Children's Lit Book Reviews

Friday, February 12, 2010






















Curious George and the Firefighters
By: Margaret and H. A. Rey
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Copyright: 2004
Pages: 23
Reading Level: 4-8
Genre: Picture Book

Summary: Curious George is a curious little monkey. He goes to a fire station and, being curious, he starts to try on or see everything in that he can reach. This creates some problems when the fire alarm rings and the firemen can't find their boots and coats because George has mixed them up. Finally, they go to the fire and George jumps on the truck with them. When he gets to the fire, he gets in the way, again curious. He is told to sit on the bench. He does for a minute then starts playing with the children who are watching the fire. He fins some balls in a bucket and starts juggling for the children, and they are not afraid of the fire any more. At the end, George is praised for helping keep the children calm, and they are all rewarded with a ride on the firetruck.
Who would benefit from reading this book?: It is a good book for children who are not paying attention and maybe a little bit too curious. But it will not discourage them from investigating. It is definitely for the beginning reader who can follow a relatively simple plot.
What problems/conflicts can this book potentially cause?: As with most beginning reader books, there is little conflict that I can see. Some parents might be concerned that George doesn't follow directions well and still doesn't get in trouble for failure to do so.
My Reaction: I feel that George is portrayed as being curious but also as good. The illustrations follow the story well and support the actions. The book shows the importance of paying attention to direction, trying new things, being brave, staying out of the way when dangerous things are going on, and that one is rewarded for doing good things.
posted by Jon Dale at 12:28 PM 0 comments























Corduroy
By: Don Freeman
Publisher: The Viking Press
Copyright: 1968
Pages: 32
Reading Level: 4-8
Genre: Picture Book

Summary: A little bear in corduroy overalls is on the shelf in a store. His name is Corduroy. He has one button missing from his overall strap, so he is passed by each time children come to get toys. One day, a little girl comes up and looks him right in the eyes and tells her mother that this is just the bear she wants. However, the mother, seeing the missing button, decides that is not the bear for her daughter. The little bear is very disappointed, but now he knows he is missing a button. When the store closes, he decides to look for his button. He starts through the store. He comes to a place where the floor moves under him. It is an escalator that takes him to the next floor, the furniture department. He sees all the furniture a decides he is now in a castle. He sees a bed, and gets on it. He finds a button on the mattress, but when he tries to pick up the button, it will not come loose because it's a button on the mattress cover. He loses his grip on the button, falls of the bed, hits a lamp, and it crashes down. A night watchman, hearing the crash, comes to investigate. He sees the lamp knocked over and looks for who might be hidden that caused the crash. He sees two fuzzy ears sticking out from under the cover on the bed and takes Corduroy back to his shelf. Next morning, the same little girl shows up and has money she has saved that her mother allows her to spend for the bear. She takes him home and her room is not a castle, but small. It is, in fact, just right for him. She also sews on a button so that his overalls will stay up.
Who would benefit from reading this book? Again, it is intended for beginning readers. The illustrations are just right for the book, and the teddy bear is adorable. I think it will be enjoyed by any young reader who reads it.
What problems/conflicts can this book potentially cause: I seen not at all. It is even very politically correct as the little girl is African American and the night watchman is caucasian. There is no violence and the little bear's unhappiness is turned to joy.
posted by Jon Dale at 12:13 PM 0 comments

Who Stole the Cookie Jar
By: Margaret Wang
Illustrated by: Christine Schneider
Designed by: Treesh Runnels
Publisher: Piggy Toes Press
Copyright: 2002
Reading Level: 3 and up
Genre: Picture book

Summary: The story begins with a cookie missing and the book's purpose is to allow the reader to solve the mystery of who is stealing the cookies. The kitty, bunny, bird, duck, fish, guinea pig, frog and mouse are all investigated in the course of finding the person who stole the cookies. Finally, the mother and the children find Dad with the final cookie in his hand. He admits, "I ate the cookies. Now all I can do is share." It is a beautifully illustrated little book and the expressions on the faces of the characters being investigated are delightful.

Who would benefit from reading this book?: It is one that is definitely written for the small child who is just beginning to process questions and figure out simple solutions.

What Problems/conflicts can the book potentially cause?: It is such a simple story that it probably will not cause any conflicts or concerns.

My reaction: The Father quickly admits to having eaten the cookies, so there is probably no intent of stealing the cookies. Then his willingness to share the last cookie is about all one could expect of him.
posted by Jon Dale at 11:38 AM 0 comments






















Kitten's First Full Moon
By: Kevin Henkes
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Copyright: 2004
Pages: 40
Reading Level: 4-8
Genre: Picture Book
Award: Caldecott Award

"
Henkes creates another winner in this simple, charming story about a naive little kitten who mistakes a round, shining moon for a bowl of milk."
-
Booklist

Summary: Kitten's was about to witness her first full moon, and as she looked at it she thought it was a bowl of milk, and she wanted it. Her first reaction was to stick her tongue out and try to lick the milk. But, to her amazement, she only got a mouth full of bugs and no milk. Yet she still desired to have the bowl of milk that was in the sky. So, she chases the milk bowl moon through the garden and field to the pond where she climbs a tree In the tree, she discovered another milk bowl, and this time it was much larger then the one in the sky. But it was just the reflection of the moon shining in the water. She dives in after it anyways. Instead, of milk the kitten now realizes that she was still hungry. This time, instead of bugs in her mouth, her mounth was soak and wet. So she decided to go back to her home, and when she arrived, to her amazement, she found a great big bowl of milk waiting for her on the porch. It was just for her, and she was happy.
Who would benefit from reading this book?: I think that the readability of this book is quite simple, and that even beginner readers could read this and understand it. The story is short but really cute for little children. It would be a great book to share as a read aloud, bedtime story for younger children.
What problems/conflicts could this book potentially cause?: I don't think that there are any problems or conflicts that this book would cause. It is a book meant for younger aged children but is so well put together that anyone could enjoy it.
My reaction: This is a really cute book. It is simple and there''s not much to it. As an education major it made me ponder the stages of learning. This little kitten had to learn for herself that the moon wasn't really a bowl of milk in the sky. While coming to the knowledge herself, she learned valuable lessons while on her little trek. I enjoyed this book and recommend it to young readers as it can teach them about the same steps of learning as the kitten experienced.
posted by Jon Dale at 4:49 AM 0 comments



























Officer Buckle And Gloria
By: Peggy Rathmann
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile; Unknown edition
Copyright: 1995
Pages: 40
Reading Level: 4-8
Genre: Picture Book
Award: Caldecott Award

