Sunday, June 28, 2009

Horrid Henry Blog Tour


I had hoped to be participating in the Horrid Henry blog tour today.  Horrid Henry is an extremely popular  series in the U.K. that has sold over 12 million copies and inspired a popular cartoon series of the same name.  The Horrid Henry books are now available in the United States, and two more are coming out in July, along with an additional two in September.  The recommended reading level is grades 2-5.

Unfortunately, our Horrid Henry books are stuck in some sort of postal vortex.  So, we haven't had a chance to read them yet.  So we're just going to point you to the other stops on the blog tour:

YA Books Central

Vaboomer.com

Jean Little Library blog

Kidz Book Nook

A Bookworm Reads

Provo City Library Children’s Book Review

Lazy Gal Reads

Jana’s Book List

Ian Chong, “Fun Kid”

Great Kid Books

Bri Meets Books (6/16)

Lit for Kids (6/17)

Moms Inspire Learning (6/18)

Karin’s Book Nook (6/19)

Not Just for Kids (6/20)

Book Advice (6/21)

The Excelsior File (6/22)

Brimful Curiosities (6/25)

SMS Book Reviews (6/26)

Book Aunt (6/27)

Chronicle of an Infant Bibliofile (that's us) (6/28)

In the Pages (6/29)

Lori Calabrese Writes (6/30)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Cars and trucks: A few nonfiction choices

We headed to the library this week.  With a few truck-related favorites (like Truck Stuck and My Truck is Stuck, to name two) pushing their due dates, I was feeling some pressure to find new favs.  I asked the children's librarian if she could recommend any (something I don't generally do; I usually hunt on my own online first).  She said yes right away, and said she'd show me "the section."  I was thrown off -- picture books don't have a section by subject.  Ah, I realized she was showing me nonfiction.  I politely followed her, thinking that really wasn't what we wanted.  But I was delighted to see the little shelf full of transportation-related books.  The reading levels varied, but I saw quite a few that seem perfect for our 19 monther.    Here was the armful we took home with us (I got a bit enthusiastic with this first series!):

Taxis (Mighty Machines) (Library Binding), by Kay Manolis. Illustrated with large colorful photographs of city life, this volume explains what a taxi is, how a meter keeps track of fares, how the roof light signifies if the taxi has passengers, and how and where people can find a taxi for a ride. The text is nice and simple. Oftentimes this type of book contains text that is too complicated for our little reader, so I like the short, straightforward writing here.

Excerpt:

"A taxi has a driver. / Passengers sit in the back seat."

Bookworm's interest at 19 months: Out of the stack of six books in the "Mighty Machines" series, this one was the little guy's favorite. It was also the first we read, which might have given it an advantage, but he does generally love yellow cars.


Trucks (Blastoff! Readers: Mighty Machines) (School & Library Binding), by Mary Lindeen. This one features a big rig, dump truck, flatbed truck, logging truck, tanker truck, and monster truck.

Excerpt:

"Some very big trucks are called big rigs. This big rig has 18 wheels."

Bookworm's interest at 19 months: This was the second-most enjoyed book in the Mighty Machines series.

Helicopters (Blastoff Readers: Mighty Machines) (Library Binding), by Mary Lindeen. This one features simple technical details about how a helicopter works, as well as different kinds of helicopters, like air ambulance helicopters and those for fire fighting (didn't know they existed) and site-seeing.

Excerpt:

"A helicopter has two rotors. One is on top and one is on the tail."

Bookworm's interest at 19 months: He loves to look at the cover and say "huhuhuh" for helicopter, but not a whole lot of interest beyond that yet.



Tow Trucks (Blastoff! Readers: Mighty Machines) (Library Binding), by Kay Manolis. This volume explains how tow trucks function - how they help cars that do not work, manage to lift them up off the ground, tow them on a flatbed, drive down the road, and get them fixed at repair shops. Each of the books in this series also includes a short glossary in the back.

Excerpt:

"This tow truck has a wheel list. This part grips two tires on the sports car."

Bookworm's interest at 19 months: I think he's a little overwhelmed at the stack of these, because I'd normally expect him to like this one and hasn't paid it much attention yet.



