07 August 2013

Lazy Daisy, Cranky Frankie and other delights

"This is my cow, she's called Daisy.
She should eat grass but she's too lazy."

Even before the first lines of Lazy Daisy, Cranky Frankie by Mary Ellen Jordan and Andrew Weldon, children are treated to a peek of the singular farm they'll be visiting. The end papers show an orderly place sparsely populated with animals. Everything looks as it should be. The next page, though, features a hyper, slightly off chicken alone in the corner of a white page. He wouldn't be out of place in a Gary Larson cartoon. By the time we are introduced to the titular Daisy, it's apparent that this is not Old McDonald's place. In bouncy rhyme that reads aloud brilliantly, we're introduced to a jelly-eating cow, a vain pig, a dancing chicken, and others. The story is simple and fun, the artwork colorful and friendly. This is a story your toddler or preschooler will ask for over and over - and one you won't mind re-reading.

Baby Parade by Rebecca O'Connell and illustrated by Susie Poole is another picture book that will be appreciated by your youngest audience. A diverse group of cheerful babies - some in wagons or strollers, some being worn - parade by, before coming together to practice crawling, standing and walking at a baby party. The text is simple and appealing. The illustrations are adorable - chubby, round-headed babies occupy these pages. It would have been nice to see a child of obvious Hispanic or Asian descent included in the art, but the babies who are included will delight your child.

For the slightly older child, The Three Bears ABC: An Alphabet Book by Grace Maccarone and illustrated by Hollie Hibbert is a clever retelling of the classic tale. "A is for alphabet, And here it is... B is for bears. There were three bears..." Deftly employing each letter in the alphabet, Maccarone relays the well-known tale of breaking and entering in a manner that will have preschoolers giggling. The artwork is bright and rather cartoony - I don't love it, but I think it definitely does have kid appeal. This would be a great book to use in a storytime or even as part of a classroom exercise. Children could use this as a starting point to create their own alphabet books, retelling the tale of their choice. 

Thanks for being patient, Dear Readers, while I got back on track. I have a stack of books here, so more reviews will be up soon! 

disclaimer: The books reviewed in this post were sent to me by Albert Whitman & Company to review for this blog. I read all the books and all opinions expressed here are my own.

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