Monstore is available now. Check out Tara Lazar’s site for more information:
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Monstore is available now. Check out Tara Lazar’s site for more information:
I have two very special picture books to share today, both by master storyteller Mike Lockett. The books are bilingual, having both English and Chinese text. Reviewing bilingual picture books is a Frog on a Blog first. Both of these gorgeously illustrated books include an audio CD which tells the story in English and also in Chinese. The CD adds an important element to the reading process and will help new readers and new language learners follow along with the story. It’s also an enjoyable experience. I know, I tried it! Both books are slated to be released in Spanish in the very near future.
First up is Teddy Bear, which was released in the US in 2010. It’s based on the well-known children’s song “Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, Turn Around”, and stars an adorable stuffed bear who only has one wish, to be loved by a child. Will his wish come true? The beautiful cover art caught my eye right away. And of course, the book is filled with illustrator Lulu Yang’s wonderful, whimsical illustrations, which were created by scanning fabric and layering images in Photoshop. They are quite unique. Young kids will have a lot of fun looking at the book, listening to the story on CD, and then singing the teddy bear song.
Next, we have Sky Food, which was released in the US just this year (2013). It’s adapted from a Native American folktale called Why Clouds Are In The Sky. Sky Food is a story about when the world was new, and people did not have to work in order to get food. The Creator placed all the food in the clouds, which were very close to the earth, and the people only had to reach up and take what they needed. Over time, however, people began to waste their food, and this made the Creator angry. He moved the clouds far out of their reach. What will the people do now to get food? Will they learn not to waste? This book offers bright, colorful illustrations by artist Chung Yi-Ru, done in acrylic and colored pencil. I like the sweet, childlike cast of characters, from various ethnic backgrounds, that are featured throughout the book. Young children will love “creating” sky food using only their imaginations, with a little help from this fun book and CD. One warning though, looking at this book might make you hungry.
I am super excited to share my newest interview with Frog on a Blog readers. Say “hello” to awesome author/illustrator Carin Bramsen. The first time I saw her beautiful picture book Hey, Duck!, I became an instant fan. Her style is playful, colorful, and so detailed, three qualities I love in a picture book. Just look at this gorgeous cover. Of course, to really get what I’m talking about, you have to check out the book in person. I immediately noticed the amazing realistic detail of the little duck’s feathers and the cat’s fur. And of course, the story is wonderful too. Enjoy the interview!
I have fallen madly in love with your soft, little duckling and his gorgeous feline friend from your book Hey, Duck! I’m excited to have this chance to get to know more about you and your work through this interview, and to share your answers with my blog fans.
1. How did you get your start in children’s books? And which do you prefer, writing or illustrating?
CB. Thank you so much for inviting me! I’m honored and delighted to appear on this wonderful blog devoted to picture books.
My path to children’s books was roundabout. I’ve always loved both drawing and writing, and some of my best childhood memories are of illustrating my own stories. But as a misguided young adult, I thought I had to choose between writing and the visual arts. I made many false starts in either direction. At some point, my sister, Kirsten, and I spoke casually of collaborating on a book about one of her childhood experiences. We eventually revisited the idea, she wrote a terrific story called THE YELLOW TUTU, and I set about trying to illustrate it. I had much to learn, so I started poring over heaps of picture books to see what worked. I read Martin Salisbury’s Illustrating Children’s Books, which taught me how to put together a picture book dummy. The more I worked at it, the more I fell in love with the challenge of telling a story through pictures as well as words. We published THE YELLOW TUTU with Random House in 2009. By then, I was hooked on the picture book genre, and my own stories flowed naturally from learning about narrative art. One of the many things I love about this field: it turns out I don’t have to choose between writing and illustrating!
2. Your characters are so full of life. I feel as if they could jump right off the page. What medium did you use to create your illustrations for Hey, Duck?
CB. Thank you! I’m so happy to hear you find my characters full of life. I drew the illustrations for HEY, DUCK on my computer, with a digital tablet. The tablet comes with a mouse shaped like a pen, which I use to draw (paint) colors, shapes, textures and tones as I would with a traditional brush or pen. But Photoshop allows me more flexibility than paint and paper would for moving parts around, layering and reworking if need be.
3. What is your workspace like?
CB. My workspace is an unprepossessing corner of my living/dining room. (And by “corner” I mean a third of the space; this is a Brooklyn apartment, after all!) I have my computer desk next to a folding table with a drawing board on top, and lots of jars filled with brushes and pencils. Lately, I’ve dragged my old easel into the living room, where I’ve been playing around with bigger drawings. I still love all kinds of traditional media, and the visceral feel of working big.