Garbage Trucks (Blastoff Readers: Mighty Machines) (Library Binding), by Mary Lindeen. This book describes different types of garbage trucks (front-loading, automated, etc.), and how they pick up and pack down trash and bring it to landfills.

Excerpt:

"The arm lifts a metal bin over the cab. It empties it into the truck."

Bookworm's interest at 19 months: Mild interest (I think he'd like it without so many at once). Edit: we read it again today and he enjoyed it.

Parent's Peeve: Not a peeve, but an admission: I had no idea that garbage trucks lifted bins mechanically until about 6 months ago when I happened by a truck. (Hadn't seen a garbage truck living in condo/apartment buildings for years). I feel so old! In my day, garbage men had to LIFT the bins. All by themselves!



School Buses (Blastoff! Readers, Mighty Machines) (Library Binding), by Kay Manolis. Do all young children love school buses? I don't know, but ours does. Spotting one on the street always brings a smile to his face, and an exclamation of "buh! buh! buh!" This book explains the different parts of the bus (aisle, lights, stop sign, wheelchair lift), with large bright photographs. Like the others in this series, each two-page spread features one side with large font text (usually a sentence or two) and the other side with a nice clear photograph.

Excerpt:

"A school bus has red lights. These flash when the door is open."

Bookworm's interest at 19 months: He loves pointing at the bus (which is yayayayaya -- yellow).



In addition to the Mighty Machines series, we also picked up these other two nonfiction books:

I Drive a Dump Truck (Working Wheels) (Library Binding), by Sarah Bridges. I like the format of this book, which is suitable for multiple age groups in different ways. The illustrations are large, usually covering a full two pages. Alongside the illustrations, the left page contains a couple of sentences about dump trucks (see excerpt). This is the only part I read to our little guy. On the right hand side, there is a little box that contains more detailed information (again, see excerpt). The very youngest readers can eye the drawings, older can enjoy the left text, and older still will be ready for the factual tidbits.

Excerpt:

"My truck's main job is to haul things from one place to another. A wheel loader empties dirt, rocks, or fill into my dump box. / The biggest dump truck can carry about 45,000 pounds (20,412 kilograms). That's more than the weight of four elephants!"

Bookworm's interest at 19 months: He loved this one. Even the text on the left is a little long for him, or so I would think, but he sat through it and signed for more when we were finished. We read it quite a few times in a row.



Little Trucks With Big Jobs (Hardcover), by Robert Maass. This book features a plane tug (a new one for me!), street sweeper, telephone truck, garbage truck, forklift, zamboni (who doesn't love a zamboni?), cable truck, pickup truck, mail truck, ambulance, vegetable truck, camper, tow truck, glass truck, and ice cream truck. For each truck, one page contains the name of the truck in large letters, followed by one or two simple sentences about the truck, while the other contains a photograph of the truck in action.

Excerpt:

"Street Sweeper: City streets are kept clean by the swirling brooms of a street sweeper."

Bookworm's interest at 19 months: I was really excited to pick this one up for him, because it features a mail truck (which he loves), but we haven't had a chance to read it yet. I offered it a couple of times and he shook his head in favor of another. But I decided to blog about it anyway, because we have so many books to be reviewed lately. I'm going to try it again tomorrow. I like the level of the sentences in the book. He won't understand every word, but they're not way over his head either.



Want even more books about cars and trucks? Take a look at all of our other many reviews of transportation books for children.

How about your kids: do they enjoy nonfiction? If so, what is there favorite subject, and how old are they?




Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Review and Give-Away: OK, Go!

I'm excited to be hosting another give away! First, the review:

OK Go (Hardcover), by Carin Berger. As the inside flap says, "Carin Berger's playful new picture book is a jubilant celebration of going green." The first part of the book contains little text (many of the pages just say "go!" multiple times). The pages are anything but boring, though. They are jam-packed with whimsical illustrations featuring birds and other creatures piloting vehicles. The illustrations are made from recycled materials, such as magazine clippings, tickets stubs, old letters, and newspapers. A four-page (fold out) spread contains rhyming phrases, such as "take a hike, Spike" and "think green, Irene"," as the characters engage in all sorts of environment-loving activities. On the last couple of pages, the unusual cast of characters takes to the streets in a parade, carrying motivational and informational signs about recycling, conserving energy, and other green activities. Additional kid-friendly books and websites about the environment are also referenced for readers wanting additional information.

