Posts Tagged With: Picture Books

Children’s Book Review: First the Egg

Seeger, Laura Vaccaro. First the Egg. New Milford, CT: Roaring Brook Press, 2007. 32 pages.  ISBN-13: 978-1596432727

What’s the story?

This book presents the concepts of how first there is an egg and that egg becomes a chicken. Then the story depicts other “firsts” that occur in nature: first tadpole, then frog; first seed, then flower, etc. Then a different process emerges: first there is a word and then there is a story and then there is an artist who paints the story and a writer who tells the story which leads back to the egg which is now the second part because first there is a chicken and then there is an egg.

Review

This winner of the 2008 Theodore Seuss Geisel Honor and the 2008 Caldecott Honor has a fairly simple story that begins with a particular of which came first the chicken or the egg? There are a variety of cut-outs that by turning the page reveals a connection. The egg leads to a picture of a chick; a tadpole cut-out leads to a frog, and other progressions within nature are depicted. The illustrations are a rich palette of colors that appear to be painted on canvas. The most ingenious aspect of the story comes near the end when the reader discovers the story they are currently reading is part of the story they are reading. Children may be too young to appreciate this clever bit of metafiction, but it may plant the seed in their minds about the complexities of writing stories as well as reading them. An illustration at the end of the story incorporates the animals and objects mentioned before. Seeger proves herself to be a masterful artist and storyteller using the picture book form. Just when the reader thinks the book verifies that the egg came first, the story ends with the chicken laying the egg.

Other Awards and Recognition

New York Times Best Illustrated Book of 2007
New York Times Best Seller
Horn Book Fanfare Best Book of 2007
Oppenheim Platinum Award, 2008
ALA Notable Book, 2008
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Summer Reading for Children-Caldecott Winner

Caldecott Medal Winner

Henkes, Kevin. Kitten’s First Full Moon. New York: Greenwillow Books, 2004.  40 pages.

ISBN-13:  978-0060588281

 

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What it’s About:

A little kitten sees her first full moon and mistakenly believes that the moon is a bowl of milk. After many unsuccessful attempts to leap up into the sky, she discovers the moon’s reflection in a pond and jumps into the water. The poor little kitten returns home cold and wet and finds a nice warm surprise.

Book Review:

A Caldecott Medal winner of 2005, Kitten’s First Full Moon is the charming story of a recently born kitten who sees her first full moon and believes that it is a bowl of milk up in the sky. She makes several futile attempts trying to reach it. Finally she jumps into the pond believing that the reflection of the moon in the water is another bowl of milk. The illustrations are a visually stunning blend of black, white, and grey with only very spare details. The story is compelling because the reader’s heart goes out to the poor innocent kitten who doesn’t yet understand the world she lives in. The story will certainly inspire empathy from a child who probably encounters many things in his or her life that are still a mystery. The ending of the story will reassure children that there is love and warmth waiting at home after a day spent in the complicated and mysterious outside world.

Other Awards and Recognition

American Library Association Notable Books for Children 2005
Elizabeth Burr/Worzalla Award 2005
Charlotte Zolotow Award 2005

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Summer Reading for Children-Caldecott Winner

Rohmann, Eric. My Friend Rabbit.  Roaring Brook Press, 2002. 32 pages.  ISBN-13: 978-0761315353

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What it’s About:

Rabbit is always causing trouble with his thoughtless actions. This time he throws his friend’s airplane into a tree. Rabbit’s ideas for solving this problem involve pushing and dragging an elephant and a rhino towards the tree. Then he carries a hippo, an alligator, a bear, and other creatures and stacks them up but he still can’t reach the airplane.

Book Review:

The Caldecott Medal Winner of 2003 is the charming story of a friendship saved because of the creative skills of a clever rabbit. The pictures are hilarious as rabbit manages to carry animals ten times and a hundred times his size. The illustrations are outlined in black ink and are made from woodcuts. This is a nearly wordless book, but the story doesn’t need much in the way of text because the pictures tell the story like a silent film screwball comedy. Despite the silliness of the events, a message of the enduring value of friends who mean well resonates. Children will associate having adventures and surviving trouble as something you will have to experience with your friends.

Other Awards and Recognition

American Library Association Notable Books for Children 2003

Other Formats and Versions

Rohmann, Eric. Mi Amigo Conejo (Castillo de la Lectura Preschool) (Spanish Edition) Castillo, Ediciones, S. A. de C. V., 2007. 40 pages.  ISBN-13: 978-9702008460

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Summer Reading for Children-Caldecott Winner

Rathmann, Peggy. Officer Buckle and Gloria. Putnam Juvenile, 1995. 32 pages. ISBN-13: 978-0-399-22616-8

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What it’s About:

Officer Buckle visits local schools to provide valuable safety tips. The kids usually are bored or sleep through his presentations until one day he decides to bring along a new police dog named Gloria who manages to turn their safety tips into a popular program. Officer Buckle has no idea that Gloria is performing acrobatic and dramatic poses behind his back. When Officer Buckle finds out, it will either be a disaster or the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Book Review:

Winner of the 1996 Caldecott Medal, this popular children’s book offers the hilarious antics of a police dog named Gloria as well as useful safety tips. Officer Buckle has come to a school to teach some safety tips to an assembly of children who find themselves distracted by a performing dog named Gloria. Officer Buckle’s presentations had previously bored the kids, so he is surprised when his lecture is suddenly met with cheers and laughter. He thinks that he is the reason the children are begging for more until he sees a recording of his lecture revealing Gloria’s antics behind him. This delightful story promotes the concept of the value of friendship and working together. The illustrations are filled with detail that a child will find compelling even after a dozen readings. The best drawing are of Gloria’s antics which include an especially hilarious imitation of the dangers of swimming during an electrical storm.

Other Awards and Recognition

Florida Reading Association Children’s Book Award 1996
Great Lakes’ Great Books Award 1998
Golden Archer Award (Wisconsin) 1997
Bluegrass Award 1997

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Summer Reading for Children-Caldecott Winner

Juster, Norton. Hello Goodbye Window. Hyperion Books for Children, 2005. 32 pages.  ISBN-13: 978-0786809141

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What ‘s the story?

Nanna and Poppy have a window at their house that is a gateway to a magical world that is visible just by gazing through it.

Review 

This Caldecott Medal winner of 2006 from the author best know for his chapter book The Phantom Tollbooth creates a story to appeal to the younger reader. A child at her grandparent’s house describes the wonders she encounters every time she goes to visit them. She peers through the outside window into Nanna and Poppy’s favorite room, the kitchen, which triggers memories of all the fun she has had with them inside their house. This story is a lovely depiction of the happy and magical relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren. The illustrations are in a palette of warm colors in an impressionistic style. The story encourages a child’s imagination that can bring both dinosaurs and pizza guys into the front yard. This book is a celebration of people finding wonder and joy in every day activities and days and nights spent with your loved ones.

Other Awards
School Library Journal Best Books of the Year 2005
American Library Association Notable Books for Children 2006

Boston Globe/Horn Book, Honor book 2005

Other Formats and Versions

A Chinese version

Juster, Norton. Hello Goodbye Window. Yuan-Liou Publishing Co. Limited, 2007. 32 pages. Tr. $19.50. ISBN-13: 978-0786809141

A Japanese version

Juster, Norton. Hello Goodbye Window. HBL Publishing Co., 2007. 32 pages. Tr. $36.00. ISBN-13: 9784-7764-0246-6

 

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