Monday, April 13, 2009

Catching Up on Our Children's Book Reviews (and a small poll)

I have quite a large pile of children's books amassing here from the library. Some we're ready to bring back, but for the fact that I keep stalling my review of them. So, tonight I'm going to get on with it and post some reviews so I can get those books back on the shelves for other readers in honor of National Library Week.

Are You Ready to Play Outside? (An Elephant and Piggie Book) (Hardcover), by Mo Willems. This cute little tale features the lovable Gerald and Piggie (elephant/pig best friends) as they share their excitement about going outside to play, their disappointment when it begins to rain, and their joyful reconciliation with the situation. It is a good choice for these days of fickle spring weather.


"Are you ready to play outside? / Yes! Yes! Yes! / We are going to do everything today! / We are going to run! / We are going to skip! / We are going to jump! / NOTHING CAN STOP US! / PLINK! / Oh, no!/ It is starting to rain."

Bookworm's interest at 16 months: I tried it before naptime, so it deserves another go, but he didn't want to sit through the whole thing yet. I'm guessing this is better targeted at age 2 and up (back of the book says ages 4-8).

Big Board Books Colors, ABC, Numbers (Bright Baby) (Board book), by Roger Priddy. Roger Priddy is the king of this type of book, and this is no exception. In addition to pages featuring nine photographs each with accompanying words (like car, cat, tractor, and boat), the book also features pages focused on the alphabet, counting, colors, opposites, and shapes. It has a little of everything.

Bookworm's interest at 16 months: He enjoys reading it, although I think the cover style looks so similar to another he has like this that he hasn't been approaching it with the excitement of a new book.

Big Dog and Little Dog Going for a Walk (Board book), by Dav Pilkey. This is a cute, simple board book that follows "big dog" and "little dog" as they go for a walk with their owner (complete with much frolicking) and have a clean-up bath. The text is short and sweet.


"Little Dog likes to play in the mud. Big Dog likes to eat the mud."

Bookworm's interest at 16 months: He liked it from the get go despite (or because of!) its simplicity; we usually do a few reads of this at a time.

Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type (Hardcover), by Doreen Cronin. This clever book revolves around some typewriter wielding cows that decide to begin negotiating with their farmer. "Dear Farmer Brown, The barn is very cold at night. We'd like some electric blankets. Sincerely, The Cows," they write. The witty back and forth that follows will delight young readers (the jacket recommends ages 3-7) and adults alike.


"'Cows that type. Hens on strike! Whoever heard of such a thing? How can I run a farm with no milk and no eggs!' Farmer Brown was furious."

Bookworm's interest at 16 months: No interest yet. I look forward to trying again when he is older.

Curious George (Hardcover), by H. A. Rey. We have a few other Curious George books (board book and paperback) that our son enjoys, so I thought I would take out the original book that started it all. This story details the capturing of George in Africa by the man with the yellow hat, George's journey by boat (and overboard), to the city, prison!, an escape, a balloon ride, and, finally, to the zoo to live. I felt a little bad for George, being captured out of Africa, but he seemed to have fun in the rest of the book.


"On the big ship, things began to happen. The man took off the bag. George sat on a little stool and the man said, 'George, I am going to take you to a big Zoo in a big city. You will like it there. Now run along and play, but don't get into trouble.' George promised to be good. But it is easy for little monkeys to forget."

Bookworm's interest at 16 months: He is way too young for this now. I thought we might just have a little fun looking at the illustrations, but he wasn't interested in that either.

Danny and the Dinosaur (An I Can Read Book, Level 1) (Hardcover), by Syd Hoff. This title has been floating around in my head for about 30 years as a book I remember reading and loving when I was a child, without any recollected details. Although I knew that it would likely be too advanced for our son at this age, I took it out of the library for a read to jog my memory. The story follows Danny and his new-found friend as they spend a fun-filled day around town -- eating ice cream, playing hide and seek, visiting the zoo, and assisting with traffic. It was as charming as I had remembered it, and I look forward to when our little guy is old enough to read it for himself.


