Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Three Odd Picture Books

I Want My Hat Back. Jon Klassen. 2011. Candlewick Press. 40 pages.

My hat is gone. I want it back. 

I'll start by talking about my favorite of these three 'odd' books. Jon Klassen's I Want My Hat Back. In this quirky but delightful picture book, children are introduced to a bear who has lost his red, pointy hat. The bear is going from animal to animal asking everyone if they've seen his hat. It takes him a little while to find the culprit--perhaps readers will spot the culprit first!!!--but his hat will be found. Was justice served?! You be the judge.

Probably my favorite scene in this one is when Bear 'interrogates' the rabbit...and walks away. The text and illustrations show that the rabbit is obviously lying. But Bear isn't exactly observant.

Bear: Have you seen my hat?
Rabbit: No. Why are you asking me.
I haven't seen it.
I haven't seen any hats anywhere.
I would not steal a hat.
Don't ask me any more questions.
Bear: OK. Thank you anyway.
Have you read this one? What did you think?! Here is the book trailer for it...



Chilly Milly Moo. Fiona Ross. 2011. Candlewick. 32 pages.

Milly Moo the cow was sad. 
"What's up?" mooed the other cows.
"I'm too hot!"
Milly Moo the cow was glum.
"What's up?" asked the farmer.
"It's too hot for me to make milk."
Milly Moo wanted to churn out the finest, loveliest, tastiest, creamiest milk. But she couldn't.

Milly Moo isn't like the other cows on the farmer's farm. No, Milly Moo does NOT like the heat. In fact, she is unable to make milk because the weather is so disagreeable to her. But when the weather changes, the farmer sees that his other cows are now miserable...Milly Moo is deliriously happy...but will she be able to make milk?! Maybe, maybe not. Maybe she'll produce something colder, richer, creamier than milk. To the farmer's and reader's great dismay. (I personally had a hard time believing it...but...each reader will have to decide for themselves what to make of Milly Moo and her talent.)

This one I felt was a bit different, a bit odd, a bit out there. Not horribly so. Not unforgivably so. Just not your usual, typical picture book about cows and farmers.

My Rhinoceros by Jon Agee. 2011. Scholastic. 32 pages.

When I bought my rhinoceros, I didn't really know what I was getting into. He was a nice animal. Quiet, shy. He stayed in the yard. Kept to himself. After a couple of days, I noticed that my rhinoceros wouldn't chase a ball. Or a stick. Or a frisbee. He didn't roll over. He didn't do anything. I called a rhinoceros expert...

For those looking for picture books about unusual pets, exotic pets--and there are many, many picture books out there in this category--this one will be a treat. The little boy that stars in Jon Agee's My Rhinoceros has quite the pet. Even if he doesn't know everything his new pet can do...just yet.

The book is very, very silly. And I haven't quite decided what I think of it yet. Have you read it? What did you think?!

Here's Jon Agee talking about his new book...



© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 comments:

Mary Debrick Chudzynski 3:33 PM  

I love the idea of a pet rhinoceros! What a great way to fascinate children and get them excited about reading - if just to learn fun pets their parents will never let them have!

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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