4. What picture book authors and illustrators do you most admire? Do you have any favorite picture books?
CB. Oh, dear. I have so many favorite authors, illustrators and picture books, I can’t keep track. A few of the books that make me sit back and say, “perfect”: THE SNOWY DAY, by Ezra Jack Keats; SNOW, by Uri Shulevitz; TEN LITTLE FINGERS AND TEN LITTLE TOES, by Mem Fox, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury. I adore the Mole Sisters books by Roslyn Schwartz. I often find a special beauty in books that skew very young, and I love anything that makes me laugh. But my tastes range anywhere from James Marshall to Dr. Seuss to Kadir Nelson to Gennady Spirin. There’s an endless variety of riches in picture books, all indispensable.
5. What other books have you written or illustrated, and are you working on any new projects?
CB. I’m pleased to say there are new books with Duck and Cat on the horizon.
6. Where can people go to learn more about you and your books?
CB. I have a website: http://carinbramsen.com/home.html
I also have a blog: http://carindraw.blogspot.com/
And I’m on Twitter: @carinbramsen
7. Is there anything else you’d like to share with Frog on a Blog fans?
CB. Often, a good picture book experience owes much to a talented art director. I’m indebted to Tracy Tyler, the Random House art director who has brought so much knowledge, dedication and inspired insight to both of my book projects to date. Picture books are always a team effort.
This year’s winner of the Caldecott Medal is This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen (Candlewick Press, 2012). This story is a big fish tale, but not in the way you might think. It’s also a small fish tale about a small fish who stole the hat of a big fish. He’s pretty sure he can get away with it, but stealing is wrong, isn’t it? Do you think he’ll get away with it? Do you think he should? This story certainly made me smile. Mr. Klassen does a superb job moving the story along with short sentences and illustrations that change ever so slightly as they move to the right and off of the page.
The ALSC chose five honor books this year! Among them is Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Peter Brown (Simon & Schuster, 2012). This fun picture book is cleverly illustrated with just enough color to set an eerie mood. If picture books were horror movies, this one would be rated G. It’s just so much fun; I read it three or four times. Jasper Rabbit has this terrible feeling that carrots are following him. Is it his imagination? Or have the creepy carrots devised a plan to keep Jasper out of the carrot patch?
Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen (Balzer+Bray, 2012) is my favorite of the picks this year. The story includes everything from a magic box of colorful yarn, to an evil archduke, to a sweet, young heroine who cares very much for her town. I like how the town gets more and more colorful as the story goes along. But the best part is the quiet, unassuming, and peaceful ending.
This honor book simply titled Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger (Roaring Brook Press, 2012) is beautifully illustrated in different shades of green, one of my favorite colors. It sports minimal text and peek-a-boo cut outs on several of the pages, which tie one page cleverly to the next. As you may guess, all of the illustrations depict the great outdoors and the natural beauty of the world, and showcase trees, flowers, animals, vegetables, and more.
One Cool Friend by Toni Buzzeo and illustrated by David Small (Dial Books, 2012) stars a polite, young boy named Elliot who decides he wants a penguin. I like Elliot; he has a lot of character. I like the combination of color and black and white for the multimedia illustrations. My favorite picture shows Elliot and the penguin skating in his room. This is a fun story that will make you laugh. And the twist at the end is the best!
Sleep Like a Tiger by Mary Logue and illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski (Houghton Mifflin Books, 2012) is a dreamy, bedtime story with muted colors that fill up the pages. The paintings are a mix of fantasy and reality and, along with the solid text, tell the story of a young girl who doesn’t want to go to sleep. I just love the pictures of the dog asleep on the couch; just gorgeous!
Title: The Princess and the Peas
Author: Caryl Hart
Illustrator: Sarah Warburton
Publisher/Date: Nosy Crow/2013
I absolutely love this clever, rhyming story about a little girl named Lily-Rose May who won’t eat peas. Maybe she’s allergic to peas. Maybe she’s a princess. Everyone knows princesses don’t eat peas. This book is beautifully illustrated with lots of detail and bright colors, including an eye-catching cover. The verse is flawless and flows along nicely. The story made me smile for a couple of reasons. First, it’s just so fun. And second, it reminds me just a little bit of myself when I was a child. I hated peas (still do) and refused to eat them. In fact, I disliked them so much that I used to put them down the heating vent in the dining room after everyone else had left the table. My mother didn’t find out until years later. I was a very picky eater. The picky eater in your household will enjoy this story and so will you.