"The dinosaur had to be very careful not to knock over houses or stores with his long tail. / Some people were waiting for a bus. They rode on the dinosaur's tail instead."

Bookworm's interest at 16 months: none yet.

Does A Cow Say Boo? (Board book), by Judy Hindley. This farm-themed board book follows the narrator's quest to figure out who says "Boo." Different animal noises are reviewed throughout the pages, until the surprise finale (Peek-a-boo!).


"But who says BOO? Does a dog say BOO? Oh, no! What does a dog say? / "Woof! Woof! Woof! And sometimes arf! And sometimes grrrr...But I've never heard a dog say BOO - have you?"

Bookworm's interest at 16 months: He enjoys this book, although it is not a favorite. He will often select it from a pile and happily sit through one or two reads before moving on. He's not really in a farm animal phase right now, so kids who particularly love those animals might enjoy it even more than him.

Parent's Peeve: I just say "hoot" for the owl, as opposed to the author's "whoo - tu-whit, tu-whoo!" and "cock-a-doodle-do" for the rooster instead of "Cock-a-doodle-doo, doodle-doo, doodle-doo!"

Happy National Library Week! How many library books do you have out at the moment? (We're at 25 + 1 hold request. That is a little high for us).


Letters,Numbers and Books said...

are you sitting down: we have over 100: that is for my oldest to read, my LO to look at (although she pretends to read), mommy school, some teaching books, and me 2 books to read for fun! we can check out 200 and the librarians tell me lots of people do mainly stay at home moms or homeschool moms or teachers!

we have 134 holds but most of those holds have been on hold some for 6 months or more!

So are you shaking your head going man she has too many books out! :)

we almost always return most with in a few weeks. Like right now i have all my mommy school books through letter Ff and all the reading theme challenge books through may!

MaryAnne said...

We have 21 plus one hold (picking it up this morning, probably along with a few more books). That's a low number for us - it includes books on CD for DH to listen to on his commute and all my parenting and crafting books. we often have 20+ children's books, but I've been slackign in finding good children's books lately...

I wonder if "Click, Clack, Moo" isn't a more entertaining book for adults that kids? I love that book, and so does my single 19-year-old sister :)

Infant Bibliophile said...

I think you might be right, Mary Anne! I should have asked people with older kids to chime in on that one. I think you'd have to be pretty old to get the humor of the negotiations.

Letters,Numbers and Books said...

my oldestl oves click clack moo but she was like almost 5 before she really liked it and all the rest!

now my LO loves the Diary series she or he does Diary of a worm and Dairy of a spider

Simone said...

I agree - Click Clack Moo is one of my all time favorite books because of the adult humor - not great for the young ones. However, it is great for a reader's theater for grade 1 or 2.

Britt said...

We have 38 out plus 4 holds, for four of us-- on 2 cards. It was a lot worse a week ago.

Thump Thwack Quack (or whatever that one's called) is FABULOUS! So is Duck for President. But, yeah, more for my older one. The little one got "picture me" books for Easter and loves them.

Bookworm said...

We have 37...and 2 on request! Neat poll! You're so creative!

Infant Bibliophile said...

You all are making me feel better about our number! I put another 5 or 6 on hold last night for earth day books. But I'll try to bring some back tomorrow. My latest dilemma is when to buy a book... at first, I'd buy any one we took out and he really loved, but lately there seem to be a lot of those!

Joannof10 said...

On my library card we have 26 books checked out and 18 holds. (We are starting a new unit on knights and castles-hence the high hold number)

I think Gracie has 4 books checked out on her card, and the big kids have books on their cards also!

SkylarKD said...

My 2 year old daughter wouldn't sit still for more than a few pages of Curious George until a few months ago. She likes other long books, but she wouldn't sit for that one - go figure! She loved her George board books when she was little though, and she now likes one about George making pancakes.

we have about 6 books out from the library now - 4 for C and 2 for me. Hubby took her last time; I normally check out a lot more books for C than he does!