Friday, April 17, 2015

March Round-Up

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Mr. Frank by Irene Luxbacher
Groundwood Books, 2014
Mr. Frank has been cutting and stitching, sewing and mending for over 60 years. On the day he closes his tailor shop, he looks back on the many wonderful things he has sewn over the years--WWII uniforms, stylish suits, mod dresses, fluffy tutus. But today he is making something more wonderful, more perfect, more exciting than anything else he’s ever made. The graphite and mixed media illustrations of this quiet book use textures and patterns to bring Mr. Frank’s past to life. The text, written in third person, is conversational and direct. This is a lovely recommendation for a one-on-one reading session, especially with a grandparent.

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Surprise by Mies Van Hout
Lemniscaat, 2013
Using just one word per page, this striking book looks at the many emotions of bird parenting from yearning for a baby bird, marveling at a newborn, comforting a crying little one, to finally letting that baby go. Originally published in The Netherlands, the illustrations, featuring vibrant colors and textured lines against black backgrounds, are the highlight of this gorgeous book. The concepts in this book are at times abstract, making it a great book for one-on-one discussions about emotions between caregiver and child.

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What Should I Make? by Nandini Nayar, Illustrated by Proiti Roy
Tricycle Press, 2009
Neeraj’s mother gives him some chapati dough to play with while she cooks. “What should I make?” he wonders? His little ball of dough morphs into a snake, a mouse, a cat, and a lion, until it becomes the best thing of all--a big round chapati hot and puffy from cooking on the tava. Originally published in India, this simple story encourages readers to use their imaginations to turn something ordinary into something extraordinary. The cartoonish illustrations are set off against a white background and the concise text is printed in an easy-to-read font. A recipe for chapatis is included at the end of the book. You can use this book to demonstrate the ECRR2 practice of play.

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You Can Do It, Bert! by Ole Konnecke
Gecko Press, 2015
Originally published in Germany, this is a humorous story of encouragement.. It’s Bert’s big day to jump out of the tree. He’s ready! Or is he? He stalls. He eats a banana. He thinks. Can Bert do it? Using a minimalist style, the cartoonish illustrations focus on Bert’s internal struggle. The crisp white background sets of the short text. The story finishes with a delightful twist. This title is great for a preschool or kindergarten read aloud.