Journal

One-Minute PB Review - Raisin the Littlest Cow

Could Raisin be any cuter? Raisin, The Littlest Cow, has become one of our family's favorites.

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Raisin was the littlest cow in the herd. She liked it that way.

The bigger cows cooed and nuzzled her, and on movie night, they even helped her see over the fence. 

Raisin adored movies. She was perfectly content.

There's a list of things Raisin likes. And a list of things Raisin didn't like. The one thing she didn't like most of all. Change. A very relatable topic for kids, who have to deal with, and often grumble about, change on a daily basis.

When change comes, Raisin does not take it well. But she eventually comes around...

Favorite Line: Change comes, as change often does.

Favorite Illustration: Raisin and her brother Raindrop, playing and giggling in the rain.

 

 

 

One-Minute PB Review - A Unicorn Named Sparkle

The ad said "Unicorn, 25 cents." I love this first line of Amy Young's A Unicorn Named Sparkle. Anyone know child who would NOT want a unicorn? Alas, he was not quite what she expected...

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He had spots.

His ears were too long.

He smelled funny. Oh, and he had fleas.

Lucy put a flower necklace on him. He ate it.

She put a tutu on him. He ate that too.

This is a classic story of not always getting what you want, but being happy with what you have. The illustrations are adorable. I particularly love the expressions of the little girl as she deals with disappointment of her new pet. I can see this one being read again and again...

Favorite Line: Lucy yelled, "WAAAAAAIT!" Sparkle bleated, "BAAAAHH!"

 

Michelle Howell Miller
One-Minute PB Review - If Your Monster Won't Go to Bed

Everyone knows putting your monster to bed can be difficult. You'll want to do everything you can to avoid a monster meltdown. If Your Monster Won't Go to Bed, written by Denise Vega and illustrated by Zachariah Ohora, is a super fun going to bed book.

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Don't do the Monster Stomp.

Your monster will wiggle his waggle, flick his fur, and clench his claws, and the next thing you know he'll be shaking his bristly bottom and won't want to stop.

And you'll be shaking your un-bristly bottom, so it will be a big bottom-shaking, waggle-wigging, fur-flicking, claw-clenching Monster-Kid Stomp, which will last all night. Save the Monster Stomp for daytime fun.

The narrator's voice is kid-friendly and entertaining to read. The illustrations are colorful (particularly with a rainbow-colored monster on nearly every page) and adorable.

Favorite Line: TIME FOR BED! Who hates those words more than anything? That's right. Your monster.

Warning: This one might be a little too rowdy for a going to bed book for younger kids. It made our family want to dance...

One-Minute PB Review - The Invisible Boy

Everyone can connect with Brian in Trudy Ludwig and Patrice Barton's The Invisible Boy. Who hasn't had the feeling of being invisible at one point in their lives?

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Can you see Brian, the invisible boy? Even Mrs. Carlotti has trouble noticing him in her classroom. She's too busy dealing with Nathan and Sophie.

...

Nathan and Sophie take up a lot of space. Brian doesn't.

The Invisible Boy is a friendship book, but there are many other layers within the pages: understanding, acceptance, and being the new kid. Warning: This book tugs at your heartstrings.

Favorite Line: Maybe, just maybe, Brian's not so invisible after all.

Favorite Illustration: I LOVE that we see Brian as shades of gray in the beginning, and that sparks of color begin to appear as he interacts with the new kid in class.

 

One-Minute PB Review - LOVE

There is so much to love about LOVE, written by Matt De La Pena and Illustrated by Loren Long. 

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In the beginning there is light

and two wide-eyed figures standing

near the foot of your bed,

and the sound of their voices is love.

 

Matt's lyrical text about what love is - even the kind that is often overlooked, or staring you in the mirror - is moving in and of itself. With diversity on every page, something seldom seen in picture books (though that is slowly, slowly changing), there is a relatable refrain and imagery for every child.

The artwork is truly stunning - the colors nearly pop out of the pages. This is a whole new look for Loren Long's art, for those of you familiar with his adorable Otis books.

LOVE is a story that will be read again, and again, and again. Just how picture books should be...

 

One-Minute PB Review - Swan

I'll be blogging here about a favorite book for little humans - whether it's a picture book, chapter book, middle grade, or young adult. 

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Today's book is the picture book Swan, The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova, by Laurel Snyder, illustrated by Julie Morstad.

It's a book I've been swooning over since the first time I read it.

The city is big.

Anna is small.

The snow is everywhere and all around.

I love everything about it. The language is breathtaking. Julie Morstad's illustrations are beautiful. The lessons, from never giving up, to sharing beauty throughout the world, are universal.

You and your children might find yourselves swish, swishing throughout the house...