Thursday, October 6, 2011

Picture Book Reviews: Toddler Treats

Got a request for some great reads for 3-year old's!  Here's a few of my faves.

Lottie Paris Lives Here by Angela Johnson

Lottie Paris is a busy young lady today.
She and Papa Pete have to visit the park, Lottie has to build a castle in her room, host a tea party,  secretly steal Papa Pete's phone to play with, etc.  You know, normal busy little girl stuff!
Readers of other Angela Johnson stories will love Lottie Paris just as much.  Through the picture on their wall, it's clear that Papa Pete is a single father or maybe even an adoptive dad.  Readers never see his face, so the story takes on a very Muppet Babies feel (Nanny's legs), but he's got just as much personality . LOL
Lottie ends up in the quiet chair a couple times, and she's busier than a bee, but she's also cute as a button and very loving.  Little girls will love the cute and colorful pictures while adults will chuckle at the similarities to Lottie Paris and perhaps a similar girl in their life.  The illustrations are bright and cheery, and Lottie Paris is a serious cutie.

Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein

Have you ever read a story where you wanted to save the main character from certain fate?  Wanted to stop Little Red Riding Hood from believing the wolf or Pinocchio from telling a lie?  Well Chicken obviously has.

It's bedtime for Chicken, but as Papa begins reading the evening stories, Chicken just can't stop jumping in to tell the truth to the unsuspecting characters.  All with good reasons, (can't just let Hansel and Gretel run off with someone Chicken knows is a witch, right?).

Kids will love hearing the familiar stories they know, with Chicken's sweet and often hilarious interjections.  Adults will love the cute twist at the end.  The illustrations switch back and forth between the vivid look of Papa and Chicken snuggled in bed, and the soft sepia tones of the fairy tales, as do the fonts and typeface.

This one is a giggle-grabber.
It was also awarded a 2011 Caldecott Medal Honor.

Cat Secrets by Jef Czekaj

There's something about books that talk to the reader.  Mo Willems has used it to his advantage and given us the great Pigeon books, but Jef Czekaj has used the same exciting form with Cat Secrets
First of all, you should know that this book isn't for you.
It's for cats.
Cat's who have ways of making you reveal your true intentions.
I mean, if you were a cat, you'd know how to meow, right?  So do it! got that down.
Well if you were REALLY a cat, you'd know how to stretch like one, right?
Man, you're good.  I believe you're feline enough to check this one out.

This book is hilarious and colorful.  Kids will love acting out all the "cat tests", and trying to prove themselves.  Adults will love the laughter and the dialogue. "It has come to our attention, that you are not, a cat!"

A fun and active read.

Perfect Square by Michael Hall

A beautiful abstract book for all ages.

One perfect square becomes lots of other beautiful things after being shredded, shattered, ripped, folded, etc. and learns that becoming those things is perhaps even more perfect than being perfect.

Kids will love the brightness of the pages and the full-color illustrations.  Adults will love the simplistic but beautiful theme.

A great book for colors, vocabulary and imagination.

Ugly Fish by Kara LaReau

Ugly Fish is the RULER of his tank and he likes having things his own way.  He likes having his flakes each day, and he likes swimming around, but what he doesn't like is sharing any of those things with other fish.

When they enter the tank, with their friendly smiles and happy attitudes he has a very special way of dealing with them.


Ugly Fish is content to live his solitary life until one day, he has a change of heart, and wouldn't you know it, in comes Smiley Fish...a much larger and less talkative tank-mate who may just be prepared to give Ugly Fish a taste of his own medicine.

Kids will love seeing Ugly Fish as he grumps around his tank, and the quick way he snaps up the new fish, but they will also see that being mean and not sharing is not the best way to find friends.  Adults will love the semi-dark humor. The illustrations are in soft gray-shades, but are fun to look at.

A funny read, with one heck of a turn-around ending.

Me With You by Kristy Dempsey

An absolutely beautiful book.  Comparable to "When I am Old With You" by Angela Johnson, this story of a granddaughter's love for her grandfather is written in sweet rhyme.  The story flips from the "When I am Me",..where the little girl talks about visiting camp or swinging, to the "When you are you", where she talks about her grandfather staying home to be who he has to be when he is alone.

The illustrations are sweet and soft, with touching expressions on the faces of the characters.  There is a gentle give and take between the strengths of old and young that even the youngest reader(listener)can understand.

These are only a small sampling of my favorite picture books right now!  Check some of my other reviews and storytimes for more.


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