Pippa Mouse by Betty Boegehold

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Title: Pippa Mouse by Betty Boegehold

Premise:

Join Pippa mouse and her friends, Weber Duck, Gray Bird and Ripple Squirrel, as they take part in some fun and wholesome adventures!  The friends build nests, work together, play on the ice and celebrate Christmas together.

My thoughts:

I absolutely adore this book!  It is so fun, cute and innocent that you can’t keep from liking it.  Pippa mouse is a playful and inquisitive young mouse who likes to get others to join in her adventures.  Each story features one of her short adventures.

The overall story is very simple, reminding me of the Frog and Toad books by Arnold Lobel.  They have that same story form and wonderful drawings which are just as integral to the story as the text.

The illustrations are by Cyndy Szekeres and are done in nature-centric 70’s style.  They are thoroughly charming and make the animals look so cute you could just gobble them up.  Just seeing the drawings of Pippa Mouse kind of makes you fall in love with her.  🙂

I recommend Pippa Mouse to young readers, and to families as an excellent read-aloud story.  I think it will become a new family favorite.

 

Rating: 5 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

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Shrunken Treasures: Literary Classics, Short, Sweet, and Silly by Scott Nash

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Title: Shrunken Treasures: Literary Classics, Short, Sweet, and Silly by Scott Nash

Premise:

The author has taken classic works of literature and condensed the essential story into short verse form.  Each story is fun, playful, and rhyming.  They are also complemented by cute, juvenile illustrations.  The works included are: The Odyssey, Frankenstein, Moby-Dick, Jane Eyre, A Thousand and One Nights, Hamlet, Don Quixote, The Metamorphosis, and Remembrance of Things Past.

My thoughts:

I stumbled on this book when I was doing a search of the library’s system for Jane Eyre graphic novels.  It’s such a neat concept for a book that I just had to share it with you!

I love that the author decided to share the gist of these classic stories in a way that is accessible and appealing to young children.  The rhyming verse and charmingly playful illustrations combine to create a book which children would love reading with their parents.

I should note that the author made a few changes to stories which needed a bit more innocence than their original story contained.  For instance, Frankenstein has a different ending because, obviously, you don’t want the Dr. and his monster killing one another.  Hamlet also experienced significant changes, but I think it was done in a very clever way.

I recommend Shrunken Treasures to parents who want to introduce their children to the classic stories in a way that is fun and easy, while keeping the story at a child’s level.  It would also appeal to adult fans of classic literature who like to see interesting adaptations of their favorite works.

Rating: 4 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

4 Favorite Children’s Books #5

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Here are more of our favorite children’s books coming your way!  Are any of these your favorites, too?

If You Take a Mouse to the Movies by Laura Numeroff

Mouse goes to the movies and gets a kit for making a popcorn string, which he wants to put on the Christmas tree.  Along the way, he gets distracted into making a snow mouse and from there subsequently gets distracted into doing a whole string of other Christmas activities.  We absolutely love these books which feature Mouse.  They are full of fun and action, and the illustrations are just wonderful.

Can’t You Sleep, Little Bear? by Martin Waddell

This is a simple and cute story about a little bear who can’t go to sleep because it’s too dark.  Big Bear brings a lantern, but Little Bear says it’s still too dark.  So Big Bear brings another, and another, and another…  When all of the lanterns have been lit and Little Bear says it’s still too dark, Big Bear takes him outside to look at the light from the stars and the moon.  Finally Little Bear falls asleep.  This book has a lot of repetition and would be good for a child who is afraid of the dark.

Too Many Toys by David Shannon

Spencer has too many toys.  They are spread out all over the house, and he just keeps getting new ones for birthdays, Christmas, etc.  Finally, Spencer’s mother says that it’s time to get rid of some toys, but how can he part with his special friends?  He and his mother haggle over which toys to get rid of, until they’ve filled one box.  However, Spencer can’t bear to get rid of the box–the best toy ever!  Does any of this sound familiar?

Touch the Brightest Star by Christie Matheson

This book is absolutely adorable!  It’s a perfect bedtime story, leading your child to perform a simple action on each page of the book, and gradually calming them to be ready for sleep.  The illustrations are lovely and I think I’ll be purchasing this one for my daughter’s next birthday.  It’s one of my new favorites.

