Friday, April 17, 2009

Snugglebug Friday: Mother Goose

Engelbreit, Mary. HaperFestival: 2005-2008

If you love Mary Engelbreit's art and you love classic children's rhymes such as Hey Diddle, Diddle, then you will absolutely love these three books. Engelbreit crafts her classic artistry to illustrate even more classic rhymes. Children love the rhymes about Humpty Dumpty and Jack and Jill, and Engelbreit brings them to life in each of her illustrations.

The rhymes are the same Mothergoose rhymes that most people grew up reading and repeating. Occasionally, a word is slightly different but that is typical of most books repeating the classic rhymes. The rhymes include: Hey Diddle, Diddle; Rub-a-Dub-Dub; Humpty Dumpty; The Old Woman in the Shoe; Mistress Mary; Wee Willie Winkie; Jack and Jill; Pat-a-Cake; Old King Cole; Ring Around the Roses (with different words than the original); Little Bobby Shafto; and Little Boy Blue. These are just a few of the poems in the three books.

A few of them Ladybug had never heard such as:

Three little ghostesses,
Sitting on postesses,
Eating buttered toastesses,
Greasing their fistesses,
Up to their wristesses,
Oh, what beastesses
To make such feastesses!

Every child should know these classic rhymes and what better way to enjoy them than with Mary Engelbreit. Snugglebug and Ladybug enjoyed these three books and hope you do, too!

© Becky Laney of Young Readers

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Young Readers Challenge: Month Four

It is time to share any reviews you might have written for the Young Readers Challenge. (Sign ups are still going on here.)

If you don't have a link to share, you can always just talk about your books in the comments themselves.

© Becky Laney of Young Readers

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Horrid Henry and the Mega-Mean Time Machine

Simon, Francesca. 2009. Horrid Henry and the Mega-Mean Time Machine. (Originally published in the UK in 2005).

Out of the four Horrid Henry titles I've read so far, this may just be my favorite and my best. There is something about Horrid Henry--the character--that I just love. True, he's a bit horrid--has a mean streak and a good dose of stubborness--but he's just so darn lovable!

This chapter book contains four stories: Horrid Henry's Hike, Horrid Henry and the Mega-Mean Time Machine, Perfect Peter's Revenge, and Horrid Henry Dines At Restaurant Le Posh.

Horrid Henry has a brother, Perfect Peter, and in the story Horrid Henry and the Mega-Mean Time Machine, Horrid Henry pulls off the perfect prank for his perfectly gullible younger brother. A prank involving among other things a cardboard box. It's funny. But Perfect Peter tries--and a bit imperfectly at that--to get his revenge in the follow-up story!

Through it all, I just enjoyed myself. I think this is a great series of chapter books for kids.

© Becky Laney of Young Readers

Horrid Henry Tricks the Tooth Fairy

Simon, Francesca. 2009. Horrid Henry Tricks the Tooth Fairy. (Originally published in the UK in 1997).

I've already mentioned how much I love Horrid Henry in my review of the chapter book, Horrid Henry, but let me just briefly restate how much I love this series by Francesca Simon. These books are funny--really funny--and just pure delight to read. It's easy to see how they could get kids excited about reading. (They'd also make great read-alouds, for these books are just as enjoyable if you're an adult!)

This chapter book includes four stories: Horrid Henry Tricks the Tooth Fairy, Horrid Henry's Wedding, Moody Margaret Moves In, Horrid Henry's New Teacher.

If I *had* to pick a favorite, I'd say that Moody Margaret Moves In is my favorite and my best. It had me laughing the hardest.

Horrid Henry seems a bit more horrid than usual as is revealed in Horrid Henry's Wedding and Horrid Henry's New Teacher. But even if he is a bit horrid, it's hard not to like him!

© Becky Laney of Young Readers

Monday, April 13, 2009

Horrid Henry's Stinkbomb

Simon, Francesca. 2009. Horrid Henry's Stinkbomb. (Originally published in 2002 in UK).

If you're looking for funny chapter books to share with your kids, look no further than Horrid Henry. Each book contains four stories about Horrid Henry and his friends and family. (Featuring characters like Perfect Peter, Moody Margaret, Sour Susan, and Clever Clare.)

This chapter book includes these four stories: Horrid Henry Reads A Book, Horrid Henry's Stinkbomb, Horrid Henry's School Project, and Horrid Henry's Sleepover. My favorite from these four is Horrid Henry Reads A Book. Because as horrid as Henry is, he's clever and imaginative in how he goes about it!