"A fresh, funny story about the wonders of teamwork."
-
School Library Journal

Summary: Officer Buckle is all about safety. He puts safety tips on a bulletin board as a reminder about the importance of safety. He often goes to Napville School to share his safety tips but realizes that nobody ever listens. Then one day the Napville Police department buys a police dog named Gloria. Together Gloria and Officer Buckle would work together promoting safety. One day, while Officer Buckle is at Napville School, he notices that the children begin to sit up and stare at him. Officer Buckle looks back to see Gloria standing at attention. He continues his presentation on safety just as he normally does. The eyes of the students keep looking at Gloria, but she remains sitting still. As Officer Buckle goes through all the safety tips, he finally realizes how silly each of them are and ends his presentation. The following day at the police station Officer buckle receives many thank you letters from the students expressing there gratitude for Officer Buckle and Gloria. Eventually word gets out about Officer Buckle and Gloria, and they tour around. One day they decides they are going to televise the presentation for the news. As Officer Buckle goes through the presentation, the audience cheers and thanks them. That night Officer Buckle sees why everyone was happy about the presentation. Without his knowledge, Gloria is jumping around and acting cute while he's not looking. He decides that he will not do another presentation. That day, when Gloria shows up, a huge accident happens, and the next day the school again sends letters to Officer Buckle about coming back.
Who would benefit from reading this book?: I think all young children would benefit from this good book. It teaches the importance of teamwork, and it is a fairly easy read.
What problems/concerns could this book potentially cause?: I don't think this book would cause any problems.
My reaction: This is a great book, and I enjoyed reading it. I recommend it for all beginning readers.
posted by Jon Dale at 2:32 AM 0 comments





























The Story Of A Mother
By: Hans Christian Anderson
Age: 8-12


Summary: There was once a mother who sat beside her dying child and became very sad because she was afraid that it would die. She wanted so badly for her child to survive and live its life. Suddenly, there was a knock on the door, and it was death dressed as a poor old man wrapped in a large horse cloth. The mother invited the old man in and set a pot of ale on the stove in hopes that it would warm the old man up. As the mother sat next to the old man, he found himself beside the little child rocking the cradle. With tears rolling down her cheeks, the caring mother finally decided to close her eyes for she had not slept for the past three days and nights. Finally, she had awakened after having only been a sleep for just a minute and sees that both the old man and the child are gone. Almost immediately, the crying mother ran out of the house on a trek to find the child. Yelling in the streets, the mother ran into an older lady dressed in black clothes and told the caring mother that death had taken the child. The lady dressed in black happened to be night, and she told the mother what to do. Night told the mother to go into the forest and sing every lullaby that she had ever sung to her little child. While in the forest, a thorn bush told her that in order to continue she must press a thorn bush up against her chest so that the bush could be warm. Once the mother reached a lake she found she had to forfeit her eyes in order to get across the lake, and she cried them out. The mother eventually ran into death and found her sick child as a plant in a greenhouse. Death then gave the loving mother her eyes back, the mother saw the future of what the child would go through if it survived, and it seemed to her that the child would be unhappy. The mother then decided to allow death to take the child to the unknown land for it was the fate of her child.
Who would benefit from reading this fairy tale?: I think that everyone who would take the time to read this fairy tale will walk away satisfied. There are many great morals and values that are taught within this book. I liked especially how it showed the love a mother had for her child.
What problems/conflicts could this fairy tale potentially cause?: This fairy tale is quite violent. The loving mother must do several things in order to find her child.
My reaction: I loved this fairy tale. This really shows what a loving mother would do for her child. This mother in this fairy tale went as far as crying her eyes out so that she could have her child returned. But once her vision was restored and she saw the future of her child, out of love she let her child go. That's such a strong storyline, and it makes me think about the love that my mom has for me. I would recommend this to a very mature audience.

posted by Jon Dale at 1:29 AM 0 comments




























Bluebeard
By:
Charles Perrault
Ages:
8-12



Summary:
There was once a fierce man named Bluebeard. He had been married many times, but no one knew what had happen to his many wives. Therefore, he was avoided by many of the local girls. When Bluebeard visited one of his neighbors and asked to marry one of her two daughters, the girls were terrified, and each tried to pass him on to the other. Somehow, he was able to persuade the younger daughter to marry him and, after the wedding, she went to live with him.Very shortly thereafter, Bluebeard announced that he had to leave the country for a while, and he gave over all the keys of the chateau to his new wife, including the key to one small room that he forbade her to enter. He then left the county, leaving the house in her hands. Immediately, she was overcome with the desire to see what was in the forbidden room, decided to satisfy her curiosity by taking a peek into the room.The wife immediately discovered the room's secret. There were the dead bodies of her husband's former wives hung from hooks on the walls. She then locked the door, but blood had somehow gotten onto the key and it would not wash off. Bluebeard returned and had figured out what his wife had done. In a rage he threatened to kill her immediately, but she begged him to give her fifteen minutes so she could say her last prayer. He agreed, and she ran up into the highest tower with her sister, Anne, and they locked themselves in. While Bluebeard, sword in hand, tried to break down the door, the sisters waited for their two brothers to arrive. At the last moment, as Bluebeard was about to deliver the fatal blow, the brothers broke into the castle. As Bluebird attempted to flee, they killed him. He left no heirs except his wife, and she inherited all his great fortune.
Who would benefit from reading this fairy tale?: This is such a great fairy tale, and I think the story teaches good morals and values. The moral of the story, to me, is that you should always obey what you are asked to do because when you don't there is always a consequence for your misbehavior. At first blush, one might think the moral of the story is that she should not have disobeyed her husband. But it is deeper than that. In this case, the young wife finds out what Bluebeard had done that he should not have done, and she is able to overcome his evil designs. he suffers the consequences of his actions. In this way, the story also teaches that there is good and evil and that good can overcome evil.
What problems/conflicts could this fairy tale potentially cause?: One main problem with this fairy tale is death. That might stop a lot of parents from sharing this story with their children because some might think it is violent.
My reaction: I enjoyed reading this fairy tale. I did find this quite violent, but I do think the moral of the story is a good one. Therefore, I recommend this book to a mature children readers.
posted by Jon Dale at 12:39 AM 0 comments

