Saturday, July 24, 2010

Kid Konnection: More Picture Books

Every Saturday, I host a feature called Kid Konnection -- a regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. Today, I'm going to share with you some picture books that Booking Son and I have recently read about two of our favorite things -- sports and reading!

Summary: HOW DID A POOR BOY named Edson - who kicked rocks down roads and dribbled balls made from rags - go on to become the greatest soccer player of all time? While other kids memorized letters, Edson memorized the scores of soccer matches. And when Edson finally played in a youth soccer tournament in the town of Bauru, Brazil, he focused on only one thing from the moment the whistle blew: the goal.

Here is the story of the boy who overcame tremendous odds to become the world champion soccer star Pelé. -- Schwartz & Wade Books

I'd love to tell you that our family are huge soccer fans, but that wouldn't be entirely true. Booking Daughter's soccer career lasted one half of a year and the jury is still out for Booking Son. It's not that he doesn't enjoy playing soccer, but he definitely doesn't love it like he does karate. Despite all of this, we did find ourselves tuning into some World Cup matches!

Shortly after the finals of the World Cup, I received a copy of YOUNG PELE: SOCCER'S FIRST STAR by Lesa Cline-Ransome and illustrated by James E. Ransome. The timing couldn't have been more perfect! Booking Son immediately asked me to read this book to him, and he was quickly caught up in the true story of the international soccer star Pele.

Of course, Booking Son wasn't familiar with Pele, but his parents are both old enough to remember him. Despite my familiarity with some of his soccer shots, I didn't know the background to his real-life story. Not only did Booking Son enjoy learning about Pele, but I found myself extremely interested in his amazing journey to soccer star!

The illustrations, done by the author's husband, were the perfect complement to the story. They were absolutely gorgeous and each page could stand-alone as a beautiful piece of artwork. It's no wonder that Mr. Ransome is an award winning illustrator.

Even though I would classify YOUNG PELE as a picture book, it does have some pages with a fair amount of text. I think it's probably ideal for young elementary age children. I love that there is also a teacher's guide available because I think this book is perfect for use in the classroom.

I definitely recommend YOUNG PELE for the budding soccer star in your life!

Summary: Exhilarating, all-new, kid-friendly rhymes capture the range of emotions, from winning to losing to the sheer joy of participating, that children experience as they discover the games of their choice. Jack Prelutsky, a virtuoso at making poetry fun for the elementary school crowd, includes in this inspired collection poems about baseball, soccer, football, skating, swimming, gymnastics, basketball, karate, and more. His signature lighthearted humor in verse that trips off the tongue is coupled here with the 2006 Caldecott Medal winner Chris Raschka's lickety-split, stylized (and stylish) watercolors. Every page is a blaze of color and motion. Whether Good Sports will create good sports remains to be seen, but it will prove to young boys (and girls) that reading poetry can be fun. -- Knopf

Booking Son and I absolutely adored GOOD SPORTS: RHYMES ABOUT RUNNING, JUMPING, THROWING, AND MORE by Jack Prelutsky and illustrated by Chris Raschka. It is just a fun book that made both of us smile!

GOOD SPORTS is chock full of silly rhymes and poems about various sports. Booking Son has a terrific time guessing each of the sports (when it wasn't spelled out for him.) He also had quite a few favorite poems. However, the final poem in this book was his absolutely favorite because it was about karate:

I chop chop chop without a stop,
I move with great agility.
I break a brick with one quick kick --
Karate. . . that's the sport for me!

The illustrations in this book were just perfect -- and a lot of fun! They were abstract and colorful, and both of us found them very interesting. I thought they were just whimsical enough to fit the mood of the silly poems.

I was excited to find that there is a teacher's guide available for GOOD SPORTS. I think this book is sure to entertain children of all ages whether they enjoy reading or not, and I can only imagine how responsive a classroom of kids would be to this book. What a great way to introduce poetry, right?

A little side note: Jack Prelutsky was named the nation's first Children's Poet Laureate in 2006. He has written more than 40 popular, and award-winning books. I consider GOOD SPORTS a must-read and I am now going to check out some of his other books.

Summary: Calvin is one unusual starling! While his siblings and cousins learn to fly, this rare bird lets his imagination soar while reading about pirates, dinosaurs, and other fascinating things. The other birds call him “geeky beaky,” but Calvin just ruffles his feathers and buries his beak in a book. Yet, when it comes time to migrate, poor Calvin suddenly realizes he can't fly! His sisters, brothers, and cousins carry him into the air.

