Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Paging Through Picture Books: I Love You: A Rebus Poem (2000), Friend or Foe? (2016), A Small Thing... but Big (2016), Discovering Trees (1986), Ten Little Toes, Two Small Feet (2016)

Here are the latest titles I have read for the Picture Book Reading Challenge. These books fulfill #15 a book about feelings, expressing feelings (I Love You: A Rebus Poem), #16 a book with a twist (unexpected) ending (Friend or Foe?), #17 a book about pets (cats, dogs, fish) (A Small Thing... but Big), #90 a book about science or math (Discovering Trees), and #102 a book about babies (Ten Little Toes, Two Small Feet).

I Love You: A Rebus Poem by Jean Marzollo, illustrated by Suse MacDonald

I placed this book on hold at the library because Miss Muffet is really into rebuses and because I was planning a Valentine's Day story time about love, hugs, and kisses. It turned out to be the perfect choice for Miss Muffet, who can pretty much read the book on her own after only hearing it a couple of times. Even for kids who can't read rebuses yet, it's a very sweet, but not-too-mushy book about love.

Friend or Foe? by John Sobol, illustrated by Dasha Solstikova

This is an odd little book about a cat and mouse who only ever see each other from afar. Each of them wonders whether the other is a friend or a foe, but when each one gets the courage to go find out, they just end up switching places. The illustration are interesting, but unusual, and the story left me with an unsettled feeling. It would be interesting to talk about with elementary school kids who might be able to understand the "missed connection" storyline, but I thought it would go right over Miss Muffet's head and chose not to share it with her.

A Small Thing... but Big by Tony Johnston, illustrated by Hadley Hooper

In this book, Lizzie and her mom go to the park, where they run into an older gentleman and his dog, Cecile. Lizzie is afraid of dogs, but as she and Cecile get to know each other on a walk around the park with the old man, she becomes more comfortable. It's a small thing, but a big deal for Lizzie. I love that this book focuses on a friendship between a young girl and a friendly older neighbor, and that the mother is comfortingly present in the pictures, but not overprotective. The cheery color palette of the illustrations made me think of spring, and though I do not necessarily believe, as the book says, that "all dogs are good if you give them a chance" I think it is overall a great story for helping kids overcome a fear of dogs.

Discovering Trees by Douglas Florian

This nonfiction picture book provides information about the bark, trunks, leaves, and roots of different types of trees. Though some of the facts mentioned in the book went over Miss Muffet's head, she loved the pictures and seemed fascinated by all there is to know about trees. Though I primarily think of Douglas Florian as a poet, I have been impressed by some of his nonfiction prose works, and this is the best I have read so far.

Ten Little Toes, Two Small Feet by Kristy Dempsey, illustrated by John Massey

I chose this book at the library because Little Bo Peep loves babies, and because it reminded me of Baby Parade by Rebecca O'Connell (and also because we are fans of Little Bee Books). The brightly colored pictures of babies showing their toes instantly appealed to Bo Peep, and she wanted to read it over and over again at nap time. We read the book so many times, Bo Peep now knows how to say "toes!" and point to her own feet. It's not quite as good as the O'Connell book, but it would be a lot of fun for a baby story time.

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