Thursday, February 11, 2010
























Tom Tot Tit
By: Joesph Jacobs
Ages:8-12

Summary: There was once a lady who gave her daughter away because a king, walking by, misunderstood the mother who was singing, " ...my darter ha' ate five, five pies today-m darter ha ate five pies toady." When the king came near, the mother, being too ashamed to sing the proper song, sang, " ...my darter ha spun five, five skeins today, my darter ha spun five, five skeins today." Once the king heard this, he was excited and begged the mother to let him marry her daughter. He promised that he would provide to her with everything the daughter needed for eleven months of the year. But for the twelfth month in the year she would have to spend her time spinning five skeins everyday, and if she didn't he would kill her. The mother who was thinking about the welfare of the daughter agreed to the terms, hoping that when the twelfth month arrived that the king would forget about the five skeins. Before the girl knew it, the last day of the eleventh month came and the king approached the girl saying, "Now, my dear, here you'll be shut in tomorrow with some victuals and some flax, and if you haven't spun five skeins by the night, your head'll go off." The girl became very frightened because she knew she didn't know how to spin skeins and began to cry. All of a sudden there was a knock on the door, the girl heard the door open, and a small black creature with a long tail began to inquire about her problems. After the girl had told the creature of her predicament, he agreed to spin five skeins every day, but she had to guess what his name was before the month was up. If she didn't guess it correctly, she would be his. This seemed like a good plan to the girl at the time, and agreed to the terms and off went the creature. Throughout the month the little creature would bring the flax back to the girl, spun, and each time she would try to guess his name. But she would never guess it correctly. Finally, as the last night of the month approached, the king said that he wasn't going to have to kill her because she complied with the agreement. However, she knew that she still had to guess the name of the little creature. Just as the king was about to walk out of the room, he told the girl of the most interesting thing he saw while hunting. The king professed to seeing a little creature spinning flax very fast on his tail saying, " Nimmy nimmy not, my name is Tom tit tot." When the girl heard this, she was overjoyed. When the last night arrived, the creature handed her the skeins, and she was able to guess the name correctly. The creature gave an awful shriek and ran away into the dark forever.
Who would benefit from reading this fairy tale?: I think everyone that would read this fairy tale would benefit from it. It has simple themes about bragging and consequences that follow when people lie about being greater then they are. In this case the girl was placed at hazard because of the mother's lies.
What problems/conflicts could this fairy tale potentially cause?: The one problem that seems to reoccur through all of the fairy tales during this era is death. This might be scary for young readers who don't understand that it is just a fairy tale. Therefore, certain parents might be hesitant to read this fairy tale to their children because the life of the girl is threatened many times.
My reaction: I like this fairy tale and found it quite entertaining. I liked how it followed the Grimm Brother's fairy tale very closely. It was funny to see differences in both, though. I thought it was good, and I would recommend it to those who are more mature, even though young in years.
posted by Jon Dale at 11:19 PM 0 comments
























Sweetheart Roland-#56

By: The Brothers Grimm
Ages: 8-12

Summary: There was once a witch who had a daughter whom she cared for very much and had a stepdaughter whom she hated. Out of pure jealousy, the daughter of the witch coveted the apron the stepdaughter wore. The witch promised her daughter that she would kill the stepdaughter and made up an elaborate plan to do so. However, the stepdaughter had overheard the witch's plans to kill her and was prepared to switch places with the daughter at night. Once the stepdaughter switched places, the witch came in the night to kill the stepdaughter but instead killed her own daughter. The stepdaughter then fled to her loving sweetheart, Roland.
Eventually, the stepdaughter would have to return to steal the wand of the witch. The girl took the wand and turned herself into a duck and her lover into a pond in order to flee from the witch. Later, to disguise herself from the witch, she once again turned herself into a rose in a hedge and her lover into a fiddle player. Once the witch came, she recognized them and asked to pick the rose. As the witch bent down to pick the rose Roland played his fiddle causing the witch to dance in a thorny hedge until she died. Immediately, Roland returned home to his father to arrange the wedding with the stepdaughter, leaving behind stepdaughter behind until the plans were made. Roland ran into another girl who caused him to forget about the stepdaughter, and he makes plans to wed the new girl. Eventually the stepdaughter was picked by a local shepherd and was revealed but promised to be the keeper of the shepherd. At the wedding it was tradition that the girls must sing for the groomsmen. Others refused to sing, but the stepdaughter, who was one of the girls. didn't refuse. Her song reached the ears of Roland. He married the stepdaughter, and they lived happily ever after.
Who would benefit from reading this fairy tale?: This fairy tale is a classic and will always remain a Grimm Brothers favorite. I think that this is a part of literature history and should be read to all. Everyone would benefit from reading it.
What problems/conflicts would this fairy tale potentially cause?: There are several problems with this fairy tale and there are probably good reasons to why some parents and even teachers would be hesitant to share it with their children. One would be the way that the characters die. With younger readers, it could potentially scare them because of the death of both the daughter and the witch.
My reaction: This was my first time reading this fairy tale and, at first, I was apprehensive about it because of the death of the daughter in the beginning. But I ended up really liking the fairy tale and would share it with older readers who would enjoy a piece of old fairy tale literature.
posted by Jon Dale at 10:54 PM 0 comments



























The Orphan Boy

By: Tololwa M. Mollel
Publisher: Sandpiper
Copyright: 1990
Pages: 32
Reading Level: 4-8
Genre: Picture Book/Folk tale
Award: N/A


"Outstanding."
- Kirkus Review

Summary: There was once an old man that spent the majority of his evenings gazing into the stars, and it was said that he knew each star as if it was his own. One night, as he was gazing into the stars, he noticed that one was missing. The old man went on a search for the star and could find it nowhere. Eventually, a little boy ran up to him and declared that his name was Kileken and that he was an orphan looking for a home. Immediately, the old man's face grew excited because he never had any children and lived alone. He demanded that Kileken live with him. As days went by, Kileken and the old man grew extremely fond of each other. But it seemed as if Kileken was directly sent to the old man to lessen his burdens. Kileken would do one thing right after another. He would gather the cattle at night, fill the pitchers with water from the well, magically make it rain and, before the coming of a drought, make the old man's cattle fatter. The old man wanted to know the secret of Kileken, so he plotted to catch the young boy completing these miraculous acts. However, while completing one of these acts, Kileken turned around stared the old man right into the eyes, and the old man knew immediately that he had lost the trust of the young boy. Out of complete despair, the old man threw himself onto the ground, and then the young boy exploded, much like a star, back into the air, leaving the old man feeling lonely again. Onec the old man stood up again, he noticed that everything the young boy had completed had been completely reversed. That night the old man returned to looking at the stars and noticed that the star that was missing had returned to his spot. From then on, the old man called that star Kileken and it will forever be known as the little orphan boy who helped the old man.
Who would benefit from reading this book?: This is a great book and it teaches many great lessons such as responsibility, trust and character. The readability of the book is fairly easy for children from around grade three andabove to read and comprehend. This book is helpful when wanting to educate children about folk tales and legends from other countries.
What problems/conflicts could this book potentially cause? There are no problems or conflicts that would prevent anyone from wanting to read this book. It is a book that was written to inspire people.
My reaction: I think this book was well put together. The illustrations, which are done by Paul Morin, keep up with the text and are absolutely beautiful. I would share this book with anyone and recommend that all who are interested in learning African culture go to this book as a source of knowledge.
posted by Jon Dale at 5:15 PM 0 comments

































