Nana's Gift, by Agy Wilson, 2012 The opening line for Nana's Gift was simple, poetic and a perfect set-up for the story to follow. The tale itself is nothing new -- it is a timeless story of forgiveness and redemption -- but it is told in such a personal way that one can feel an almost immediate connection with the author. It is as if we are being invited into her home and into her memories. There are places in this book that could benefit from the "tightening up" of a very good editor, as long as none of the illustrations are sacrificed. All the illustrations in this book are good, but a couple of them jump out as being something special. A kitchen scene and an outdoor scene, in particular, are beautifully evocative.
This is the first "book" I've read on a computer, and nothing against the story, but I won't be giving up my bookcases any time soon. I could see a grandmother and child reading this book together, and turning the pages together.
"Over in... " by Marianne Berkes and various artists. My first introduction to this "series" was a few years ago when Marianne Berkes visited the library where I worked. I loved her and her books pretty much immediately; it would have been hard not to. She is a former children's librarian turned children's author. She took everything she learned about enjoying and sharing books and wrote books that can be enjoyed and shared. I'll always have a soft spot for "Over in the Ocean" because that was only book in the series at that time and I was able to "help" her perform it at the library for a children's program. But I love this whole series from "Ocean" to her newest, "Forest". I never tire of singing them, which is fortunate, because my son wants to hear at least one "Over in..." at least once a day. I should also add, that even though more than one artist illustrated this series, the chosen illustrator does an amazing job interpreting Marianne Berkes' text for each of the books. Be sure to visit Marianne's website to see ALL of her wonderful books.
I'm taking a break from reviewing individual books because I've noticed a lot of moms in the library on Story Time day are looking for authors of multiple books, or series, for their young readers. So my first series to recommend: How Do Dinosaurs....(anything) by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague. These books were my son's introduction to dinosaurs. The first book I read/bought (same thing for me) was How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You. My little "dinosaur" had no trouble recognizing himself in the dinosaur-like behavior, both good and bad. Any book that can engage a young child (he was two at the time) right away is a winner for the writing. Mark Teague's illustrations for this series are nothing short of brilliant. Thomas had never seen a drawing of a dinosaur before we read the first book. After seeing the dinosaurs in the "I Love You" book, Thomas had no trouble spotting dinosaurs in other illustrations or drawings, and he's even drawn some himself. We own four of the Dinosaur books already, and we'll be buying more, especially since there is a new one coming out for Christmas. Thanks, Jane Yolen and Mark Teague!
Book 110: Over in the Forest, Come and Take a Peek.
Over in the Forest, Come and Take a Peek, written by Marianne Berkes and illustrated by Jill Dubin, Dawn Publication, 2012.
Question: How much does my little boy love this book? Answer: I've had this book for about ten days and have read it easily over twenty times. Simple Answer: A whole lot.
Just like every other Over In... book by the talented Marianne Berkes, this one is set to the tune of Over in the Meadow. That premise make this an easy book to read to toddlers. Not to give anything away, once again, I learned something from Marianne Berkes' text.
The illustrations are delightful. My favorite part, though, is the ascending number of animal tracks, because I learned something from the illustrations.
Any time a book entertains a child and educates an adult, it is a winner.