Tag Archives: picture books

Book Review: The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear

I can’t wait to take Little Lucy berry picking this summer.  I was hoping the berries might be ready but alas the local farms here say that they may not open for u-pick until mid June!  We are still enjoying munching on lots of strawberries and this classic book is the perfect accompaniment to our strawberry snacks.  Don Wood’s illustrations are filled with such warmth and the cute factor for me is over the top.  Little Mouse looks so proud of himself as he gets ready to pick a beautifully ripe strawberry.  However, when he finds out that the Big Hungry Bear can sniff out a strawberry under any and all circumstances, Little Mouse has to figure out a way to save his strawberry and keep that bear away.  I must admit, I am partial to stories and illustrations about mice.  As a child I was fascinated with their small worlds and this book is no exception.  I loved reading it as a child and love it even more as I get to share it with my own.  Be sure to check out the narrated version of the book on youtube and bring on the berries!

Title:  The little mouse, the red ripe strawberry, and the big hungry bear

Authors:  Don and Audrey Wood

Illustrator:  Don Wood

Publisher:  Scholastic

ISBN:  0-590-446894-4

Leave a comment

Posted by on May 30, 2012 in Animals, Food, Picture Books


Tags: , , ,

Book Review: Poggle and the Treasure

ImageWhenever I read anything pirate related I can’t help but think of my friend’s adorable 4-year-old son.  He loves pirates and books and I think he may enjoy Poggle, the cutest dragon I’ve ever seen.  Poggle and his best friend Henry spend the day playing pirates on the beach when they discover treasure!  The mysterious treasure turns out to be an egg and Poggle and Henry must find a way to keep it warm in order to find out what hatches.  An extremely cute story line about two best friends with appealing illustrations.  I hope to read more from this relatively new author/illustrator.

Title:  Poggle and the treasure

Author/Illustrator:  Michael Evans

Publisher:  Egmont

ISBN:  978-1-4052-4811-2


Tags: , , , , ,

Book Review: Grandpa Green

Grandpa Green’s great-grandson wanders through an amazing garden filled with topiary trees that tell the story of his great-grandfather.  And it’s a good thing because Grandpa Green is “pretty old and he sometimes forgets things… but the important stuff, the garden remembers for him.”  This wonderful story about gardening as art, memory, and familial love is a Caldecott Honor Book.  View a very sweet book trailer on YouTube.

Title:  Grandpa green

Author/Illustrator:  Lane Smith

Publisher:  Roaring Book Press

ISBN:  978-1-59643-607-7



Tags: , , , ,

Book Review: Nini

This beautifully moving story follows the journey of one special baby from an orphanage in China who longs for the love she knew within the womb.  Her journey will unite her with a loving couple in Canada who long for the love of a child.  Pages are filled with soft paintings layered with stamps, maps and photo-like close-ups of the baby girl.  Both the writing and the striking illustrations create a beautiful story.

Title:  Nini

Author/Illustrator:  Francois Thisdale

Publisher:  Tundra Books

ISBN:  978-1-77049-270-7


Tags: , , ,

Book Review: Polka Dot Penguin Pottery

The teacher in me couldn’t stop thinking about all of the great ways to utilize this book in the classroom.  Aspen Colorado Kim Chee Lee is the nom de plume of this little author who suddenly finds herself with a bad case of writers block.  One day her grandparents decide to take her and her baby sister, Olivia to a paint your own pottery store.  Aspen picks out an egg to paint but suddenly has the same problem.  She doesn’t know what to paint!  Many of Aspen’s friends and neighbors arrive and are busily painting while Aspen just can’t seem to get over her “pottery block”.  Finally the problem is solved through a combination of an unexpected accident and the following wise words:  “You can only make a masterpiece if you’re willing to make a mess.”  This book is filled with great illustrations and step-by-step “how to” directions for writing a story that would work perfectly with a “how to” writing unit.  An inspirational story for young writers and artists who aren’t sure about where to draw their ideas from.

Title:  Polka dot penguin pottery

Author:  Lenore Look

Illustrator:  Yumi Heo

Publisher:  Schwartz and Wade Books

ISBN:  978-0-375-96332-2


Posted by on March 10, 2012 in Family, Picture Books


Tags: , , ,

Book Review: The Great Gracie Chase: Stop That Dog!

I am a huge dog lover!  We had a mutt named Percy when I was growing up.  She had fuzzy white hair and I adored her.  She was replaced by a Jack Russell Terrier named Fanny who still lives with my mom.  She is super old, can’t really see or hear, and has always had a weight problem.  I have a deep affinity for black labs.  My first was Link who was the calmest, sweetest dog on earth.  We now have Reggie, not so mellow but equally as sweet and very much neglected since Little Lucy came onto the scene.  I can already see the love that Little Lucy has for both Reggie and Fanny.  Although Lucy can say mama, I wouldn’t be surprised if her first “real” word (one with true meaning) ends up being dog.

All of this leads to my review of “The Great Gracie Chase.”  If you know anything about dogs, you must know that if you want to catch one, DON’T run after it!  Gracie is a sweet dog who loves a quiet house.  One day the noisy painters show up and Gracie decides to go for a walk all by herself.  Soon the whole neighborhood is trying to catch Gracie.  Not sure why everyone is chasing her, Gracie decides she must just keep running.  Will they every catch her?  Read this book and find out how Gracie finally makes it home.

I am a big fan of Cynthia Rylant.  She is also a huge dog lover and lives right here in Portland, Oregon with her dog, Gracie Rose.

Title:  The great Gracie chase:  Stop that dog!

Author:  Cynthia Rylant

Illustrator:  Mark Teague

Publisher:  Blue Sky Press

ISBN:  978-0-590-10041-0

Leave a comment

Posted by on March 5, 2012 in Animals, Picture Books


Tags: , ,

Book Review: The Three Little Tamales

I love alternate versions of classic fairy tales and fables.  When I taught first grade I included a unit where we would read a variety of fairy tales and a myriad of versions.  Some years the kids would even write their own!  This version of “The Three Little Pigs” bakes up a delightful story about three runaway tamales who build three very different casitas (houses).  One house is built from sagebrush, one from cornstalks and one from the mighty prickly cactus.  I love the mixture of spanish phrases throughout the book and admire Kimmel’s ability to create clever rhyming dialogue for the characters:

“Senorita Tamale, por favor, I want to come in, so open the door.”

Bright, colorful illustrations by Valeria Decampo just add more charm to this very sweet story.  Do you have a favorite alternate version of a well-known fairy tale or fable?  Please share!

Title:  The three little tamales

Author:  Eric A. Kimmel

Illustrator:  Valeria Decampo

Publisher:  Marshall Cavendish Children

ISBN:  978-0-7614-5519-6



Tags: , , ,