Mrs. Chicken and the Hungry Crocodile

By: Won-Ldy Paye & Margaret Lippert
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Copyright: 2003
Pages: 32
Reading Level: 4-8
Genre: Picture Book/Fantasy
Award: Charlotte Zolotow Award-Honor Book


"Readers young and old will cluck with delight"
-Publishers Weekly

Summary: Mrs. Chicken takes her bath in a puddle and after basking in her beauty realizes that the puddle is not large enough for her to see a reflection of her complete beauty. So, she decides to take a walk down to the river so that she can gaze into the water to get a better look at herself. But what she doesn't know is that there is a crocodile lying under the water's surface, waiting for some thing to eat. As she peeks into the river, she notices that she still can't see her wing but instead sees a long scaly green thing within the water and insists that she looks different in the river than she did in the puddle. Suddenly, after deciding to take a closer look at herself, the crocodile snaps at Mrs. Chicken grabbing her foot and drags her back to the crocodile's house. Once they reach the crocodile's home, Mrs. Chicken jumps up into the rafters and hides from the crocodile. The crocodile demands that Mrs. Chicken comes down, but she refuses to do so. Then, without thinking, Mrs. Chicken quickly tells the crocodile, a female, that she can't eat Mrs. Chicken because they are sisters. The crocodile laughs, but Mrs. Chicken somehow convinces the crocodile to giver her some time to prove that they are sisters. The crocodile complies with her wishes and eventually switches her eggs for the eggs of the crocodile convincing the crocodile that they are sisters. They decide to trade children because Mrs. Chicken actually has the crocodile's children and vise versa. After spending some time, Mrs. Chicken asks the crocodile to take her and her babies back home since they were sisters.
Who would benefit from reading this book?: This is a great book for children of all ages to read. I think there is a moral hidden deep within this story and teaches children to be happy with what they have and not to venture too far out looking for bigger and better.
What problems/conflicts could this book potentially cause?: I don't think that this book contains any problems that would make it controversial.
My reaction: This book is funny!!! Once again I found myself laughing out loud. I think the authors did a good job in teaching important life lessons. I liked how they transformed this Liberian folk tale into a beautiful book with wonderful illustrations to match the background of the tale.
posted by Jon Dale at 3:32 PM 0 comments

































The Man Who Walked Between The Towers

By: Mordical Gerstein
Publisher: Square Fish
Copyright: 2003
Pages: 40
Reading Level: 4-8
Genre: Picture Book/Ficition
Award: Caldecott Award

"Gerstein's dramatic paintings include some perspectives bound to take any reader's breath away. Truly affecting is the book's final painting of the imagined imprint of the towers, now existing "in memory"-linked by Philippe and his high wire."
-
Publishers Weekly

Summary: This book is based on the true story of Philippe Petit, the famous French performer who lived in the great New York City. He was well known for his specialization of tight rope walking. Petit decided that he wanted to walk from one of the towers of the World Trade Center to the other. At that time the towers were still under construction, so Petit and a friend dressed up as construction workers and managed to bring a four-hundred-and forty-pound spool of cable to the roof of one of the towers. With the help of two additional friends on the opposite tower, together they worked hard to connected the cable from one tower to the other, almost risking there very own lives. Then, early the next morning, Philipe Petit picked up his twenty eight foot balancing pole and started his trek from one end of the cable to the other. He spent nearly an hour walking and performing between the two towers. There was one point where he laid down on the pole to take a rest from his performance. Nonetheless, he felt free from the world below. During his whole act, policemen were continuing to yell at him with bullhorns, telling him that he would be under arrest. Once he decided that his act was over, he slowly walked toward the policemen, stretching his hands out so that he could be handcuffed. Eventually he was taken before a judge where the judge sentenced him to perform in the park for the children on New York City.
Who would benefit from reading this book? I think that because this book is based off a true story and holds some historical significance that everyone would benefit from reading it. The story is especially special to those citizens of New York City who might have witnessed this miraculous event. Now, since the towers are no longer standing following 9/11, it means even more to them. It is an easy read and children would be entertained from it.
What problems/concerns could this book potentially cause?: I don't think that there is any problems or concerns contained within this book. However, there might be concern because the performer knew that he was breaking the law and refused to obey the orders of the policemen.
My reaction: I wish I could have been there to see this wonderful event unfold. However, after having read this book, it made me feel like I was somewhat there stand amongst the crowd. I loved this book for the detail in text but also for the gorgeous illustrations also done by Mordical Gerstein. As a future teacher I will be placing this book in my classroom in upcoming years.
posted by Jon Dale at 2:36 PM 0 comments


































Probuditi
By: Chris Van Allsburg
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Copyright: 2006
Pages: 32
Reading Level: 4-8
Genre: Picture Book/Fantasy
Award: N/A


"Chris Van Allsburg, a master of surprise endings, wraps a captivating story in lush, warm full-page illustrations in pencil over pastels in burnt sienna that ooze the heat of a summer day in the early 1940s."
-Chicago Sun-Times

