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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Book reviews

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Wanda Gag, Caldecott Honor
University of Minnesota Press 1938, renewed 1965 Robert Janssen

A longer, more foreboding and rich telling of the story of Snow White.  The illustrations are beautiful and have an old world, wood cut (I think of Albrecht Durer) feeling, beautifully designed and executed. Reading the story it becomes apparent the ties to other stories that are embedded in our childhood conscious, from the Three pigs, to Goldilocks.

Other books by Wanda Gag: Millions of Cats (Newbery honor award, Lewis Carroll Shelf award, the oldest picture book still in print), Nothing at All (Caldecott honor), ABC Bunny (Newbery Honor)

Janell Cannon, ASPC Henry Bergh Children's Books' Award
Harcourt, 2004

Pinduli, the hungry young hyena wanders off before supper time, and gets "lessons" from a variety of animals on how to be "better".  But the story takes a surprising turn, and Pinduli ends up having the last laugh in this tale of judgment, empathy and the animal kingdom. The story stayed with me after I'd left it, and the illustrations are rendered in Cannon's singularly recognizable style. Stellaluna is one of my top all-time-loved picture books. Pinduli is giving it a run for the money.

Other books by Jannell Cannon: Stellaluna, Crickwing, Verdi, Trupp: A Fuzzhead Tale

Castaway Cats
Lisa Wheeler
Ponder Goembel, illustrator
Atheneum Books for Young Readers,
A Richard Jackson Book/Simon & Schuster, 2006

So you might notice I reviewed one of Lisa's books earlier. First, this is with a different illustrator, second I love, Love, LOVE this combo, Lisa and Ponder together make some of my favorite picture books. Third, it's my blog and so there! Sorry, had to get it out of my system. I read this book out loud at the library and it captivated not just me, but the two girls, Alexis and Vicky as I did. I told them that Lisa had shared she sometimes sits under her trees and if her writing makes her giggle she knows she's on the right course and puts it in. I giggled a few times, and told them, I bet she giggled at that one.

It's a great rollicking rhyme tale of disaster, conflict and comraderie. Wheeler's rhyme is spot on and the irony and puns have the purrrr-fect balance to Goembel's bright colorations and superb strokes.

Other books by Lisa Wheeler: Sailor Moo (Ponder Goembel, illustrator); Dino Basketball (Barry Gott, illustrator); Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum (Harriet Kasak Portfolio and Laura Huliska Beith, illustrators); Jazz Baby (R. Gregory Christie, illustrator); Mammoth on the Move (Kurt Cyrus, illustrator); Ugly Pie (Heather Solomon, illustrator); The Pet Project: Cute and Cuddly Vicious Verses (Zachariah OHora, illustrator)

Other books by Ponder Goembel: Swamp Song (Helen Ketterman, author); Hi Pizza Man! (Virginia Walter, author); Old Cricket (Lisa Wheeler, author); Dinosnores (Kelly Dipucchio, author); Give Me Wings (Lee Bennett Hopkins, author); Animal Fair (Board Buddies); Mama Mine, Mama Mine (Rita Gray, author); Good Day, Good Night (Marilyn Singer, author); Mr. Mosquito Put on His Tuxedo (Barbara Olenyik Morrow, author);