Monday, June 24, 2019

Let's Play, Crabby!

Let's Play, Crabby! (Crabby #2) Jonathan Fenske. 2019. Scholastic. 48 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Today is just another day at the beach.

Premise/plot: Jonathan Fenske has a new early reader series starring Crabby and his friends. The first book in the series was Hello, Crabby! The second book is Let's Play, Crabby! In this one, Plankton persists in wanting to play with Crabby. As persistent as Plankton is in their friendship, Crabby is resistant. The first chapter, "The Guess," has them playing GUESS WHO. The second, "The Game" has them playing Simon Says--I mean Crabby Says. The third, "The Other Game" has them playing Hide and Seek. The fourth, "The Other Other Game" has them playing TAG.

My thoughts: BARNACLE IS BORED is one of my favorite, favorite, favorite stories to read aloud. I just love it. I enjoyed Plankton is Pushy. I would definitely recommend this series of books. I liked both Hello, Crabby! and Let's Play, Crabby! I believe other books are soon to be published in this series. Of course, I will read them all. I would love to see Barnacle make a special appearance in the next book. He was sadly missing from Let's Play, Crabby.

© 2019 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Walt's Imagination

Walt's Imagination: The Life of Walt Disney. Doreen Rappaport. Illustrated by John Pomeroy. 2018. 48 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence:  Walt wandered the family farm and saw rabbits, foxes, raccoons, bobwhites, crows, and cardinals. He bottle-fed his favorite pig, Skinny, and rode hogs into their muddy pigpens.

Premise/plot: This is a picture book biography of Walt Disney. Though Disney movies might appeal to young toddlers and preschoolers, this picture book biography is best shared with elementary-aged readers with a good-sized attention span. It is TEXT-HEAVY.

My thoughts: I really enjoyed this one. I loved, loved, loved, LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the illustrations. There is a lot of text--as I mentioned above--but it is for the most part interesting. I also love the inclusion of quotes. The first quote is shared on the opening end pages, "I do not make films primarily for children. I make them for the child in all of us, whether we be six or sixty." I think children's authors often have the same philosophy.

They sure didn't publish biographies like this when I was a 'young reader.'

Text: 3 out of 5
Illustrations: 5 out of 5
Total: 9 out of 10

© 2019 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

The Berenstain Bears' New Baby

The Berenstain Bears' New Baby. Stan & Jan Berenstain. 1974. 32 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: Down a sunny dirt road, over a log bridge, up a grassy hill, deep in Bear Country, lived a family of bears--Papa Bear, Mama Bear and Small Bear. They lived in a large tree which Papa Bear had hollowed out and made into a house.

Premise/plot: Small Bear wakes up to discover that his once just-right bed is now too small. Papa Bear and Small Bear go out to the woods to chop down a tree to make a new just-right bed. Mama Bear--still silent--smiles contentedly as they go out for the day. But what will happen to Small Bear's bed?! Could Mama Bear have a secret?!

My thoughts: I really enjoyed this one. Sister Bear is adorable as a baby. This is an essential to read if you're going to read any of the books in the series.

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


© 2019 Becky Laney of Young Readers

The Bears' Picnic

The Bears' Picnic. Stan and Jan Berenstain. 1966. 72 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: Mother Bear, put your apron away. We are going to go on a picnic today!

Premise/plot: Papa Bear is treating his family to a lovely picnic. He has the PERFECT spot in mind. Or does he?! Will the Berenstain Bear family EVER get to actually eat their picnic lunch? Or will a series of misadventures prevent them?

My thoughts: I don't remember reading The Bears' Picnic growing up. I think I would have approved! It is in many ways quite similar to the Big Honey Hunt. Mama Bear doesn't say a word in this one. But she doesn't really have to--readers, especially observant readers--will be able to guess how she's feeling and what she's thinking! Perhaps Mama Bear is thinking IF YOU CAN'T SAY SOMETHING NICE, DON'T SAY ANYTHING AT ALL. Maybe. Regardless, this rhyming early reader is a hoot.

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

© 2019 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Bears on Wheels

Bears on Wheels. Stan and Jan Berenstain. 1969. 33 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: One bear. One wheel. One bear on one wheel. Two bears on one wheel. Three on one. Four on one.

Premise/plot: Bears ride things on wheels.

My thoughts: This book isn't all that thrilling. It isn't. Perhaps it is super-super easy to read if you're a beginning reader who knows basic sight words. It does end in a crash, boom, bang. Perhaps that could prove thrilling if that's your thing.

What does make this book slightly more thrilling is imagining it being read in a Scottish accent. If Neil Oliver, for example, wanted to narrate this one I'd be okay with that.

Text: 3 out of 5
Illustrations: 3 out of 5
Total: 6 out of 10

© 2019 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Monday, June 17, 2019

The Bears Vacation

The Bears' Vacation. Stan and Jan Berenstain. 1968. 72 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: Hooray! Hooray! We're on our way! Our summer vacation starts today!

Premise/plot: The Berenstain Bear family is on vacation. Pa and Small Bear have many, many adventures--or should I say MISadventures. It all starts with Pa's lectures on how to stay safe. Despite his safety rules, Pa (or Papa Bear) gets into trouble time and time again. He's not so great at following his own advice. OR he's simply not observant and self-aware.

My thoughts: I enjoyed this one. It was funny. All the humor is at Papa Bear's expense. He's just not very bright. It is written in rhyme like the Big Honey Hunt. I am enjoying reading some of these older titles in the series. I do not think I'll bother reading the newer titles.

 Text: 4 out of 5
Illustration: 3 out of 5
Total: 7 out of 10

© 2019 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Friday, June 14, 2019

Old Hat, New Hat

Old Hat, New Hat. Stan and Jan Berenstain. 1970. 36 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: Old hat. Old hat. New hat. New hat. New hat. New hat. New hat.

Premise/plot: A young bear--a bear that may or may not be part of the Berenstain Bear family--goes into a hat store. Will he buy a new hat or decide that his old hat is best?!

My thoughts: I'm not sure if the bear cub in this one is actually-actually Brother Bear. But even if it isn't him, it's likely a chum of his. As I mentioned, this one features a young bear looking for a new hat. Before the book is done, he'll try on EVERY SINGLE HAT in the shop.

This one surprised me. I found it FUN. He has an opinion on EVERY hat he tries on. It was also fun to watch the expressions on the store clerk's face.

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

© 2019 Becky Laney of Young Readers