Summary: When the children are away…the animals will play. Susan Collins Thoms makes a sparkling picture book debut with this hilarious story of class pets on the loose; colorful and humorous pictures by Québécois artist Rogé add to the great fun.
Life is great for Cesar the iguana. After all, he went from living in Pets-A-Plenty to an excellent new home in Ms. Lee’s elementary school classroom—with 25 best friends to pamper him. But now spring break has arrived, the kids are gone, and poor Cesar’s a puddle of sadness. Until…he takes a vacation too! From classroom to classroom he wanders, meeting all the other school pets and making hilarious notes in his journal.
Before long, he’s feasting on strawberries, dancing the Iguana Shuffle, and playing hockey in the teacher’s lounge. Will he ever want to return to his cage?
Cesar’s having a blast—and young readers will too! -- Sterling
CESAR TAKES A BREAK by Susan Collins Thoms and illustrated by Roge is just a wonderful and very entertaining book. I don't know who liked it more -- me or Booking Son. While I read a lot of books to Booking Son, this time we did something a little different -- we listened to the audio version of this book while also looking at the pages. It was definitely a good time for both of us!
CESAR TAKES A BREAK is the story of Cesar, an iguana who lives in a second grade classroom. When the kids leave for spring break, Cesar is sad to find that he's been left behind. He ends up going on his own vacation by visiting the other classrooms and meeting the other classroom pets. He has a great time and has to decide if he wants to stay on spring break forever.
The book is just precious. Not only is the story told in Cesar the iguana's unique voice, but it is also in the form of a Cesar's daily journal. The reader learns about Cesar's adventures in the elementary school. Some of his experiences include breaking into the Principal's computer, bowling with a guinea pig, and dancing the Iguana Shuffle with all the school pets. Booking Son thought it was a "pretty funny book, " and he loved the music.
At the back of the print copy of the book, there is a list of "a few fascinating facts about green iguanas" written by Cesar. Not only is it educational, but it is also very cute!
Sterling is launching a brand-new program called Listen-Along Storybook which provides parents and children with free audio books of their most successful titles, as well as a Jokecast featuring jokes from Sterling’s many joke books, all for free! The audio books and the Jokecast were made Sterling's little recording studio. They are voiced entirely by Sterling employees and even have original music!
Robert Agis, the creator of the Listen-Along Storybook program and the voice of Cesar, was hilarious and very fun to listen to. I think Booking Son enjoyed hearing the story in the characters' voices (I have a feeling that he finds his mother's attempts at voices to be pretty lame!)
Since I'm trying to encourage Booking Son to read, I absolutely love the idea of him being able to listen to a book while also following along with the words on each page. What I love even more is that these audio books are available for free!
I am so excited that Sterling is starting the Listen-Along Storybook program. I am predicting that it's going to be a big hit with kids and parents alike!
Check out this very funny video for a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the audio book for CESAR TAKES A BREAK:
Thanks to the publisher for sending me a review copy of this book.
Amazing Giveaway Alert: Thanks to the fine folks at Sterling, I have three sets of all eight books in the Listen-Along Storybook Collection! That means that three winners will win eight books each. (You can click here to see all the titles.) All you have to do is visit the Listen-Along Storybook site and tell me what book appeals to you the most. Please leave a valid email address along with the name of the book. This giveaway will be open until Saturday, March 20, 2010 at 11:59 p.m. ET, and I will notify the winners the following day. This contest is open to those of you in the U.S. and Canada only -- no p.o. boxes please. Good luck!