Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Handful of 2012 Picture Books

Dinosaur Thunder. Marion Dane Bauer. Illustrated by Margaret Chocos-Irvine. 2012. Scholastic. 32 pages.

When lightning flares in the faraway sky
and clouds growl like lions waking...
...big brother Chad dances a dance right in the middle of the room. 
"A storm is coming. A storm is coming!" Chad shouts.
Brannon looks for a place to hide.

Brannon is SCARED of storms. He is truly scared of the loud, loud thunder. And storms make him want to HIDE. Each family member tries to coax him out of hiding, tries to calm his fears and reassure him. But one person can succeed where others can't. His big brother, Chad, knows JUST what to say to get his brother excited about storms. Can you guess what Chad compares thunder to?!

Read Dinosaur Thunder
  • If you've got a little one of your own that LOVES dinosaurs and HATES thunder. If your little one is scared of thunder and scared of dinosaurs, well, this wouldn't be the one for you. 
  • If you've got a dinosaur-lover that is always looking for just one more book about dinosaurs. (Or maybe that is you who are looking for a new book)
  • If you like imaginative picture books
Zoe Gets Ready. Bethanie Murguia. 2012. Scholastic. 40 pages.

On school days, soccer days, and rainy days, someone else always chooses what Zoe will wear. But today is Saturday, and that means Zoe gets to decide. 

I absolutely LOVE AND ADORE Zoe Gets Ready by Bethanie Murguia. I do. I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Zoe!!! She's cute and adorable, and I can completely understand why this pig-tailed cutie is having such a tough time choosing just what to wear on this particular Saturday. (My personal favorite would probably be the purple dress. "I might have a twirling day, a dizzy, whirling day. I'll spin and spin till I'm as light as a feather.") Everything about this picture book is just right. It's just one of those oh-so-perfect, oh-so-true-to-life books that just gets it. 

Read Zoe Gets Ready
  • If you've got a child like Zoe who LOVES to pick out her own clothes, who LOVES to "organize" her own clothes, who makes a non-messy mess just like Zoe!
  • If you love fun, playful books that celebrate the simple joys of daily life
Jungle Run. Tony Mitton. Illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees. 2012. Scholastic. 32 pages. 

Here come the animals, one by one, 
all getting ready for the Jungle Run. 
Cub turns up to take her place, 
but the others say, "You're too small to race." 

The smallest of them all, Cub, shows she's got what it takes to win it all in this new picture book by Tony Mitton. Not one of the jungle animals--at least the jungle animals in the race--take Cub seriously. She's too small to be competition. There is no way she could win, no way at all. Yet as the runners encounter one obstacle after another on their race course, Cub proves that she belongs.

There is something cutesy about The Jungle Run. Perhaps the cartoonsy art, perhaps the rhyming, for me it didn't quite work. Picture books are so subjective. There are picture books that you read once, and picture books that you read dozens and dozens of times. For me, this was a one-timer. It's okay. It's nice enough. But there's nothing oh-so-magical about it.

Read The Jungle Run
  • If your little one LOVES jungle animals; this one has hippos, zebras, elephants, rhinos, and, of course, a lion cub. 
  • If you're looking for a rhyming book with plenty of encouragement for small ones that are getting overlooked by others.
Pluto Visits Earth! Steve Metzger. Illustrated by Jared D. Lee. 2012. Scholastic. 

It was a quiet day in the universe when Pluto got the news.

Do planets have feelings? Well, in Steve Metger's Pluto Visits Earth! they do. Especially Pluto who is very, very, very mad (and I imagine sad) to learn that he is no longer considered a planet. He feels every bit as much a planet as he always has. And he's going to let everyone know just how unfairly he's been treated. (He talks to the planets along the way, and some moons, too, I believe.) What can make him accept his "new identity"? Perhaps some kindly spoken words by a child.

I am not a fan. I am sorry. I'm just not a fan of personifying objects and things. (Granted, I can take talking animals on occasion, but I've got to draw the line somewhere.)

Read Pluto Visits Earth!
  • If you've got a big imagination and are looking for fictional treatment of the planets of the solar system

© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Sally Spratt 8:24 PM  

All these books sound really great - I'd have to choose Zoe - just to see what she wears :)

alice@Supratentorial 3:12 PM  

Oh, my goodness I have to read Zoe. I have a Zoe in my house who changes her clothing about 14 times a day and takes forever to pick just the right thing.

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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).

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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.

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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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