Saturday, May 22, 2010

Kid Konnection: Picture Books Roundup

Every Saturday, I host a feature called Kid Konnection -- a (hopefully) regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. Today, I am going to share with you some great picture books that Booking Son and I have read over the past few weeks!

Summary: “Once it starts—the longing for a dog—there is no cure for it.” Not checkers or kites or furry boots with zippers; not playing the trumpet or sharing movie popcorn with your friend; nothing can stop the longing for a dog. . . . Nothing—but a dog!

With lyrical text and art that ranges from bright and colorful to subtle and dreamy, this book perfectly captures one little girl’s yearning for a barking, bounding best friend. Readers young and old will recognize themselves in this emotionally satisfying, universal story of childhood longing and canine companionship. -- Dutton

NOTHING BUT A DOG by Bobbi Katz and illustrated by Jane Manning is a book that will resonate with many children (and dog lovers.) It tells the story of a young girl who has puppy fever -- she desperately wants a dog! She references all of the fun things in her life, but admits that they are not the same without a dog. Then she goes through all of the exciting things that she would do with her new dog.

I loved reading this book because the words were beautiful and water-color illustrations were gorgeous. I felt as if the text and pictures really enhanced the story and gave the reader the impression of how much this little girl wanted a dog.

Ms. Katz wrote this book in the early 1970s, but publishers weren't interested in a story about a girl who climbs trees and plays the trumpet. They even suggested that she change the main character to a boy! Ms. Katz refused and ended up at the Feminist Press, a publisher who was looking for books about "modern" girls. Recently, Dutton Children's Books decided to re-release this book so today's children could experience this terrific story.

What I found so interesting when I read this book to both of my children is that they didn't think anything was strange about a girl with a tool bench who also likes to climb trees. They never even gave it a second thought. I definitely consider that progress!

Summary: With a quack, a snack, a cluck, and a tuck, baby Ted is ready for slumber in this winsome bedtime book.

It's time for bed, but where is baby Ted? He's not baby Ted! Try and guess what he is instead. Whether baby Ted is pretending to be a snapping crocodile, squeaky mouse, or prickly porcupine, one thing is clear: this baby beastie is not headed for dreamland! But Dad helps his little animal get into pajamas, brush his teeth, and snuggle under the covers. -- Holiday House

TIME FOR BED, BABY TED by Debra Sartell and illustrated by Kay Chorao is a cute book that's just right for bedtime reading. Parents will relate to baby's bedtime antics -- anything to extend the day. (Sound familiar to any of you parents out there?) And kids will love guessing what animal Ted is pretending to be.

As Ted plays his game, his daddy runs him through his nighttime routine. The crocodile Ted gets dressed, the Ted frog goes potty, the Ted bat brushes his teeth, etc. At the end of the book, the daddy stresses to Ted that he is a big boy and got himself ready for bed. It's a sweet story that parents and kids like will enjoy.

Summary: Please Take Me for a Walk is a celebration of dogs and kids and community.

The book stars a very persuasive pup pleading with his best friend—the reader!—to take him for a walk. He recounts all the fun things they can see and do: chase squirrels in the yard, greet neighbors on their block, visit the shopkeepers downtown, swing by the schoolyard, and then run and play in the park. The dog run at the park is filled with all kinds of amazing purebreds and mutts, and our puppy wants them all to see "my best friend and me."

Susan Gal uses this story of a dog's best walk ever to catalog all the favorite places in a child's world. She starts in the house and the yard, then widens her scope to the block, the neighborhood, downtown, and the park. And she captures the magical way the people of a community can be brought together through their pets.

The dog's enthusiastic voice and eagerness to go out walking will resonate with any dog owner. And Susan Gal's artwork is so enticing and adorable it will have even confirmed cat lovers heading for the pound!

Happy walking, everyone! -- Knopf

PLEASE TAKE ME FOR A WALK by Susan Gal is too darn cute! I loved this book and Booking Son agreed. Even though we don't have a dog, we still love them and definitely appreciated this very sweet story about a dog who just wants to go for a walk. I must say he's a very convincing dog because he had me ready to put my shoes on and grab a leash. He so had me when he rolled over on his back and begged.

There are many reasons that I enjoyed this book. It's perfect for little ones because it has bright pictures and only a few words per page. But it's also fun for preschoolers because there is a lot to explore on the pictures. As a mom, I liked that one of the book's themes was community. As a way to convince the reader to take him for a walk, the dog outlined all of the people they could visit and make happy including the people playing chess, the baker, and even the bookseller (very smart dog!)

As you can see I just loved this story, but I also thought the illustrations were spectacular (and so much fun!) Each page was filled with bright colors and I just adored all of the mixed-media collage pictures. The dogs were just precious, but I also thought the textures and patterns on them were very eye-catching. There is no doubt that Ms. Gal's pictures enhanced my enjoyment of this book!

PLEASE TAKE ME FOR A WALK is another great book that will appeal to both parents and children and especially dog lovers!

Summary: Animal Soup tickles the taste buds and the funny bone!

Get ready to meet squales, gorillacans, birdles, and many more mixed-up creatures when you try to guess what's under each sturdy flap. Bold art, playful text, and silly names will have children asking for a second helping of Animal Soup. This deliciously mixed-up animal book is from the author and illustrator of The Zoo I Drew! The ingredients for Animal Soup include: a squale (squirrel + whale), birdle (bird + turtle), a tigeroceros (tiger + rhinoceros), croctopus (crocodile + octopus), a gorillican (gorilla + pelican), a flamonkey (flamingo + monkey), and one tall, big eared girelephant (giraffe + elephant)! -- Golden Books

What a fun book for toddlers! ANIMAL SOUP by Todd H. Doodler (he is a self-proclaimed doodler!) is too much fun! It's obviously geared towards pre-schoolers/toddlers, but my almost six year old son thought this book was hilarious. He's still giggling about it!

ANIMAL SOUP is a board book with big flaps so it's perfect for little hands. My kids have always loved interactive books and this one would have been a huge hit. Well, what am I saying? ANIMAL SOUP is still a big hit with Booking Son! It's a very silly book and perfect for my son's unique sense of humor.

The idea behind the book is that you can combine two totally different animals and come up with a new animal. When the child lifts the big flap, there is a picture of the "new" animal. Here's my favorite: a flamingo and a monkey make a flamonkey! Booking Son giggled his way through this book and loved guessing the names of the animals.

The illustrations are extremely cute and perfect for this book. They are relatively simple, yet positively adorable. The characters all have huge eyes and look very silly. The new animal creations are rather funny-looking!

As I'm writing this review, the book just disappeared! Booking Son ran off with it because he loves it so much. He's in the family room reading it to himself and laughing so hard he's almost snorting. I thought the book was very cute, but I obviously don't appreciate it the same way a kid would! Booking Son's laughter is the best recommendation I can give for this book!

Thanks to the publishers for sending me review copies of these books.

If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, please leave a comment as well as a link below with your name/blog name and the title of the book! Feel free to grab the little button too!


bermudaonion said...

Vance would have loved the two dog books!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

The art work on these looks adorable. Sometimes I just go in the kids section and look at all the pictures - kids today are so lucky to have books with such wonderful illustrations!

Laura Fabiani said...

What cute books! Now that my kids are more into chapter books I sometimes miss reading these adorable books.