We’re enjoying a lot of picture books with Amy’s challenge. It’s a fun way to explore the best of 2011.
I had high hopes for this book by Sufjan Rim about a little girl searching for the perfect party dress. My Ruth is quite the stylish two year old, with quite strong opinions about what to (and not to) wear. But for some reason it just didn’t thrill me (or more importantly Ruth). It’s a perfectly fine book, with a sweet story and cheerful watercolor collage illustrations. But, for me it just lacked heart.
On the other hand, this book by Boni Ashburn completely charmed me. And Ruth, who requested it multiple times. It tells the story of a little girl who is sad when her favorite dress becomes too small to wear. Her Mom tells her, “Don’t make mountains out of molehills. Make molehills out of mountains,” and comes up with a solution that makes it all better. The dress is transformed into a shirt and then a tank-top and on and on. It reminded me of one of our favorites, Joseph Had a Little Overcoat. I highly recommend this one.
The fiesty heroine in Annika Dunklee’s books is named Elizabeth Alfreda Roxanne Carmelita Bluebell Jones. You can call her Elizabeth but just don’t call her Beth. Or Lizzy. Or Liz. Or Betsy. The concept of this book is super simple but it works great, especially with the bright clear two color illustrations. It’s a fun, funny book that we all enjoyed. It’s not a Cybils nominee, I’m guessing because it was published too late in 2011 to be nominated.
This was another book I had high hopes for with my boys recent ninja obsession. It is a funny book but it didn’t appeal to us as much as I expected. Tim is a boy who keeps getting into trouble for things his parents think he’s done wrong. When a ninja steals the last piece of cake he tells them the truth but they don’t believe him. After he keeps getting into trouble for lying, he decides to lie and take the blame himself. When time traveling monkeys throw pencils at a sleeping Grandpa, he confesses to it. But he still gets in trouble. So he thinks of an ingenious solution and invites all the troublemakers to a party at his house. I liked the imaginative story but the pill-people cartoon illustrations didn’t appeal to me. And I think my boys were mostly disappointed that it wasn’t really about ninjas.
Finally, I have this sweet, fantastic and funny book by Ken Kimura to share with you. Everyone in the family loved this one. When a pond fills up with a family of 999 tadpoles, the parents take their offspring searching for a new home. Disaster strikes when the father frog is picked up by a hawk but the family sticks together and in the end find a new place big enough for them all. It’s a very silly book but we like silly.