Tuesday, March 4, 2014

February Round-Up

Image from Sudipta.com
Duck, Duck, Moose! By Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, Illustrated by Noah Z. Jones
Disney-Hyperion, 2014

This hilarious twist on the childhood game is brought to you by three roommates – two tidy and precise ducks and one enthusiastically klutzy moose! Using just two words, “duck” and “moose”, the text lays the foundation for the repeated visual punch line of a moose who seems to bring chaos wherever he goes. Play duck, duck, goose and follow up with this book. It’s especially fun for independent readers who can read along during a dramatic group sharing.

Image from KateHindley.com
How to Wash a Woolly Mammoth by Michelle Robinson, Illustrated by Kate Hindley
Henry Holt and Co, 2014

Learn to wash your woolly mammoth in 10 easy (well, mostly easy) steps! Starting with a bath tub and ending with some mammoth snuggling, this playful how-to book will have kindergarteners giggling. Hindley’s mixed media illustrations feature colorful washes, fine line work, and great use of eyes to communicate emotions. Well placed page turns and simple, yet fun, text makes this a great read aloud for a group. 

Image from RandomHouse.com
Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch by Anne Isaacs, Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes
Schwartz & Wade, 2014

In 1870 the widow Tulip Jones inherits millions of dollars and a ranch. So she moves from England to By-Golly Gully. She quickly learns that everything is bigger in Texas, including her garden vegetables and her beloved pet tortoises. But her blissful peace is broken when word gets around about her rich and unmarried status. Hilarity ensues as the widow comes up with a variety of ways to get rid of the 1,000 suitors that line up at her door. Exaggeration is the name of the game from text to illustrations. Isaacs excels at writing tall tales and readers will not be disappointed by her newest yarn. Hawkes’ painterly illustrations, rendered with acrylic and pencil on Bristol Board, feature vast blue skies, fluffy white clouds, and sundrenched landscapes that firmly establish the setting. At its best when read aloud, this story will also appeal to elementary school kids who will want to read and explore on their own.

Image from KirkusReviews.com
When Elephant Met Giraffe by Paul Gude
Disney-Hyperion, 2014

A chatty elephant and a silent giraffe are unlikely best friends, but that’s exactly what happens by the end of this humorous book. This book is divided into three short episodes, each with a funny twist and a subtle message about the give and take of friendship. With just a few sentences per page the text reads much like a beginning reader, but without the repetition of sight words. Bright colors and thick outlines are a perfect match for Gude’s excellent sense of visual and textual pacing and comedic timing. Although the bright and cartoonish digital illustrations are simple, they do a good job of conveying facial expressions and emotions. Similar to the Elephant and Piggy stories by Mo Willems, this book is great for independent or group reading.