Saturday, January 29, 2011

Last Week's Library Loot Reviews

Goose Girl by Joe McLellan and Matrine McLellan, illustrated by Rhian Brynjolson (Canadian Authors and Illustrator)
The illustrations in this book are very nice.  I'd love to have some of them as artwork in my house.  It tells the story of a Cree girl and her special connection to geese and how she found her special calling in life.  Overall I liked this book but it does have some spiritual ideas that I don't agree with.  At the back is a page of information about Canadian geese.  Would be a good addition to a social studies lesson on native people.

Night Flight by Mireille Messier, illustrated by Carl Pelletier (Canadian author and illustrator)
Every night when Lucas goes to bed his imagination takes him on wild adventures.  In rhyming text we are told of some of his adventures.

Bear in the Air by Susan Meyers, illustrated by Amy Bates
Very cute story about a bear that falls from a stroller and ends up having all kinds of adventures before it is found and returned.  Love the illustrations too.

Emma's Treasure by Gerald Mercer, illustrated by Jillian Nicol (Newfoundland author and illustrator)
Loved it!  Emma found an old trunk that once belonged to her grandfather.  The trunk led to all kinds of fun learning for her and her friends.

Emma's New Game by Gerald Mercer, illustrated by Jillian Nicol (Newfoundland author and illustrator)
Love this book and actually featured it on my 365 Days of Children's books blog.  Emma and her friends learn about a game that her grandfather and his friends used to play.  The game was called conkers and involved making your own playing peice from a chestnut.  The story ends with the children and their grandparents having a competition with the conkers they make.

Newfoundland And Labrador ABC Alphabet Book story and original paintings by Dale Ryan
The paintings in this book are beautiful!  I actually featured this book on my 365 Days of Children's Books blog.  We loved it!

Sadie And The Snowman by Allen Morgan, illustrated by Brenda Clark (Canadian author and illustrator)
Sadie has great fun building snowmen all throughout the winter, though she is a little sad at first when the animals pick her snowman apart and the snowman starts to melt in the heat.  A really cute story.  She keeps using different things to make the snowman and in the end places what's left in a bowl and when it melts puts the water into a bag and keeps it in her freezer until winter comes again.  I featured this book on my 365 Days of Childen's Books blog

Do You Still Love Me? by Charlotte Middleton
Dudley the dog has a great life with Anna, his owner, until Anna gets a new pet and Dudley wonders if she still loves him.  Dudley is not crazy about this competition but before long they find a way to all be happy together.  Cute story.  Of course Anna liked the fact that the girl's name was Anna.

Freddy's Hockey Hero by Susan Chalker Browne, illustrations by Hilda Rose (Newfoundland Author, Canadian Illustrator?)
Freddy is really excited to be going to a hockey game and is convinced he's going to see his favorite player there.  Not only does he get to see him, but he gets to take shots with him!  Kind of cute story but I bit too wordy for me.  Some repeat phrases on some pages that werwe kind of cute but once again a bit too wordy for me.  Maybe it was my mood when I read it.

The Rag Coat by Lauren Mills
Minna longs to go to school but can't because she doesn't have a coat to wear in the winter, until the Quilting Mother's come up with a plan and make her a very special coat.  Unfortunately the children at school make fun of her coat, but soon Minna helps them see how special the coat is.  Beautiful watercolor pictures of a time past.

The Tooth Book: A Guide to Healthy Teeth and Gums by Edward Miller
I wasn't crazy about this book, but Anna liked it.  It is an information book about teeth and how to take care of them.

I Love You, Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt, illustrated by Cyd Moore
As Mama tucks her little one in bed and tells her/him? she loves him the little one asks a question, "would you still love me if..."  A cute book.

How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? by Margaret McNamara, illustrated by G. Brian Karas
Charlie likes school, but he doesn't like being the smallest one in his class.  One day Charlie's teacher gets his students to do an activity with pumpkins and Charlie learns that size alone is not the only important thing.  Lots of chances for learning in this book.  Great for a fall activity.  Helps teach observation, estimating, counting by twos, fives, tens.

Hog-Eye by Susan Meddaugh
Little Miss Pig decided to skip her bus ride to school, because her bus was too noisy, and ended up being caught by a wolf, but she outwitted the wolf and got away.  Anna and I both thought this was a pretty good book.

Star's Island by Margaret O'Brien, illustrated by Veselina Tomova (Newfoundland author and illustrator)
Star the pony loves his small island in the middle of the ocean, but one day Cordell, a big white bird, convinces him to check out the big island where Cordell insists everything is bigger and better.  Star goes to check it out and enjoys himself, but he longs to get back to his little island again.  In the end Cordell and Star decide that even though the both prefer different places they can still both be best friends.  A cute story that makes me think about how many Newfoundlanders feel about thier home.  Found a YouTube video of the book's launching.

Duncan's Way by Ian Wallace (Canadian Author)
It looks like Duncan and his family might have to follow the steps of many of their friends and leave the island they love to find work, until Duncan comes up with an idea that just might make it possible for them to stay.  Many Newfoundlanders will relate to this story.

