Saturday, November 20, 2010

Kid Konnection: New Releases

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 fun books that I'm sure you will be hearing a lot about in the upcoming weeks!

Summary: In this tender, beautiful letter to his daughters, President Barack Obama has written a moving tribute to thirteen groundbreaking Americans and the ideals that have shaped our nation. From the artistry of Georgia O'Keeffe, to the courage of Jackie Robinson, to the patriotism of George Washington, President Obama sees the traits of these heroes within his own children, and within all of America’s children.

Breathtaking, evocative illustrations by award-winning artist Loren Long at once capture the personalities and achievements of these great Americans and the innocence and promise of childhood.

This beautiful book celebrates the characteristics that unite all Americans, from our nation’s founders to generations to come. It is about the potential within each of us to pursue our dreams and forge our own paths. It is a treasure to cherish with your family forever. -- Knopf

I was so excited to receive a copy of OF THEE I SING: A LETTER TO MY DAUGHTERS by Barack Obama and illustrated by Loren Long. I had seen the cover of the book and I thought it was gorgeous. Plus it just happens to be written by the President of the United States for his daughters. I admit I was a little curious about this picture book and I wondered if it was any good. (Isn't that just awful to approach a book like that?)

I'm happy to say that I really, really liked this book and I highly recommend it to parents and teachers. It's just one of those books that we should be reading to our children. I adored the overall message in this book -- that every child is wonderful and is someone special. But I also loved that this book featured (and paid tribute to) thirteen amazing Americans from George Washington, to Helen Keller to Sitting Bull to Jane Addams. Each page featured a different American hero with a few details on their accomplishments. And in the back of the book, each person was listed with a more detailed (albeit still brief) bio. To me, this book is a great way to introduce some of the great Americans and I hope that by reading it, children will be encouraged to learn more about these individuals.

Not only is it educational, but it is also beautiful. I absolutely love the illustrations by Loren Long. Loren Long is an award-winning and New York Times bestselling artist, and I can clearly see why. I appreciated the images of the famous Americans, and I especially loved the last full page of the book where our country is symbolized through children of all different races, religions, and beliefs -- with all different talents. I found myself getting a little misty-eyed as I read it to Booking Son.

I truly loved OF THEE I SING and it's one of those books that I know we will read over and over again. It's a beautiful tribute to thirteen very important U.S. citizens, but it also has a great message for our children. I hope Malia and Sasha appreciate this book as much as our family did!

Summary: Expect adventure, heart, humor, and hair . . . lots of hair, when Disney Tangled comes to theaters Holiday 2010! With super simple text and full-color illustrations, this Step 1 reader is based on Disney’s swashbuckling, computer-animated comedy. -- Random House

My kids and I are so excited that the release date for the new Disney movie Tangled is less than a week away! We've seen the previews and we can hardly wait to go see it. Since my kids have off almost a week for Thanksgiving, my intentions are that we'll fill one of our afternoons at the movie theater. In the meantime, Booking Son has been keeping entertained with a few books that tie into the movie.

The first book that we tackled was DISNEY'S TANGLED: KINGDOM OF COLOR, written by Melissa Lagonegro and illustrated by Jean-Paul Orpinas, Elena Naggi, and Studio IBOIX. KINGDOM OF COLOR is a Step Into Reading book -- Level 1 so I thought it would be perfect for Booking Son. He is just beginning to read and this book had only a few very easy words per page.

He did an excellent job with this book (much to the delight of his mom!), and I thought the words matched up nicely with the pictures. He didn't need much help with the words, but I could see him checking out the illustrations when he was stuck on a word. His only issue with the book is that it was a little too girly for him. Since the book was primarily about colors and Rapunzel, I could understand his issue. I have a feeling that the movie will be more enjoyable to him because of the male characters, Flynn and Pascal the chameleon.

Ideal for very early readers!

