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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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.

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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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