Excerpt:

"Use a trash can, Stan  
Smell the posies, Rosy 
Conserve, Merve 
Keep it clean, Gene"

Bookworm's interest at 19 months: When I saw the red cars on the cover of the book, I thought we had a shot at our little guy enjoying this one, and in fact, he was strangely mesmerized by it. Strange in that he refused to let me even turn the page. We stayed on pages 5-6 for ages. He kept signing "more," insisting I quiz him about the pages. Thankfully the illustrations are detailed. We found all different colors, then "the car with the three drivers in it," then "drivers with hats on," "a big car," "a little car," "the drivers with wings," etc. I'm sure we're a little young to read it as intended, particularly the information at the back of the book, but he had fun with it.



About the Author

Carin Berger is an award-winning designer and illustrator. She is the author and illustrator of The Little Yellow LeafNot So True Stories & Unreasonable Rhymes, and All Mixed Up, and the illustrator of Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant, by Jack Prelutsky. She won the Society of Illustrators Founder's Award in 2006, and Publishers Weekly called her "one to watch." Carin Berger lives with her family in New York City.


Win it!

I have one copy of "Ok, Go!" for a lucky reader.   Edit: the author has also generously offered to include a signed bookplate to the winner!

To enter:

1) Comment on this post.  Say anything you want; I'm not picky.

2) Subscribe to this blog.  Leave a separate comment letting me know.

3) Follow this blog.  Leave a separate comment letting me know.

4) Tweet about the contest with a link to the give away.  Leave a separate comment letting me know.

5) Blog about the contest and leave a comment letting me know.

That's 5 possible entries per person.

Deadline: Tuesday, June 30, 2009.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Play ball! Children's books about baseball

Looking through my ominous to-be-reviewed pile, I see that two of them are about baseball (well, in the case of the first, about sports generally).  So I'm offering these two reviews together.  

Swing! (Hardcover), by Rufus Butler Seder. A follow-up to the very popular "Gallop!," "Swing!" uses the same style of "Scanimation" to create a sense of movement within the pages of the book as they're turned. This time, the focus is on sports (baseball, basketball, soccer, etc.) and other physical activities (cartwheels, biking, swim, etc.). Chances are if you loved Gallop!, you'll love Swing! just as much.

Excerpt:

"Can you shoot a basketball?/ dribble! jump! swoop! / Can you swim across a pool? / splish! splash! floop!"

Bookworm's interest at 19 months: He enjoyed this about equally with the Gallop! book. He is interested in the pages and the text (he spins around when the dancer does), but he doesn't take much notice of the "scanimation" feature. Perhaps he's just too young to notice.



I must have dreamed that I posted about Change-up: Baseball Poems, which I was lucky enough to win from The Miss Rumphius Effect in April. 

Change-up: Baseball Poems (Hardcover), by Gene Fehler. Change-up is a fun book full of playful poems about baseball. The recommended age range is 4-8. What a great book for a young baseball fan. The poems capture the thrill of the game from the perspective of young players (in fact, one poem is titled "Perspective": "When I'm in the field, the open spaces are as big as the Sahara, with room enough for a thousand humpbacked camels.") Baseball fans will relate to the variety of sport-related scenarios, from the sound of a baseball accidentally hitting a window or laying awake counting bases to game superstitions and views from the bench. The charming illustrations of wide-eyed players and baseball games in progress complement the text beautifully.

Excerpt:

(From "Superstititions") "Well, I'm not superstitious. Not me. No, not a bit. But now I'd better kiss my bat: it's almost time to hit."

Bookworm's interest at 19 months: I don't think I tried this with him, figuring he's too young.



Question: What other books about baseball and sports would you recommend?  

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Review: Where's My Cow?

