Saturday, January 31, 2015

Book 400

I'm a Bulldozer, written by Dennis Shealy, illustrated by Bob Staake, Little Golden Books, 2015.

I bought this book for my six-year-old son for two very good reasons:

1.   We have the misfortune of living at the top of the street where a one-year road construction project has been going on for over three years; and

2.   Bob Staake's illustrations.

For over half of my little boy's life, we been driving past road construction vehicles, sometimes standard yellow, sometimes shockingly pink -- most of them just parked  along the side of the road -- just to get from our stretch of road to another.  He has learned the names of all of them, especially the bulldozer.  Dennis Shealy did include some uses of the bulldozer that didn't include construction, so that made the book especially interesting. 

A few months after the construction began, my son discovered books illustrated or written and illustrated by Bob Staake.  Staake quickly became my son's favorite illustrator.  After almost three years, my son is a connoisseur of Staake's work and would know it anywhere.  And he always says it's "beautiful".  And my son is right.

Book 399

The Girl with No Shadow, by Joanne Harris, Harper, 2007.

This book is the sequel or follow-up to Chocolat, but it doesn't really feel like part of a series. 

"The Girl..."  could stand alone just fine without Chocolat, and Chocolat was not originally intended to be more than one book.  While I liked this book and the returning characters, very much, it becomes problematic if I try to make it directly follow Chocolat.  Chocolat felt like it took place at an earlier time -- mid-20th century, whereas this book is very contemporary.  To go from one era to another with the same characters is jarring.  Also, Chocolat did not feel so much about magic -- just charm or glamor -- but the magic angle is very much played up in "The Girl..."

So, I did like this book, very much, but I might have liked it even more if I wasn't trying to make it work with Chocolat.

Book 398

The Nutcracker, retold by John Cech, illustrated by Eric Puybaret, Sterling Books, 2009.

This is a good and comprehensive retelling of the classic tale of The Nutcracker.  The text ran a bit too long to make it a single-sitting book for a six-yeear-old, but there is a place for longer picture books in our home library.

The illustrations are lovely, but oddly straightforward compared to some of the work in other books illustrated by Puybaret.  I would have that the story of The Nutcracker would lend itself perfectly to Puybaret's whimsical and magical style, but, instead, he kept the artwork comparatively subdued.

Book 397

Three Swords for Granada, by Walter Dean Myers, Holiday House, 2005.

I bought this book from our local library because 1)  I wanted to support the library, 2) this book looked interesting, and 3) I want to start reading more chapter books to my Kindergarten son. 

I can't say that I loved this book, but I did mostly like it.  Obviously, an allegory, but I'm not sure how much kids will pick up on that.  Still, it might be a good way to introduce my son to historical events.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Thomas' Third 64th Story

1.     64.          Once upon a time, there was a star.  It was a white star.  The star shattered, and snow fell.  The snow fell in the meadow behind Thomas’ back yard.  And it was magic snow.  Thomas liked the snow, but he couldn’t play in the snow.  The snow could make him sick again.
The End.

Thomas' Third 63rd Story

1.     63.       Once upon a time, there was a Thomas named Thomas.  He got better and better.  Until he was awesome.  So he doesn’t need his medicine anymore.
The End.

Thomas' Third 62nd Story

1.    62.       Once upon a time, there was a Thomas named Thomas.  His bones were red, but his bones are white now.  He is feeling better today.
The End.

Thomas' Third 61st Story

1.     61.          Once upon a time, there was heavenly peace.  “Heavenly” is a long word.  “Heavenly” has three syllables.  Like “Nicolette”. 
The End.

Thomas' Third 60th Story

1.    60.           Once upon a time, there was a Thomas named Thomas.  He took his medicine.  It wasn’t feel-better medicine.  It was get-your-voice-back medicine.  Because Thomas got his voice back.  But Thomas doesn’t feel better yet.
The End.