For my first interview of 2013, I am extremely pleased to showcase super-talented author and illustrator Melissa Guion. Baby Penguins Everywhere may be her first picture book, but it certainly won’t be her last. It is interesting to note that I can interview several people and get responses as diverse as the picture books they’ve written. In other words, I could interview ten authors or ten illustrators and ask them the same or similar questions and each would have totally unique answers. But all of them are fascinating. I know you will find Melissa Guion’s interview fascinating as well. Enjoy!
First of all, congratulations on the publication of your first picture book Baby Penguins Everywhere! It’s a wonderful book and I hope we see more from you in the near future.
1. Have you always enjoyed writing and drawing? And when did you decide that you’d like to be published?
MG. Yes, making books is probably my oldest dream. I wanted to be a gymnast for a while, after watching Nadia Comaneci at the Montreal Olympics in 1976. One out of two isn’t bad.
2. What’s the first thing you did when you got the news that your manuscript was accepted for publication? How did you get the news?
MG. I was actually hired without a manuscript! My future editor saw my artwork and emailed (via my agent) to say he wanted to give me a multi-book deal. I went into our first meeting fairly dubious, but it turned out he meant it. When I got home, there was an email in my inbox from the editor about how we might go about developing a story, and we were off.
When I got that email, I think I did all the obvious things like jumping around. I called my mom. I had champagne with friends that night to celebrate. The next day I told different friends and we also had champagne. I dragged it out.
3. How long did it take from acceptance to finished, shelf-ready book?
MG. People keep asking this and I keep guessing. I’m going to actually look it up right now… Start to finish, it took 2 1/2 years. That’s slightly misleading because, again, there was no manuscript. We made a handshake deal to do a penguin book in late 2009. I had a contract by the summer of 2010, and that’s about when I had my first dummy done. I turned in the final art in January 2012 and saw a finished copy in August 2012.
That’s a really long time. My second and third books will get done much faster, at least according to my contract.
4. How excited were you when you saw your finished book for the first time?
MG. I’m excited every single time I see it. I don’t know if that ever wears off.
5. How did you come up with the idea for Baby Penguins Everywhere?
MG. When I met my editor, I was a new mom and a first-time illustrator. My life was full of chaos. My editor suggested the premise of the lone penguin who finds a magic hat overflowing with babies. It felt applicable to every area of my life.
6. You also illustrated your book. What materials did you use to create the illustrations? Are they your favorite media to work with when creating art?
MG. I used pencil and watercolor. I thought about doing something experimental, but I already had plenty of challenges to deal with. Anyway, I really like watercolor. I love that it has a mind of its own.
7. Where can your fans go to learn more about you?
MG. I have a website, www.melissaguion.com. Readers can subscribe to my blog there. I try to update it a few times a month. I’m also on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/BabyPenguinsEverywhere) and Twitter (@MelissaGuion).
8. Is there anything else you’d like to share with Frog on a Blog readers?
MG. If they’re ever in NYC, they need to go to Russ and Daughter, on Houston Street, for smoked salmon and horseradish cream cheese on a bagel. It’s the best! Penguins like it, too.
With a name like The Yuckiest, Stinkiest, Best Valentine Ever, you know it has to be good.
Title: The Yuckiest, Stinkiest, Best Valentine Ever
Author: Brenda Ferber
Illustrator: Tedd Arnold
Publisher/Date: Dial Books for Young Readers/2012
Valentine’s Day is next week and I have the perfect book for the occasion. Kids will fall in love with The Yuckiest, Stinkiest, Best Valentine Ever by Brenda Ferber. When Leon makes a Valentine to tell Zoey he likes her, the little heart-shaped card decides to make a break for it. He thinks love is yucky. He likes candy much better than love. So, the chase is on, down the street, past the boys, and the girls, and the teenagers until… Well, I won’t tell you the ending, but maybe, just maybe the Valentine will change his mind about love. This lively and hilarious picture book (with illustrations to match) reminds me of the story of the runaway gingerbread man who would chant as he ran, “Run, run as fast as you can! You can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man!” Well, we all know what happened to him. Thankfully, the Valentine got “caught” by something much less dangerous. Read the book to find out what.
Title: Oh! What a Surprise!
