Sunday, March 02, 2014

Two Picture Books Turning Ten

This is The Baby. Candace Fleming. Illustrated by Maggie Smith. 2004. FSG. 40 pages. [Source: Book I Own]

This is the baby who hates to be dressed.
"No! No! Nooo!"
This is the diaper, often a mess, that goes on the baby who hates to be dressed.
"No! No! Nooo!"
This is the T-shirt, wrinkled a lot, that snaps over the diaper, often a mess, that goes on the baby who hates to be dressed.
"No! No! Nooo!"
This is the sweater, itchy and hot, that covers the T-shirt, wrinkled a lot, that snaps over the diaper, often a mess, that goes on the baby who hates to be dressed.
"No! No! Nooo!"
These are the jeans, stiff in the knee....

I love this one. I do. I like true picture books. Stories that reflect every day situations and struggles, stories that look at life realistically. The book is also fun and playful. I also like picture books that are repetitive or that have refrains, making it easy for little ones to join in during the reading.

In This is the Baby, readers meet one stubborn mother and one just-as-stubborn baby. Who will win the battle?!

This one has a good twist on it, a bit predictable perhaps, but still fun! I would definitely recommend this one to parents who have little ones who like to wiggle and giggle free and undressed...

Text: 5 out of 5
Illustrations: 4 out of 5
Total: 9 out of 10

Dig! Andrea Zimmerman and David Clemesha. Illustrated by Marc Rosenthal. 2004. Harcourt. 32 pages. [Source: Book I Own]

Mr. Rally drives a big yellow backhoe. It has a scooper and a pusher. Mr. Rally loves to dig in the dirt. So does his dog, Lightning. Mr. Rally buckles his overalls and pulls on his boots. He has five big digging jobs to do today. He counts them. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Job #1 up ahead. One is a bridge on the ridge. 

Dig is a fun picture book that I really enjoy. Readers meet Mr. Rally and his dog, Lightning.

Readers see the two get excited about digging in the dirt. This one has a repeating refrain: "Dig up rock and dig up clay! Dig up dirt and dig all day!" This refrain is repeated at all five jobs, as is the congratulating refrain of "Good job, Mr. Rally! Good job, Lighting!" 

After a long day of work, you might think Mr. Rally would want to go home and relax. And he does, in his own way, I suppose. But at the end of his day, Mr. Rally can still be found digging alongside Lightning. He loves to dig for work and play, of course. He loves to dig at home in his garden.

Text: 4 out of 5
Illustrations: 4 out of 5
Total: 8 out of 10

© 2014 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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