Monday, June 11, 2012

Three Green Picture Books

Green. Laura Vaccaro Seeger. 2012. Roaring Brook Press. 40 pages.

forest green
sea green
lime green
pea green

 Now this is a book that would cheer Kermit up. Laura Vaccaro Seeger's newest picture book celebrates the color green in all its varying shades. It's also a celebration of nature and of art. Each spread has the potential to wow readers. It's almost something you have to see for yourself to believe. You might not think a book about the color green would have wow potential. And it may not wow everyone, I know. Reading is subjective. But. This is a great concept book that you can spend some time with. You can get some idea of how brilliant it is by watching this video.

Read Green
  • If you are looking for fun, creative concept books
  • If you are looking to celebrate art, colors, nature, etc.
Jonathan and Martha. Petr Horacek. 2012. Phaidon Press. 32 pages.

Jonathan was lonely. He lived on the left side of the tree. Martha was lonely, too. She lived on the right side of the tree. One day a big, juicy pear landed on the ground. Jonathan wanted to eat the pair. Martha wanted to eat the pear, too. Jonathan nibbled from the left. Martha nibbled from the right. They nibbled and they nibbled. And this is how they met!

What can I say about Jonathan & Martha?! These two worms did not always get along. When they first met, they did NOT like each other and did NOT want to share. But after their tails got tangled together in a great, big knot making them one, they learn--the hard way--how to share, how to get along, how to work together. Soon, they begin enjoying each other's company. But even so, being a worm isn't always easy. A worm's life can be quite difficult...

This is a very odd little picture book, in a way, with a twist or turn that makes it slightly disturbing. Sure it won't disturb every single reader. And sure it's realistic enough. But. For those who are most sensitive, it may be a bit too odd. Still, I couldn't help loving the bright, bold colors! There is something playful about the art and text in this one.

Read Jonathan & Martha
  • If you're a fan of Eric Carle
  • If you like playful, fun, original picture books
  • If you're looking for a book on sharing
Into the Outdoors by Susan Gal. 2011. Random House. 40 pages.

We're going camping! Leaving the city down in the valley, we head up the mountain. We drive over a bridge and under the towering trees. At last we arrive in the great outdoors. We pitch our tent among the trees and set off along the hiking trail. The trail winds around the lake...and across a sparkling stream.

At last a concept book about prepositions that does not feel like work. I just love Susan Gal's Into the Outdoors. Here we have a completely natural-sounding story that celebrates a family camping trip, that celebrates nature and spending time with one's family in the great outdoors. I also happen to love the illustrations!

I have also enjoyed two previous books by Susan Gal, Please Take Me For a Walk and Night Light.

Read Into the Outdoors
  • If you are looking for camping books, camping-themed picture books to share with your little ones.
  • If you are looking for a book that celebrates nature, the great outdoors, the woods, etc.
  • If you are a teacher looking for a good concept book to illustrate prepositions; OR perhaps looking for a good book to illustrate storytelling. This could be used, perhaps, to model how to write descriptively and in sequence. 

© 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.
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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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