I am not always reviewing the newest books, or those that get the most attention at Barnes and Noble.
Rather, I think it's more useful to highlight some that may have gotten missed, that aren't on the bookstore shelves, and that may have to be special ordered.
by: Cheryl Chapman
paintings by: Synthia Saint James
We've moved into reading winter books and this is our favorite so far. I've always loved the poem by Christina Rossetti, "In the bleak midwinter....", from which Chapman borrows the phrase: snow on snow on snow. Chapman plays on the thrice repetition of phrases throughout the book - which captures the magnitude of winter: lots of snow, lots of blankets, lots of layers of clothing, lots of kids on the sled hill.
The oil and acrylic paintings are reminiscent of cut-up construction paper, with the addition of fuchsia. Why were those packs only in primary colors? I'm sure nowadays there are packs with every Crayola color invented. The shock of bright winter coat and hat colors against landscapes of white is nicely captured by the artist.
If it were just describing the feel and look of winter, it would have been ho hum, but a simple plot twist wakes my emotions. The boy's hairy dog, Clancy, goes missing. A lost pet definitely gets Anderson and mine's attention: the searching, the tears on tears on tears...and of course it has a happy ending.
Who Likes Rain?
by: Wong Herbert Yee
This book is worth reading for the pencil art work - so beautiful! It's tempting to order a copy so I can tear out the pages and frame them for seasonal artwork.
Here are the great elements of this book:
1. Use of sound words like: Pitty-plip-PLOP. Anderson loves to make funny sounds with his mouth, and they immediately grab his attention in a story.
2. Asking questions for kids to answer: When it rains, who's the first to scat? I know! Do you? Mew, mew...
3. Rhyme that feels like the girl in the book has grabbed our hands, and is skipping with us through the pages.