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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Picture Book Plethora

Hang on, I have six picture books to review this week. As I do my mining for the best, I believe I struck gold. There are some new illustrators out there that have developed some amazing techniques, but it's hard not to let the writer in me get too picky!  Especially with "The Surprise Visitor" by Juli Kangas. You're going to have to muddle through names like Mr. Chibble, Mrs. Twitch and Mr. Crustydome all on page, but the story brings in some familiar characters that aren't often featured in children's stories 

(like the couple who's too particular/busy to have a family). The cutest pages are those showing the growing bunny family, and my daughter Sierra was hoping for cut-outs of the baby rabbits to hang onto. Maybe I can make her day and scan them in and print out a few for her to play with as we read!

"Forget Me Not" by Michael Broad is another with the author/illustrator combo, and again I found a few lines that I cut out to spare myself some repetition. This book is published by Barron's Press, which features books that are educational in nature. This one introduces terms like colonies, mobs and herds. The artistry combines soft, petaled flowers against the textured, crumpled brown-paper-bag-looking skin to draw in the eye and stand back amazed at the process. Themes of security and using caution also are carried through in this story.
"Monkey with a Toolbelt" and "I fly" were both educational, the toolbelt being more of a problem-solving story. "I fly" describes the experience of flying from a child's viewpoint. My son enjoyed both of these stories tremendously.

"Quiet Bunny" by Lisa McCue was one of my personal favorites. It's writing is fluid, and the way she characterized being the quiet one of the 
bunch was appealing. Maybe you're not as vocal as watchful? And perhaps the inner response can be externalized? This book explores the processing of engagment with others in descriptive sights and sounds.

In "All Afloat on Noah's Boat," Tony Mitton took a child through many animal encounters that weren't too far of a stretch on the imagination, with my children's favorite keeping their watchful eyes on the growing caterpillars. The appeal of this story is all of the activity on board, and the book's illustrations also provide a playfulness that shows how God's handiwork could mean a month's plus of unique animal behavior. Guy Parker-Rees also pulls in vivid color and every page is filled with movement. Beautifully done!

If you enjoyed this post, below are three other links for book reviews for kids!

Reviews at

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