Saturday, February 14, 2015

Picture Book Saturday

First and foremost, it's Cybils Day!!! Head to their website to see all the winners! Don't forget, I served as a round two judge for the Elementary/Middle Grade Speculative Fiction category. Once again, I had a delightful time serving and I highly recommend the experience to other bloggers out there! Look for my reviews of our finalists in the coming weeks!

Cinderella Stories Around the World
By Cari Meister, illustrated by Valentina Belloni, Eva Montanari, and Polona Kosec
Published 2014 by Picture Window Books

Rapunzel Stories Around the World
By Cari Meister, illustrated by Colleen Madden, Eva Montanari, and Valentina Belloni
Published 2014 by Picture Window Books

Little Red Riding Hood Stories Around the World
By Jessica Gunderson, illustrated by Colleen Madden and Eva Montanari
Published 2014 by Picture Window Books

Snow White Stories Around the World
By Jessica Gunderson, illustrated by Colleen Madden, Eva Montanari, and Valentina Belloni
Published 2014 by Picture Window Books

So I am reviewing all these together because I read them all at the same time. Also, they're very similar, so I don't think I'd have much to say about each volume individually. Each volume presents readers with either three or four versions of a classic fairy tale. The tales chosen should all be very familiar to young readers, though the alternate versions presented in these books might not be. In addition, some of the alternate versions are darker and scarier than the versions children are likely familiar with so I'd say know your audience before handing these to more sensitive readers. I enjoyed the wide variety of cultures represented by the tales in this collection and the illustrations do a lovely job of stylistically representing the cultures as well. Each book provides a glossary at the end for unfamiliar words, as well as suggestions about using them with the Common Core Standards (which, I'm sorry, but that makes me roll my eyes). All in all, I think these are very sleek additions to our collection of fairy tales, but suggest them with some caution.

Monster Party!
By Annie Bach
Published 2014 by Sterling Children's Books
Monster is thrilled to be invited to a party. This book follows him as he gets ready for the party, then highlights all the fun he has there. Of course, he is sad when it ends, but something special awaits him at home. This is a very basic book - it follows a tidy sequence of events throughout a day, which may help kids understand that some things have an order to them. It rhymes, which usually makes it a good choice for storyimes. Plus, it features a monster, another good choice to storytime. The illustrations are very bright and work well with the simplicity of the story. Solid, but not outstanding.

A Library Book for Bear
By Bonny Becker, illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton
Published 2014 by Candlewick Press
The delightful duo of Bear and Mouse are back for another adventure. Bear is absolutely sure he has every book he could ever want right here in his home - what could he possibly need to go to the library for? But Mouse is determined. Will a visit to the library change stubborn Bear's mind? Being a librarian, it's hard not to love this book. I quite enjoyed the previous books featuring Bear and Mouse, so I'm not terribly surprised that I enjoyed this one as well. It has a clever sense of humor and absolute delight as Bear discovers things he couldn't have imagined without Mouse. I love the friendship between the two and I love how easily children will be able to relate. Very much recommended.

By Mies van Hout
Published 2014 by Lemniscaat USA
Man, I love van Hout's books. They are so, so simple, and yet so complicated at the same time. Van Hout uses just a few words to teach children complex concepts. The art is absolutely striking - I absolutely love the bright colors on the solid black backgrounds. It's just a gorgeous package. With this title, van Hout takes readers on the journey of a parent or caregiver - from the feelings of anticipation before arrival, to the bittersweet pride of letting a young one fly away. It's completely charming. I need to own all of van Hout's books!

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