Saturday, October 29, 2011
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 some very cute picture and board books.
LITTLE BLUE AND LITTLE YELLOW by Leo Lionni is a wonderful children's classic. It was actually Mr. Lionni's first book (he wrote it in 1959 before board books were even invented!), and I'm extremely excited that it's being re-released as a board book. LITTLE BLUE AND LITTLE YELLOW was a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of that year, and I have to say that it's timeless. I found it to be positively delightful.
LITTLE BLUE AND LITTLE YELLOW tells the story of two friends who just happen to be blue and yellow blobs of paint. The loved to play with each other and had many different games; however, one day, they couldn't find each other. When they finally discovered each other again, they immediately hug and, of course, turn green. They eventually return to their own colors (and, therefore, recapture their identities) and teach young readers some valuable lessons!
I absolutely adore this fun little story, but the illustrations are outstanding too. They encompass everything I've come to know and love about a Lionni book. They are simple, yet bright and colorful, and sure to capture even the youngest one's attention. I especially enjoyed LITTLE BLUE AND LITTLE YELLOW because, not only was it a cute story about friendship, but it also introduces the concept of mixing colors.
A must-have for all children's book collections! Think Christmas or first birthday present, or possibly even a baby shower gift!
FARMYARD BEAT by Lindsey Craig and illustrated by Marc Brown is another cute book which is ideal for little ones. When the farmyard animals can't sleep, they have a big dance party. They all have so much fun that they eventually tire themselves out and fall asleep!
I thought FARMYARD BEAT was precious! Booking Son informed me that it was a baby book (and it definitely is geared towards younger kids), but we still giggled a bit when he read it to me. I think toddlers will most appreciate this book and I'm fairly confident that they will the cute story and the rhyming cadence. I also think they will enjoy making the various animal sounds with the reader.
My favorite part of FARMYARD BEAT is probably the illustrations by Marc Brown (of Arthur fame!) They are, of course, adorable, but they look a little bit different than most of Brown's books. You can see a slight resemblance to some of his other characters in the faces; however, these drawings have a more textured appearance -- almost a mixed media look. I'm probably not using the right "terms" so just look at the cover to get an idea of the patterns.
I highly recommend FARMYARD BEAT to toddlers and preschoolers -- it's a perfect bedtime story!
On Mondays she sculpts with Clay Lumpkin.
On Tuesdays she does water ballet with Miss Goldfisher.
On Wednesdays she knits with Mrs. Pearl Stitchem.
On Thursdays she takes tuba lessons with Mr. Oompah.
On Fridays she yodels with Little Old Lady Hoo.
On Saturdays she studies karate with Grand Master HiYa!
And on Sundays she practices yoga with Guru Prakash Pretzel
Her well-meaning, busy parents have packed her after-school hours, turning Ernestine into the over-scheduled poster child of today.
But Ernestine is about to opt out and do what no Buckmeister has ever done before: just PLAY. -- Flashlight Press
THE BUSY LIFE OF ERNESTINE BUCKMEISTER by Linda Ravin Lodding and illustrated by Suzanne Beaky was probably the book most geared towards Booking Son's age -- and probably the book that he most enjoyed out of these three stories. It was a very cute story, with adorable illustrations, but the real beauty of this book is the ultimate message. It's one to which most kids will relate, and it's definitely one to which most parents need to be reminded. Maybe I'm only speaking for my own family, but I have a feeling that we aren't alone!
THE BUSY LIFE OF ERNESTINE BUCKMEISTER tells the story of Ernestine, a young girl who is over-scheduled. She has activities every day of the week and is extremely tired... of everything. Her parents have the best intentions -- they definitely want the best for Ernestine; however, they fail to see that kids need to be kids. And Ernestine just wants some time to play!
This book resonated with Booking Son and I in a major way. In fact, when he started full day school this year, he was overwhelmed with his busy schedule and very tired. He didn't like anything -- school, karate, or soccer; and he was starting to act out. We decided that he needed to cut back on karate even though he loves it just so he could keep his sanity. It was a hard lesson, but a necessary one for us; and I do know it benefited him to have some down time.
After we read THE BUSY LIFE OF ERNESTINE BUCKMEISTER together, we discussed Ernestine's experiences and compared them to his own. He told me that he understood Ernestine and felt like her when she was sad because she didn't have time to play with her friends. It broke my heart, but we're trying to find some sort of mix between play and activities. I have a feeling that it's going to be a constant battle in today's society.
As a parent, I highly recommend THE BUSY LIFE OF ERNESTINE BUCKMEISTER. It has an important message, but it also provides the opportunity to open up communication between parents and children.
Thanks to the publishers and author 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!