Saturday, August 11, 2012

Kid Konnection: New 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 new picture books for the fall.

Summary: This irresistible sequel to the New York Times bestselling How Rocket Learned to Read is "a perfect choice to inspire new readers and writers," according to a starred review from Kirkus Reviews.

Rocket loves books and he wants to make his own, but he can't think of a story. Encouraged by the little yellow bird to look closely at the world around him for inspiration, Rocket sets out on a journey. Along the way he discovers small details that he has never noticed before, a timid baby owl who becomes his friend, and an idea for a story. This book is sure to appeal to kids, parents, teachers, and librarians. -- Schwartz & Wade

I have to preface this review by stating that I love Rocket! He's one of my favorite fictional animals so I have a feeling that my review for ROCKET WRITES A STORY by Tad Hills might be a bit biased. Rocket is do darn cute that he can do or say just about anything, and I'd still love him. However, I do this think this picture book is outstanding regardless of the main character. -- it got a starred review from Kirkus. But since it stars Rocket, it holds an extra-special place in my heart.

ROCKET WRITES A STORY picks up where HOW ROCKET LEARNED TO READ (my review) left off. Rocket loves books and stories (of course he does!) and he decides that he wants to write his own book. Unfortunately, he can't think of anything to write about. The wise little yellow bird tells him that he can get inspiration from the world around him, so Rocket heads out looking for something that will strike his fancy. He begins to notice little details that he used to miss; and when he meets a shy baby owl, he realizes that he does have an idea for a story.

I love everything about this book from Mr. Hills' illustrations, to Rocket's desire to write, to the yellow bird's perfect advice, to Rocket's ability to see the world around him in a new light. However, it was the messages in the story that brought it to the next level for me. Not only does Rocket learn to write, but he also makes a new friend, one who is extremely timid.

In addition, this might surprise you, but there is a great deal of advice for budding writers. I think that makes ROCKET WRITES A STORY perfect for the classroom. Rocket learns how to look for inspiration, he experiences a little writer's block and has to work through it, and he also learns to write with lots of details.

ROCKET WRITES A STORY is highly recommended! It's a don't miss picture book for the fall and perfect for early readers... and writers.

Summary: Kids and parents alike will rejoice in this lively read-aloud picture book, as the main character runs into (and away from) a tiger over and over again as the plot gets sillier and sillier. Perfect for acting out while reading, It’s a Tiger! offers just the right amount of excitement without being too scary, and a sweet ending with a bit of a twist. -- Chronicle Books

IT'S A TIGER! by David LaRochelle and illustrated by Jeremy Tankard is a very funny book that's guaranteed to entertain little ones. This cute picture book follows the main character (could be a boy or a girl, but looks a little more like a boy!) on a jungle adventure. Everywhere the character goes, he encounters animals who all look like tigers. The story continues, as the tension and excitement build, and ends with a fun little surprise!

IT'S A TIGER is plenty silly and you can't but laughing at these adventures in the jungle. Once your little reader gets the hang of what's happening, he or she will have fun looking for hidden "tiger clues" which aren't actually all that hidden! The illustrations are bright and loud (if that's even possible) and definitely add to the whimsical nature of the story.

Overall, IT'S A TIGER is a fun adventure story with a cute surprise twist!

Summary: Good news, Rabbit and Mouse are going on a picnic. Bad news, it is starting to rain. Good news, Rabbit has an umbrella. Bad news, the stormy winds blow the umbrella (and Mouse!) into a tree.

So begins this clever story about two friends with very different dispositions. Using just four words, Jeff Mack has created a text with remarkable flair that is both funny and touching, and pairs perfectly with his energetic, and hilarious, illustrations.

Good news, this is a book kids will clamor to read again and again! -- Chronicle Books

Booking Son just loved GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS by Jeff Mack, not that he'd publicly admit to reading a picture book. He just laughed and laughed at these two adorable characters as well as the simplicity of the book!

GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS tells the story of two very different friends -- Rabbit and Mouse. The book begins when Rabbit and Mouse head out for a picnic only to discover that it might rain. Rabbit is the eternal optimist, while Mouse is more of a pessimist. The story continues as Rabbit tries to put a positive spin on all of Mouse's negativity. Finally, Rabbit has just about all he can handle and it's Mouse's turn to cheer up Rabbit!

I thought GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS was adorable and I was very impressed that the author could convey so much in just these four words -- Good News and Bad News. The illustrations were very cute (and as Booking Son would tell you) very funny. I also appreciated that there were a few good messages thrown in about friendship and the power of staying positive!

Booking Son and I both recommend this one to toddlers on up.

Thanks to the publishers for providing a review 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...

You're the second person to recommend Rocket, so I'm going to have to check him out. The Good News/Bad News sounds like a lot of fun too.

bermudaonion said...

I'm sure Vance would have loved Rocket - his favorite picture books featured dogs and/or trucks.

Unknown said...

Hi - I found your site when trying to find a way to add kid books to my blog. I love your blog and look forward to more kid konnection posts.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I see Rocket all over the book stores!

My entry for Kid Konnection today is about Florence Mills - can't believe I never heard of her. But the author speculated that the fact that there was no film of her or sound recordings probably plays a role in why nobody today knows who she is.

Laura at Library of Clean Reads said...

I love books that encourage kids to write. And I'm sure my son would love Good News Bad News too. I think it's the way it's written with opposing views that makes it catchy.

Howard Sherman said...

Rocket Writes a Story got my attention. My 6 year old is totally into reading and I'm hoping this book will get inspired to write which will fire up even greater interest in reading more.