But on their way south, the winds blow hard, the trees bend, and the air starts to smell strange. It's a hurricane, and only Calvin can save the day-because he has read all about it!
Witty illustrations, an endearing hero, and a delightful story make this a true celebration of the pleasures of reading! -- Sterling

I just love books about books, and I was thrilled to discover an cute one about a little bird that loves to read. I can honestly say that CALVIN CAN'T FLY: THE STORY OF A BOOKWORM BIRDIE by Jennifer Berne and illustrated by Keith Bendis captured my book-loving heart.

With the precious cover, I was pretty sure that I wouldn't be disappointed with this book, but I was curious to see how Booking Son would react. I can honestly say that I'm not sure who enjoyed it more -- me or Booking Son. This book is truly adorable!

Calvin is a little bird who loves books - -who can blame him? While all of his brothers and sisters and cousins are learning "bird-things", Calvin is busy reading. He learns about all kinds of things and his imagination grows; however, Calvin misses out on some basic bird functions like learning how to fly. When it's time to migrate, Calvin's family comes up with a creative way for Calvin to join them. Calvin returns the favor when the birds experience some bad weather during their flight!

CALVIN CAN'T FLY is a wonderful children's book. Both Booking Son and I loved it. It definitely resonated with us because we, too, love books, but it also had lots of humor. At a few points, Booking Son was giggling a lot and an occasional snort even came out of his nose! As a mother, I loved that it had valuable messages about the importance of books and reading. But it also had some important life lessons about family and friendship.

If you are like us and love books, then I think you'll appreciate CALVIN CAN'T FLY!

Summary: With the help of Miss Brooks, Missy’s classmates all find books they love in the library—books about fairies and dogs and trains and cowboys. But Missy dismisses them all—“Too flowery, too furry, too clickety, too yippity.”

Still, Miss Brooks remains undaunted. Book Week is here and Missy will find a book to love if they have to empty the entire library. What story will finally win over this beastly, er, discriminating child? William Steig’s Shrek!—the tale of a repulsive green ogre in search of a revolting bride—of course!

Barbara Bottner and Michael Emberley pay playful homage to the diverse tastes of child readers and the valiant librarians who are determined to put just the right book in each child’s hands. -- Knopf

Another fun book about books is MISS BROOKS LOVES BOOKS! (AND I DON'T) by Barbara Bottner and illustrated by Michael Emberley. I think Booking Son enjoyed this one a little bit more than I did, but I have to say we both thought it was pretty darn cute!

Missy is an extremely reluctant reader who doesn't like books. And, she definitely doesn't understand why Miss Brooks the librarian is so passionate about them. When Missy is forced to read and report on a book for Book Week, she becomes frustrated. It isn't until her mother discovers the "perfect book" that Missy learns that books can be fun!

Booking Son really enjoyed the illustrations in MISS BROOKS LOVES BOOKS! They are just too cute! There really are lots of fun things to look at on each pages, and I just loved Miss Brooks' various character costumes. Plus, it's worth checking out how adorable Missy looks when she dresses as her favorite character!

I think this book will definitely appeal to reluctant readers (like Missy) as well as their parents. However, I also think true book lovers will enjoy it too (although they might relate a bit more to Miss Brooks!) MISS BROOKS LOVES BOOKS! points out that there are books out there for every taste. It's just a matter of finding the right ones! What a terrific message!

Thanks to the publishers for sending review copies of these delightful 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...

Those all look great! Vance loved Jack Prelutsky's work, so I'm sure he would have loved Good Sports.

rhapsodyinbooks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rhapsodyinbooks said...

I wrote a comment but erased it because I was talking about Good Sports as if it says something about being a good sport but I'm not sure if it does or if it just includes poems about sports that are good! But either way, it sounds like something kids would love!

AlleluiaLu said...


I just gave you an award! Hop on over to my blog to claim it:

Have a great day! You do such great things on your blog!

Laura at Library of Clean Reads said...

All the books look great and I think my son would like all of them! Of course, Miss Brooks Loves Books caught my attention. It's true that illustrations are important in a picture book because kids observe them closely and they in part create the story's mood.

Beth F said...

What a great collection of book. I love the sports one -- the poem you shared is fun.

CoffeeShopBloggers said...

Thanks for the book reviews. I actually gave the book Miss Brooks Loves Books to my middle daughter's teacher named Miss Brooks (who also loves books) though she got married half way through the school year and changed her name. Funny coincidence of book finding adult!

Pragmatic Mom
I write a blog on children's lit, education and parenting.