18 January 2012

The Winner and the Picture Book Challenge

Happy Wednesday All! Today is the day that the winner of the 'What Wasn't Under Your Tree' giveaway is announced. And the winner is ... Mary Beth!! She missed out on getting Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk for Christmas but that is all taken care of now. Congratulations, Mary Beth.

Next order of business... It was a sad, sad day for me when my kids began reading chapter books. It meant that I could no longer hide behind them in my obsession for picture books. I love them so much! Finally, a couple of years ago, I started buying them again and telling everyone I was collecting them to read to future grandchildren. Thank goodness for the picture book challenge which gives me a valid excuse to, once again, take picture books out of the library. And, boy, did I luck out on the two I picked up this week!

I picked up Snowdragon by Andrew Breakspeare for two reasons: the last name of the author and the gorgeous cover art. Breakspeare/Shakespeare?? Really? If that is his real name - I love it! If not - I love it anyway! And what Northern Hemisphere inhabitant could resist a beautiful winter scene; Northern Lights in the background; sparkly snowflakes falling; and a small child asleep in a cloud on a dragon's back. Lovely!

The book did not disappoint. The story was just complex enough to keep a child interested without getting lost in the details: human child helps dragon child; dragon family repays human child. Possibly the best part of the book, though? The heavy pages full of embossed pictures. As I was reading it, my fingers were constantly feeling the pictures. (Tactile stimulation and a good story were always favourites with my small kids.) And I cannot say enough about the artwork. The colours and facial expressions on the characters are priceless. Great book!

On to Trumpet The Little Elephant with a BIG Temper by Jane Clarke and Charles Fuge. I love elephants and I love swimming so there was no way I could resist a cover that involved a baby elephant cavorting with his friends in the water. Before I even got started on the story, I was sold on this book. The page before the cover page (I know I should know the name for that page but it's not coming to me) includes a blurb about African elephants that is interesting and informative, and ends with a plug for Care for the Wild International and their web site (www.careforthewild.com).

Then we get into the story.As the title indicates, Trumpet has a hard time controlling his temper but his Mommy helps him learn some very helpful anger management techniques. This would be such a fun read aloud book because of all the emotion and sound in the text. "It toppled to the ground. SPLAT!" Lots of opportunity for fun voices and actions. The art work is simple in that there is not a lot of background detail but the character pictures are very detailed and interesting to look at. I especially loved the eyes of each character: very expressive. This is a great book for teaching about staying in control of your actions - with some counting thrown in for good measure. Loved it!

1 comment:

  1. First of all, Thank You!! I am so excited about winning Fight Club (one of my all-time favorite books) and I look forward to re-reading it! I was pretty sad when I had to return it to the library the last time & when it wasn't under the tree last month, haha :)
    Also, what beautiful picture books! These would be so much fun to read to my son. The library is beckoning. Thank you again! ~Mary Beth


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