Sunday, May 30, 2010

Kitten’s Spring

Eugenie Fernandes

The sun is shining on the farm and kitten has gone exploring. There is much to see and hear this morning. First kitten listens to the song of a hummingbird, and the buzz of a bee. As kitten goes along, there is a frog, and a bird leaving her nest. Yet, there is so much more to see. Kitten plays chase with the dog and hears the chicken clucking with her chick. The farm is full of things to see and hear! There are still ducks, cows, pigs, and so much more for kitten to see and hear.

The illustrations are very colorful, almost appearing to be three-dimensional. Each page is full of things to see, despite the text. Ms. Fernandes has done an excellent job creating a book that will appeal to young readers beyond just the initial story line. Young readers will find much to look for on the pages of this very colorful fun read.

BIBLIO: 2010, Kids Can Press, Ages 1 - 4, $14.95.
REVIEWER: Debby Willett
FORMAT: Picture Book / Rhyming
ISBN: 978-1-55453-340-4

REVIEWED FOR: Children’s Literature, Online Version, 5/24/10

Oh No! Time to Go! Book of Goodbyes

Rebecca Doughty

Everyone has their own way to say goodbye. From toodle-oo, g’bye, to later gator! The concept of goodbye can be difficult for young children to understand. Auntie Lou wants to have a chat and drink tea, and then it’s time for goodbye. Uncle Ed, with his southern drawl, says g’bye y’all. When Granny comes for a visit, there are hugs and kisses, but there is always a goodbye. Other good-byes could be just a handshake, or a baby who says goo-goo. Dogs seem to have it easier than anyone else does – a simple grrr sends the other one on their way. There is a goodbye that is harder for a young child to deal with. Yet, along with good-byes there are also hellos.

This rhyming book of meeting, visiting, and saying goodbye will help young readers understand the concept of saying goodbye. The illustrations are in primary colors, and are drawn to appeal to the young readers. The book is a reminder to the readers and to those who read to them, that good-byes are a part of life.

BIBLIO: 2009, Schwartz & Wade Books, Ages 3 - 7, $15.99.
REVIEWER: Debby Willett
FORMAT: Juvenile Fiction / Rhyming
ISBN: 978-0-375-84981-7

REVIEWED FOR: Children’s Literature, Online Version, 5/24/10

A Mountain Alphabet

Margriet Ruurs
Illustrated by Andrew Kiss

This is an alphabet book that will not go out of style! The alphabet is depicted in the western mountain region of North America where the letter “A” starts at a view of an avalanche. “B” shows a bear in the boreal forest. Elks represent the letter “E” shown through evergreens. A laughing loon on a lake is great for the “L”. Following is massive mountains, nocturnal animals, an otter, a provincial park, and a quilled creature. The “R” for raccoons, “S” for salmons, and “Z” for a zigzagging trail. The last two pages give further descriptions of the illustrations that were used for the alphabets, and the very last page asks readers to find hidden items used in the illustrations.

This book is one that children and adults will want to come back to over and over again. Not only is it beautifully illustrated, which engages the readers eye, there is so much more to the book than just the alphabet. The illustrations draw the reader in to find all the elements included, bighorns, cougars, grizzly bear, a wide variety of flowers, picnic tables, jewelry – and so much more. Each illustration is a challenge for the readers to return and find more on each return.

BIBLIO: 2009, Tundra Books, Ages 6 and up, $7.95.
REVIEWER: Debby Willett
FORMAT: Juvenile Nonfiction
ISBN: 978-0-88776-940-5

REVIEWED FOR: Children’s Literature, Online Version, 5/24/10

Eliot Jones, Midnight Superhero

Annie Cottringer
Illustrated by Alex T. Smith

By day, Eliot Jones is a quiet child. He reads his books and takes care of his goldfish. However, when midnight strikes, Eliot Jones becomes a superhero! The adventures he has after midnight call on his many skills. He hangs from a helicopter to return missing teddy bears. As an expert lion tamer, he is able to return lions that have escaped from the local zoo. His skill as a champion swimmer helps save a ship destined to crash on rocks and sailors from the sea. Eliot Jones is a great help with the Queen in returning her jewels, using his skill as an excellent sleuth. From there, his adventures become more dangerous, calling on courage and ingenuity. It is no question that when his superhero tasks are complete, Eliot Jones is tired and quiet during the day.

The typeset and colorful illustrations are creative and add to the whimsy of the story. This book is a fun read for the age group and adds a little mystery to the activities of young Eliot Jones after midnight.

BIBLIO: 2009, Tiger Tales, Ages 3 – 7, $7.95.
REVIEWER: Debby Willett
FORMAT: Picture Book
ISBN: 978-1-58925-416-9

REVIEWED FOR: Children’s Literature, Online Version, 5/24/10

The Blues Go Birding Across America

Carol L. Malnor and Sandy F. Fuller
Illustrated by Louise Schroeder

Five birds make up the group: Bing, Lulu, Uno, Eggbert, and Sammi. The five birds were asked to sing in concert on the Fourth of July at the White House Lawn. Their mission is to find a new song to sing at this concert. To do this, the group of five birds decides to go on a road trip to find new sounds for the White House concert. Setting off, the first stop was in Alaska where the Bald Eagle lived. From there the group of five traveled to Hawaii spotting a Black-Footed Albatross. Going east to California, the next bird they found was a Ring-Billed Gull. Still, though, the group had not found sounds they could use for the White House concert. There were more stops coming up, New Mexico and the Rocky Mountain National Park. They did not stay long and continued on to Kansas to hear the song of the Western Meadowlark. Perhaps the fancy whistles they heard could be learned, but the group of five were not done yet. The Turkey Vulture in Texas was next, and there were more birds across America to be seen. Does the group ever find the new sounds they are looking for?

For each bird they came across, Eggbert added his birding tips on each stop, and one of the five in the group includes a notebook. Statistics are included for each bird that is easy to learn. The illustrations are beautifully colored, realistic portrayals of each bird. A Reading Guide, in pdf format, is available online for those who may read this book to multiple children. This is an excellent book to teach young readers about bird watching.

BIBLIO: 2010, Dawn Publications, Ages 5 – 9, $8.95.
REVIEWER: Debby Willett
FORMAT: Picture Book / Easy to Read Nature
ISBN: 978-1-58469-1259

REVIEWED FOR: Children’s Literature, Online Version, 5/24/10