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Friday, June 7, 2013

Review a few books today, Friday

Z is for Moose
by Kelly Bingham
illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky
Greenwillow Books, 2012
Booklist Editor's Choice. Books for Youth (awards)

A quick fun read, starts off as your standard abecedarian, quite descending into poor Moose trying to find his place in the alphabet. The bouyancy and attention-hogging of a young child comes through in a somewhat raucous, manner from the photo bombs of earlier letters to the tantrum of "R" onward. Even if there's a moose-like culprit in the reader's life, it's all done with such good humor, it's easy to giggle through "offending" behavior. A simple book, celebrating the child, the alphabet and friendship in a fun-affirming way--- what's not to love?

This is Kelly Bingham's premier picture book.

Other books by Paul O.Zelinsky: The Ralph Mouse Collection (Beverly Cleary, author); The Wheels on the Bus; Dear Mrs. Henshaw (Beverly Cleary, author), Maurice Sendak: A Celebration of the Artist and His Work (Justin G. Schiller, Dennis M.V. David, Leonard S. Marcus and Maurice Sendak, authors, June 11 2013), Rumpelstiltskin (Caldecott Honor), Rapunzel (Caldecott).

illustrated by R. Gregory Christie
Harcourt Children's Books, 2007
Theodor Suess Geisel Award

Another speed read, Lisa Wheeler is the queen of infectious rhyme. The kind that makes you itch to say it. The book swings through the pages as the entire family passes baby around. The book reads as a song, and a dance and a game all at once ("NO, how fast can YOU say it?"). R. Gregory's illustrations are spontaneous, the use of line powerful and just as rhythmic as the words, as well as colorful. He manages to catch the feeling of retro and expressive art all at once his images, though his own had a Maira Kalman feel to them as well. This is a great  book that begs to be read again and again, so you have the time to really absorb the art. 

So they Boom-Boom-Boom
and they Hip-Hip-Hop
and the bouncin' baby boogies
with a Bop-Bop-Bop!

Paying homage to onomatopoeia, musical and art styles, and could easily find a home on many children's book shelves.

Other books (partial list) by Lisa Wheeler: Sixteen Cows (Kurt Cyrus, Illustrator), Sailor Moo (Poendor Goembel, Illustrator); Dino-Football (Barry Groner, illustrator), Dino-Basketball (Barry Gott, illustrator), Ugly Pie (Heather Solomon, illustrator)

Other books by R. Gregorie Christie: No Crystal Stair (Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, author); Yesterday I had the Blues (Jeron Ashford Frame, author); Make Way for Dyamonde Daniel (Nikki Grimes, author); The Deaf Musicians (Pete Seeger and Paul Dubois Jacobs, authors); Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan (Mary Williams, author. Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor); It Jes' Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw (Don Tate, author)

illustrated by Jon Klassen

A loving, yet slightly subversive tale of hope. Annabelle lives in a dreary town and discovers a magic box of yarn. Despite any negativity, with Annabelle's generous can-do, ambitious nature the town and people are transformed. Not even an greedy archduke who loves clothing can tamp Annabelle's spirit or the magic that comes from the yarn.  The text is to the point, the story elegantly written. Klassan's illustrations beautifully complement the prose, I find the images again a bit of an homage to illustrators from a much earlier era. Children may well recognize themselves in Annabelle, and the quiet moral of the story is softly told as yarn. 

Other books by Mac Barnett: Chloe and the Lion (Adam Rex, illustrator); The Case of the Case of Mistaken Identity (Brixton Brothers) (Adam Rex, illustrator); Oh No!: Or How my Science Project Destroyed the World (Dan Santat, illustrator); Mustache! (Kevin Cornell, illustrator)

Other books by Jon Klassen: This is Not My Hat  (Irma S and James H Black Honor for Excellence in Children's Literature, Caldecott (Awards)); The Dark (Lemony Snicket, author); The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: Book 1 (Maryrose Wood, author); House Held Up by Trees (Ted Kooser, author)