Thursday, June 6, 2019

Children's Book Reviews

Celebrated artist and lead character designer of Brave, Ratatouille, and Despicable Me, Carter Goodrich, shows that sometimes, even the prickliest people—or the crankiest cacti—need a little love.

Hank is the prickliest cactus in the entire world. He sits in a pot in a window that faces the empty desert, which is just how he likes it. So, when all manner of creatures—from tumbleweed to lizard to owl—come to disturb his peace, Hank is annoyed.

He doesn’t like noise, he doesn’t like rowdiness, and definitely does not like hugs.

But the thing is, no one is offering one. Who would want to hug a plant so mean? Hank is beginning to discover that being alone can be, well, lonely.

So he comes up with a plan to get the one thing he thought he would never need: a hug from a friend.

"Dominated by subtle earth tones true to its desert setting, spare yet emotive watercolor art reveals how the cactus, with a small act of kindness, disproves the book's title.  In wryly understated words and pictures, Goodrich delivers a tale that is equally charming and droll - and a smart pick for cranky kids."  - Publishers Weekly

This adorable book shows how a cactus learns that being grumpy and alone isn't as fun as he thought.  Loved the pictures and the point of this story.  Definitely a good book to add to a child's library.

Newbery Award honoree Ashley Bryan has hand-selected a collection of celebrated English poet Christina Rossetti’s poems to illustrate with his inimitable flourish.

The world changes so quickly, but the joy and fun of being a child always remains. Christina Rossetti’s classic nursery rhymes have embodied the simple essence of childhood for centuries, and now award-winning illustrator Ashley Bryan brings new life to them with this wonderfully illustrated selection of Rossetti’s poetry.

Bryan’s bright and intricate collage art perfectly complement Rossetti’s simple text, and together they create a vibrant book for both kids—and kids at heart.

"Exuberant art complements these well-regarded poems, revealing their perhaps undervalued playfulness." - Publishers Weekly

A bright and colorful book of poetry for children that speaks of colors and nature.  The pictures will keep a child's interest but I wasn't a fan of the poetry.  Maybe it's just not my thing or maybe it was a bit all over the place to suit me.

From award-winning author-illustrator Stephen Savage comes a playful wordless picture book about what the figures on road signs do when no one is around!

What do the figures on signs do when no one is watching? Under cover of night, they leave their signs to play and collaborate in this imaginative story by celebrated author-illustrator Stephen Savage.

"Savage's aesthetic and mastery of color are tailor-made for this inventive story, imbuing everyday objects with a vivid sense of character and narrative.  Readers won't be able to see signage the same way again."  -Publishers Weekly

This book is all pictures but it is definitely a story.  It's pretty abstract.  I think a child would be interested in the pictures and trying to figure out what they will do.  What I'm not sure about is the point of the story.  Interesting but not my choice.

A breathtaking picture book about the relationships we share from New York Times bestselling storytellers Julie Fogliano and Loren Long in the tradition of The Runaway Bunny and Guess How Much I Love You.

if i was the sunshine
and you were the day
i’d call you hello!
and you’d call me stay

if you were the winter
and i was the spring
i’d call you whisper
and you’d call me sing…

Through clever, thought-provoking verse and warmly evocative art, New York Times bestsellers Julie Fogliano and Loren Long explore the awe-inspiring nature of relationships, love, and connection.

This a beautiful book of brilliant pictures and a lovely poem.  There is more going on in the story than the words and there is lots to talk to a child about as the pages are turned.  I enjoyed it very much. 

A fabulously funny new story from the bestselling creator of Barry the Fish with Fingers and Norman the Slug with the Silly Shell.

Alan the bear has a problem. He needs a wee! But there are so many things he would rather do first. Will he make it to the loo on time? And when he gets there, will there be a queue?! Uh-oh...

What I wanted from this book never happened. I love the premise but it fell short. Why? Because the busy little bear never makes to a potty. Why? If you want to convince a young potty training child to stop for a moment to use the potty, then the bear in the story needs to as well.

Two kindred spirits—a lonely young girl and a solitary young dragon—find each other and discover the power and magic of friendship in this sweetly simple picture book.

Every day, Rosie waits and watches as children play together, laugh and share stories, hoping she can join in the fun and make a new friend. But every day her wish never comes true.

Every day, Rasmus sits in his tree and waits and watches as birds dance in the sky, wishing he could fly just like them. But every day his wish never comes true.

Then one day, Rosie and Rasmus meet and girl and dragon are lonely no more. They become the best of friends, playing together, laughing, sharing stories…and Rosie even helps Rasmus learn to fly! But when Rasmus finds his wings, he knows he must also find his fate. Two best friends say goodbye, as Rasmus flies away.

But then…a lonely girl watches and waits as children play together, laugh and share stories, hoping she can join in the fun and make a new friend. And today, when Rosie brings her a flower, she does.

Serena Geddess’s enchanting tale is sure to make readers believe in the transformative power of love, friendship, and faith.

This is an adorable story about a girl who's shy. She develops an imaginary friend and together they solve the problem of her dinosaur flying. Through the journey, Rosie learns to take a risk on making friends. When she says goodbye to her imaginary friend, she's able to risk making a real one. Very cute.

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