Saturday, March 23, 2013

Kid Konnection: Spring 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 four cute picture books that are perfect for this time of year!

Summary: What do the animals do when the snow falls to the ground and all the trees are bare? Some fly long distances, while some swim to warmer waters. Some take a long, warm sleep where they live, while others have a thick, cozy coat and can stay in the snow!

Filled with rich illustrations, charming animals, and a simple, lyrical text, Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit is now available in a board edition for the smallest hands and youngest readers. It's a gentle introduction to the ideas of adaptation, hibernation, and migration, and an exuberant celebration of changing seasons. -- Knopf Books

Supposedly it's springtime, but you could fool me here in Central Pennsylvania. We were teased a few weeks ago with some gorgeous weather, but it's extremely cold again. I have seen a few signs that spring is coming, and SNOW RABBIT, SPRING RABBIT: A BOOK OF CHANGING SEASONS by Il Sung Na
is the perfect way to explain to little ones the change from winter to spring.

I really enjoyed SNOW RABBIT, SPRING RABBIT, and I wasn't surprised to find that it received a starred review from School Library Journal. This book explains what animals do during the winter. For instance, some birds fly south, some animals swim to warmer water, and some even hibernate. However, when the snow melts, they all know it's springtime!

SNOW RABBIT, SPRING RABBIT is an adorable book. It is available in two forms -- a board book for younger readers and a picture book for those children who are less rough on books. Both are equally gorgeous with their ink and oil drawings that are digitally enhanced with layers and textures. I loved the variety of bright colors and thought the illustrations were appropriately fun and cheery!

Recommended to preschoolers who are interested in animals and nature.

Summary: An adorable little duckling is trying to befriend another "duck." However, he is oblivious to the fact that his potential pal is, in fact, a cat. Though resistant and stubborn at first, the cat soon realizes labels don't matter in the least—and before you know it, meowing and quacking are one and the same. -- Random House

HEY, DUCK! by Carin Bramsen is positively precious! I can't even begin to tell you how cute this picture book is. It begins with a very special little luck who wants to play with a cat. The problem is that the duck thinks that the cat is another duck. The cat is frustrated by the "annoying" little duck's mistake and just wants to be left alone. However, the cat realizes that he wants to be friends with the duck and labels don't matter one bit.

Naturally HEY, DUCK! is a cute story that is guaranteed to make little ones laugh. I also like the overall messages about friendship, acceptance, and labeling.  However, my absolute favorite parts of this book were the illustrations. They are so stinkin' cute. That little duck is precious and the cat's expressions are terrific too. I could look at these two characters all day!

HEY, DUCK! is a perfect read-along book and ideal for preschool classrooms!

Summary: When a sheep on her family's farm starts acting strangely, Miriam is worried. Spring lambing season is over, so what could be wrong with Snowball? Then—surprise—the sheep gives birth to triplets! When she realizes that the mother has enough milk for only two of her newborns, Miriam knows that the third baby will have to be bottle-fed every four hours. But it's almost Passover, and the family is about to leave for her grandparents' Seder. And it's Miriam's turn this year to ask the Four Questions, which she's been practicing for weeks! When Miriam's father decides that they must stay home to care for the lamb, it's up to Miriam to think of a clever and—hilariously fitting—way to rescue both the baby lamb and her family's holiday.

Author Linda Marshall based this out-of-the-ordinary Passover tale on a true event that took place on her own farm, weaving in details about sheep farming and infusing it with the warmth shared by a loving family. Readers will root for Miriam and her Passover lamb! -- Random House

THE PASSOVER LAMB by Linda Elovitz Marshall and illustrated by Tatjana Mai-Wyss is a wonderful book for children from all faiths. Miriam is excited about going to her grandparent's house to celebrate Passover; however, one of their sheep is acting a little strange. When the sheep has three babies, but only enough milk to feed two of them, Miriam's family decides that they will have to miss the Seder and stay home feeding the newborn lamb.

As Miriam is thinking about asking the Four Questions -- it's finally her turn, she reflects on the story of Moses. Fortunately, this gives Miriam a great idea that will allow her family to celebrate this special holiday with their loved ones.

I enjoyed THE PASSOVER LAMB and loved that it was based on a real story. Miriam is a great character and I couldn't help but love her. She's excited about celebrating Passover, but at the same time, she is concerned about the welfare of the baby lamb. In addition, she's extremely creative and resourceful; and I think kids will appreciate her ingenuity!

THE PASSOVER LAMB is a great way to introduce Passover to kids or even reinforce the concepts to those children who are familiar with the holiday. I especially enjoyed the author's note at the end of the book which explains the true story and also gives a brief summary of what occurs at a Seder.

Summary: Here's a picture book for all Jewish families to read while celebrating Passover. Unlike other Passover picture books that focus on the contemporary celebration of the holiday, or are children's haggadahs, this gorgeous picture book in verse follows the actual story of the Exodus. Told through the eyes of a young slave girl, author Laurel Snyder and illustrator Catia Chien skillfully and gently depict the story of Pharaoh, Moses, the 10 plagues, and the parting of the Red Sea in a remarkably accessible way.

"Evocative and beautiful... flawlessly evokes the spirit of the Old Testament story," raves Publishers Weekly in a starred review. This dramatic adventure, set over 3,500 years ago, of a family that endures hardships and ultimately finds freedom is the perfect tool to help young children make sense of the origins of the Passover traditions. -- Schwartz & Wade

THE LONGEST NIGHT: A PASSOVER STORY by Laural Snyder and Catia Chien is absolutely perfect for children celebrating Passover. This beautiful picture book depicts the events in Exodus and includes the story of the Pharaoh, Moses, the plagues, and the parting of the Red Sea in ways that they can understand. The story is told through the eyes of a young slave girl whose family perseveres many tests but eventually is rewarded with freedom. It really is quite an amazing picture book!
THE LONGEST NIGHT is written in verse and presents a pretty amazing story, but I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the gorgeous illustrations. For the most part, these drawings have a simple look to them with a small amount of color added in just the right places and are the perfect complement to the story.

I can't help but recommend THE LONGEST NIGHT. It truly is a very special picture book!

Thanks to the publisher for providing 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...

What a nice collection of holiday books.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I sure wish it felt springy!

My book today is for Women's History Month, about the slave poet Phillis Wheatley

Laura at Library of Clean Reads said...

I think my son and I would love the super adorable Hey Duck! And the cover is so attractive. The duck's face is precious.

bermudaonion said...

Great collection of books! Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit would suit us here too - I swear winter didn't start here until March.

Sandy Nawrot said...

Well we have a big blog of spring going on down here, so I'm in the mood. (I always think of the readathon when spring comes!) Books like these make me miss the days when I read to my kids.