Where's My Cow? (Hardcover), by Terry Pratchett. As the back cover explains, "This is a book about reading a book, which turns into a different book. But it all ends happily!" Terry Pratchett fans will probably delight in owning this story, which is a companion to the Discworld novel, "Thud!" (which I haven't read). My husband and I are about to read a Pratchett book for a book club (that we attend with our son), so we thought it would be fitting to get a Pratchett book for him as well. The storyline is about Commander Sam Vines who, as the excerpt below explains, reads the book "Where's My Cow" to his son every night. The text of "Where's My Cow" appears in the book, so readers can read a story within a story. Commander Vines gets bored with the typically benign story, and begins to embellish. Near the end of the book, Sam is "caught" by his wife, and has to backtrack and pretend to be sticking to the text, a scene which might amuse older kids. Honestly, I don't really "get" some of the text, not having read any Pratchett before. I hinted that my husband should guest write this review, but he didn't seem too eager. Paragraphs like these: "It went: Where's my daddy? Is that my daddy? It goes, 'Bugrit! Millenium Hand and Shrimp!' It is Four Ole Ron! That's not my daddy! Young Sam laughed." kind of flew over my head. (At least some of the language is explained in Wikipedia's page about Where's My Cow). I love the focus on father-son reading, though -- just look at that excerpt, the first line of the book...who wouldn't love that?, and the book within a book is clever. I can see that this would appeal to the hardcore Pratchett fan, and especially a soon-to-be-parent who loves Pratchett's adult works.

Excerpt:

"Every day, Commander Sam Vines of the City Watch would be home at six o'clock sharp to read to Young Sam, who was one year old. Six o'clock, no matter what ... or who ... or why ... because some things are important."

Bookworm's interest at 19 months: Much to my amazement, he sits in rapt attention as his Daddy reads this to him. Maybe it's the different voices Dad uses. Maybe it's the lifelike, slightly creepy (very well done, just quite adult-like for a children's book) illustrations. He doesn't seek the book out and beg for it to be read, but he does seem to enjoy it every time. (The recommended age group is age 4-8, so we're obviously a bit early on this one).

Parent's Peeve: Not being familiar with Terry Pratchett's books, I questioned the appropriateness of naming a children's book character "Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler," but I suspect by age 8, we'll have read worse.



As part of last week's Weekly Geeks activity, readers submitted questions for me to answer in my reviews. Two people asked about this.

Rikki said: I'd love to see your review of Where's my cow? We've got it and love it.
And pussreboots asked: Did you get the Pratchett book for yourself or for kids?

Hopefully I already answered those questions up above: a bit of both, really.  More for our amusement and general interest, but we were happy to read it to him also.



Friday, June 19, 2009

Bloggiesta start post

I'm posting now (8:30 a.m. Friday) to officially start my 48 hour "Bloggiesta" time, although I probably won't really start much until the little guy's nap time.  But I want to finish up the 48 hours before Father's Day gets into full swing.  

Visiting from Bloggiesta?  I'd love to hear what you'll be working on.  My to-do list will be the first thing I do; it's hard to think it through with a toddler huffing in my ear for sticker book play.  I know I want to clean up our labels (maybe put in a tag cloud, if I can be bothered), draft some posts for books we've read but not reviewed, and take a look at the list of mini challenges.  I'd also like to think through a plan for our next give away event and line up sponsors, but I'm not sure if I'll get to that.

Remember to visit our mini challenge related to book directories and enter to win a publisher-sponsored give away prize.  

Bloggiesta Mini Challenge: Blog Directories

Party time!  Natasha at Mawbooks -- a book blogger extraordinaire -- is hosting a "Bloggiesta" party this weekend, starting Friday, June 19 at 8am!  



The Bloggiesta is a 48 hour event from Friday, June 19 to Sunday, June 21, focusing on blog content, improving/cleaning up your blog and working on social networking profiles.  You can read the official Bloggiesta rules here.  I'm excited to be hosting a mini challenge as part of the party.  Complete the task below to be eligible for some publisher-sponsored give-aways when the party is over.  I don't know what they are, but since they're being organized by Natasha, I'm sure they'll be good!

The topic of this mini challenge is blog directories.  Listing your blog in a directory generally takes little work on your part, but can be a great tool to bring additional readers to your site.  

The challenge is to add your blog to at least one new to you blog directory.  Once you've completed the challenge, remember to come back here and leave a comment letting us know about it.  Your comment is your entry into the contest.  The deadline is June 21.  (For official entry rules, visit the Bloggiesta starting page).

For a compilation of the different blog directories that exist, check out this discussion on Book Blogs.