4 Favorite Children’s Books #4

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Here are more of our favorite children’s books coming your way!  Are any of these your favorites, too?

“Could Be Worse!” by James Stevenson

Grandpa is a creature of habit and his grandkids think he’s a bit boring.  When Grandpa overhears their talk, he decides to tell them one whopper of a story about the adventures he had during the night when a giant bird abducted him from his bed.  My husband read this book as a child and introduced it to our children.  It’s become a family favorite!

Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban

Frances is such a picky eater that she refuses to eat anything other than bread and jam at every meal.  In a stroke of genius, her mother decides to offer Frances nothing but bread and jam.  Soon Frances tires of having absolutely no choice about what foods she will eat, and she asks her mother if she can have some of what everyone else is eating.  From then on, Frances’ food horizons expand and she is no longer a picky eater.

Madeline’s Rescue by Ludwig Bemelmans

Mischievous Madeline falls into the river and is rescued by a dog who follows her back to the boarding school.  The girls adopt the dog as their own, but when the trustees arrive for the annual inspection, they say she must go.  Heartbroken, the girls search for their beloved dog, Genevieve, and one night she returns to them.  Surprise, surprise–she is about to give birth to a litter of puppies!  Now all of the girls have a puppy of their own to care for.  We love the Madeline books!  The prose and illustrations are classic.  It is the 1954 Caldecott Medal Winner, too.

White Rabbit’s Color Book by Alan Baker

A curious white bunny learns about colors when he discovers some tubs of paint and takes a dip in them.  She also discovers which colors are made when you mix the primary colors.  The text and illustrations are simple, yet charming.  I read this book to my kids quite a bit when they were little.

4 Favorite Children’s Books #3

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Four more fun children’s books that we really enjoyed!

One Cool Friend by Toni Buzzeo

This is a really cute story about a boy who brings home a penguin from the zoo as his new pet.  His father is oblivious to the arrangement until the very end of the book.  The illustrations are unique and remind me of the 1970’s for some reason.  It’s a Caldecott Honor book, too.

Stellaluna by Janell Cannon

Stellaluna is separated from her mother when she is just a baby bat.  A mother bird raises Stellaluna alongside her own babies, but she struggles to fit in.  One night Stellaluna encounters other bats and discovers the wonderful things that she’s capable of.

How to Build a Museum: Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture by Tonya Bolden

This is a really interesting book which chronicles the journey of planning and building the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.  Kids will enjoy reading it because it’s chock full of informative tidbits and wonderful photos.  It’s astounding how long it took for this museum to come into being!

Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet & Allan Ahlberg

Here’s another charming and simple book from Janet and Allan!  The text is very simple rhyme and the pictures are an I Spy game featuring well-known nursery rhyme characters.  I’ve always loved the illustrations in the books by the Ahlbergs–they are so quaint and adorable!

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4 Favorite Children’s Books #2

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Here are more of our favorite children’s books coming your way!  Are any of these your favorites, too?

A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson

This book is an absolutely charming collection of poems which celebrate childhood.  Some of the phrases are dated–such as when it talks about getting dressed by candlelight, but most of the poems talk about things that are familiar to all children.  You can find many different versions of this book, so it might be best to find one with illustrations that you particularly enjoy.

My Truck Is Stuck! by Kevin Lewis & Daniel Kirk

My boys really liked this book when they were younger.  A truck that is hauling a load of bones gets stuck in a giant pothole.  As a whole series of vehicles driven by dogs lines up to help pull get the stuck truck out, a bunch of wily prairie dogs take the bones from the truck.  It’s a cute and simple rhyming book that helps small children learn their numbers.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Eric Carle

Eric Carle’s illustrations are one-of-a-kind and they are what really make this book special (okay, they’re what make all of his books special).  The simple text and colorful pictures help kids learn their colors.  Our kids can recite the book by memory now–they’ve read it so many times!

Tea Cakes for Tosh by Kelly Starling Lyons

Tosh learns about the history of his grandma’s delicious tea cakes recipe.  His great-great-great-great grandma made them when she was a slave, and she would occasionally sneak them to her kids.  The tea cakes helped remind her children to look forward to the day when their people would be free.  When Tosh’s grandma starts forgetting things, it is up to him to carry on the family’s tea cakes story and tradition.

