Saturday, May 7, 2011

Kid Konnection: Fun Picture Books

Every Saturday, I host a feature called Kid Konnection -- a regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. This week I'm going to share with you a few fun picture books novels that I've recently read with Booking Son.

Summary: Meet Charlie. 

He's a ranch dog. Breakfast is his life, especially when bacon is involved. Charlie has dangly ears, floppy skin, and big fat paws. And he loves living in the country. That's because he works like a dog...fixing fences, gardening, and helping his family out on the range. 

Yep, it's all work, all the time for Charlie the ranch dog. In fact, he's probably working right now... 

A ranch dog's work is never done!

Come along as Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, introduces us to her beloved short-legged pioneer dog named Charlie. -- Harper

I don't know who was more excited to read CHARLIE THE RANCH DOG written by Ree Drummond and illustrated by Diane deGroat -- Booking Son or his mom! I am a big fan of Ms. Drummond's recipes and blog so I was anxious to read her new picture book about her dog Charlie. Booking Son, on the other hand, had no clue who Ms. Drummond was, but he just liked the looks of the dog on the cover. I admit that I was drawn to those puppy dog eyes too. Isn't Charlie just adorable?

CHARLIE THE RANCH DOG is positively wonderful! This book really couldn't be any cuter. Charlie thinks he is truly the "King of the Ranch." Throughout the book, he tells the reader about all the important chores that he does around the ranch. In actuality, he spends most of his time eating and napping. Charlie's view of himself was pretty darn funny, and Booking Son and I were laughing throughout the entire story.

In addition to a terrific story and great narrator, the illustrations in this book were just precious. You can tell how adorable Charlie is, but the scenes around the ranch are fun as well. CHARLIE THE RANCH DOG is a must-read picture book! Trust me on this one!

Summary:  When two dastardly sea dogs, Bad Bart and Mean Mo (a female), meet on the high seas, they participate in all kinds of competitions to see which one is the biggest, baddest pirate. They're so evenly matched that there's only one thing to do: get married! It's a love story like no other. Arrgh! -- Disney/Hyperion

Booking Son couldn't wait to get his hands on PIRATE VS. PIRATE: THE TERRIFIC TALE OF A BIG BLUSTERY MARITIME MATCH written by Mary Quattlebaum and illustrated by Alexandra Boiger. Like many boys, he is drawn to pirate things, but I think the sword-fighting on the front cover didn't hurt either.

PIRATE VS. PIRATE tells the story of two pirates, Bad Bart and Mean Mo. They both think that they are the best pirate in the world and they certainly don't lack in self-confidence. When the two meet, they decide to battle it out to see who is officially the best pirate. These two seriously go at each other and give new meaning to the word competitive. Ironically, in the process, they realize that they are a match made in heaven!

PIRATE VS. PIRATE is a very funny pirate story with a cute, surprise ending. Booking Son absolutely loved this book and laughed quite a few times when we were reading it. He loved the illustrations and I could tell that he was checking out all of the details on each page. I think he was pretty surprised that the pirates fell in love with each other and eventually got married, but he kept most of his "yucks" to himself!

As a mom, I enjoyed the story too, but I also appreciated many of the messages in this story. There were some wonderful concepts about friendship, sharing, and love -- three things that kids can never hear often enough!

Summary: Batter up!
Get out the peanuts and Cracker Jacks, and get ready for fun with America's national sport! The unofficial anthem of baseball has never sounded or looked better than it does in this joyful edition, complete with a CD featuring the inimitable Carly Simon. 

Colorful, collage-like illustrations are kids' tickets into "Sluggers Stadium," where two animal teams step up to the plate and vie for victory-all cheered on by Katie Casey, the baseball-loving cat. And what a game it is! Giraffe winds up at the pitcher's mound, hoping for a strikeout. But, with a thwack, ball meets bat and Crocodile is off and running. Can Tiger tag him out at first? He'd better, because Elephant's up next and that will cause a commotion! 

Open the pages, put on the CD-which contains "I Gave My Love a Cherry" and "Scarborough Fair," along with "Take Me Out to the Ball Game"-and introduce young fans to baseball. 

This book is good for your brain because:
Sing-a-long, encourages children to express themselves through performance, introduces rhyming patterns -- Charlesbridge

TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME written by Jack Norworth, illustrated by Amiko Hirao, and performed by Carly Simon is a very fun book to share with your little ones. Parents and kids alike will recognize the words to the classic song "Take Me Out to the Ball Game." And if you're like me, I couldn't help but sing the story to Booking Son. I should be too embarrassed to mention this, but my husband and son were making faces and holding their ears because I can't carry a tune -- even with a bucket!

Booking Son loved singing along (when he wasn't making fun of me), but he also commented on how funny the illustrations were. He and I both agreed that the animals in the story, who appeared as baseball players and fans, were too darn cute. He especially enjoyed the pages where the giraffe was pitching and elephant slides into home plate. I found the colorful pictures to be a perfect complement to the story.

In addition to the adorable story book, there is a CD included which features three songs by Carly Simon! Of course, she sings "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," but there are also two bonus tracks -- "I Gave my Love a Cherry" and "Scarborough Fair." As much as I enjoyed the book, I thought the CD made it extra-special. But then again, how can you go wrong with Carly Simon?

TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME is a great way to introduce your children to baseball. Definitely recommended!

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...

It´s funny how much boys like pirates!

bermudaonion said...

Those books look so cute! I see a video with Ree Drummond and the really Charlie and he is just adorable. I'm sure Vance would have loved that one!

Beth F said...

Love the pirates!

Laura Fabiani said...

What fun books! My son would love these too, especially the Pirate one. And with that ending, I would love it too!

Beth Hoffman said...

The cover of Charlie stole my heart!

Melissa Taylor said...

I thought Pirate vs. Pirate was very cute!

iwriteinbooks said...

Baseball, pirates and puppies?? Are you kidding? this post was an all over success in our house with a three year old boy. ;O)

Karlie said...

I love Ree Drummond! I just make one of her desserts yesterday. Very strange timing.

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

We really like PIRATE VS. PIRATE, too -- a very similar reaction, with young son laughing, while I enjoyed the messages.

That baseball book looks like a hit (no pun intended). Is your son playing t-ball this spring?