Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Whose Moon Is That?

Whose Moon Is That? Kim Krans. 2017. Random House. 40 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: "Whose moon is that?" asked the curious cat.

Premise/plot: A curious cat starts an argument when he asks 'Whose moon is that?' EVERYONE has an opinion--the tree, the mountain, a bird, a bear, an ocean.What will stop the argument? Is it the moon's answer or the rising sun?

My thoughts: It was okay for me. I didn't love it. I didn't hate it. I am not the ideal audience for books where oceans and trees speak...and speak in rhyme. Animal fantasy is one thing but I have limits to how far I can suspend my disbelief.

I personally wish the question had been Who Made the Moon?

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


© 2018 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The Book of Gold

The Book of Gold. Bob Staake. 2017. Random House. 40 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Isaac Gutenberg wasn't interested in much. Not in toys, not in the funny papers, not even in his pet goldfish. His parents tried to tempt him with books.

Premise/plot: Isaac's parents LOVE to read; their son doesn't. They try taking him to the New York Public Library, but that field trip doesn't quite go as planned. He's just as bored by books there as he is at home. But...on that same trip they go to a shop. His parents are looking for a gift. A shopkeeper approaches Isaac and his life will never be the same...
"Tell me, child," she whispered. "Have you heard about The Book of Gold?" Isaac shook his head. "There is a legend," she explained, "that somewhere in the world there is one very special book that's just waiting to be discovered. It will look like any other book, but it holds all the answers to every question ever asked, and when it is opened, it turns to solid gold."
Seeing that he's become curious, she wishes him good luck. "You'll need patience and fortitude to find the Book of Gold!"

Isaac spends his life opening books. Soon it's just not opening books...but DEVOURING books as he reads them one after another. His curiosity grows and grows with each passing year. Will he ever discover The Book of Gold?

My thoughts: I liked this one. It is a bit text-heavy so perhaps it's best for older readers who still enjoy picture books. (In my opinion, one never ever ever outgrows picture books. There's a picture book perfect for each and every age.) The theme is timeless--books are magical--but the story is set in a specific time and place. Isaac, when we first meet him, is a child in 1935 in New York.

Text: 5 out of 5
Illustrations: 3 out of 5
Total: 8 out of 10

© 2018 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Monday, June 18, 2018

Farm Babies

Farm Babies. H.A. Rey. 2017. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 24 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence:
Cluck, cluck, cluck!
Calls Mother Hen.
Help count her chicks
From one to ten.

Premise/plot: Farm Babies is a lift-the-flap book. It is neither a board book or a picture book--not properly. (The pages are thick but not board-book thick.) It is adapted from H.A. Rey's Where's My Baby?

Each spread shows a family. The rhyme tells a tiny bit about the family. Many are animal families, but not all.
Many piglets
Has Mother Pig.
Now they are little.
Soon they'll be big.
My thoughts: I liked this one!  I admit I am a bit partial to farm books for little ones!

Reading is a shared experience, especially with books like this one. Parents should treasure each and every moment of it. Lift-the-flap books are a great way for parents and little ones to interact with each other and with the book in hand.

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

© 2018 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Friday, June 15, 2018

Whose House?

Whose House? H.A. Rey. 2017. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 24 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence:
Here in this house
Lives something you know
That likes to go
And go and go!
Premise/plot: Whose House? is a lift-the-flap book. It isn't a proper board book or a proper picture book. It's an in-between book for parents to share with their curious little ones. (It is adapted from H.A. Rey's Anybody at Home?)

Each spread reveals another type of home. There is a rhyme asking little ones to guess whose home it is. The flap reveals the answer, of course. The clues are not to be found in the text--for the most part--but in the illustrations. (There are definite exceptions!)

My thoughts: Reading is a shared experience, especially with books like this one. Parents should treasure each and every moment of it. Lift-the-flap books are a great way for parents and little ones to interact with each other and with the book in hand.

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


© 2018 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Monkey Not Ready For Bedtime

Monkey: Not Ready for Bedtime. Marc Brown. 2017. Random House. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: "It's time for bed, Monkey! Do you have your pj's on?" "Yes." "Did you brush your teeth?" "Yes." "Where is Mr. Fuzzy?" "Mr. Fuzzy is on be bed." But Monkey couldn't fall asleep.

Premise/plot: Night after night Monkey has trouble falling asleep. Can Monkey's big brother help his little brother out?

My thoughts: Monkey is the star of Marc Brown's new series. I believe this is the third book in the series. Other books include Monkey Not Ready for Baby and Monkey Not Ready for Kindergarten.

It was an okay book for me. I don't actively dislike Monkey and his family. It's more of a lack of feeling. Perhaps a lack of feeling might be called boredom. But I don't know that I care even enough to be bored by Monkey.

Since he's the star of a series, it would be nice if I could feel something toward him.

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

© 2018 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Antlered Ship

The Antlered Ship. Dashka Slater. Illustrated by Eric and Terry Fan. 2017. Simon & Schuster. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: The day the antlered ship arrived, Marco wondered about the wide world. He had so many questions. Why do some songs make you happy and others make you sad? Why don't trees ever talk? How deep does the sun go when it sinks into the sea?

Premise/plot: Marco is the fox-hero of The Antlered Ship. The book celebrates marveling or curiosity. Marco sets out with other animals on a quest for answers to his questions. All have their own individual reason for setting sail and heading off into the unknown. Marco hopes to find other foxes like him--philosophically inclined foxes that contemplate the meaning of the universe. The adventure has ups and downs--moments when Marco--and the others--question why they set sail in the first place. But Marco finds he LOVES the journey.

My thoughts: I like this one. I do like Marco. I appreciate his curiosity and his longing to find kindred spirits. I have never been inclined to go adventure-seeking myself. Curiosity is worth celebrating, it can lead you places for sure. While Marco was drawn to the sea, I'm drawn to libraries.

If you enjoy animal fantasy consider picking this one up!

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

© 2018 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Ocean Meets Sky

Ocean Meets Sky. Terry and Eric Fan. 2018. Simon & Schuster. 48 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Finn lived by the sea, and the sea lived by him. "It's a good day for sailing," his grandfather would have said.

Premise/plot: On what would have been his grandfather's ninetieth birthday, a young boy dreams whimsically about the ocean meeting the sky. His grandfather was always telling stories about a magical place where the ocean met the sky.

My thoughts: If you love, love, love whimsical, fantastical books then Ocean Meets Sky might be a great fit for you and your little ones. If you prefer less whimsy and more reality, then maybe not so much. Most of this one is a boy's dream-journey to the place where the ocean meets the sky. If you're willing to dream with Finn, then you might enjoy the journey and be mesmerized by the detailed illustrations.

Ocean Meets Sky is not my kind of book, but it may be your kind of book. I wouldn't be surprised if it got some award love at some point for its illustrations.

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


© 2018 Becky Laney of Young Readers