Specifically for book bloggers, you might consider:
You can also read this 2007 article from Search Engine Journal discussing 20 Essential Blog Directories to Submit Your Blog to.  The directories detailed in that article are:
  1. Best of the Web Log Search
  2. Bloggeries
  3. EatonWeb Blog Directory
  4. BlogHub
  5. Blogged.com
  6. Blog Search Engine
  7. Blog Catalog*
  8. Globe of Blogs
  9. The Ultimate Directory of British Blogs
  10. Blog Universe
  11. Bigger Blogs
  12. Bloggernity (not sure this exists anymore)
  13. Bloggapedia
  14. Spillbean
  15. Blogging Fusion
  16. Blogflux
  17. Bloglisting
  18. Blogio 
  19. Blog Explosion
  20. Super Blog Directory
BlogCatalog is one that Natasha highly recommends that bloggers join.  I signed up for it, but haven't done much with it.  I'm adding a browse around their site to my list of to-do's for the Bloggiesta weekend to see what I'm missing!

As you can see, blog directories abound.  A few others not yet mentioned:
It is easy to get overwhelmed by these lists.  The key is to choose wisely.  Some blog directories require you to include a link or button on your sidebar back to the catalog site.  This is fine, but be wary of cluttering up your sidebar with too many buttons.  Pick the directories you think will be most likely to bring new readers to your blog.  

For my part, I just signed up for BBAW and am going to be looking through the others as time allows this weekend.  I signed up with a number of these when I started my blog, but didn't keep track of which ones, so I need to revisit a few.  

Don't forget to leave your comment letting us know which new-to-you directory you've signed up for to be entered in the give away!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Summer Photo Contest


I have a ton of books to review, including a wonderful one that showed up on our doorstep today all the way from New Zealand, but sleep issues have worn me out this week. I'll catch up some day. Or not. Blogging is for fun, right?

When I read about a contest sponsored by Uprinting.com asking for great summer photos, though, I couldn't resist posting one of my favorites of the Infant Bibliophile and his Dad.

Father and Son (First Beach Trip)

The contest is sponsored by:



UPrinting.com is a leading online provider of business cards, color brochures and mailing postcards.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Review: Llama Llama Red Pajama

Llama Llama Red Pajama (Hardcover), by Anna Dewdney. I just love the "llama llama" series. Llama Llama Red Pajama finds llama in bed (after reading a story with his mama, of course!), calling for a drink from his mama. I like that his bed is covered by a nice bright patchwork quilt (which he hides under at one point). When mama gets busy and doesn't appear right away, llama gets increasingly worried. A typical "llama drama" tantrum ensues, followed by mama llama's gentle reasoning. The rhyming language of these books is delightful to read aloud. I read MANY books to our son, but the books in this series are among my favorites to read. I think I'll buy a copy this week.

Excerpt:

"Llama llama red pajama waiting waiting for his mama. / Mama isn't coming yet. Baby Llama starts to fret."

Bookworm's interest at 18 months: He enjoys this, usually signing for more when we're done. I think my enthusiasm for it must have spilled over somewhat. He has just started sleeping in his own bed this week, so the timing of us getting it from the library ended up being perfect.




I posted this book as part of the Weekly Geeks activity this week, which asks readers to submit questions for me to include in the review.

Becky from Becky's Book Reviews asks:
I love Bark George! (NOTE: reviewing coming soon) And I also love Llama Llama Red Pajama! So I'd be curious to hear your thoughts on those.

Do either of these have the again-again appeal? 

Have you read the other Llama Llama books? If you have, which is your favorite?
Answer: We also love Llama Llama Mad At Mama (you can read our review here), which we were lucky enough to pick up at a library book sale. And thanks to the recommendation of Christy at Superheroes and Princesses, we'll be hunting down Llama Llama Misses Mama soon too (and, according to Nouveau Soccer Mom Shannon, an upcoming one about going to school!). Maybe I should just skip the library step and order it. You know I'll love it. Hmm, I don't think I have a favorite between the two I've read. I find the formula quite similar for both of them. The little guy loves that Llama is playing with trucks at the beginning of Llama Llama Mad At Mama, but he will read both about equally. It doesn't have the same "again again" appeal as truck books around here, but he has brought it to me a few times, and never really says no to reading it. The books contain many things for him to relate to -- playing with toys, visiting the supermarket, reading books with mama, sleeping in his own bed, getting a drink of water, etc., and that keeps it interesting for him, in addition to the fun text and beautiful illustrations.

