Saturday, February 26, 2011

Kid Konnection: More Fun 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 fun picture books that Booking Son and I have been enjoying!

Summary: From the award-winning team behind A Curious Collection of Cats comes a new collection of visual poems celebrating all things canine—from obedience school, to backyard break outs, to flatulent Fidos. Whether your best friend is a plucky Jack Russell, an indecisive basset hound, or a poodle with an indiscriminate appetite, you're sure to find this dazzling display doggone delightful. -- Tricycle Press

A DAZZLING DISPLAY OF DOGS by Betsy Franco and illustrated by Michael Wertz was a huge hit with Booking Son... and me too! While it looks like a normal picture book from the outside, it is actually a book filled with lots of fun poems about dogs. Many of the poems are rather silly and that made them perfectly geared to my six year old son.

As much as we did enjoy the poems, I think the presentation of them was what made this book extra-special in my eyes. The illustrations are terrific and colorful, and they are whimsical too, which makes them ideal for these style of poetry. In addition, the text of the poems are even presented in an artistic way. Some poems have words that "travel," while others have words forming the shapes of dogs and other images.

I'm not sure my brief review did justice to A DAZZLING DISPLAY OF DOGS. It's one of those books that you just have to see for yourself.

Summary: Felicity likes adventures. Cordelia likes to stay home. While Felicity sets off on her hot air balloon, Cordelia picks berries and bakes pies. Through letters, paintings, and dreams, the two are never far apart. When Felicity runs into trouble on her trip, she knows that it's time to come back home.

This charming story of two unlikely friends shows that differences can be a good thing. -- Frances Foster Books

FELICITY & CORDELIA: A TALE OF TWO BUNNIES by Lisa Jahn-Clough is a cute book about two very different bunnies. Felicity is definitely the more adventurous of the two, and Cordelia is more of a worry-wart and homebody. When Felicity decides to take a trip in a hot-air balloon, the two friends realize just how much they care about each other.

Booking Son liked this story although he wasn't able to articulate why. (It could have been his mood because sometimes he does get tired of having to offer an opinion on every book!) I thought this book was very sweet and demonstrated that it's okay for friends to to be different. The story was told in a very gentle way and showed that while both Felicity and Cordelia realized their differences, they didn't find the need to disagree about them. As a mom, I liked that this book had strong messages about kindness, acceptance, and friendship.

In addition to the sweet story, this book also had some very cute illustrations. The pictures were simple, yet colorful, and even a provided a few laughs for Booking Son and me. I definitely think they were the perfect complement to the story.

FELICITY & CORDELIA is a precious book that will appeal to young children and parents alike.

Summary: Bestselling, award-winning author/illustrator Mark Teague makes readers laugh aloud when LaRue goes on vacation with Mrs. Hibbins's cats!

Ike's plans for a peaceful cruise with Mrs. LaRue are thwarted when their neighbor, Mrs. Hibbins, falls suddenly ill from heat stroke. Mrs. LaRue suggests that she and Ike care for her cats while Mrs. Hibbins is in the hospital, inviting them along on the cruise. But cats aren't allowed, and Mrs. LaRue decides to take them all on a week's vacation of road-tripping.

Ike begs and begs for bus fare in his letters to Mrs. Hibbins, but why does she not respond? As they drive farther and farther from the coast, his wistful dreams of a cruise fade into desperation over the desert horizon. Ike complains he is low on bones, and Mrs. LaRue is almost out of patience. It now seems that nothing short of an empty gas tank can bring this horror show of a road trip to a haulting stop. But then what?

Join Mark Teague on this wonderful romp of a road trip across America's immediately recognizable tourist destinations. Teague masterfully drives us to the story's very satisfying ending through his hilarious text and slyly smart paintings. We are left with one profound question: Can cats and dogs really be friends?!-- Scholastic

And last, but certainly not least is the new LaRue book LARUE ACROSS AMERICA: POSTCARDS FROM THE VACATION by Mark Teague. Three words for this book... Too Darn Cute! Both Booking Son and I loved it (although I'll admit that I might have enjoyed it a bit more than he did!)

Booking Son was so excited to receive LARUE ACROSS AMERICA because he had just brought home another LaRue book from the library a few days earlier. He thought it was "perfect timing." And I had to agree. I wasn't familiar with the LaRue books prior to last week, but now I can say I'm a huge fan. These books are terrific and have just enough humor that parents and children will want to read them over and over again.

The premise behind LARUE ACROSS AMERICA is that LaRue and his owner and going to go on a cruise for a vacation until they get stuck babysitting a neighbor's cats. Instead they decide to take a car trip across the country, and LaRue is far from happy about this. On each page, there are hilarious postcards written by LaRueLaRue is a hoot and had me laughing out loud on many occasions. One thing's for sure...that LaRue is one manipulative doggie!

I adore LaRue and his postcards, but I would be remiss if I didn't mention the illustrations in this book. They are spectacular! I love how LaRue is portrayed as well as the two cats (they are quite funny in their own way.) And I definitely appreciated how the pictures showed the characters playing at the various tourist attractions across the country like the Empire State Building, Dino-Land Theme Park, and the Grand Canyon. The pictures of the animals are hilarious and I might have even snorted when I saw LaRue and the cats riding a donkey along the Grand Canyon! And don't even get me started about the cats and the maracas...

LARUE ACROSS AMERICA is an extremely entertaining book, but it also had a cute message about unlikely friendships. I really can't rave enough about this book and I highly recommend reading it with the kiddo in your life!

Thanks to the publisher 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!


Beth F said...

Sounds like you and Booking Son have had some winners.

bermudaonion said...

Vance would have adored A Dazzling Display of Dogs - he favored books that had to do with dogs and/or trucks. Lots of great titles this week!

Rebecca Rasmussen said...

Yay, now bird daughter and I have yet another reason to go to the bookstore and the library! :)

Booksnyc said...

My nephew would love La Rue! Thanks for introducing me to it!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I don't know why but I love books starring rabbits, because they are such a nuisance in real life!

LitLass said...

They sound like great choices. I'm adding them all to our goodreads list. Thanks!

Lisa Jahn-Clough said...

Oh, thanks soooo much for reading, liking, and reviewing my book, FELICITY AND CORDELIA: A Tale Of Two Bunnies. You just made my day!
all the best, Lisa

Tracey M. said...

The Dazzling/Dogs book sounds interesting. We just got our first book of poems (If Peas Could Taste Like Candy) and I love all the rhyming. The bunny books sounds cute too; it reminds me of Toot and Puddle two pig friends with very different interests too.