I enjoyed the interview so much last week with Miriam King about “Librarian on the Roof” that I decided to review a few more book and word loving picture books today.
It’s a Book by Lane Smith.
This is a very creative and humorous, satirical look at modern technology. I would say it is for “children” from ages 4-100. With sparse, conversational text, a donkey and a monkey (and mouse) discuss the merits of a book in the world of texts, twitter, blogs etc… The donkey bombards the book-reading monkey with questions like “does it have wifi?”, “can it text?” … You need to read it to discover what the donkey thinks of the ole book, but the last line packs a hilarious punch. Simple words, simple larger-than-life illustrations and a long-lasting message that will have adults and children laughing.
Miss Brooks Loves Books! (and I don’t) by Barbara Bottner, illustrated by Michael Emberley.
I really enjoyed this realistic look at the librarian’s hopes/task of finding at least one book each kid can love. Miss Brooks is clearly a school librarian after my heart. She dresses up in Wild Things and Hungry Caterpillar costumes and has a 101 creative ways of inspiring her young readers, all of whom succomb except our young protagonist, who is delightfully illustrated by Emberley in dungarees, beany, unkempt hair and look of disdain. Artist mom fits the bill too, refusing to move to another city to avoid book week as there are librarians in every town! I could have uttered the words at age 7 that so many of the books are “Too kissy” or “Too pink”!! Despite Miss Brooks devoted efforts, it is actually Mom who provides the information for the book that will seduce our protagonist. Book-loving and book-hating kids should enjoy this story! Emberley has a real gift for some striking facial expressions in his illustrations.
The Boy who loved Words by Roni Schotter, illustrated by Giselle Potter
Potter already has me intrigued with her book jacket of a young boy surrounded by nouns and adjectives cut from newsprint! Schotter hooks me on page one, by not shying away from our hero’s love of BIG words like tintinnabulating or tantalizing! Selig collects words as other young boys might shells or stamps. On every page of Selig’s story the reader will encounter new words; a plethora of rich vocabulary as well as a creative plot, and while this vocabulary feast will feed many, some children will be overwhelmed with too much unfamiliar. Selig is nicknamed Wordsworth by his classmates and after a strange prophetic dream, Scotter’s zany story takes Selig onto the highways and byways with his words and a desire to share just the right ones with those he encounters be it a poet or a baker…. This is a tall tale celebrating the ‘perfect word’. Both story and illustrations are whimsical and strangely clever. It was hard to decide on a target age group for this book, as I do believe some kids as young as three could be fascinated by the words, yet I believe it could also appeal to post primary children. It appears to be set in Brooklyn, with some nice Manhattan silhouettes in the background. This would be a worthy, but unusual, addition to a classroom.
Books 81-83 in There’s a Book’s Read to Me Picture Book Challenge.