Author/Illustrator: Suzanne Bloom
Publisher/Date: Boyds Mills Press/2012
Suzanne Bloom does it again with another beautiful picture book. Perfect for this festive time of year, Oh! What a Surprise! features familiar friends in the gift-giving spirit. I absolutely love everything about this book. From the glowing illustrations to the fun characters (especially the sweet, little fox) to the picture-perfect text and satisfying ending, Suzanne Bloom proves she is a master storyteller. A copy of this one is going in my personal collection. I encourage everyone to check out this book and while you’re at it, look for more of Ms. Bloom’s wonderful children’s books.
Title: It’s a Tiger
Author: David LaRochelle
Illustrator: Jeremy Tankard
There’s no doubt that kids will love It’s a Tiger by David LaRochelle. It’s a fast-paced adventure story. It reminds me of something out of an Indiana Jones movie where you have to keep moving or you’re going to get caught. And there’s danger around every corner. You and the kids will get to the end of this book quickly, but you will have had so much fun, that you will want to read it again and again. The full-page ink and digital illustrations are lively and bright. And the cover is a perfect attention grabber. It’s a Tiger is a great pick.
HAPPY PICTURE BOOK MONTH!
Title: Bedtime for Boo
Author: Mickie Matheis
Illustrator: Bonnie Leick
Publisher/Year: Golden Books/2012
Here’s a fun Halloween (or anytime) story about an endearing, wee ghost named Boo who experiences his first haunting trip with his family. But when his fun-filled night is over, how will he ever fall asleep. Can the sounds of the night lull him to dreamland? This book combines prose and rhyme in a clever, fun-to-read way, that changes as the story changes. The wonderful illustrations depict Boo, his family, and their home in the muted colors of night. Bedtime for Boo is a good bedtime story choice for your little ghost or goblin.
Inspired by the upcoming Halloween holiday, Finley has decided to share a special poem with you. He calls it Halloween Feast.
Halloween’s a comin’,
It’s on its way.
Halloween’s a comin’,
Are you ready to play?
Do you have a costume?
Is it scary, funny, both?
Do you have a basket,
pillowcase, or tote?
We’ll hop from door to door,
Proclaiming tricks or treats,
And when the night is over,
We’ll leap home and have a feast.
Blue Apple Books has a lot of terrific titles, but I especially like Scribbles and Ink (2012) by Ethan Long. Ink is a mouse and Scribbles is a cat and the only thing they have in common is that they are both artists. They have very different opinions on what makes good art and so a battle of pencils and brushes takes place until finally, they decide to work together to create something extra special. This book is a clever introduction to art for young readers. I like the use of primary colors for the majority of the illustrations. And the showcase of different art styles and artists at the end adds a superb finishing touch to the story. Look for more books by this talented author/illustrator. Also, look for more titles published by Blue Apple. Another one that I really like is called My Dog Thinks I’m a Genius by Harriet Ziefert. Look for it and Scribbles and Ink today!
Here’s a perfect pick for dog lovers. Dog Gone! (2012, G.P. Putnam’s Sons) by Leeza Hernandez has just 25 short lines, but manages to convey all sorts of emotions, including happiness, sadness, anger, fear, worry, and love. Dog Gone! is about a small dog who runs away from home after being scolded by his beloved boy. While out roaming the streets, he realizes he belongs at home, and he and his boy are joyfully reunited at the end. The illustrations are lively and fun, combining a variety of media. The rhyming text is simple, playful, and a good complement to the illustrations. And once again, the dog in the story reminds me of my own dog. Overall, it’s a great book for kids and animal lovers.
Raise your hand if you’re looking for a brightly illustrated picture book that is fun to read aloud, stars a charming piggy character, and teaches you your colors, all to the tune of I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. Okay, so maybe you weren’t looking for a book like that, but I found one for you anyway. It’s I Know a Wee Piggy (2012, Dial Books) by Kim Norman. It’s gorgeous multi-hued art was done by Henry Cole in acrylics and colored-pencils. Kim Norman does a wonderful job engaging the reader with deceptively simple lines like: “I know a wee piggy who wallowed in red. Hoof to head, he wallowed in red.” Follow the precocious little pig as he makes his way through the county fair and see what color he wins in the end. Kids will enjoy this book from eye-catching cover to satisfying ending.
