Picture Book Round-Up: Eight Reviews at ForeWord

h1 October 29th, 2007 by jules

{Note: Please see the post below this one for today’s Robert’s Snow schedule}

Hi. No blogger interview this week, ’cause next week will be the Winter Blog Blast Tour in which we here at 7-Imp will feature five interviews with some children’s and YA authors whom we respect and admire a great deal, so WAHOO! But we gotta prep for those interviews, so no blogger feature today. Sorry. And none next week, since we’ll be interviewing authors each and every day, but the week after that . . . well, we will feature none author than Andrea or Mark (whoever sends responses first!) of Just One More Book!! Excellent.

Today’s post is a quick one to show you the book cover images, title info, and a bit of an excerpt from each review for the eight picture books I covered this week at ForeWord Magazine in their “Shelf Space” column. I mentioned this last Friday, but I gotsta gotsta gotsta see my book cover images, especially when we’re talking picture books (and the Shelf Space column doesn’t include book covers), so here they are in case you’re interested in reading about them. My write-up this week is called “Size Matters — And So Do Your Friends and Neighbors,” and if you’re wondering what I mean and which book goes where (size? friends and neighbors?), why, you’ll just have to go read.

Rabbit’s Gift
by George Shannon
Illustrated by Laura Dronzek
November 2007
(review copy)
“If you treat yourself to any one snowy, winter-time book this year, let it be this sparkly gem of a book, an adaptation of a centuries-old Chinese folktale. Snow is coming, and Rabbit is prepared with two turnips for the winter. But, remembering Donkey alone on the hill, he ‘gently butted his extra turnip to Donkey’s house,’ thus beginning a pay-it-forward, domino-like wave of generosity as each animal then does the same for his neighbor . . .”

A Box Full of Kittens
by Sonia Manzano
Illustrated by Matt Phelan
June 2007
(library copy)
“Want to wrap up with the book most energetically capturing ‘the rhythms and period details of a bustling, friendly community’ (Publishers Weekly)? In this case, it’s an intimate Hispanic community in this title by ‘Maria’-of-Sesame-Street by day and author by night, Sonia Manzano, and illustrated by Matt Phelan, another one of my
favorite new illustrators . . .”

Big and Little
by John Stadler
Robin Corey Books
August 2007
(review copy)
“Don’t let your eyes deceive you: When it comes to size, things are simply not what they seem in this flap book by funny man John Stadler. Welcome to the Big Top, as Ellie the elephant is nervously climbing a very tall ladder, prepping herself for a high dive into a tiny glass of water down below. Our mouse emcee on the stage floor builds the excitement and tension as he instructs Ellie with as much enthusiasm as he can muster. After she slips and unwillingly takes the dive . . . well, whew! She lands in the cup of water after all . . . And it’s at this point we see that what seemed big was, indeed, little and vice versa – and that it’s all about perspective . . .”

The Baby Shower
by Eve Bunting
Illustrated by Judy Love
June 2007
(review copy)
“Bunting’s characters from her 2003 Charlesbridge picture book, The Wedding, are back – this time they’re celebrating the impending arrival of Ms. Brindle Cow’s firstborn child. Told in rhyming couplets, the brisk narrative takes us to the home of each excited animal in this tight-knit community: Chipmunk, Rabbit, Duck, Pig, and more. Then they’re on their way, singing a joyful song all the while, to deliver gifts to Brindle and Bull. They delight in the unexpected arrival of twins, once they make it to Brindle. Judy Love’s ornate illustrations amuse with details, and her palette doesn’t shy from a bold use of color . . .”

Bobbie Dazzler
by Margaret Wild
Illustrated by Janine Dawson
September 2007
(review copy)
“You know how young children delight (and delight again. And then delight a few more times) in the smallest of achievements? Well, here’s a title for them from, arguably, the kidlitosphere’s favorite (and, not arguably, most blogger-friendly) independent publisher, Kane/Miller. Bobbie, a Red-necked Wallaby of eastern Australia . . . can jump and bounce and skip and whirl ‘n’ twirl and somersault – and even hop on one leg. Her devoted friends at their coastal forest home are impressed. Bobbie can’t do the splits, though, and she’s bothered -– a lot . . .”

Monster Hug!
by David Ezra Stein
Putnam Juvenile
September 2007
(library copy)
“I think an up-and-coming picture book illustrator we all can get most excited about this year, other than the obscenely talented Jonathan Bean, is David Ezra Stein. He hasn’t made a misstep yet; even the one title of his — out of four thus far in his career — that I think is least exciting is still a good one. And then he had to go and create Leaves, released this August. It is a quiet, unassuming, and introspective title, not unlike a poem, and it instantly sealed with a fix-all-super-glue-adhesive-type strength my budding adoration for him . . .”

Where the Giant Sleeps
by Mem Fox
Illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky
October 2007
(review copy)
“Where does the dragon lay his head? Where does the fairy doze? Why, on an archipelago, which Radunsky — previous winner of a New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year — shows us on each spread is the home for a dreaming wizard, an ogre, a goblin, and much more. But it’s on the book’s opening spread that we see from an aerial perspective that this chain of islands is more than what it seems . . .”

Waking Up Wendell
by April Stevens
Illustrated by Tad Hills
Schwartz & Wade
September 2007
(review copy)
“Here’s not only a picture book focusing on a neighborhood – the fictional Fish Street of suburbia-world – but it’s a perfect title for the cause-and-effect units of study for the elementary teachers and librarians of the world. How can a chain of events wake up every inhabitant of Fish Street, and what starts it all off? Well, it’s a little yellow bird, hopping out of her nest and taking a deep breath, singing ‘a very loud and whistley song: TWEEET-TWEEET-TA-TA-TA-TWEEEEET’ . . .”

That’s it for last week’s ForeWord piece. This week, our last one this month for ForeWord, Eisha and I will co-review the latest novel (not children’s lit) by our favorite contemporary American author. Can you guess who?

4 comments to “Picture Book Round-Up: Eight Reviews at ForeWord

  1. You guys are so on-fire this month. I’m not sure when you’re sleeping, actually.

  2. I loved that roundup over at ForeWord. It’s an interesting theme and some interesting books. Per usual, I put a bunch on order for the library (although I’m out of $$$ for 2007–v. sad).

  3. Wow, Adrienne. It’s always so humbling when you say that about sometimes using my reviews for orders. Sorry about your budget. Ain’t that the way it goes.

  4. Like Adrienne, I want several of these in myu library too! Fortunatly I still have a bit of discretionary money left over from the last Booksale, so I shall ask our librarian which ones she would like, and buy Rabbit’s Gift regardless…

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