Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Celebrating the special relationship between a father and son, Sherman Alexie’s 2016 picture book, Thunder Boy Jr. is a delightful read that families will enjoy.
Thunder Boy is named after his father but he wants a name all his own, something like Gravity’s Best Friend (since he learned to ride his bike when he was three). Luckily, Dad comes up with a name that will light up the sky!
The stunning and colourful illustrations by Yuyi Morales are the result of scanning old wood and clay bricks and using their colours and textures to paint digitally.
Highly recommended!
Rating: 5 stars/5 stars

Recommended for all ages.

The details: Alexie, S. (2016). Thunder Boy, Jr. New York: Little, Brown and Company.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Picture book: The Promise, Nicola Davies

In this stunning book, the author tells the tale of a young woman hardened by circumstance who steals an old woman’s bag only to discover the power of nature and colour to bring about smiles and laughter and wonder.

“When I was young, I lived in a city that was mean and hard and ugly. Its streets were dry as dust, cracked by heat and cold, and never blessed with rain. A gritty yellow wind blew constantly, scratching around the buildings like a hungry dog."

The elderly woman hands over her purse on the condition that the young girl makes her a promise. As she fulfils that pledge, the award winning illustrations come alive.

“Green spread through the city like a song, breathing to the sky, drawing down the rain like a blessing.”

 As the publisher notes, “underlaying all [Davies’] writing is the belief that a relationship with nature is essential to every human being and that now more than ever, we need to renew that relationship.” This is a tale of redemption through kindness, redemption through nature, and it will both tug at your heartstrings and inspire you. Beautifully written and superbly illustrated.
Rating: 5 stars/5 stars

Recommended for all ages although the beginning pages are quite bleak and may require discussion.

The details: Davies, N. (2014). The Promise. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Picture Book - a boy and his bunny

"Mother looked puzzled as she brought him his bread.
'You know, I hate to tell you, but it's go to be said...'
'You have a great big bunny on your head!'
'And what's wrong with that?'
asked the big bunny Fred.
'You can do anything with a bunny on your head.'

This is an entertaining picture book that should delight parents and children alike. Tom Murphy's illustrations, blue and yellow line drawing, perfectly complement this uncomplicated and fun text. Recommended for those who enjoy a good read-aloud with a touch of whimsy.

Rating: 5 stars/5 stars

Recommended for all ages.

The details: Bryan, S. (2005). A Boy and his Bunny. New York: Arcade Publishing.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Picture Book - Charlie Cook's Favourite Book

"About Sir Percy Pilkington,
A bold and fearless knight,
who told the dragon...
Wait, I'm not quite ready to fight.

You must hear this one first!
And then his armour clanked and shook
As he read aloud a joke he'd found
(Inside his favourite book)...
This is a clever and entertaining picture book that should delight parents and children alike. The illustrations, by Alex Scheffler, are intricately detailed and well worth a second --or third or fourth or fifth-- look. The plot resembles a picture within a picture within a picture, ad nauseum. Beginning with Charlie in his armchair, each character reads about a character reading about a character who then reads about a character. As the journey unfolds, we are taken through every conceivable genre of book and even learn about the library and encyclopedias. Recommended for encouraging literacy and for everyone who has a child who is in love with reading.

Rating: 5 stars/5 stars

Recommended for ages 4 and up.

The details:
Donaldon, J. (2006). Charlie Cook's Favourite Book. London: Macmillan Children's Books.