Henry isn't perfect, he doesn't necessarily follow the rules, and he rarely minds authority, but he's just so likable.

I highly recommend this series of chapter books. I only wish I'd known of them sooner!

© Becky Laney of Young Readers

Horrid Henry

Simon, Francesca. 2009. Horrid Henry. (Originally published in UK in 1994)

I've met a new friend and his name is Henry, Horrid Henry. Until I picked up this wonderful little chapter book by Francesca Simon, I was clueless to this gem of a series. Turns out, Horrid Henry is quite popular--especially in the UK!

This first includes four stories: Horrid Henry's Perfect Day, Horrid Henry's Dance Class, Horrid Henry and Moody Margaret, and Horrid Henry's Holiday. Each story is funny, seriously funny. There is something about Henry that is just so darn lovable. I don't know if every reader can relate. After all, there might be a few Perfect Peters and Moody Margarets lurking about. But whether you're loving Henry, or loving-to-hate Henry, I think you'll enjoy what you find here!

I think the thing that I love best about Henry is his voice. Francesca Simon gets what it means to be a kid, to think like a kid, to talk like a kid, to act like a kid. Everything is just so right.

© Becky Laney of Young Readers

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Little House

Burton, Virginia Lee. 1942 (originally) 2009 for the board book. The Little House. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

This board book is a classic children's picture book. One that I'd hope all readers would be familiar with. (Though it's never too late to meet a classic.) Originally published in 1942, this is a delightful little story about a little house in the country. It's a story of the times, of progress. How the lovely countryside became the oh-so-busy-and-congested city. It's a picture book about appreciating the simple things in life, the natural things in life. Things like apple trees, spring time, and the moon and stars.

© Becky Laney of Young Readers

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Giant Jam Sandwich

Lord, John Vernon. 1972. The Giant Jam Sandwich. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Board Book.

This one is a board book of a classic children's picture book, The Giant Jam Sandwich, maybe you remember it from your own childhood. Originally published in 1972, the story is just as fun as ever. Here's how this one goes, the town of Itching Down has a wasp problem. And they're looking for a BIG solution. What better way to cure the wasp problem than to bake a HUGE loaf of bread, trick the wasps out with a large "picnic," and trap the wasps in the oh-so-tempting strawberry jam? So that's what they do. Working all together as a team, this town solves its problem in a very creative way.

© Becky Laney of Young Readers

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Cranky Paws

Odgers, Darrel and Sally. 2009. Cranky Paws. Kane/Miller.

Cranky Paws is the first book in a new series of chapter books called Pet Vet. Despite the cat on the cover, the book is narrated by a dog, Trump, a Jack Russell terrier. Trump prides himself on being an Animal Liaison Officer, that is she helps out his vet owner, Dr. Jeanie, by helping translate between animal patients and humans. He's a fun little narrator. But her job isn't an easy one when it comes to helping one patient: Thomasina. Dubbed "Cranky Paws," this is one mean cat. Why is she so hostile to both other animals and humans? Can Trump reach Cranky Paws and show her that while some humans can be mean, others--most--are quite nice? This is a fun book sure to please animal lovers especially if there is an interest in growing up to be a vet. (Though the book works for anyone and everyone, you don't have to have a career ambition in mind to think this dog and his animal friends are fun.)

© Becky Laney of Young Readers

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Dragon's Fat Cat

Pilkey, Dav. 1992. Dragon's Fat Cat. Scholastic.

I love Dragon. I love his fat cat, "Cat." Everything about this one is perfect. And I do mean everything. Dragon's Fat Cat is a story revealed in five little chapters. The story is simple, one winter's day, Dragon hears a strange sound--a sound that turns out to be a meow. A meow coming from a very fat cat sitting outside his door. While the cat is resistant at first to coming inside, Dragon soon takes matters into his own hands. Now this stray cat is stray no more--Dragon gives him a perfectly lovely name, "Cat." But while in many ways Dragon is happy to have Cat in his life, there are new problems to be dealt with:

Dragon liked living with Cat,
and Cat liked living with Dragon.
But Dragon did not know
how to take care of Cat.
He did not know how to train Cat.
That was a problem.
Dragon did not know what to feed Cat.
That was a big problem.
And Dragon did not know what to do
about all the yellow puddles Cat made.
That was a smelly problem.

Will Dragon figure out how to train Cat? How to take care of him? And just why is Cat so fat anyway?!

I loved this one. As in I read it over and over and over and over and over again. It's an appealing little book that I just adored.

© Becky Laney of Young Readers