Saturday, June 20, 2015

Book Review: Open Very Carefully by Nicola O'Byrne, illustrated by Nick Bromley

Book: Open Very Carefully
Author: Nicola Byrne
Illustrator: Nick Bromley
Published: 2013
Source: Local Library

Are you all ready to hear the story of the Ugly Duckling? You'll have to avoid that crocodile first, though! He likes to chomp things, like letters, and whole sentences. How will you ever get this crocodile out of the book?

There's been a spate of books lately that encourage interaction and engagement with the book as an object, playing with characters that tear pages, eat words, etc. Open This Book Very Carefully shows why that can be such fun.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Book Review: Mustache Baby by Bridget Heos, illustrated by Joy Ang

Book: Mustache Baby
Author: Bridget Heos
Illustrator: Joy Ang
Published: 2013
Source: Local Library

When little baby Billy is born with a mustache, his parents anxiously wait to see whether it will be a good-guy mustache . . . or a bad-guy mustache. At first, he seems like a law-abiding child, even a law-enforcing one. But one day his mustache begins to curl up at the ends . . .

This book made me laugh so hard. Ang's plump baby and toddler with the thick, bushy mustache just tickles the funny bone, and Heos adds to the fun with melodramatic, tongue-in-cheek narration, often playfully contrasting with the illustrations. (Keep an eye on the always-unimpressed cat, who has to have been inspired by Grumpy Cat's expressions.)

Under the absurdity and the wordplay lies a story about human behavior (particularly small humans) and how you don't need to be defined as one thing or another. You can have a bad-mustache day and still be a good kid.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Book Review: Bunnies!!! by Kevan Atteberry

Book: Bunnies!!!
Author: Kevan Atteberry
Illustrator: Kevan Atteberry
Published: 2015
Source: Local Library

A little monster greets everything he sees in the forest. When he catches a glimpse of bunnies (!!!), his excitement knows no bounds. But they keep running away from him! Woe. With every rebuffed attempt, his mood droops lower and lower. Poor little monster. Will the bunnies ever play with him?

We all know that kid who gambols after everybody in hopes of making friends.We also know the kids who get scared off by all that energy. Both will find something to sympathize with, along with a new idea. The text is made up wholly of the little monster's speech, so I really want to read this aloud, with the accompanying changes in his mood. With candy-colored bunnies and a friendly butterfly, this is nothing but sweet and fun.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Reading Roundup: May 2015

By the Numbers
Picture Books: 23
Early Readers: 1

Library: 24

Writing: The Nowhere Box by Sam Zuppardi
Having lost all patience with his obnoxious little brothers, the main character gets in his box and goes the one place he can be alone: Nowhere. Except that Nowhere is starting to get awful lonesome . . . A familiar situation for anyone with siblings.
Illustration: The Story of Fish and Snail by Deborah Freedman
Fish is an adventurer, and Snail is a homebody who likes to hear his friend's tales. Will he be able to brave the wilds of the next book over? With delicate, expressive illustrations, the adorability is off the charts.
Overall: Hello, My Name is Ruby by Philip Stead
A friendly little bird collects friends wherever she goes, but even so, she can get her feelings hurt when somebody turns her down. But when she finds her flock, she brings all her friends along. This is a trademark P.Stead book, with its gentleness and its sweetness and its theme of community.

Because I Want To Awards
If You Don't Laugh at This, You Have No Soul: Mustache Baby by Bridget Heos, illustrated by Joy Ang

A baby born with a mustache presents his parents with a conundrum: will it be a good-guy mustache or a bad-guy mustache? With giggles and wordplay (two words: "cat burglar") and of course, lots of visual puns about mustaches, the adults might laugh louder than the kids.
I Feel Ya, Betty: Betty Goes Bananas by Steve Antony
Betty is a very large gorilla with a very small stock of patience for the difficulties of banana-extraction. Gosh, I want to read this aloud.
Might Be Dangerous in Storytime: Here Comes Destructo-Saurus! by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Jeremy Tankard
With Destructo-Saurus stomping everywhere and the narrator addressing him like a parent scolding a naughty child, kids might get so into this that they begin their own adorable rampage.