Summary: Calvin, a young boy who loves to terrorize his younger sister is threatened by his mother that he will not receive his birthday present unless he immediately apologizes for placing a spider in her bed. After he apologizes, while eating at the breakfast table, Calvin's mother then gives him his present which is two tickets to see Lomax the Magnificent, who is a magician and hypnotist. Even though Calvin's mom hints that his little sister, Trudy, would love to go, Calvin doesn't invite her. Instead, and without hesitation, Calvin runs outside to invite his good friend Rodney. While at the magic show, the two boys are amazed at Lomax and his ability to hypnotize a woman into thinking she is a chicken. They wonder how this works, and then, with a snap of the fingers, Lomax says the magic word "PROBUDITI," and the lady returns to her senses. Rodney and Calvin think it was one of the funniest things they have ever seen.
The boys return home, greatly impressed by the magician's performance, and Calvin then finds himself having to watch over Trudy while his mother goes to the beauty parlor. The boys run upstairs and create a contraption made out of Erector parts and somehow talk Trudy into being a part of there experiment. She agrees and they sit her down in front of homemade machine. Within seconds she becomes glassy-eyed and completely unaware of her surroundings. Calvin then leans over and tells Trudy to begin acting like a dog. Trudy jumps off the chair and then begins panting and rolling around like a dog. The rest of the afternoon they play around with Trudy in her hypnotized state of mind. They finally decide to turn her back but come to the realization that all of their tactics are not working. In a last minute effort, they load Trudy up in a wagon and trek across town to visit Mr. Lomax. After attempting to visit Mr. Lomax, the boys return home only to see Calvin's mom pulling up the driveway. Rodney runs away and Calvin is left standing there with his sister, Trudy, crying her eyes out. Calvin is then sent to his room and his sister brings him a peanut butter sandwich, a pickle, and a glass of milk. Calvin makes fun of Trudy for acting like a dog in her hypnotized state. Trudy then tells Calvin she didn't remember anything about the afternoon but did enjoy the ice cream that was given to her earlier in their trek to see Mr. Lomax.
Who would benefit from reading this book?: Anyone who reads this book will walk away happy and gratified. The readability of the book is easy. It would make a great book to be read to children of all ages. Intermediate readers might find it enjoyable to read by themselves, but it is just an all around great book to read aloud in classrooms and in bedtime story situations.
What problems/concerns could this book potentially cause?: In my opinion I don't think that there is any problems or concerns with this book. However, some might disagree, because of two different scenarios in the book. The first might be that the mother allowed the children to go to a magic show by themselves without any adult supervision. The second might be related to some sort of racial connotation because of their African American ethnicity. There is an instance within the book where Allsburg has the little African American girl on all fours, drinking water out of a bowl like an animal.
My reaction: I was reading this book in the library, and there were certain parts where I found myself laughing out loud with people giving me funny looks. This is a great book, and I personally find it very funny and enjoyable. I think that Allsburg did a great job with this book. His illustrations, as always, are absolutely stunning. I would recommend this to all who are looking for a funny and entertaining book to read aloud to children of all ages.
posted by Jon Dale at 1:15 PM 0 comments

























Goggles

By: Ezra Jack Keats
Publisher: Puffin
Copyright: 1969
Pages: 40
Reading Level: 4-8
Genre: Picture Book
Award: Caldecott Honor Book


"Everyone wants the goggles Peter found in this fast-paced Caldecott Honor winner."
-Publishers Weekly

Summary: A pair of motorcycle glasses are found by a young boy named Peter and his friend Archie. Together they decide to hurry over the Archie's house so they can wear the goggles and sit on the stairs outside of his home. As they start home they accidentally stumble in two a group of "big boys" who demand that Peter hand the motorcycle glasses over to them. After Peter tells them no, he hands over Willie, his dog, to Archie, places the goggles in his back pocket, and puts his fists in the air, ready to fight. Suddenly, Peter looks back to check on Archie, and he finds himself down on the ground with the goggles on the sidewalk. As everyone stares at the goggles, Willie snatches them and runs through a hole in the fence. With the boys running after the dog, the two little boys split up and decide to meet back at their secret hiding spot. Eventually, both Archie and Peter make it safely back to their hiding spot, but still Willie is nowhere to be seen. Archie then peers through a pipe and notices the "big boys" slowly approaching Willie who is still holding the goggles. Yelling through the pipe for the dog to come to him, the "big boys" see Archie and Peter and start to walk toward them. On a whim, Archie decides to yell through the pipe to distract the "big boys." Immediately, they take off running for home. Finally, they make it safely back to Archie's house where they laugh about the whole situation and they still were able to keep the goggles.
Who would benefit from reading this book?: This is a great story. It's an easy read making it enjoyable for readers of all ages.
What problems/conflicts could this book potentially cause?: While it is a good book to read there is one problem that I see this book could cause. There is an instance where Peter goes to fight the "big boys." Some might say that this book supports fighting and would discourage other from reading it because of that. But, to me, the book supports defending one's property when others are seeking to damage it or take it away.
My reaction: I liked the book and enjoyed reading it. The illustrations are unique in that the "big boys" seem to be dark shadows while the author illustrates the two main characters quite well. Last summer I spent some time in New York City, and I wonder if Keats was describing what it might have been like for younger boys growing up during that period of time in what was known as America's toughest ghetto.
posted by Jon Dale at 11:22 AM 0 comments


























When I Was Young In The Mountains
By: Cynthia Rylant
Publisher: Puffin
Copyright: 1982
Pages: 32
Reading Level: 4-8
Genre: Picture Book
Award: Caldecott Honor Book


"An evocative remembrance of the simple pleasures in country living; splashing in the swimming hole, taking baths in the kitchen, sharing family times, each is eloquently portrayed here in both the misty-hued scenes and in the poetic text."
- Association for Childhood Education International

Summary: The story talks about a little girl and her childhood experiences in the mountains. When she was young, living in the mountains, this little girl would wait for her grandfather to come home from work so that she could get her kiss on the top of her head. She would also eat hot corn bread, pinto beans, and fried okra. Because of the okra, her grandma would often have to take her to the outhouse where she would promise to never eat more than a serving of okra again. Her memories included walking across cow pastures and through the woods to a local swimming hole where she would enjoy spending time. She would also frequently drop by the Crowford's store for groceries like white butter. The little girl did such things as pumping water for showers as walking to a local schoolhouse where a congregation of people met for a church service. She reminisced of watching her grandmother killing a long black snake with a hoe. But, to the little girl, nothing was better then sitting on the porch at night with her grandfather shapening pencils with his pocket knife and her grandmother shelling beans. For the little girl, spending time with her grandparents was better than traveling to the ocean or even the desert, because she loved the mountains.
Who would benefit from reading this book?: This book is great for readers of all ages. It's a taste of what its like for a little girl either growing up with her grandparents or visiting her grandparents in the mountains. The readability of this book is quite simply what makes it a desirable book for many to enjoy.
What problems/conflicts could this book potentially cause?: I don't think that this book would cause many problems if any at all, although there are some religious aspects such as baptism that might make this a controversial book to read in public schools. But I think it well depicts the life of a little girl spending time with her grandparents.
My reaction: Wow! This book hits close to home for me. I've done many things and been to many places similar to what is depicted within this book. Both of my parents were born and raised in West Virgina, and we would travel back to West Virgina in the summer time during school breaks. My Dad would walk my sister and me through the hollers of West Virgina ,reminiscing of these exact, same events talked about within the book. Amazingly enough, I can easily relate to this book. I'm glad I found this book in the library.
posted by Jon Dale at 10:46 AM 0 comments






