We'll be working our way through the other Weekly Geeks review requests over the course of the week, but in the meantime, here are some questions for you:

I'm having trouble deciding lately which books to buy our own copies of. It was easy when we were reading board books, because they only cost a few dollars, but picture books cost more, and he seems to enjoy many. How do you decide when to purchase a copy of books you've read and loved from the library?

In terms of fun books to read aloud, I also love Hand Hand Fingers Thumb, The Monster at the End of This Book, There is a Bird on Your Head!, Chicka, Chicka Boom Boom (singing really), and Trucks Go!. Sandra Boynton's books can be a lot of fun to read too. What are your favorite books to read aloud?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Review Pile (Ask Us a Question!)

 

It's been awhile since I've participated in a "Weekly Geeks" activity, but this one seemed fitting to our life lately.  This week asks participants to:

1. In your blog, list any books you’ve read but haven’t reviewed yet...
2. Ask your readers to ask you questions about any of the books they want. In your comments, not in their blogs...
3. Later, take whichever questions you like from your comments and use them in a post about each book. Link to each blogger next to that blogger’s question(s).
4. Visit other Weekly Geeks and ask them some questions!
Since we just moved this week, I have some books I know we've read and would like to review, but they are hiding in boxes and bags!  While unpacking, I also unearthed a hefty pile of books (mostly library sale finds) that we haven't yet reviewed (many because they're a bit beyond our little man's age level at the moment).  This will be a great "to do" list for me to have on the blog.

Here is the list.  Feel free to comment with any questions or to point out which books you would be interested in seeing a review of.

First, the ones we'll definitely get to reviews of within the next week or two.  If you ask a question, I'll include an answer in the review and link to your blog:
  • Bark, George!  (Jules Feiffer)
  • Llama Llama Red Pajama (Anna Dewdney)
  • Swing!  (A Scanimation Picture Book) (Rufus Butler Seder)
  • Where's My Cow?  (Terry Pratchett)

And the other "someday" pile.  I'd like to review a few of these soon, because we had a chance to sit down and read  some of them together before the move.  The others I might only review soon if people show interest.  Otherwise I'll wait until our little reader takes a liking to them:
  • Amanda Pig On Her Own (Jean Van Leeuwen)
  • Backyard Birds of Summer (Carol Lerner)
  • Boy Meets Girl / Girl Meets Boy (Raschka/Radunsky)
  • Change-up Baseball Poems (Fehler)(Oops, I thought I had posted about this give-away win already)
  • Disney's The Lion King
  • Frogs, Tods, Lizards, and Salamanders (Nancy Winslow Parker and Joan Richards Wright)
  • I Can Run, Fun With Our Animal Friends (Laura Wallace)
  • Kokopelli and the Island of Change (Michael Sterns)
  • Littlest Pet Shop Best Friends (Quinlan Lee)
  • Merry Christmas Everywhere (Arlene Erlbach)(I'll save this for a Christmas post)
  • Mirette on the High Wire (Emily Arnold McCully)
  • Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium (Gail Herman)
  • Noah's Ark (Little Golden Book)
  • Rainy Day Fun Book (Donna Erickson)
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (Big Golden Book)(I'll save this for a Christmas post)
  • The Castaway (James Stevenson)
  • The Cowgirl Aunt of Harriet Bean (Alexander McCall Smith)
  • The Monsters' Picnic (Sesame Street Little Golden Book)
  • The Pirate Princess and Other Fairy Tales (Neil Philip)
  • The Poky Little Puppy (Little Golden Book)
  • What's Up in the Attic? (Sesame Street Little Golden Book)
I have my guess as to which of these (if any) will garner a few questions, but I'm looking forward to seeing if I'm right...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Review: Corduroy

I recently posted about a ranking of top 30 picture books, asking readers for suggestions as to which books we should read next.  I really appreciated all of the comments to the post, and will keep them in mind as we pick books over the next weeks/months/years.  We have already gotten a few of the books suggested, but our review posting has been slowed down, since we moved this week.  I'm finally on my laptop for the first time in a few days, so I'll begin to catch up on reviews.   

