Thursday, June 07, 2012

Two 2012 Picture Books

A Hen For Izzy Pippik. Aubrey Davis. Illustrated by Marie Lafrance. 2012. Kids Can Press. 32 pages.

Shaina perched on the porch with her eyes shut and listened. Mama's sewing machine chattered in the kitchen. Baby Pinkus pounded a pot. Grandpa whistled an old-time tune. In the market across the road, a nanny goat bleated. A truck puttered past. A cuckoo cooed from Mr. Fine's clock shop. Shaina wished she could still dust for Mr. Fine. She wished she could help the other merchants, too. But people had little to spend these days. There were few shoppers in the market and fewer jobs to do. Times were tough. 

 Can a chicken bring a whole town good luck? It can if it is Izzy Pippik's chicken. One day a crate falls from a truck, a hen is inside. Shaina, our heroine, knows the hen doesn't belong to her, it has an owner already. But she knows that she can take care of it for Izzy Pippik in the meantime. She knows that he will be back for it sooner or later. But taking care of a hen isn't that easy, not when the hen keeps having chicks, who keep having chicks, who keep having chicks. Because these chicks belong to a hen who belongs to someone else, all these new chicks belong to Izzy Pippik too. Soon it takes a whole town to "care" for the chicks/chickens. (Some people in town which Shaina was a little less bossy in insisting that these chickens are not to be eaten.) And soon this flock of chickens is gaining attention for the whole town, people are coming to look and see for themselves. Will Izzy Pippik ever come back to town?

I definitely liked this one! 

Read A Hen for Izzy Pippik
  • If you like folk tales
  • If you like (quaint) small towns
  • If you like a good lesson or two in your picture books
  • If you like determined, responsible heroines
Good Night, Laila Tov. Lauren Snyder. Illustrated by Jui Ishida. 2012. Random House. 32 pages.

The sun was up. The day was bright!
It filled our room with yellow light.
It woke us both, so right away...
We grabbed our things, were on our way.

Nature is celebrated in a family camping trip in Laurel Snyder's newest book, Good night, laila tov. (Laila tov means good night in Hebrew.) The first night of camping sees this family at the beach and loving it. Laurel Snyder's rhymes capture the enthusiasm of the trip so well:
The sand was hot. The waves were wide.
Tall grassed swayed. The salty air
Was soft and still and everywhere.
And the waves whispered...
Good night, laila tov...
The second night of camping sees the family setting up in a field (or meadow). Here readers see the family planting trees together. Again the love of nature is evident. We see a joyful family together living and loving nature, thankful for the beauty around them. The illustrations complement the text quite well, for they are beautiful.

Read Good Night, laila tov
  • If you're looking for a book that celebrates the beauty of nature, of the natural world
  • If you're looking for a camping book
  • If you're looking for a family book 
© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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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.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

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