Picture Book Reviews-Books 13-15

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The Read To Me Picture Book Challenge Books 13, 14 and 15

Today’s selection was just a random browse through the school library before dashing off to do break duty!

Lighthouse – A story of Remembrance by Robert Munsch, illustrated by Janet Wilson

A story of remembrance that leaves one, not with a sense of sorrow, but of continuity,  appreciation and sweet memories. Sarah has often heard her father talk about how his father used to wake him in the middle of the night to go visit the local lighthouse. Shortly after her granddad’s death, Sarah wakes up her father to tell him that it was the right night to take her on this journey of remembrance. Through this short journey they do all the things that Grandad did, or would have done had they been possible, linking the past with the present. The illustrations are dark and slightly blurred giving a wistful kind of hint to the narrative. Certainly a book to read to a young child who has recently lost a grandparent, but a story that also has universal appeal.


The Great White Man-Eating Shark, A Cautionary Tale by Margaret Mahy, illustrated by Jonathan Allen.

A book to please all shark loving little kids with a humorous twist and vivid message. Norvin, a little boy who truly bears an unusual resemblance to a man-eating-shark (wonderfully depicted from the outset on the book’s cover) learns the hard (but not fatal) way that crying wolf can have some unpleasant consequences. I think you can imagine a little the development of the plot! The story maintains a good tension between fear and fun and the message is clear!


Oliver’s Fruit Salad by Vivian French, illustrated by Alison Bartlett.

My first impression of this book was that it would make a great addition to any class teacher introducing various fruit varieties to her young class. Oliver has just returned home from a wonderful holiday with grandparents who introduced him to their organic fruit garden. Back home he is somewhat critical of all the packaged fruits his mum tries to offer him. But when mum takes him to the supermarket to buy fresh fruit he confesses he hadn’t actually EATEN any fruit whilst on holiday.  Granny and Grandpa arrive and come up with a creative solution to Oliver’s lack of love of fruit. The fruit and fruit colours all seem to mingle together with the characters through the illustrations. This is a simple story with simple text that would appeal to very young children and early readers.


For any readers in France, I thought I would just mention that MO WILLEMS will be doing a Book Signing next week.


Paris, France

Book signing BY MO WILLEMS
“L’Attrape Cœur”
4 place Constantin Pecqueur
75018 PARIS

This will be his first signing in France where He’ll be reading from books like Guili Lapin,

Léonardo, le monstre épouvantable, and   

Vive la pluie ! in his broken french along with translation services by an old Swiss pal!
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3 Responses to Picture Book Reviews-Books 13-15

  1. Lighthouse is another book I must add to my list — I love Munsch, and this one sounds wonderful!

    Love the twist you mention in Oliver’s Fruit Salad when he finally confesses he hadn’t actually *tried* any of the fruit at his grandparents! This would have been a good book to have been read to me when I was a kid and wouldn’t eat vegetables!

    I’ll check our local library. Hopefully it will be kinder to me than it was with the last several titles you recommended!

    • Joanna says:

      I really enjoy many of Munsch’s Picture Books. The Paper Bag Princess and Love You Forever are two of my favourites. Is he Canadian? I know he has had a challenging life.

  2. Robert Munsch was born in the U.S., but now has Canadian citizenship (yay, Canada!) Here’s his website, if you’re interested: http://robertmunsch.com/about

    I didn’t realize what a challenging life he’d had until your comment and question made me look for more information. Thank you for that impetus!

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