First, the classic.  This was very enthusiastically recommended to me by Bookworm's BooklistChristy at Superheroes and Princesses, Teaching My Little Bookworm, AND Valerie at Frugal Family Fun Blog.  So, clearly we had to read it!

Corduroy (Hardcover), by Don Freeman. This is a classic tale of a lovable stuffed bear in a toy department of a large store, awaiting his new owner. Corduroy realizes he is missing a button on his overalls when a little girl's mother points it out. Adventures ensue as he tries to find it in the store. In the end, he gets taken home by the little girl who first spotted him, imperfection and all. It's a cute story, with a clear storyline, and a sappily sweet conclusion: "'You must be a friend,' said Corduroy. 'I've always wanted a friend.' 'Me too!' said Lisa, and gave him a big hug."

Excerpt:

"Then one morning a little girl stopped and looked straight into Corduroy's bright eyes. 'Oh, Mommy' she said. 'Look! There's the very bear I've always wanted.' 'Not today, dear.' Her mother sighed. 'I've spent too much already. Besides, he doesn't look new. He's lost the button to one of his shoulder straps.'"

Bookworm's interest at 18 months: Unfortunately I couldn't get him to show any interest, I think because of the other two Corduroy lift the flap books I brought home at the same time (see reviews below). I tried it again today, but he spotted a sticker book nearby. I'll keep trying! I think the text is long enough that it would suit a slightly older child better. I don't think it's out of question for an 18-month old, though.




When I looked up Cordoruy in the library's catalog, I also spotted these two, which I thought we might enjoy:

Corduroy Goes To The Fire Station: A Lift-the-flap Book ( Based On The Character Created By Don Freeman) (Hardcover), by B. G. Hennessy. This "lift the flap" take off on the original Corduroy covers, as the name suggests, a visit to the fire station by Corduroy, his mother, and some friends. The text is somewhat lengthy on some pages (see excerpt). The illustrations are bright, clear, and adorable. A book sure to delight fire engine-loving toddlers.

Excerpt:

"He shows them the special clothes firefighters wear. Everything is very heavy. It has to be to protect the firefighter from the fire, heat, and smoke. The firefighters keep their clothes downstairs near the fire trucks, ready to go. Everybody in the class gets a junior fireman's hat."

Bookworm's interest at 18 months: He loved this book so much that it eclipsed the original Corduroy book. Every time I tried to read the original, he'd run and grab this version again. His favorite thing about it is finding the dog on every page. It can be spotted inside the fire engine, running in a parade, hiding under a couch - sometimes under a flap and sometimes not. I ignored the text of the book after a couple of failed attempts at keeping his interest, and he loved it every "read" after that.

Parent's Peeve: I would have thought the length of the text would gear this book for a slightly older child, yet I generally think of "lift the flap" books as aimed at a younger crowd, so the age range is a little bit of a mystery to me. I guess like any book, it depends on the child. In any case, we loved it, so 18 months seems a fine age for it.



Corduroy Goes to the Library (A Lift-the-Flap Book) (Hardcover), by B. G. Hennessy. This cute take on the classic brings Corduroy to the library, through the rain, returning his books, enjoying storytime, selecting and checking out some new reads, and preparing costumes for a book character costume event. Like the Fire Station book, the text is a little lengthy for a squirmy toddler, but the storyline is one that any little bibliophile will relate to, and the illustrations are delightful. The flaps are an added bonus.

Excerpt:

"Before Corduroy leaves the library he wants to pick some new books to take home. There are so many to choose from! Finally, Corduroy finds three books he likes. He takes them to the librarian and gives her his library card. She stamps the books with the date they are due back. Good choices, Corduroy!"

Bookworm's interest at 18 months: He enjoyed the first page, in which Corduroy hunts for his library books (under flaps). Unfortunately, he didn't make it much further, since the Fire Station version was nearby, and he kept asking for that one. I think even if I try reading it away from that version, he'll recognize Corduroy and want the Fire Station one. I would have pegged it as one he'd like, though!



Thank you for the recommendations!   What are your kids reading this week?