Brave Jack and the Unicorn by Janet McNaughton, art by Susan Tooke (Newfoundland Author, Canadian Illustrator)
The story in this book reminded me of a folk tale that I had read before.  An old lady has three sons, one who's handsome, one who's clever, and one who seems to be no good for anything, but is very kindhearted.  The kindhearted son goes through a series of circumstances that shows his true worth.  What makes this particular version of the story different is that it is set in Newfoundland.  The illustrations are of 15 different locations in Newfoundland and Labrador.  There is a list of these locations in the beginning of the book.  One complaint I have about the book is that the page numbers are not on the pages, making it a bit of a pain to find a particular page.  It would be great to us this book in a study of Newfoundland and us the different illustrations to learn about different places in Newfoundland and Labrador.  I featured this one on my 365 Days of Children's Books blog

The Blue Door: A Fox and Rabbit Story (A First Flight Reader) by David McPhail, illustrated by John O'Connor
Fox invites Rabbit to go with him on a visit to his Uncle's place, but there is one problem, Fox doesn't have an address for his Uncle's place he only remembers that he had a blue door.  Fox and Rabbit set out anyway and eventually find Fox's uncle.  It is a cute story.

Count Down to Kindergarten by Alison McGhee, pictures by Harry Bliss
Honestly, I wasn't real crazy about this book.  I'm just not a fan of a book that tells a lot of the story with speech balloons.  Being a book about getting ready to go to public school for kindergarten it is also not a book that goes along with our philosophies.  That being said, it wasn't too bad and it would be a cute book to read to a child that was preparing to go to Kindergarten.  The little girl in the book has been told that kindergarteners have to be able to tie their laces by themselves and she is very worried because she doesn't know how to do that.

Adele And Simon by Barbara McClintock
Love this book! The story is cute and the illustrations are wonderful. The book tells about the struggles big sister Adele has trying to get her little brother Simon home without losing all his things along the way. She's not too successful with that task and it is fun to find hidden on each page something else that Simon has lost along the way. Set in the early 20th century Paris, the illustrations in this book make for a great social studies lesson.  In the back of the book the author shares the inspiration for each illustration, giving information about many historical places in Paris.  I featured this book on my 365 Days of Children's Books blog.

I'm Sorry by Sam McBratney, illustrations by Jennifer Eachus
Beautiful pictures in this book which tells about the friendship between a little boy and a little girl.  They have so much fun together, but there are also times when they need to say "I'm sorry."

Where Are You Bear?: A Canadian Alphabet Adventure written by Frieda Wishinsky, illustrated by Sean L. Moore (Canadian Author and Illustrator)
Sophie is excited to go visit her Grandma in Vancouver but she can't find Bear and has to leave without him.  Bear sets out on his own adventure to get to Sophie and both Sophie and Bear see all kinds of things as they travel across Canada.  Each double spread page features a different province or territory and different letters of the alphabet.  Kind of cute but a little too contrived for me, or maybe I was just in a bad mood when I read it and I need to reread.  The inside front and back pages show a map of Canada and a chart showing what Sophie and Bear saw in each province.

Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt (Canadian Author)
Scaredy Squirrel never leaves his home because he's afraid of everything, until one day he accidently leaves and finds out the big wide world is not quite as scary as he thought it was.  I wasn't a big fan of this book, mostly because of the style of it.  Anna, however, thought it was great.

Big Bear Hug by Nicholas Oldland (Canadian)
Bear loves to hug everything, until one day he sees something that makes him angry.  He decides to put his anger aside and hug anyway.  Cute story.  Featured on my 365 Days of Children's Books blog.

Maggie and Hero by Margaret O'Brien, illustrated by Veselina Tomova (Newfoundland Author and illustrator)
Maggie the puppy is always getting in trouble and feels like she's no good for anything, until she meets a big dog named Hero. and Hero convinces her that she is good for something and with Hero's encourgement Maggie herself becomes a Hero and rescues a boy.  Cute story.

Heroes of Isle aux Morts by Alice Walsh, illustrations by Geoff Butler (Newfoundland author and illustrator)
Tells the true story of how a Newfoundland dog helped save passengers from a grounded ship of Isle aux Mort in Newfoundland in 1832.  Featured on my 365 Days of Children's Books blog.

P is Puffin: A Newfoundland and Labrador Alphabet written by Janet Skirving and illustrated by Odell Archibald (Newfoundland author and illustrator)
This book can be read and enjoyed as a simple alphabet book by reading just the main text on each page, or it can become the jump off point for some great social studies learning by reading the additional information on each page, making it a book applicable to many age groups.  To be perfectly truthful, I found some of the rhyming in the book's main text to be difficult and contrived, but I do see us coming back to this book again as a basis for some social studies learning.

Johnny and the Gipsy Moth by Deannie Sullivan-Fraser, illustrated by Hilda Rose (Newfoundland author)
Inspired by true events in the author's father's childhood.  Johnny has trouble fitting in when his family moves from the big city to a small community, but a special visit from his uncle changes things.  His uncle arrives in a Gipsy Moth aiplane and takes Johnny for a ride, stirring up envy and interest from the young boys that liked to make fun of Johnny.  The story is sprinkled with Newfoundland words and sayings and has a one page glossay in the back to explain some of them.  It is a nice book to read just for fun but it can also be used to initate some social studies lessons about dialects and also about the history of flight in Newfoundland.

Two books for me:
Be Safe Little Boy and Stay Close Little Girl, both by Karen Kingsbury.  I cried my way through both.  They would make great graduation or wedding gifts for adult children.  The kind of reminded me of I'll Love you Forever by Robert Munsch.