Friday, December 14, 2012

Picture books mini-reviews 22

Tell Me About Your Day Today
by Mem Fox, illustrated by Lauren Stringer
Beach Lane Books
September 2012

Hurrah! A bedtime picture book from Mem Fox. This one starts out, "There once was a boy who loved bedtime." Ha! Way to hoodwink 'em! When the boy settles in to bed, he shares stories with his stuffed animals. "The who, the what, the why, and the way... the whole thing... turned out okay." Marvelously soothing repetition creates a calming effect. In a roundabout way, we learn of the boy's adventure jumping in the rain, repairing his stuffed bunny's damaged fluffy tail, and a picnic under a blanket fort in his living room. Acrylic illustrations feature lots of dark blues and oranges. The endpages include the same sun pattern from the boy's favorite blanket. Add this to your repertoire of goodnight stories... it'll have kids nodding off in no time.

I borrowed this book from the library.

My Brave Year of Firsts: Tries, Sighs and High Fives
by Jamie Lee Curtis, illustrated by Laura Cornell
September 2012

Funny, messy, exuberant and sometimes a little gross, this picture book details many "firsts" of a first grade girl: first day at school, first new friends, first horse-riding lesson, first library card. I didn't love this book as much as Curtis' earlier efforts, but it still makes a nice addition to any "first day of school" collection.

I borrowed this book from the library.

Bailey at the Museum
by Harry Bliss
Scholastic Press
September 2012

Bailey the dog is excited to head out to the Natural Science museum on a school field trip. He's a bit naughty (goes to chew on a dinosaur bone!) but pulls himself together by the end of the story and saves the day by sniffing out the rest of the group when they get lost. The thing that struck me the most about this book was that all the characters loved to read! All the kids are reading graphic novels and comic books on the bus ride. Even the museum guard whips out a book about how to guard things during his lunch break. Easy to read with large illustrations and clear speech bubbles, this is a nice selection for kids who aren't quite ready for graphic novels yet.

I borrowed this book from the library.

Stephen and the Beetle
by Jorge Elias Lujan, illustrated by Chia Carrer, translated by Elisa Amado
Groundwood Books
August 2012

A thought-provoking take on an everyday event. A little boy notices a beetle, and is just about to squash it, when he decides to slow down and watch where the beetle is going instead. What a great way to open a discussion about mindfulness of nature and the creatures in it. The foreign language translation works beautifully - the text flows very well. Collage illustrations featuring acrylic, ink, pencil, oil pastel set a somewhat serious tone. This is a contender for the Batchelder award for sure.

I borrowed this book from the library.


  1. Who is this mystical boy who loves bedtime and where can I get one?

  2. Haha, really! I've never met a kid who loves bedtime. But, as I've mentioned on my blog before, the whole theme of "yay, bedtime" seems to be pretty common in kids' books. With the idea, I guess, that if you say it enough, maybe they'll believe it?



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