March 25, 2013

Read Up! A Handful of Books for You to Check Out.

No real thread between the five books I'm sharing with you today; they all just happen to appeal to me in one way or another, and I think you might like them, too!

Perfectly Percy
Paul Schmid
A porcupine and his balloon are soon parted, and this makes poor Percy very sad.  Percy's sister Pearl (star of Schmid's Hugs from Pearl) has an idea involving marshmallows, but that's probably not too practical.  Percy must think--and you and the children can think along with him, trying to come up with the perfect idea to allow Percy to enjoy balloons once again.

Steven Salerno
The first thing that attracted me to this book was Salerno's bold art, which reminds me of the UPA cartoons of the 1950s.  The entire story could be executed like one of those classic 'toons, as a very hungry baby demonstrates an ever-growing insatiable hunger--even driving his mommy to call in the army!  Yes, everything turns out okay, at least until the NEXT mealtime.  The author dedicates his book to "parents who encourage their children to take a BIG bite out of life," and I encourage you to share this funny fantasy with your hungry child!

Lunchtime for a Purple Snake
Harriet Ziefert & Todd McKie
This is a book I saw many times before finally picking up, because the cover art just was not calling out to me.  The wormy-looking snake (as well as the flowers, and the sky, and the bug) on the cover looked as if it had been painted by a small child--and as it turns out, that was exactly the point!  The cover is the work of Jessica, the book's young star, during a visit to the studio of her artist grandfather.  I love McKie's paintings of Grandpa's studio, a very mod place.  Grandpa teaches Jessica (and the reader) about mixing colors of paint to make new colors, about how to turn mistakes into something good, and how to have fun collaborating on a painting & a story.  Don't be surprised if, after sharing this book with children, they want to create a masterpiece of their own!

In Front of My House
Marianne Dubuc
Very thick book, very few words (about 2-3 words on most pages).  In Front of My House takes the format of the circular story (wherein the ending leads right back to the beginning, a la If You Give a Mouse a Cookie), and brings it close to home for young readers.  We go inside the child's house, into the bedroom, into a book of fairy tales--and then all kinds of adventures take place!  I certainly have questions about how we get from one place to another at points, but that makes for fun conversation between the reader and the read-to.

Being Frank

Donna W. Earnhardt & Andrea Castellani

The book begins:
     Frank was always frank.
     "Honesty is the best policy," he said.
But how frank is TOO frank?  The boy ticks people off & gets into trouble left & right, reminding me of old Dennis the Menace cartoons I read growing up--hilarious but awkward!  Castellani is a professional animator, and it shows in his lively art, full of expression & humor during often-uncomfortable situations.  The question, though, is whether Frank can ever learn to balance honesty with mercy: a question many parents, themselves, may sometimes wonder about their own little ones!

Check these books out! Have fun with them, & let me know what you think. Do you have any favorite books about porcupines, or art, or honesty--or whatever? Please let me know!

Click on this link & READ UP!  I have many more great books to share with you!

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