John Henry
By: Julius Lester
Publisher: Puffin
Copyright: 2008
Pages: 40
Reading Level: 4-8
Genre: Picture Book/Legend
Award: Caldecott Honor Book


"A tall tale and heroic myth, a celebration of the human spirit....The story is told with rhythm and wit, humor and exaggeration, and with a heart-catching immediacy that connects the human and the natural world."
- Booklist Review

Summary: The story of John Henry begins with his birth where it is said that, upon his birth, birds came flocking from everywhere as well as unicorns, moose, deer, panthers, and bears from the forest nearby. It was said that, as a baby, John Henry jumped out of his mother and started growing. Then, as the story continues, John Henry continued to grow big, strong, fast, and fearless. Growing up, John Henry helped his father a lot around the house by adding an extension to the home for a swimming pool and also cutting down trees and splitting them for firewood. What made him well known was his achievement, and it was also the cause of his death. That achievement was winning a competition against a steam hammer to break through a mountain, digging a tunnel for the railroad. Making it easier for rail travel throughout the country. On one side of the mountain, the railroad boss used a steam drill and on the opposite side of the mountain was John Henry, and he only used his hammers and amazing strength. When John Henry and the stream drill met inside the mountain, the boss was amazed to find that while he had come only a quarter of a mile using the steam drill, John Henry had come a mile and a quarter. John Henry walked out of the tunnel to the many cheers of the all those that had gathered together to witness this moment in history. Shortly after winning the competition, he fell to the ground and died. It has been told that John Henry's body was taken to Washington D.C and was buried in the front yard of the White House while the President and his wife were fast asleep.
Who would benefit from reading this book?: This great book would benefit all that took the time to read it. It follows the legend of John Henry really well and the readability is fairly easy. This is a classic African American tale which has been told for decades throughout the United States.
What problems/conflicts would this book potentially cause?: I don't think that there is anything within this book that would cause any problems. It was well written and follows the legend accurately. Some might venture to say that John Henry never really existed either way this story was created to inspire people. Whether John Henry existed or not isn't really the point of the book.
My reaction: Both of my parents grew up in West Virgina and I'm sure they had this story told to them many times growing up. I have great memories of my mom actually taking the time to tell me the story of John Henry. They took me to the New River Canyon where the tunnels were dug, and that is where the tale of John Henry began. In actuality, there were several John Henries and several tunnels, one of which is the Big Bend tunnel. I think the rhythm of book flows well and the illustrations done by Jerry Pinkney are simply gorgeous. I would recommend this book to all.


posted by Jon Dale at 9:15 AM 0 comments

Wednesday, February 10, 2010






























The Perfect Sword

By: Scott Goto
Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing
Copyright: 2008
Pages: 48
Reading Level: 9-12
Genre: Picture Book/Fairy tale
Award: N/A

"The Perfect Sword is a moral tale about the virtues that make a person worthy of something perfect. "
- School Library Journal

Summary: Sensei Masa, who is a master of swordsmanship, and his young apprentice, Michio, work long and diligently to create a magnificent sword or soul. When the new sword is finished, they inspect it for flaws, Michio finds none and exclaims, "Magnificent." However, Sensei replies, "No...nothing is truly perfect. Something can always be improved. Remember to try your very best in everything you do and continue to grow and learn." No, it's up to them to find a warrior worthy of this near perfect sword. A series of seemingly worthy men come to buy it, and Michio is sure that each of them would have been the new owner of the sword saying, "Someone like this must be a great warrior and worthy of our sword." But Sensei finds them each too cruel, too privileged, or too selfish. While in the market one day, they see a brave young samurai disarm a thief without using his sword. They invite him, Takeshi, to their home. When he reveals himself to be both honorable and constantly trying to be better by saying,"...learning martial arts is never ending and requires hard work, thus I train daily." Sensei realizes his humility by saying, "Excellent...You are the one we have been searching for." Sensei then gives the humble samurai the sword, instructing him by saying, "...Let this sword help you grow as a warrior and as a person in mind, body, and spirit." Takeshi grateful takes the sword, bows his head to the floor, and bids them farewell as he walks away. Then Michio looks up to Sensei and asks, "Is it time to start working on the next perfect soul?" and Sensei looks down and nods his head with a smile on his face.
Who would benefit from reading this book?: Anyone who would take the time to read this book would definitely feel inspired to live a better life. The story teaches one to live morally and to continue to strive to be the very best one could be. Its morals could be applied to any one's life and is the reason why this is a very beneficial book for children and even adults to read.

What problems/conflicts would this book potentially cause?:
I don't think that this book would cause any problems or conflicts. Its storyline teaches one to continue to work towards one's personal best. It encourages one to deny oneself of all impurities.
My reaction: Out of all the books I've read thus far, this is by far my favorite book. The illustrations are simply magnificent and gorgeous. I would recommend this book to every person who is looking to be inspired. This is the type of book every parent and or teacher should have in there bookcase. I will be encouraging everyone to check this book out from the library.
posted by Jon Dale at 11:15 PM 0 comments


























Stories of Pirates
By: Russell Punter
Publisher: Usborne Books
Copyright: 2003
Pages: 50
Reading Level: 1-6
Genre: Picture Book/Fairy tale with three different pirate tales
Award: N/A


Summary: (chapter 1: The Pesky Parrot) Charlie Crossbone, who was about to witness his first day as a pirate after spending more then ten years at Pirate school, was ready for his life as a newly made pirate. He was taught the tools of the trade and even had the pirate laugh down to a "T." Luckily, he was able to inherit a pirate ship. The only thing that Charlie was missing was a parrot because everyone knows every pirate needs a parrot. He went to a used pirate parrot sale and noticed that they were much more expensive then he thought they were going to be. Fortunately, he found a parrot that was super cheap and took no time in purchasing it so he could start his treasure seeking. What Charlie didn't know was that this parrot would be nothing but trouble. As Charlie went out to steal loot from other ships and rob pubs he found out that his parrot keeps yelling, " Stop! Thief!" alerting all that surrounded him. Charlie finally decided to cage up the parrot and send him away. To his amazement, the parrot returned and once again the parrot always attracted attention while Charlie was trying to steal. In Charlie's last attempt to rob a pub, he finally got caught, the landlord decided that the parrot would make a wonderful burglar alarm and paid Charlie for the parrot.
Who would benefit from reading this book?: This book is great for those who are beginner readers. It's a very easy read and teaches good principles.
What problems/conflicts would this book potentially cause?: I don't think that there are any problems with this book. This book was written to accommodate beginner readers.
My reaction: I think this book is great for parents to read to small children. I do think that once the children get past the age of five this book might become a little boring for them. The illustrations are simple and there's nothing really complex about the book.
posted by Jon Dale at 9:29 PM 0 comments






















