Friday, March 25, 2022

Picture Book Friday


They All Saw A Cat by Brendan Wenzel

“The cat walked through the world, with its whiskers, ears and paws…” and so begins the cat’s journey through a series of encounters with a diverse collection of creatures – from bee to bat, fox to flea.

 In each instance, Wenzel treats readers to an imaginative impression of what those creatures might observe from their varied points of view: a bird in flight, the blurry distortion of a fish bowl.  He also explores the emotional impact of the encounters in the frenzied red and black terror of a mouse who sees only danger and the contented cat’s smile at the touch of a child’s hand.

Wenzel uses multiple artistic styles and techniques to represent a host of responses as the cat is perceived as friend, prey, predator or a simple object of curiosity.

The language is simple with only a handful of words per page. That, combined with the repetition of the opening phrase at intervals throughout, allows even young listeners to connect with the narrative.

This 2017 Caldecott Medal Honor book would be a great introduction to a conversation about observation and perception.

Recommended for home and school libraries.

Friday, March 18, 2022

Picture Book Friday


Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld

This seemingly simple story challenges readers to answer the question posed by the well-known visual illusion of duck vs rabbit. Which is it? 

The narrative flows through two voices that offer opposing arguments –

Is it a duck hiding in the swamp or a rabbit hiding in the grass?

A duck flying or a rabbit hopping?

A duck getting a drink or a rabbit cooling its ears?

Each voice tries to make a case for a particular point of view.

In the end the speakers begin to see the other’s position and discover there is no absolute “right” or “wrong” conclusion.

The answer, of course, depends on your perspective!

Rosenthal’s clever dialogue is right on point and pairs perfectly with Lichtenheld’s strong lines and bold colors. 

Here is a fun board book with a subtle message and a surprise twist at the end. Entertaining to read on its own. It has the added bonus of being a perfect conversation starter for a discussion about recognizing and respecting differing points of view.

Kindergarten-Grade 2 Recommended for home libraries.


Friday, March 11, 2022

Picture Book Friday

 Me and Ms. Too written by Laura Ruby and illustrated by Dung Ho

Young Molly can’t recall a time when family wasn’t just her and her father.  They were always together – to splash in the pool, bake treats, play at the park.

Suddenly, that all changes when he marries Molly’s favorite librarian. Ms. Blue was great at reading stories and helping find just the right book. But she doesn’t like to get wet. She’s no good at making muffins. She can’t even cut the kiwis correctly. Everything has changed!

Laura Ruby has created a thoughtful, empathetic story that is reassuring and hopeful as it reminds us that families can come in many forms. Both Molly and young readers discover that difficult as change sometimes is, it can also create wonderful opportunities.

The colorful, richly detailed illustrations pair beautifully with the text. 

For Ages 4-8.

Recommended for home and school libraries.

Friday, March 4, 2022

Picture Book Friday


There's a Dodo on the Wedding Cake – by Wade Bradford with illustrations by Kevin Hawkes

 Bradford’s gift for imaginative story telling takes readers back to the Sharemore Hotel where a wedding party becomes the victim of Mr. Snore’s well-intentioned bumbling.

Mr. Snore is hired to play his violin at a wedding, but arrives early – just in time to chase away the dodo he finds nibbling the wedding cake roses. Hilarious chaos ensues as Mr. Snore races from room to room with the cake as he’s pursued by a whacky collection of creatures – bats, boa constrictor, beavers – even a T Rex. In the end, as improbable as it seems, Mr. Snore appears to have saved the day…until Bradford surprises readers with an unexpected twist.

Hawkes piles on the laughs with his vivid drawings and bold colors. Clearly, this was a perfect combination of author and illustrator talents.

Definitely too much fun not to share.  An enjoyable read aloud or read alone for ages 4-8.

The Gingerbread Cowboy Book Trailer