Library Hits – 7/5/2011

So no returns on Monday, since it was the 4th, and we did so much recovering on the 5th that I didn’t get to blog them until today.  Some real gems this week, plus a library accident with a happy ending.

Top of the Pile

Perfect Square by Michael Hall
Buy
Cool concept and beautiful pictures.  Short and sweet.  Plus we need books that deal with the harms of perfectionism in this family. :D

The Stacks

The Three Little Pigs by Betty Miles
Filler
Another easy reader for Monkey.  This retelling uses dialogue exclusively to tell the classic story, but it’s a bit of a stretch.  But so are most easy reader books.

Good Night, Good Knight by Shelley Moore Thomas
Check-out
I really enjoyed this easy reader, even though it’s a bit repetitive.  You could tell this story was made up by a parent deprived of sleep by one too many requests for water.  May we all be so patient.  And the illustrations are adorable!

The Little Red Hen by Jerry Pinkney
Check-out
This book gets the “check-out” because of the classic story and great illustrations.  However, it adds even more repetitive bits to a fable that’s already repetitive, so be warned that it’s a long read.

Monday is One Day by Arthur A. Levine
Obnoxious
I checked this out on a “days of the week” idea, but it was a real flop.  The story barely makes sense, having neither a plot or the poetic rhythm that drives most plot-less books.  The illustrations were awkward.  Also, I wasn’t a big fan of the progressive agenda of picturing “all types of families,” which my husband pointed out included a gay couple with children.  Isn’t the audience a bit young for that?

Two of Everything by Lily Toy Hong
Buy
A classic Chinese folktale with a happy ending.  The illustrations are charming and it’s truly a fun book to read.

Watch Out! Near Water by Claire Llewellyn
Filler
Monkey was headed out on a camping trip with Daddy when I picked up this and the following book.  A decent book a review water safety with kids.

Let’s Go Camping! by Jan Mader
Filler
A little bit briefer that I would have liked, the book could have gone in more deeply preparing kids for camping.

Great Day for Up! by Dr. Seuss
Check-out
It was weird seeing a Dr. Seuss book illustrated by someone else.  Monkey really enjoyed being able to read it all by himself.

Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Check-out
This book would have been a buy if the pictures had been a little more innovative and less repetitive.  As it is, a solid concept, and really fun to take turns reading each side of the story: “It’s a duck!” “No, it’s a rabbit!”

Good Luck by Rick Brown
Terrible
Totally nonsense easy reader that’s not worth your time.  At this age the concept of luck was difficult to explain and the superstitions were ridiculous, and I can’t imagine it getting better with time.

A Million Dots by Andrew Clements
Right Now: Obnoxious; Later: Filler
This book really is just a picture of one million dots.  It would be a cool book to check out when learning about place value and large numbers.  Monkey just wanted me to read all the really big numbers out loud because he’s trying to figure out how to say them.  Needless to say, reading six-digit numbers got old fast.  But I will definitely pick it up again when Monkey is in elementary school and can appreciate the concept.

Bonus Music Reviews

Quiet Time by Raffi
Filler
Can’t say I actually listened to the whole CD, since the point was for Monkey to listen to it while falling asleep, but from what I heard, it seemed decent, but not stellar, Raffi.

Fraggle Rockin’: A Collection by Jerry Nelson
AWESOME
Okay, so I might be a bit biased since I purchased the entire box set of Fraggles for myself for Christmas, but Fraggle Rock rocks!  Monkey seems to agree since he listened to it a lot.  And broke one of the CDs.  So now we get to keep it.  Good thing it’s AWESOME.  Such singable songs.

Jungle Gym by Justin Roberts
Obnoxious
Don’t know why I keep mistaking this guy for Ralph’s World, but every time I check out his music, I regret it.  Something about it is definitely off.

Rating Scale

In homage to Harry Potter, our rating scale contains no simple numbers, but is useful nonetheless, and largely self-explanatory:
Awesome
Buy
Check-out
Filler
Obnoxious
Terrible

Disclaimer: These reviews are not intended to be a review of the overall quality of any picture book, but are totally biased and based on their suitability for this mom and her two children reading together.  Your mileage may vary based on your children’s maturity, attention span, and interests.

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Filed under Library Hits, Toddler (18 mos - 3 yrs)

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