Wow, if there was ever a picture book that I thoroughly enjoyed reading aloud, this is it. That Book Woman (2008, Atheneum Books) by Heather Henson and illustrated by David Small is based on a true part of American history. It’s about a Pack Horse Librarian who delivers books to the remote Appalachian mountain region of Kentucky back in the 1930′s. But actually, the book is about more than that. The story is told by a boy named Cal who learns to read and whose life is forever changed thanks to that book woman. All picture books are meant to be read aloud, but some just roll off the tongue better or are more fun to read. This is one of those books. The ink, watercolor, and pastel pictures perfectly complement the rural setting. There’s more information about the Pack Horse Librarians in an author’s note at the end of the book. This is a great read!
The best words to describe A World of Food (2012, Abrams Books) by Carl Warner would be fanciful and delicious. Mr. Warner created the beautiful pictures for this book by photographing miniature landscapes made entirely of food. The gorgeous cover is what caught my eye, of course, with its scrumptious pink candy land and lavender sky. Inside, more delectable visions harmonize with whimsical, rhyming text that tells the reader what the world would be like if it was completely red, purple, yellow, orange, etc. and of course, made of food. Kids will love picking out the different foods on each page. Who knows, maybe this book will even encourage a picky eater to try something new.
My amphibious co-host, Finley, has decided to do this installment of Frog on a Blog book reviews. Because he loves picture books so much, he had a hard time deciding on just one. So, he picked two. One is brand new and the other is a bit older, but they both star adorable amphibians, one a toad, the other a frog.
Ooh, I’m so excited about this new picture book by Holly Hobbie that really lives up to its name! It’s called Gem (2012, Little, Brown, and Co.). It has lots of beautiful illustrations and very few words. It starts with a letter from a grandma to her granddaughter and ends with a letter from the granddaughter to her grandma. The story follows a toad as he emerges from the ground and embarks on a perilous journey. It was scary at times, a real nail-biter (if I had nails), but has a happy ending. If you want to learn about toads, this book will help.
Another great book that I stumbled across is called A Frog Thing (2005, Kidwick Books). This book by Eric Drachman introduces a frog named Frank who, incidentally, is almost as cute as I am, thanks to illustrator James Muscarello’s awesome drawings. And Frank and I have something else in common, besides being frogs, we want to try new things. Frank wants to learn how to fly. Read his terrific story and see if his wish comes true. Or does he discover something even better? You be the judge.
Do you have a child who just won’t go to sleep when it’s bedtime or nap time? If so, this is the book for you. The World Champion of Staying Awake (2011, Candlewick Press) by Sean Taylor stars a delightful, young girl named Stella who must help her little friends fall asleep before she can go to bed. It’s a good thing she has such a vivid imagination because that’s just what her friends need to help them feel tired. The author uses a mix of prose and verse, which is hard to pull off in one picture book, but it works perfectly here. The illustrator, Jimmy Liao, gives life to the characters with his vibrant watercolor artwork. I love his clever use of design elements-smaller pictures for the main storyline and full-page illustrations for the dreamy landscapes. Both fun and lyrical, this book is sure to please the wide-awake “world champion” in your life.
Author and illustrator, Chris Van Dusen, has hit a home run with his brand new picture book entitled Randy Riley’s Really Big Hit (2012, Candlewick Press). Starring in this fast-paced, baseball-themed story, is young Randy, a bright boy with a love for robots. Randy becomes the hero of his hometown when he saves everyone from impending doom. (I won’t give all of the details away. You should go out and pick up a copy for yourself.) With bright gouache illustrations and awesome rhyming text, this book is sure to be a hit with you and your little super hero. Here’s a sample: “Randy’s eye was on the ball. No room for error now. Three-two-one and flip the switch! A swoosh and then…Ka-pow!!”
For day number six of my Week of Reviews, I offer up two gorgeous picture books that the youngest picture book fans will absolutely love. Both are sweet, simple, and colorful, with minimal text and full-page illustrations.
Baby Bear Sees Blue by Ashley Wolff (2012, Beach Lane Books) introduces readers to a bear cub who is discovering the world through all the beautiful colors that he sees around him. Mama Bear guides him as he encounters blue jays, green oak trees, orange butterflies, and more. The unique illustrations were done using linoleum block prints which were then painted with watercolors. The story includes one of my most favorite things, a rainbow. Children will enjoy this book while learning about colors.
Moonlight, written by Helen Griffith and illustrated by Laura Dronzek (2012, Greenwillow Books), is a rhyming bedtime story. The wonderful, dreamy illustrations were done using acrylic paints. The star is a precious rabbit who likes to dance in the moonlight. Here’s an excerpt: “Moonlight slides like butter, skims through outer space, skids past stars and comets, leaves a butter trace…” Just beautiful! I highly recommend both books.
