Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Book 82

Big Red Barn, by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Felicia Bond, HarperCollins 1995

Another book has migrated downstairs for my review. Before I wrote this review, I had to do a little research on the author. I vaguely remembered that she had no children and died young -- I was right: she never married, had no children and died of a post-surgery blood clot in 1952 at the age of 42. Yet her work lives on in a big way. Why?

Big Red Barn, like Goodnight Moon, reads like a lullaby. It is about impossible to not lull your voice when reading it. Its phrases end with a gentle rhyme, not forced-feeling rhyming couplets. And, also like Goodnight Moon, as the book winds down, the phrases become shorter until they just disappear and the story is over. That's why an adult at a child's bedtime would like. Why a toddler likes it, I don't know. It could be the animal noises interspersed in the story. It could be the lullaby effect of the book. It could be anything. I just know that my toddler likes it.

Felicia Bond is very well-known for her illustrations in the "If You Give..." series, and rightfully so. Her pictures brim with personality, color and humor. None of those qualities are lost in this edition of Margaret Wise Brown's classic.

*For other reviews, please see Books I Buy and Why

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Fairy Tale Haiku -- 9

The Reluctant Dragon

Exchange of poems?
That’s what we do! Maybe we
Are good dragons, too.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Bonus Poem

My Leg

No boot, and only sometimes a cane
I can go hours without any pain
My leg’s a bit nubbly
The hair’s a bit stubbly
But I wouldn’t have the cheek
To complain --
I only have therapy one time a week!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Fairy Tale Haiku -- 8

Red shoes

Orphan girl, red shoes;
She dances without ceasing.
Loses feet, not head

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Book 81

Brainy Baby -- Shapes and Colors, Brainy Baby Company LLC, 2005

When I first found out I was pregnant, I went shopping at my local Waldenbooks to pick up some board books. Sadly, the Waldenbooks is gone now, but I still have the books I found on that trip.

I spotted the Brainy Baby collection and knew I just had to have it for my little peanut. After all, I wanted him (or her) to have every advantage. Shapes and Colors is one of a set of four, and I'm reviewing it first, because it happens to be downstairs (thanks, Thomas), and carrying things up and down the stairs is still a challenge.

What to say about this book? Well, first it is very sturdy. This was one of the first books I let my little boy hold when he was still a baby, and it still is in near-perfect shape. As the title would indicate, it is very colorful. It does present shapes in an easy-for-a-toddler-to-understand way. Apart from calling a rectangle a square, my not-yet-three-year-old has mastered this book. And toddlers/preschoolers really seem to love it. After all, my little boy brought it downstairs for me to read with him.

The other three books in this collection are just as good, and I'll be reviewing them as they show up down the stairs.

*For other reviews, please see Books I Buy and Why

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Fairy Tale Haiku -- 7

The Ring and the Rose

"Little misfortune",
Fairy Blackstick, ring and rose --
Rightful royals wed

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Book 80

How Do Dinosaurs Count to Ten?, written by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Mark Teague, Blue Sky Press 2004

A few weeks ago I reviewed "How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You?" and wrote that it was my favorite dinosaur book so far. It still is. However, I think "How Do Dinosaurs Count to Ten?" may be my son's favorite.

I'm still recovering from my badly broken leg, so although I can hobble around downstairs or upstairs wearing my boot and not using a crutch or a cane (I look like toddler walking!), and cannot go upstairs or downstairs without using a crutch or a cane and relying on the handrail. Therefore, I cannot carry anything upstairs or downstairs. I thought I was out of books downstairs to review until my son hunted through his library, found this book, and said "again". That "again" is the charm of this book.

The last question in this book is "Now that he's counted from one to ten, how does a dinosaur count again?" And the answer, which my son gave when he handed me this book, is "again". Next to "no", "again" and "more" are probably his favorite words. Because this book was written years before he was born, I'm guessing he is not alone in toddler world in favoring that word. And to have it at the end of a counting story, well, that's just perfection for him.

I love, love, love Mark Teague's illustrations (again!). My only complaint would be that he is so brilliant and I am so jealous -- but I can get over that and buy his brilliantly illustrated books.

*For other reviews, please see Books I Buy and Why

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Fairy Tale Haiku -- 6

Frog Prince

“Kiss me!” croaks the frog
“No!” cries princess, “Well, OK”
Prince from frog becomes