The Three Pigs
By: David Wiesner
Publisher: Clarion Books
Copyright: 2001
Pages: 40
Reading Level: 4-8
Genre: Picture Book/Fairy tale
Award: The Caldecott Award 2002

"Wiesner has created a funny, wildly imaginative tale that encourages readers to leap beyond the familiar; to think critically about conventional stories and illustration, and perhaps, to flex their imaginations and create wonderfully subversive versions of their own stories."
-
Booklist Review


Summary: The book starts off by following the famous fairy tale of The Three Little Pigs, written by Jacobs. But, out of nowhere, the author adds his own little twist to the story. As the wolf travels to each of the pig's homes, blows the homes down, he's ready to eat one of the pigs. He notices that somehow the pig escaped. That's the mystery for the reader to solve for himself. Finally, when the wolf shows up to the last house, which is made of brick Weisner magically illustrates the pigs jumping out of that fairy tale into there own land. Each pig tells the others how happy he was to escape the grasp of the big bad wolf. From there the pigs travel to other fairy tales by making a paper airplane out of pages from the Jacobs fairy tale. Suddenly, their makeshift paper plane crashes, they land on a blank page, the pigs pull down their next story and wander into The Cat and the Fiddle. With a disturbed look on their faces, they decide to leave the fairy tale with the fiddle and the cat following slowly behind them. They then wonder into the next fairy tale containing dragons. The dragon tells them of his fate as a knight is galloping towards him with a sword drawn in the air. One of the pigs comes up with the brilliant idea of bringing the dragon with them and the trio expands to five. Together the five of them travel through several other stories finally making it back into the classic fairy tale by Jacob's to where the wolf is attempting to blow down the brick house. The wolf notices that it will be an impossible task. He peeks through a window only to see the three pigs, a dragon, the fiddle and the cat, and runs off scared.
Who would benefit from reading this book?: I think everyone who takes time to read this book or have it read to them will walk away gratified. This book starts off following the classic fairy tale "The Three Little Pigs" except Weisner adds his own little twist creating a fantasy land for all that reads this book. This book encourages readers to step out of the norm and use there own imagination to create a story of their own. That's why I think this book will benefit all who read it.
What problems/concerns would this book potentially cause? : I don't think this book would cause any concerns or problems.
My reaction: This book is brilliant. I loved how the illustrations follow some of the text, especially when it tells about the wolf getting ready to eat the pig, and then, in the illustration, the wolf has a confused look on his face as the pig is missing. I will recommend this book to every person who is looking for an adventure away from the norm. Imagination is encouraged in reading this book!

posted by Jon Dale at 8:25 PM 0 comments
























Lou Gehrig: The Luckiest Man
By: David Adler
Publisher: Voyager Books
Copyright: 1997
Pages: 32
Reading Level: 4-8
Genre: Picture Book/Biography
Award: N/A

"A touching tribute to the baseball superstar . . . Stunning illustrations."
-
The Boston Globe




Summary: In 1903 many great things happened in US history. Henry Ford sold the first automobile, the Wright Brothers made the first successful flight in an airplane, and in baseball the very first World Series was played. That same year, the famous Lou Gehrig was born to Heinrich and Christina Gehrig in New York City. As years past Lou's mother insisted that Lou focus on studies to become either an accountant or an engineer. His studies were important to him, and never missed a day of school. Because his mother has such great aspirations for Lou, she thought that sports were a waste of time. But Lou insisted that he play them. Eventually, Lou would become on the world's greatest baseball players to step onto a field. In this book the reader becomes aware of the commitment that Lou gave to sports, and was likened to his commitment in his studies at school. Without any known cause, one day Lou was no longer able to hit the pitches and was no longer able to field the ball. He still persisted in playing and trained hare, but he received no positive results for his work. One day he took himself out of the game. The reader then finds out that Lou would later be diagnosed with amyitriphic lateral sclerosis which is a deadly disease that affects the central nervous system. Lou would eventually be honored for his great sportsmanship and his charity. The New York Yankees would also retire his number, never to be wore again. Even though Lou lacked the strength to play sports, he still wanted to continue to inspire people and would eventually become parole commissioner. Within a year Lou's disease would finally get the best of him, and he died June 2, 1941. The disease he suffered from is now known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.
Who would benefit from reading this book?: Anyone who would come across this book should read it. This book inspires one to stand a little taller and live a little better. The most important lesson or theme that is taught within this book is the importance of being committed to whatever one chooses to do in life.
What problems/conflicts would this book potentially cause?: I don't think that this book will cause any problems or conflicts. It's an inspiring book written to encourage readers.
My reaction: This book is very inspiring and taught me many things I can do to live better. I truly think that was the primary purpose of this book. The illustrations ,even though done by Terry Widener, were suburb and unique. I particularly recommend this book to all baseball lovers.
posted by Jon Dale at 2:25 PM 0 comments

Tuesday, February 9, 2010























The Monster Who Ate My Peas
By: Danny Schnitzlein
Publisher: Peachtree Publisher
Copyright: 2001
Pages: 32
Reading Level: 4-8
Genre: Picture Book/Adventure
Award: N/A
"Another yucky food story, this one told in rhyme. And it actually works."
-
School Library Journal


