Friday, September 15, 2017

Picture Book Review: You Know What?

Oliver should go to sleep. But there is so much he wants to tell his mother about: what happened that day at school, the things he read in books, everything he sees around him…. A touching and familiar picture book about (postponing) the ritual of going to sleep.

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5 Stars

Anyone who has ever tried to put a child to sleep knows the game this delightful little guy is playing.
Go to sleep. Oliver explores everything from toilet habits to milk mustaches. This book is funny and perfect for preschoolers who like to stretch out their pre-bedtime activities. The illustrations are full of color and great for children to "read" on their own.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Picture Book Review: Magic Words

Magic Words is a modern translation (1965) of a very old Inuit creation story by nationally known poet Edward Field. As a poem it captures beautifully the intimate relationship this Arctic people have with their natural world.
Magic Words describes a world where humans and animals share bodies and languages, where the world of the imagination mixes easily with the physical. It began as a story that told how the Inuit people came to be and became a legend passed from generation to generation. In translation, it grew from myth to poem. The text comes from expedition notes recorded by Danish explorer Knud Rasmussen in 1921. Edward Field got a copy from the Harvard Library and translated it into English.

The Inuit people, whom I had previously thought of as Eskimos, became a reality to me in the 1960s when I was asked to create a book of poems out of the notebooks of the Danish explorer Knud Rasmussen’s expeditions to this remarkable people living north of the Arctic Circle. From his observations and jottings, much of it transcribed verbatim from Inuit people themselves, I selected passages that had the mark of traditional retellings of Inuit history and cosmology – and when I spotted the lines in Rasmussen’s rough translation that became “Magic Words,” I knew that this poem came from the soul of the Inuit people. In fact, “Magic Words” became my most successful Inuit translation, one that has met with a wide response for the lost, and extraordinary, truth it reveals. The artist Mike Blanc has here beautifully captured in his illustrations the pure spirit, the essence, of Inuit art to illuminate this gem of Inuit wisdom for our children, who more than anyone are responsive to the magical power of words and images. I can only congratulate Vanita Oelschlager for bringing this beautiful edition of the ancient Inuit poem I had the honor to discover and translate to the children and to their parents who will read it to them.- Edward Field

5 Stars
This beautiful book takes an old Inuit creation myth and brings it to life. Teaching about other cultures is so important and Magic Words gives kids a look into an ancient Inuit poem and the artwork of this part of the world. This book would work with a class or a parent/child reading time. It is easy to understand, look at and would be a great source of discussion for little ones. Great!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Picture Book Review: This Book is Full of Monsters

This is a book full of monsters: small, smelly, yelling, creepy… monsters! So it’s a book for hard core monster lovers, but also for beginners in monsterology. With shock effects! Try it yourself! Softies keep out! Conquer your deepest fears! Tremble and shiver with pleasure! Are you scared already? No? Just you wait and see…. (Includes a monstrously fun pop-up spread at the end of the book!)

I obtained this book from Net Galley and am happy to give an honest review.


5 Stars
This book is incredibly interactive and a wonderful to read along with your child. They don't just sit there and listen but roar along with the monsters. If they start to get scared they are gently told they can slam the book shut. The illustrations are suitably monster-creepy and this book is funny! Kids will love it.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Picture Book Review: When Will Fall Arrive?

A moving story about friendship - and hibernation! Bunny is looking forward to a cozy fall and winter with Hedgehog. But Hedgehog says he will start hibernating when the first leaf falls. Bunny is worried. He cannot go that long without seeing his friend! He comes up with a clever plan: he is simply going to hide the falling leaves and the arrival of fall....

A merry and heartfelt story about friendship.

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5 Stars

When Will Fall Arrive is a great little story about two friends who love spending time together. When the hedgehog informs his friend bunny he will be hibernating in the fall and winter, the bunny tries to collect every incoming leaf to stop the hibernation process. Little ones with friends coming and going would find comfort in the resolution of this story as well as enjoy the beautiful fall illustrations.  This would be a great book for a preschool classroom or a preschooler at home.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Picture Book Review: A Pattern for Pepper

Pepper is getting a dress made for a special occasion. It's the first dress that has ever been made just for her, and she wants it to be perfect. But what pattern is right for her? Pepper is particular, and nothing works at first. Dotted Swiss? Too plain. Houndstooth? Not enough color. Pinstripe? Too glum. As Pepper learns about each fabric, she finds a reason why it's just not the one. Will Pepper ever be able to find the perfect pattern?
Julie Kraulis takes readers on a journey through gorgeous patterns and their origins--from the mountains of Switzerland to the green grass of Scotland--in search of Pepper's ideal pattern. The incredible illustrations make for a dress, a character and a book that are impossible to forget.

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5 Stars

I wish there were more picture books like this one out there! Clothing construction is becoming a lost art for young people but A Pattern for Pepper helps a young girl pick a material pattern for a new dress to wear to tea with her grandmother. It playfully illustrates fabrics like herringbone, tartan plaid and dotted swiss giving just a little history about each fabric Pepper observes. After she picks the pattern the author shows the process of using a sewing pattern to create the dress. Great book to encourage textile arts or just for fun!