Saturday, January 29, 2011

Kid Konnection: Picture Book Round-Up

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 picture books that Booking Son and I recently read together.

Summary: Happy Groundhog Day! But when Brownie steps outside, there's not even the slightest sign of spring-just her shadow, a frosty field, and a hungry fox who wants to munch her for lunch. Determined not to become a meal, Brownie finds a clever and tasty way to melt the ice and turn Fox into a friend…and make the wait for winter's end a little warmer. 

Susan Blackaby's deliciously witty writing and Carmen Segovia's adorable animals and stunning landscapes combine to create a picture book filled with springtime joy. Just right for reading with a cup of cocoa and cinnamon toast…Brownie's favorite meal!-- Sterling

BROWNIE GROUNDHOG AND THE FEBRUARY FOX by Susan Blackaby and illustrated by Carmen Segovia is a fun read for this time of year -- as Groundhog Day quickly approaches. This cute picture book tells the story of Brownie a very cunning groundhog and February the fox who wants to eat him! Time and time again, Brownie manages to distract February, save his own life, and eventually make a new friend in the process.

Booking Son really liked this book. He thought it was hilarious that the fox wanted to eat the groundhog for lunch. (Is that boy humor because I just don't get it?) And then he found Brownie's actions to be quite clever. When we finished reading it, he told me that it was a great story -- enough said!

Summary: When the sky grows dark
and the moon glows bright,
everyone goes to sleep . . .
except for the watchful owl!

With a spare, soothing text and beautifully rich and textured illustrations of a starry night, this is the perfect “book of sleep.” Join the owl on his moonlit journey as he watches all the other animals settle in for the night: some sleep standing up, while some sleep on the move! Some sleep peacefully alone, while others sleep all together, huddled close.

Il Sung Na makes his American debut with this gorgeous bedtime offering. While each animal rests in its own special way, little ones will also drift off to a cozy sleep. -- Knopf

A BOOK OF SLEEP by Il Sung Na is a sweet board book for toddlers and perfect for bedtime reading. This adorable book shows various animals and the different ways that they sleep. For example, elephants makes a lot of noise when they sleep and giraffes sleep standing up. But no matter all the different ways animals sleep, they all wake up when the sun comes out -- except the owl!

Of course, Booking Son is way too old for this book, but he did like reading the simple words on each page. We also liked the colorful watercolor illustrations on each page -- they were not only beautiful but interesting to look at.

I highly recommend this book for babies and toddlers, especially before bedtime!

Summary: Evelyn is lots of things. Circus performer. Antarctic explorer. I'm not.

Here is the perfect book for children who feel like their outgoing friend is oh-so-talented . . . and they're not. Our shy narrator lists all the things that her best friend, Evelyn, is good at—from jumping on the bed to roller skating really fast. Luckily, Evelyn points out what makes her so special: she's a one-of-a-kind true blue best friend. Robert Weinstock's hilarious illustrations wonderfully complement Pam Smallcomb's simple text, perfect for young children. This sweet depiction of friendship shows—in a completely fresh, original way—that everyone is special. -- Schwartz & Wade

I'M NOT. by Pam Smallcomb and illustrated by Robert Weinstock is another fantastic picture book. In fact, I think I enjoyed this one even more than Booking Son did. I'M NOT. tells the story of a young girl who feels intimidated because her best friend Evelyn is so special. At the end of the book, she realizes that she not only has her own special talents, but that she is also a wonderful friend.

As a mother, I really appreciated the messages in this book. I am amazed at how young my children were when they started realizing that their friends were "better" at certain things than they were. I remember being so sad when each one of them because aware of their limitations (especially in sports) because it was almost like a loss of innocence to me. Maybe that's why I'm such a big fan of I'M NOT. It is the perfect book to help children realize that they each have their own special talents. And more importantly, I love that this book shows the value in being a good friend.

Summary: Big Bad Wolf’s first visit to his local library (as related in Mind Your Manners, B.B. Wolf) was such a success that he returns to tell his version of “The Three Little Pigs.” His outrageous spin on the tale draws skeptical remarks from his audience: “Isn’t that wolf’s nose getting longer?” asks Pinocchio. “It’s a cooked-up, half-baked tale,” snaps the Gingerbread Boy. And “Tell the truth, B.B. Wolf!” squeal the Three Little Pigs. Caught in his own lie, B.B. explains that he is a reformed villain: “Now I’m begging on my knees, Little Pigs, forgive me, please!” How B.B. turns his bad old deed into a good new one provides a happy ending to this fun-to-read fractured fairytale. -- Knopf

TELL THE TRUTH, B.B. WOLF by Judy Sierra and illustrated by Jotto Seibold is such a fun picture book. Both Booking Son and I laughed a lot while reading this one. When B.B. Wolf is invited to the library to tell the story of the three pigs, he puts his own slant on the story. Good thing the pigs (and their friends) are there to keep him honest! The wolf eventually sees the light, asks for forgiveness, and even makes some reparations! to the pigs.

I can't tell you how much fun we had reading TELL THE TRUTH, B.B. WOLF. Of course, my singing of the pig songs no doubt added to the humor of the story. The wolf is hilarious when he gives his own rendition of the story, but the supporting characters (the three pigs, Humpty Dumpty, Pinocchio, Little Engine, and the Gingerbread Boy) are also quite funny as they call out the wolf on the veracity of his tale.

Not only is the story very entertaining, but the illustrations are terrific. They are bright and whimsical and absolutely the perfect complement to this fun book. This one is definitely a must-read for young kids who appreciate humorous stories!

Thanks to the publishers for sending 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!


rhapsodyinbooks said...

That B.B. Wolf book looks like a lot of fun! Today I also have a post up on a children's book. It's about tennis player Arthur Ashe.

Laura Fabiani said...

All these books look great but especially I'm Not. I love books that work on a child's self-esteem.

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

C'mon --- post a vlog of you singing the pig song from B. B. Wolf :)

I linked up my review of PRETTY PENNY SETS UP SHOP.

Rebecca Rasmussen said...

These books look so good you kind of make me want to have another bambino to read them to :) XOX!

bermudaonion said...

They all look good, but I'm Not really grabs my attention. It looks like a real winner!

Tracey M. said...

Thanks again for your thorough reviews! The Book of Sleep is right up our alley like a couple of the books I had on my book list this week. I love books that help J in the bedtime process!

LitLass said...

Great choices this week! We should get a groundhog book--I'll see if the library has that one.