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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Paul Galdone, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. Cookies!! - Books of December

I wanted to feature books on gingerbread.  The multitude of gingerbread man, baby, girl, woman, twins, doll, bear, dog, computer mouse (joke) books out there have raised my blood sugar to dangerous levels.

Cookies are less sweet but there are some winners available - and most of them are holiday free!  Read them now.  Read them months from now.  Still tasty.

The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? by Mo Willems.  The cheek of that little duckling!  He asked for a cookie - politely - and he got one.  The Pigeon wants a cookie.  Does anyone ever give HIM a cookie?  Another delightful meltdown by the world's favorite pigeon!  And cookies.   And a very cute Duckling.  (And too many sentence fragments.)

Cookies : Bite-size Life Lessons by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Jane Dyer.  Oooooh, Jane Dyer artwork.  Now that IS sweet!  Rosenthal uses the process of baking and eating cookies to introduce concepts such as the difference between "fair" and "unfair" or what it means to cooperate.  And the pictures?  Well, they are by Jane Dyer.
Read Christmas Cookies : Bite-size Holiday Lessons by the same team to feel all warm and yule-tide cozy.

Gingerbread bunnies, gingerbread husbands, gingerbread hearts, wives, foxes, ponies, dreams, AAAHHH!!!

The Gingerbread Boy by Paul Galdone.  This is the version I grew up with.  The text is straight forward and the illustrations are bright and snappy.

The following book is for teenagers.   

Gingerbread by Rachel Cohn.  Cyd Charisse - no, not the long-legged actor from the '50s - is a young teen with a lot of attitude.  She's been thrown out of school - again.  Her mother and stepfather are fed up.  So across the country to NYC, Cyd goes, to meet her biological dad and her half-siblings and, hopefully, get straightened out.  There are not many cookies in this book.  There is a lot of smart-a** dialogue and convoluted thinking.  Cyd makes some blunders but the reader cheers her on.  There might be some dated phrases here (c2004). 
BTW, Gingerbread is her rag doll, her talisman and best friend.  I relate.  I still have my kid-hood best friend.  (In the attic.)

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2. Picture Book Saturday: My choice!

I've been sharing Elliott's new favorites lately, but this week I have two of my own favorites. I've always loved both of these stories and am so glad to have my own copies to share with my son now.

As a kid, I loved both of these books and was really excited to see them being reissued! Both are about wondering what it would be like in the city and realizing that the country isn't so bad after all. Story of my life.

Originally published in 1978 and winner of the Caldecott Medal, The Little House by Virginia Burton is the story of exactly what the title states: a little house. The house loves living in the countryside, but has always wondered what it would be like to live in the big city. As times change and years pass, the city ends up surrounding the little house, taking over the countryside, until the poor house can't see any green space at all. Be careful what you wish for!

It has a happy ending, I promise! I love the pure classic feel of this one and the illustrations are lovely. My husband thinks it's too long and sentimental, but he's just doesn't get it. Elliott and I have been reading this one at least once a week before naptime and WE love it. It's a nice, quiet story...no excitement here...and I think every once in awhile we need to slow down and read a good long picture book. 

The reissued hardcover is available in mid-April!

The Little House
Virginia Lee Burton
44 pages
Picture Book
Houghton Mifflin
April 2012
Review copy

The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse by Paul Galdone was originally published in 1971. This was really one of my favorites when I was growing up, because I lived in the country and always had dreams about what it would be like to live in a city. Or just a place that it didn't take an hour to find a grocery store. You know...perspective. 

Most of you probably know the story: the town mouse doesn't understand how the country mouse could stand living in the country, with it being the dullest place on Earth and all, and invites his friend to come stay with him in the city. The fancy life is too crazy for the country mouse, so he hightails it right back to where he came from, happy to live a boring life. 

A simple story, with a nice message. Just be happy where you are!

The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse
Paul Galdone
40 pages
Picture Book
Houghton Mifflin
April 2012
Review copy

1 Comments on Picture Book Saturday: My choice!, last added: 9/8/2012
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3. Chicken Big

A picture book that's ideal for beginning readers, Chicken Big is an amusing retake on "Chicken Little" (aka "Henny Penny") You know, the fable where a not-too-bright chicken (are there any other kind?) panics when an acorn falls on her head and she mistakenly believes the world is coming to an end (hmmm, why does the Tea Party suddenly spring to mind)?

In the new version by Keith Graves, the hero of the story is not in the least bit stupid. In fact, he's quite bright. Oh, and one other thing. He's big. Humongous, really. The story starts with the birth of our hero as he pops out of his giant shell. The other chickens in the coop are flummoxed and agree that he can't be a chicken. Because of his size, he must really be an elephant. The big guy proves them wrong the next day when an acorn falls on the smallest chick. She assumes the sky is falling, causing the others to run around like chickens without their heads. The big chick reassures them it was only an acorn and pops it into his mouth. The chickens regroup and conclude he's a squirrel.

And so it goes. The big chick continues to help out his relatives and they continue to misidentify him. Then the henhouse is robbed of its eggs. Once again it's Chicken Big to the rescue. Thanks to his height, he sees the fox making off with the eggs and reclaims them. Finally, the chickens accept him as one of their own and make room for him in the coop.

This book is laugh-aloud funny. The comic asides alone are worth the price of admission. After the smallest chicken mistakes Chicken Big for an elephant, we're informed in parentheses that "She was not the sharpest beak in the flock." Then there's the sign "No Elephants Allowed" outside the coop. With its wide array of fonts, speech bubbles, and juxtaposition of multiples panels alongside full-page illustrations, Chicken Big incorporates the elements of comic books to great effect.

The text has a straight-forward syntax, and the vocabulary--with the exception of the word humongous--shouldn't pose a problem for proficient beginning readers. However, I recommend introducing or rereading the original "Chicken Little" first so that kids can fully appreciate the humor. My favorite version is Henny Penny by Paul Galdone.

Chicken Big
by Keith Graves
Chronicle Books, 32 pages
Published: 2010

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4. The Monster and the Tailor

Today's vintage children's book, The Monster and the Tailor, is a ghost story just in time for Halloween and was illustrated by Paul Galdone.  Galdone illustrated his first children's book, Miss Pickerell Goes to Mars, when he was in his mid-forties. That jump started a career in which Galdone illustrated and/or wrote more than 300 children's books. Working mostly in pen and ink washes, Galdone's style has been called unfussy, accessible, colorful, witty and detailed. Two books Galdone illustrated won Caldecott Honors;  Anatole and Anatole the Cat, both written by Eve Titus.

A tailor is called to a Grand Duke's castle. The Duke wants to tailor to sew him a pair of trousers with one caveat: they are to be sewn in a graveyard. Spooky!