Star Wars ABC-3PO: Alphabet Book by Calliope Glass & Caitlin Kennedy

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Star Wars ABC-3PO was lounging on the “new” shelf at our library.  It is Star Wars and it’s a kids book–so I had to check it out!

Premise:

Each letter of the alphabet features a Star Wars character–some well-known, others somewhat obscure.  Short rhyming verses tell you a bit about the characters and there is a cute illustration on each page.

My thoughts:

As a Star Wars fan, I think this book is super cute!  It’s a fun way to introduce the characters and story elements to young kids, while keeping it at their level.  My girls aren’t at the age yet where they can watch Star Wars movies, but they can get a head start by reading this book.  The illustrations make the characters look like they belong in a children’s cartoon show–all big eyes and general cuteness.

It’s also commendable that they are trying to teach little kids their ABC’s.  It’s not just another book of fluff, but it actually serves a purpose.  That’s always refreshing to see.

I recommend ABC-3PO to Star Wars fans who want every conceivable themed item, but more importantly to those who now have their own kids.  It’s a fun, nostalgic way to teach your kids their ABC’s and introduce them to the Star Wars world at large.  Happy reading!

Rating: 4 1/2 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

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4 Favorite Children’s Books #1

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I’m starting a new series of posts which feature our favorite children’s picture books.  They usually aren’t long or complex enough to warrant an entire blog post, but if I give you a batch of four, it makes it a bit more worthwhile.  As you can see, our books are well-loved.  😉

Baby Food by Saxton Freymann & Joost Elffers

I remember back when this book first came out, and I was so impressed by it.  I loved the adorable animals made from fruits and vegetables!  The text is very simple, but the authors’ creativity in assembling recognizable animals from food is really impressive.  My kids love this book and enjoy reciting the different foods that the animals are made from.

One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss

Who hasn’t heard of this book?  It’s a classic that I grew up with, and now my kids are enjoying it, too.  The sing-song rhyme is very catchy and the illustrations are wonderfully whimsical.  This book explores many animals from the imaginary world of Dr. Seuss.

The Day the Goose Got Loose by Reeve Lindbergh

I love the illustrations of Steven Kellogg–they practically make this book!  This is a story about a goose who gets loose and causes mayhem on the farm.  The antics are hilarious and we laugh every time we read it.

Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney

This is one of those feel-good bedtime stories.  Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare compete to see who loves the other more.  No matter how hard he tries, Little Hare is outdone by Big Hare in his exclamations of love.  It’s a cute and heartwarming story.

Fairy World: Enter the Magical and Mysterious Realm by Stella A. Caldwell

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Fairy World came to us from the library of the next town over.  Yes, I’m getting to the end of the stack.  They just have a better selection of books than we have here in town.

Premise:

Fairy World is a guide to all things fairy.  It is presented as the author’s research on fairies, which she is supposed to have seen at various times.  It includes sections on A World of Fairies (location & appearance), Fairy Kingdoms, Enchantment, and Blessings and Curses.  There are also case studies scattered throughout the book, which tell about related creatures (Dryad, Boggart, Selkie, etc.).

My thoughts:

What can I say about this book?  It is completely charming and celebrates the whimsical and enchanting world of fairies (and their kin).  I think the book does an admirable job of briefly covering the many different areas that have to do with fairy lore.  Though I’m a bit old to really appreciate and enjoy this book now, I would have loved it as a child.  I enjoyed anything make-believe and magical.  My girls, of course, love fairies.

I like the illustrations in this book–they’re a fun mixture of enhanced photos, charming drawings, and cobbled-together fantasy lands.  Any child who likes fairies will enjoy all of the visuals.

I would recommend this book for elementary through preteen children.  They are probably the audience most likely to enjoy immersing themselves in the fairy world (though there are sure to be some adult fairy fans out there, too).

Rating: 4 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

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The Berenstain Bears’ Trouble with Pets by Stan & Jan Berenstain

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The Berenstain Bears’ Trouble with Pets is a funny book about the realities of owning a dog.  The cubs ask Mama and Papa if they can get a pet, like other cubs have.  Farmer Ben just happens to have some pups he’s getting rid of, and offers one as a gift to the cubs.

