Galloping to the rescue…

Hoban, Russell and Quentin Blake. Rosie’s Magic Horse. Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press, 2012.
What a silly story! A little girl dreams of a horse – Stickerino – that helps her find a treasure chest full of gold, which she presents to her parents the next morning.
What a brilliant story! The worries of bill-paying parents, after all, do affect their children. This not-unusual family situation is depicted with insight and sensitivity.
What a beautiful story! The lively illustrations and flowing text seem to be dashed off in a flash. But, of course, only exceptional creators such as Hoban and Blake can make it look and sound so easy.

Highly recommended for almost anyone who likes to laugh and loves language.

For analytical readers: note how sentences do not end with ‘said’ but rather with a character’s name: e.g. not “Rosie said.” but rather “…said Rosie.”Stories flow better visually when the final word of a sentence has that kind of weight.

More tips on critiquing stories HERE.

More picture books HERE.

Paris!

Take a trip to Paris
with these picture books!

Brunhoff, Laurent de. Babar’s Guide to Paris. New York: Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2017.
Babar advises his daughter Isabelle on all the sights to see on her travels to the famed city of Paris. A lovely travel guide for younger readers! [Elephants; Paris (France); Voyages and travels]

Egan, Tim. Dodsworth in Paris. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2008. 

“When Dodsworth and the duck vacation in Paris, they have a grand time despite running out of money and accidentally riding their bicycles in the Tour de France.” – CIP. A cheerful and informative picture book for readers 7-years-old and up. [Ducks; Paris (France); Voyages and travels] 

Kraulis, Julie. An Armadillo in Paris. Toronto: Tundra Books, 2014. 

“Arlo feels it. The twitch in his left claw. The twitch that only stops when adventure begins…”  So starts this story of Arlo’s trip to Paris using the journal left to him by his grandfather Augustin. Arlo whizzes around the Arc de Triomphe, eats croissants in a cafe, visits the Louvre, watches boats pass underneath the bridges along the Seine, visits the Luxembourg Gardens, and gazes in wonder at the Eiffel Tower. The book’s illustrations – in oils and graphite – bring whimsical delight to a picture book recommended for children ready for an adventure of their own even if it is only in their imagination. 

 

Rubbino, Salvatore. A Walk in Paris. Somerville, Mass.: Candlewick Press, 2014. 

An illustrated guide sure to appeal to readers young and old.

Find more stories set in Europe HERE.

 

Thank you, Beatrix Potter!

A Celebration of Beatrix Potter: Art and Letters by More Than 30 of Today’s Favorite Children’s Book Illustrators. New York: Penguin Young Readers Group, 2016.
Artists pay tribute to Beatrix Potter in this celebration of her stories. Tomie de Paolo, Peter H. Reynolds, Rosemary Wells, David Wiesner and 28 more illustrators tell how the famous stories influenced them and share their own unique illustrations to commemorate the 150th anniversary in 2016.
The letters will intrigue older readers who fondly remember the stories from their own childhood. Both the letters and illustrations are highly recommended for teacher-librarians and classroom teachers to use as part of a unit on styles of illustration. [Animals in art; Authors; Illustrators; Beatrix Potter]

More books about art HERE.

More picture books for artists HERE.

 

Look at it another way…

Freedman, Deborah. This House, Once. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2017.
Before your house was a house, what was it? Trees. Rocks. Mud. Sand. This elegantly illustrated picture book will intrigue readers and listeners 5 years old and up.
(If you like to analyze books, notice how the colour and style of the font complement the colour and size of the illustrations, creating a reflective tone that matches the mood of the story.)

More picture books HERE.

Stories that see life from more than one point of view HERE.

Tips on critiquing books HERE.

This Little Light of Mine…

Bryan, Ashley. Let it Shine. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2007.
Three joyous spirituals – Let It Shine and When the Saints Go Marching In and He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands – are exuberantly illustrated by Ashley Bryan in this cheerful book happily recommended for all ages. The large brightly coloured pictures are ideal for group story sessions, and the construction paper collage illustrations will inspire art students. The melody line for each song – along with all of its verses – is provided at the end of the book along with a brief history of Spiritual folk songs.

Listen to the African Children’s Choir sing He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.

And learn how to make luminaries.

Musical books HERE.

Stories of faith HERE.

Mennonite Migrants

Trottier, Maxine. Migrant. Toronto: Groundwood Books, 2011.

Anna and her family leave their home in Mexico each spring to travel north. All spring and summer they work on farms before returning to Mexico for the winter. They are part of a group of German-speaking Mennonites who left Canada in the 1920s but now return for part of each year, earning just enough money to survive.

This powerful story encourages readers – and listeners – to think about the life of migrant workers and the role they play in providing food for Canadian and American consumers. An afterword explains the history of these Mennonites who moved to Mexico.

Read a literary analysis of this story HERE.

More stories of migrants HERE.

Making life happier…

Fergus, Maureen. Buddy and Earl and the Great Big Baby. Toronto: Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press, 2016.

Fergus, Maureen. Buddy and Earl Go Exploring. Toronto: Groundwood/House of Anansi Press, 2016.

Buddy, a dog, and Earl, a hedgehog, continue the adventures they started in Buddy and Earl. These joyful picture books provide unique perspectives on everyday life and will delight both the adults who read them aloud and the children who listen.

More picture books HERE.

More humorous stories HERE.