Summary: Expect adventure, heart, humor, and hair . . . lots of hair, when Disney Tangled comes to theaters Holiday 2010! With over 64 pages of gorgeous full-color illustrations, this hardcover Read-Aloud Storybook retells the complete story of the swashbuckling, computer-animated comedy. -- Random House

TANGLED: A READ-ALOUD STORYBOOK, written by Heather Knowles and illustrated by Jean-Paul Orpinas and Studio IBOIX is a beautiful storybook which tells the story of the movie Tangled. The book closely resembles the classic fairy tale Rapunzel, but it has a few modern updates. This book definitely made me even more excited to see the movie.

I thought this story was fantastic. I really liked reading this book to Booking Son prior to seeing the movie, but I have a feeling that we'll be reading it after we see the movie as well. TANGLED is everything I expect in a Disney story. It has a beautiful princess, a villain, a handsome "prince", action, adventure, humor, etc. I thought this book even had enough suspense to keep young boys interested!

I think TANGLED: A READ-ALOUD STORYBOOK is geared towards elementary age children because the book is relatively long for a picture book. In addition, there are quite a few sentences/paragraphs per page. I found that it was a little long for a bedtime story, so we spread it out over the course of a few nights. I think older elementary age kids will like to read it independently.

Of course, the pictures in this book are gorgeous. TANGLED is chock full of beautiful pictures that appear throughout the book's 64 pages. They represent images from the movie... and you all know that Disney knows how to make beautiful animated classics. I loved all of the colors in the kingdom as well as the detailed pictures of the characters, and there is so much to look at on each page.

TANGLED is a fun story which is guaranteed to entertain youngsters (and their moms!)

Thanks to the publisher for sending me copies of this 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!


Veens said...

I did like to get the book by the US President too :o)
It is so nice that he wrote the book for his beautiful daughters... and it has such wonderful message as well.

I love the cover of Tangled!!

Beth F said...

I was going to say pretty much what Veens already said: I didn't realize that Obama wrote the book for his daughters and I love that idea. The illustrations are beautiful. The message, especially from the perspective of a father talking to his daughters, is wonderful.

What a great video too.

Anonymous said...

Such a beautiful book; I'm glad you liked it! So many kids' books have a lack of true depth and meaning. Love this!

bermudaonion said...

Of the I Sing sounds like a marvelous book! I think Vance would have agreed with Booking Son on the Tangled books.

Shonda said...

Great reviews this week! I've been wondering about President Obama's letters to his daughters. I'm looking forward to seeing Tangled. I'm a HUGE Disney fan and this movie just looks so cute! I didn't know there were books to go along with the movie.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I can't wait for Tangled! I have always loved the story, plus I want the doll so I can teach my husband to braid my hair! :--)

Aaron's Books in Lititz said...

I'm soooo looking forward to see Tangled, too bad I don't have a little one to go with me (Aaron gave me the evil eye and said NO, when I asked him if he wanted to see it). I may just have to be one of those creepy middle aged women alone in a kids movie :)

Read the Obama book early Tuesday morning when I was allowed to open the box... and bawled at how beautiful the letter was. We'll be donating a copy to Aaron's school library.

~Sam :)

Jen (Devourer of Books) said...

I really want to get "Of Thee I Sing," it sounds so beautiful.

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

OF THEE IS ING is a wonderful book! Great content, and gorgeous illustrations. It's one I don't mind reading again and again (and again)!

We like those "step into reading" books, too; I haven't seen this one for Tangled, but I'm sure my kids will be asking for it when the movie promos start!

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

Thanks Julie for the information on Of Thee I Sing. I was curious about it too and it sounds wonderful!

Rebecca Rasmussen said...

Can't wait to get this and read it with my daughter Ava. :)

Laura at Library of Clean Reads said...

I wasn't aware there was a book version of the upcoming Tangled movie. Thanks for these reviews!

Tracey M. said...

Thank you for including this book by President Obama, along with the video clip. It looks like a very sweet and also educational book. My library only has 8 copies with 28 holds, so it will be a while until I get it.

Tangled looks really cute too.

Would you mind deleting my #9 entry? I used the wrong blog link! My #10 entry is correct. Thank you for hosting!

LitLass said...

Thanks for the review of Of Thee I Sing. I'm looking forward to reading the book now.