Summary: The narrator, who happens to be a little boy, suddenly finds himself faced with one of his deepest fears, being forced to eat something he doesn't want to eat or he wouldn't get any dessert that night. Once he realizes the seriousness of his mother he replies to her, "...Before peas, I would rather eat dirt!" showing his mother that he doesn't have any desire to eat the peas that was placed on his dinner plate. His mother recognizes that the little boy does not want to eat his peas and says, "Eat up those peas. Do it now...or you'll get no ice cream...and you'll go straight to bed." Soon after his mother leaves the room, the little boy attempts to entice Ralph his dog to eat the peas but finds no success. The little boys last resort was to tightly close his eyes and whisper a wish saying, " Please let these peas disappear from my dish!" Then out of no where the most unique and strange thing appeared. This monster had hair like spinach, a big bloated body made of broccoli, his breath reeked of sardines, his eyes resembled brussel sprouts, squash for his nose and what looked like liver for his lips. The monster then introduced himself as the monster who helps kids by eating the things they don't want to eat, but under one stipulation. The kid most give up his favorite soccer ball in order for the monster to eat his peas. Taking some time to think about this important decision he finally decides to surrender the soccer ball and have the monster eat the peas.
Eventually, the boy finds himself in the same predicament over and over again and each time he's having to surrender a favorite toy to the monster. Each time the little boy get more sad as he misses his favorite toys. Once again the little boy finds himself having to eat peas again dreading having to eat them the monster appears and this time asks for his dog, Ralph. Without even thinking he says no and begins to eat the peas on his plate. To the little boys amazement he actually enjoyed eating the peas and said that they tasted good. He then looked to the monster and told him that he wouldn't needed anymore and decided that he would always eat all the vegetables on his plate for now on.
Who would benefit for reading this book? : I think anyone who would read this great book would benefit from it. The readability of the book is simple for easy to intermediate readers and would make a great book to read aloud to children of all ages. One important theme that is taught is the important to try everything you do whether it be eating food or anything you do in life before you say you don't like it. Because it might not turn out as bad as it looks.
What problems/conflicts would this book potentially cause? : I don't there is any problems that this book would potentially cause.
My reaction: I enjoyed reading this book. This book had a certain rhythm to it's reading that makes this book enjoyable for readers of all ages. I especially enjoyed the illustrations of the book. I recommend this book to every parent who might be struggling with getting their own children to eat peas and any food like it.

posted by Jon Dale at 9:18 PM 0 comments
























Where The Wild Th
ings Are
By: Maurice Sendak
Publisher: Harper Collins
Copyright: 1963
Pages: 42
Reading Level: 4-8
Genre: Picture Book/Adventure
Award: Caldecott Award Winner


"Each word has been carefully chosen and the simplicity of the language is quite deceptive."

-SLJ





Summary: One night, a young boy named Max decides to wear his wolf suit and run around the house creating a ruckus. After awhile Max gets sent to room without any supper for threatening to eat his annoyed mother because she had previously called him a " Wild Thing." Then, in his mind a forest grows in his room. Max boards a ship that takes him across oceans for days and eventually for over a year to the home of where it is claimed that Wild Things dwell. Upon his landing on the distant land, the acclaimed wild things notice the little boy and threaten him with snarls and claws and eye rolling. But even this doesn't frighten Max, and decides to work his magic on the monsters by saying, "Be still." After taming them with his magic, he bravely stares each of the Wild Things in the eyes and then declares himself the wildest thing of all. Max commands them, as their king, to let the wild rumpus resume, and he joins in the fun they were having before he arrived. Max quickly gets bored with his new adventure and yearns to be home where he smelled good things to eat. He then decides to relinquish his rule over the Wild Things and sails back home. Once he broke the news to the Wild Things, they cried to their newly made King, " Oh please don't go, we'll eat you up, we love you so!" but even that doesn't convince Max to stay with the Wild Things. In mourning over his decision, the Wild Things roar a terrible roar and gnash their teeth as Max climbs back in his boat and waves good bye. After what seemed like a year to Max, he finally finds himself in his room only to find supper waiting and still hot.
Who would benefit from reading this book?: This is such a great book I recommend
to all picture book lovers and readers alike. The lessons taught within this book are original. One thing it teaches is that parents really do love there children unconditionally regardless of what they do. This is manifested when Max returns to his room and notices that dinner is waiting for him regardless of the previous disagreement. This book also encourages use of imagination which is why everyone would benefit from this book. Even adults need to use their imagination.
What problems/concerns would this book potentially cause?: I don't think there are many concerns of problems this book would cause, if any at all. One potential problem is that in the beginning it shows disrespect for parents. But other than that, this is a positive book for children of all ages.
My reaction: I loved this book. I remember having this read to me as a child by my teachers in elementary school. This is truly Sendak's best book with some of the most unique pictures. These are shown within the 6 pages of nothing but pure illustrations. This is exactly the reason Sendak won the Caldecott Award for this remarkable book. I recommend this book to every parent and teacher.








posted by Jon Dale at 7:11 PM 0 comments



























In The Night Kitchen
By: Maurice Sendak
Publisher: Harper Collins
Copyright: 1970
Pages: 40
Reading Level: 4-8
Genre: Picture Book/Adventure
Award: Caldecott Honor Book


" The story of Mickey's nighttime adventure in the bakers kitchen is 'a highly original dream fantasy (with) deliciously playful illustrations (and a) chantable, easily remembered text. Pure delight for young children."
-
Booklist editors




Summary: When a young boy named Mickey falls asleep, he finds himself awakened by a ruckus from noises that appear to be coming from below him. He then begins to float out of his bed, and all of his clothes suddenly begin to fall off as he drifts into a dreamland. He then falls into a giant mixing bowl that contains the batter for a morning cake. While Mickey is buried in the cake mix, three bakers begin to mix the cake mix and prepare it for baking while they are unaware that Mickey is inside the mix. As the bakers are about to place him into the "Mickey oven", Mickey pops out and claims that he is not the batter milk saying, "...I'm not the milk and the milks not me! I'm Mickey!" Then Mickey decides to put together an airplane made out of bread dough to reach the mouth of a gigantic milk bottle. Using the plane, he flies up to the bottles opening and dives into it. He then swims to the top of the milk bottle and begins to pour the needed milk down to the bakers who joyfully finish making the morning cake. The bakers then exclaim out of excitement and joy, "...Milk in the Batter! Milk in the Batter! We bake cake! And nothing's the matter..." With the dawn breaking, Mickey begins to "Cock-a-Doodle Doo" like a rooster signifying that it is morning and slides down the bottle only to return to his bed, with everything back to normal beyond the happy memory of his experience and hungry for some morning cake.
Who would benefit from reading this book?: This short story provides readers with a taste of Sendak's imagination. Put together with some rhyme and a unique blend of illustrations, this book is a must read for all ages. The readability is easy, even a four year old can enjoy it.
What problems/conflicts would this book potentially cause? : One main problem that has been a concern for parents over the last several decades and has ruined the persona of this book is the fact that Mickey eventually spends some of the time in the book naked. On a website, it was said that in many librarys throughout the United States parents would be found drawing pants on the naked Mickey. This has been a huge controversy and it has been flagged as an inappropriate book. Therefore many teachers and or parents might be hesitant to share this book with children.
My reaction: I liked the book and thought that it had an interesting and exciting storyline. The illustrations really showed Sendak's love for art and resemble a comic book with his illustrations. Even though there are some controversies with the book there is no question in my mind as to why this book is a Caldecott Honor Award winner.
posted by Jon Dale at 5:23 PM 0 comments