Here it is, week seven of my Week of Reviews and if you don’t mind me saying so, I’m proud of myself. I set a goal to post a book review every day for a week and I reached it! This is the most posting I’ve done since I started my blog nearly three years ago. Well, enough about that, let’s talk picture books. I’m ending my Week of Reviews with two humorous stories. I think funny picture books are some of the best kind. You know kids will agree because they love to laugh.
Okay, let’s start with a title that grabbed my attention right away-Question Boy Meets Little Miss Know-It-All (2012, Atheneum Books for Young Readers). With a title like that, how could you not open the book, right? First off, I really like how average people like the garbage man, the mail man, and the paperboy are portrayed as superheros. And there is so much color throughout the book. (You know how much I love color.) The author/illustrator, Peter Catalanotto, created his awesome illustrations with watercolor paints. It never ceases to amaze me what can be done with watercolors. And of course, the story is funny. Has Question Boy finally met his match? Read the book to find out. This book has it all, a great title, interesting characters, gorgeous illustrations, and humor, and it manages to teach kids a few things too (a lot of things, actually).
Beep and Bah (2012, Carolrhoda Books) by James Burks is also a very funny book, but in a completely different way. This vibrantly illustrated picture book, done in comic book style, will have kids laughing out loud. Two friends, Beep the robot and Bah the goat, set off on an adventure to find the match to a sock. The delightful duo get themselves into all sorts of humorous trouble along the way. And you’ll never guess where the missing sock is. This dynamically designed picture book offers charming characters and laughs on every page. Check both books out today!
As many of you already know, world-famous children’s book author and illustrator, Maurice Sendak passed away last week. It’s all over the news, and probably all over many kid lit blogs. But I want to add my own special mention to the mix. The very first book I reviewed here on Frog On A Blog, back in 2009, was Where the Wild Things Are, which is probably Mr. Sendak’s most well-known title. He has, of course, written and illustrated numerous others, as well as contributed to anthologies and so forth, and he has been the subject of a few biographies as well. Parodies and adaptations have been created based on Where the Wild Things Are too. His books have been printed in several languages. The cover at the top right shows the French version of Where the Wild Things Are.
When I was a child, one of my treasures was a little book collection called Nutshell Library. I received it as a birthday gift. Unfortunately, I don’t remember how old I was. It’s now been passed on to nieces and nephews and it’s definitely seen better days. Copies are still available for sale today and can usually be found at a reasonable price. Maurice Sendak’s Nutshell Library includes four small books: Pierre, Alligators All Around, Chicken Soup with Rice, and One Was Johnny. I think it’s a great gift idea.
Below, I have posted my original review of Where the Wild Things Are:
Inspired by the recent film adaptation, I decided to reread Where The Wild Things Are, written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak, and originally published in 1963 by Harper & Row. It won the Caldecott Medal in 1964. I think most picture book fans have read it, or read it to their children, at least once in their lives. I think this book is great fun despite the rumors that some parents think it’s too frightening for young children. This may perhaps be true of the recent film version, but the book portrays the “wild things” as big, goofy, even somewhat cuddly looking creatures. Certainly mild by today’s standards. If you truly want to analyze the story, there is a message here and I think it’s a timeless one for every parent and child. All children get upset sometimes anAdd a Comment
I really enjoyed Vote for Me! (2012, Kids Can Press). I’m sure it wasn’t an accident that this clever book by Ben Clanton was published during a presidential election year. It’s about two candidates who do everything they can to win your vote. They sweet-talk you, tell you what you want to hear, make you promises, and put down their opponent. Sounds like real life, huh?
I’ve never seen a picture book tackle this subject before. As soon as I read it, I wondered why it hadn’t been done before. It’s a great idea. Maybe it’s because no one else has been able to do it like Ben Clanton. He managed to create a humorous, fact-paced story that kids will love, even if they don’t get the not-so-subtle tidbits that we adults will recognize-for example, the red and blue color scheme, the donkey and elephant main characters, and the “mud-slinging”.
The difference between this story and a real election is the fact that donkey and elephant apologize to each other and by the end, become friends. Or do they? Read the book to find out. I promise, you won’t be disappointed. This is a good first introduction to politics for young readers. Be prepared to explain a couple of things to your kids though.