Mama and Papa talk about all the work that is involved with owning a dog, but the cubs promise that they will do all of the work themselves.  Once they get the dog home, they make sure everything is set up for her and she seems to settle right in.  At first, the cubs argue over who gets to do things like feed and walk the dog, but soon it turns into arguments over whose turn it isn’t.  Not only that, but the dog starts to get destructive when she is left inside all day.  As a solution, Papa builds a doghouse and fenced area for her out in the yard.

The book doesn’t say that she is an outside dog all the time, but it is implied.  I’m not crazy about the end of the book because it seems to send the message that you should just send a misbehaving dog outside.  It could at least talk about the fact that a bored dog is a destructive dog.  Other than that, it’s a cute book that does a fair job of talking about the responsibilities in owning a dog.

Until next time…

Lori

Bears on Wheels by Stan & Jan Berenstain

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Bears on Wheels is great book for little kids who are just learning to count.  The text is very short and repetitive.  Each page is simply a counting of how many bears are on the bikes.  The numbers change in silly ways–by bears jumping onto other bicycles, balancing on one another, or falling off.

The illustrations are really cute and in the traditional style of the Berenstains.  Little kids will love this one!

Until next time…

Lori

Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Yoda in Action by Heather Scott

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Slime wanted to post this book because he really enjoyed it.  Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Yoda in Action! is best for kids who are learning to read alone.  The length is somewhere between a picture book and a chapter book.

The story involves Yoda and Asajj Ventress in an adventure on a moon called Rugosa.  They are meeting with the Toydarians to help establish a treaty that would allow them to build a base in their star system.  However, nasty Dooku tries to ruin their plans by attacking with a bunch of battle droids.  Of course, Yoda wins.

This book isn’t grand literature by any means, but it is a way to get kids reading.  😉

Until next time…

Slime & Lori

The New Baby by Mercer Mayer

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The New Baby is another book that I enjoyed as a kid.  In fact, this is the very copy that I read back then, with my name printed inside the front cover.  I loved, loved, loved this book.  Maybe it was because of the cute baby, maybe it was the fun illustrations, maybe it was the goofiness of it.  Or maybe a combination off all three.

In this book Critter gets a new baby sister.  He tries to interact with her, but discovers that there are many things she isn’t able to do yet.  However, he also discovers that she can do some fun things like cuddle, laugh, and go for a walk in her stroller.  At first Critter is a bit put off by her stinky diapers and crying, but he learns that babies can be enjoyable, too.

This is a good book for a child who is expecting a new baby in the house.  The text is very short and the pictures are great!

Until next time…

Lori

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Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion

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I’m curious to know who else grew up reading Harry the Dirty Dog.  I enjoyed it when I was little and now my kids love it, too.  This is a really cute story about a dog who runs away from home because he doesn’t want a bath.  He goes through town on a series of explorations, getting dirtier with each one.  When he finally decides that he would like to return home, his family doesn’t recognize him because he’s so dirty.

Harry finds his scrub brush and jumps in the tub, as if asking the family to bathe him.  As they start to wash him and the dirt is scrubbed away, they finally recognize him as their very own Harry.

I think the illustrations are magical, but that might be nostalgia talking.

Until next time…

Lori

The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson

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We received The Gruffalo from a family member several years ago as a gift.  It’s a cute story about a mouse and a monster-type animal called a Gruffalo.  The mouse is walking through the woods and when he is accosted by animals that want to eat him, he describes a monstrous animal that he’s meeting to share a meal with.  The other animals flee because the Gruffalo sounds so scary and forbidding.  Of course, the mouse doesn’t believe in the Gruffalo, until they actually meet in the woods!

Thinking fast again to avoid being eaten, the mouse tells the Gruffalo to follow him and see that all the animals in the woods are afraid of him.  As they walk past each animal it flees, not because of the mouse, but because of the Gruffalo who is tailing the mouse.  The Gruffalo, however, doesn’t realize this and runs away from the big bad mouse, too.

The illustrations in this book are fabulous!

Until next time…

Lori