art and a brilliant love letter to Jersey Shore, YEARS before the recent damage of Hurricane Sandy.
This is a cat story even a devout dog-lover like me
(I’ve grown to like cats, too) can enjoy. Animals don’t talk here, but a fine story of how animals help us carry on in hard times.
I know one of the needs of some agents and editors are books about families struggling financially. There’s organic hints of that in the story that can be great talking points for parents and teachers to use for the pre/emergent readers up to second grade.
Wonderful illustrations, and it’s bit text heavy by today’s minimalist standards, but every word counts, in my opinion.
Wolves by Emily Gravett
I’ve seen this author everywhere but never read her until this book. If could write nonfiction, this book is a litmus test to how I’d do it. Facts presented in a non-sterile way.
The illustrations are abstract yet express the real world facts about wolves, in a fantastical way, the presentation is brilliant on two levels, both promoting libraries and early research skills for students, and I’m personally a sucker for vintage accents in a book.
For those of you with skiddish little ones (Not all kids have the the courage of Madeline early) this book has a dual ending, one more silly than factual, but both are well handled without either sounding patronizing.
Barnaby the Bedbug Detective
Written by Catherine Sitter
Illustrated by Karen Sapp
Of course, I had to get a (domestic) dog story in there, and this is a great one, it’s loosely based on true events, and a different kind of career animal for readers to learn about.
While most career dogs known to kids are police dogs, fire dogs, and given our worldview these days, bomb-sniffing dog used in the military or national guard, this is one of the lesser known
Until recently, I always thought bedbugs were made up, but they’re real, and can be a big problem, even harder to detect than termites. It’s good dogs like Barnaby in real life that aid us in keeping them out of our home.
It’s also a charming story with non-preachy messages of adopting older dogs from shelters, seeing promise in others where some see only problems, and there’s a little “Leo the Late Bloomer” here as well.
That’s all for now. Until next time,
May the Fantastical Fauna be with you.