Sunday, June 16, 2013

Froggy's Day with Dad!

London, J. (2004). Froggy's Day with Dad. Remkiewicz, F. New York, NY: Viking. 

Genre: Picture Storybook

I have always been a huge fan of frogs. I am not sure why, especially since I consider most slimy things gross but I love frogs. Sadly, this love does not transfer over to the Froggy books. I have come across a few while teaching in a 2nd, grade class and I might have purchased one or two as the $1 choice of a scholastic book order but I do not care for the books. However, I am able to appreciate that the series is popular with children and the books contain a high concentration of sight words, which makes them great for younger readers.

In this particular book, it is Father’s Day, so Froggy spends the day with his dad. Froggy cooks him breakfast, they ride bumper boats, go to the batter’s cage, and play miniature golf. The facial expressions of the dad as they proceed through the wild antics of the day are somewhat amusing but the illustrations are not detailed and lack depth. I did not care much for this book but my almost-six-year-old LOVED it! He enjoyed all of the onomatopoeias (splat, zap, thump, etc.) that were scattered throughout the book. I think this particular feature is appealing to young readers because “sound” words are easy and fun to read.

I would have given this book two stars but because my son requested to read it twice at bedtime, I am going to give it three stars :- ).

Has Anyone Seen My Emily Greene?

Mazer, N. F. (2007). Has Anyone Seen My Emily Greene? Davenier, C. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press.

Genre: Picture Storybook

This is a very charming book. A father playfully looks around the house for his energetic, dancing, giggling daughter, Emily Greene. Having the text written as poetry adds to the playful tone of the book and the watercolor illustrations are lively too! I enjoyed how the cat appears to be playing along with the father and daughter. 

It is very sad that Norma Fox Mazer’s daughter passed away before she could illustrate this book but it is wonderful to see that the book was still shared with readers and Christine Davenier was able to capture some of the daughter’s artistic tastes. 

Another little note about this author, I read Mazer’s Babyface a million times during my childhood. It was like a pacifier to me, lol. That book also captures a father-daughter relationship, but the daughter is a teen and the relationship is much more complicated.

Mitchell's License

Durand, H. (2011). Mitchell's License. Fucile, T. Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press. 

Genre: Picture Storybook
Mitchell does not like going to bed until his Dad gives him a license to drive to bed. Mitchell drives wildly at first, crashing into things. But he soon becomes a responsible driver--staying in his lane, checking the oil, turning in time, even washing the windshield. I appreciated the father/son bond portrayed in this fun bedtime book.

What makes this book so unique? Mitchell’s dad is creative, imaginative, fun, and energetic. He actively engages in playing with Mitchell. I think all children would like to have a dad that gives 110% of him to them even when he is visibly exhausted after playing for a while. The illustrations do a great job of showing movement, as well as the excitement of Mitchell and his dad as the drive around.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Nighttime Ninja

Nighttime Ninja!

DaCosta, B. (2012). Nighttime ninja. Young, E. New York: Little, Brown.

Literary Genre: Picture Storybook 
In the night, a young ninja silently creeps about and explores a house while everyone is sleeping. The ninja is on a mission but it seems one person might have different plans for him. DaCosta sparingly uses text, allowing Young’s incredible and seemingly textured illustrations to tell the story.

The ninja in this story is a young boy trying to sneak a late night snack but he is stopped by his mother. The imagination of the boy emulates that of many children and his mission is one nearly all children can relate to. The book also appeals to parents, as we can relate to the infamous bedtime aversion techniques of children.

My Wild Thing’s review: “I did not like this at all. I wanted to read about a REAL ninja!!” (Tough critic alert)