I’ve gotten so I start each library trip with a stop at the “new books” shelf. Today I thought I’d highlight three books we’ve recently enjoyed off that shelf. First up is Ollie by Jarrett Krosoczka. This one is good solid fun. The McLaughlins promise their kids that they can have a pet purple elephant if they ever find one. Imagine their surprise when one day on a walk in the park, they discover Ollie, who is homeless and very much a purple elephant. They bring him home to live with them and everyone is happy. Well, everyone but Ginger the cat and Mr. Puddlebottom the downstairs neighbor (who perhaps understandably does not enjoy their dance parties). Ginger and Mr. Puddlebottom cook up a plan to get rid of Ollie and almost succeed.
I liked that this one was just the right amount of quirky to be funny but not over the top. The illustrations aren’t particularly special on first glance but Kroscockza does a great job at capturing the characters feelings and personalities. The page where Ginger and Mr. Puddlebottom are conspiring is hilarious, as is the expression on Ginger’s face when Ollie finally comes home.
Zebra is organizing an alphabet book with an animal or other item to represent each letter. Everything is going according to plan until impatient Moose tries to find his way into every page. D is for Moose? Right? Moose is shocked when they get to the M page only to find that M is for Mouse. He throws a big tantrum threatening to destroy the entire abecedary.
It’s a very funny book. The only problem for us was that it didn’t quite hit the mark with any of my kids. Ruth was too young to get it, although she though the pictures were funny. She loves the ABC song right now and is fascinated by letters and sounds. She is more at the straight-forward ABC book age. I thought David would like it a lot but maybe it was just the wrong day or time. He seemed to find it ok, but not anything great. John did like it, it’s a little young for him but he got the idea the best and I think saw the humor more than the others. The other thing I liked was the relationship between Zebra and Moose. Zebra is annoyed by Moose but in the end makes a gesture showing that he cares more about Moose’s feelings than having the perfect alphabet book. It’s a nice (and subtle) message.
This is a deceptively simple book with minimal text and really beautiful realistic illustrations by Brian Lies. The concept is simple, a magpie sees things he likes and collects them. He accumulates way too much stuff and a group of mice intervene and help him pare down to just what he needs. Each page has one or two words that serve to get the idea across along with the accompanying illustration. Nothing. Something. A few. Several. More. Much More. Too Much. Enough?
It was one of those books that the more I read it the more I liked. At first glance it’s kind of neat but on each reading I appreciated the idea more. The illustrations really make the book. As the magpie collects more and more stuff the illustrations of the collections become almost like an I Spy book, but with detailed realistic paintings. It also didn’t escape me that this book is a great illustration of some beginning math concepts.
Be sure to stop by Hope is the Word for more Read Aloud Thursday.