Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Reviews: In the Town All Year 'Round and Gossie & Friends: A First Flap Book

Sincerest thanks to Jennifer of the Jean Little Library for reviewing In the Town All Year 'Round last month. You can read her review here. She called it "STUPENDOUS. AMAZING. FANTASTIC. and also EXTRAORDINARY." It's hard to ignore a recommendation like that, so we checked it out ourselves today.

In the Town All Year 'Round (Hardcover), by Rotraut Susanne Berner. I had high expectations of this book after reading a very positive review of it, and it did not disappoint. It is very Richard Scarry-esque, but without the picture labels (except on certain pages) and no pretend vehicles like pickle cars. Like Scarry's word books, these pages are chock full of fun images, and the illustrations are beautifully detailed. The people (many of whom appear to don subtle ethnic dress, unless it's my imagination) are engaged in normal (shopping, a parade) to slightly wacky (taking a bath in a tin tub outdoors) activities. We really enjoyed this one and will probably pick up a copy for our personal collection.

Bookworm's interest at 15 months: Not only did the bookworm happily read this in his stroller at the library (where he is always too overstimulated to sit through a book), but when we got home, he reached under the stroller to pull it out and start in on it again. A blue bus makes a repeat appearance on the first few pages, so that drew him in, but he also find many other favorite images, like balloons, cars, birds, and farm animals. There is so much going on on every page that I can tell his interest will be constant as he learns to recognize more of the objects.

Parent's Peeve: A man in the cafe is smoking! I may have to break out my whiteout. Or perhaps I could turn it into a book. It is a very small image and barely noticeable, but it is there.

And because I can never seem to catch up getting all of our reviews onto the blog, I'll add in a review of another library read we recently enjoyed:

Gossie & Friends: A First Flap Book (Board book), by Olivier Dunrea. This oversized flap book in the beloved Gossie & Friends series has a little bit of everything: flaps, opposites (up/down, over/under), colors, seasons, and counting. It doesn't delve very deeply into any of these topics, but introduces each one through the characters Gossie, Gertie, and BooBoo. I'm a fan of the "clean" illustration style of these books.


"This is BooBoo. BooBoo is a small, blue gosling who likes to eat. What else is blue like BooBoo?"

Bookworm's interest at 15 months: He likes the flaps, of course. I suspect he said "buh buh" when he saw the word "BooBoo," because he recognizes the B letter, but I need further confirmation of this fact. The whole book didn't keep his attention, but he was tired when we read it, so we'll try again. He usually likes the Gossie and Gertie books.


Jennifer said...

Actually, there's at least one more smoking image - one of the construction workers at the kindergarten. I don't know if this is because it's a German import and they have different feelings about this over there, or if it's just a realistic thingy - you do still see people smoking in public, more or less depending where you live.

Infant Bibliophile said...

I thought the same thing (re: European and/or trying to be realistic). For those who haven't seen the book, they are not very prominent images at all - just hidden amongst many many more tiny details, so I wouldn't let it scare you away, even if you hate smoke as much as me. Now I think maybe I'll leave it and just say, "eww, smoking" when I see it. lol.