The weekly post where I recap all the KidLit books I’ve been reading. Occasionally, I’ll also review some adult fiction books as well.
Be sure to check out Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers to see what other kidlit readers are reading. Because, you know, we can never have too many books in our TBR pile.
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Orange Triangle Fox
by Sarah Jones
I stumbled into two really good board books this week. I was drawn to the cover of this book and it didn't disappoint. It is a color, shape AND animal book. The way Jones combined common board book themes made for a really refreshing take on the topics. Each animal is drawn into a particular shape (and color). My husband, who teaches illustration at Ringling College, is planning on using this book to demonstrate how basic shapes can inform character design. So fun.
Everything Goes: 123 Beep Beep Beep!
by Brain Biggs
The illustrations in the book take the mundane counting book and make it so fun. We just loved the designs of all the vehicles. The colors are really great too. They held our 9mo's attention for the entire book.
Daddy Honk Honk!
by Rosalinde Bonnet
I thought this book was sweet. A fox finds a goose egg and gets more than he bargains for. The illustrations are fun, and the idea is cute. I liked the ending as well. It is worth a read.
The Day the Crayons Quit
written by Drew Daywalt
illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
Sometimes I go into a book a bit skeptical when it is praised a ton. I worry that they book won't live up to the hype. Well, this book does live up to all the praise. I thought it was wonderful. I love how the type and illustrations look like they were done by kids. And the idea is really fresh and clever. So much fun.
Goldie Locks Has Chicken Pox
written by Erin Dealey
illustrated by Hanako Wakiyama
Do kids get chicken pox anymore? This would be a good book to read as they're confined to the house with those little bumps. My daughter has never had them, so she was confused about what they even were. The illustrations had a wonderful 1950s feel. Some other fairy tale characters show up to check on Goldie Locks, which was fun.
Nerdy Bird Tweets
written by Aaron Reynolds
illustrated by Matt Davies
After quickly flipping through a few pages and seeing that the two characters were a little bird and a vulture, I thought this book was going to be about internet safety and how we never know who we're talking to online. I was completely wrong, but I am really glad I picked it up anyway. It more has to do with internet bullying and how we should be just as nice online as we are in person. It allowed my daughter and I to have a discussion on appropriate and inappropriate things to post.
Nugget and Fang: Friends Forever--or Snack Time?
written by Tammi Sauer
illustrated by Micahel Slak
I was drawn to the cover of this book. It is really a cute, straightforward idea. It would be a good book to start a conversation on having friends that are different from us and not letting peer pressure dictate who our friends are.
Waiting for High Tide
by Nikki McClure
I wanted to love this book. And I did love parts. The illustrations, especially once you know that they're made with cut up paper, are breathtaking. And I loved the story, overall. But it is too wordy. This, perhaps, would work for a much older child. But then you run into the problem of older kids thinking picture books are too "baby-ish". My daughter had a hard time sitting through it all.
Literally Disturbed 2: More Tales to Keep You Up at Night
written by Ben H. Winters
illustrated by Adam F. Watkins
When I picked this book up, I was expecting something akin to Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. This one was decent. My 7yo enjoyed it a bit more than I did--she had me give it an extra 1/2 star. The illustrations are good and, overall, it was worth a read-through.
The Mosquito Brothersby Griffin Ondaatje
This chapter book was a miss for me. The story itself was cute, but I think the integration of a mosquito's life didn't quite hit the mark. I felt like, while it was trying to be humorous--and it was at times--it pulled you out of the story. For example, the mother mosquito is so distraught because she left a son back in the country. But then goes on to explain that within a week of leaving the son, she has met and married a new husband, and had 401 new babies. Yes, that is the cycle of a mosquito, but it didn't work for developing a sense of loss for the character. It just didn't translate well.
How much do I like these books? I have the whole series signed by the author, that's how much I enjoy them. I am rereading all of them because the new book, Dragonwatch, came out earlier this year. It is part of the same universe but not part of the original series. Anyway, this is a great set of books if you're into fantasy. The grandparents of the main characters take care of a magical preserve for mythical creatures. Seriously, a fantastic premise.