Friday, December 15, 2017

Sophie's Surprise

Sophie's Surprise. Lee Richardson. Illustrated by Shirley Holt. 1983. 28 pages. [Source: Bought]

First sentence: Mr. Kelly found Sophie in the alley behind his toy store. She was hungry and needed a home. He was lonely and needed a mouser.

Premise/plot: Sophie has found a home in a lovely toy store. She's even found a perfect place to nap--on Brown Bear. Mr. Kelly is in for a big, big surprise come Christmas Eve! And it all happens in his display window case!

My thoughts: I definitely enjoyed this one! It's a gem of a book. The story is sweet. If you love cats, you'll probably love it. If you have a soft spot for teddy bears, there's also a good chance you'll love it. For me, I found it irresistible. The illustrations are WONDERFUL. They are so detailed.

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

© 2017 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Deck the Halls

Deck the Halls. Illustrated by Veronica Vasylenko. 2011. 18 pages. [Source: Bought]

First sentence: Deck the halls with boughs of holly, Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la. Tis the season to be jolly,  Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.

Premise/plot: This picture book consists of the lyrics of the holiday song "Deck the Halls."

My thoughts: Why would I buy this picture book? I love, love, love the illustrations. The mice are just so cute and adorable and innocent looking. In real life, I don't like mice. But in children's literature, well, I have mouse-ish tendencies. I tend to like animal fantasies in general--unless they are sad, sad, super-sad.

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

© 2017 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Pooh: The Merry Christmas Mystery

The Merry Christmas Mystery. (Winnie the Pooh) Betty G. Birney. Illustrated by Nancy Stevenson. 1993. 24 pages. [Source: Bought]

First sentence: It was a very snow night before Christmas.

Premise/plot: Santa gets VERY confused about where everyone lives in the hundred acre woods and delivers all his presents to the wrong people. Can Pooh and his friends make things right so that everyone has a merry Christmas?

My thoughts: This was a silly book! For little ones who love Walt Disney's Pooh, then this one is worth reading. (I've read some that weren't.) I liked the story. I liked the characters. It made me miss the Saturday morning cartoon.

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

© 2017 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

There Are No Cats In This Book

There Are No Cats In This Book. Viviane Schwarz. 2010. Candlewick Press. 32 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: Did you pack the can opener? Psst--I think I just heard something...Hello! You look friendly. Have you come to visit? The thing is, we're just about to go. Yes, we're going to see the world...Sorry we can't stay. Nice to have met you. Bye! Let's go out of the book this way. We just have to get through here. Everybody PUSH.

Premise/plot: Moonpie, Tiny, and Andre are back in a second adventure. In this one, the three cats are ready to leave for vacation. But...there seems to be a BIG problem. The cats are having trouble LEAVING the book and entering the 'real' world. Can young readers help them out?!

My thoughts: This is an interactive picture book which I really enjoyed reading. Once again these three cats talk to little ones directly. It's fun and silly. For a book with NO cats there sure are a lot of cats in this one. If your little one loved the first book, this one is a must. If your little one hasn't read the first book, I think it could easily stand alone as well. (Though you'll probably want to seek out There Are Cats In This Book as well.)

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

© 2017 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Monday, December 11, 2017

There Are Cats In This Book

There Are Cats In This Book. Viviane Schwarz. 2008. Candlewick. 32 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: The cats aren't on this page. The cats aren't on this page either. They're on the next page. They'd love to play with you. They're very friendly.

Premise/plot: In Viviane Schwarz's There Are Cats In This Book, readers meet three cats: Moonpie, Tiny, and Andre. These three cats want to play with YOU the reader. Will you play with them? (Please say yes!)

My thoughts: This picture book is interactive. It's addressed directly to readers. There are pages to turn and flaps to lift. For example:
Could you turn a whole page? Because there's YARN on the next page. LOOK! Hooray! You DO turn pages! Lovely tangly yarn. There's more! Quick, turn another page! Aaaaaah, LOTS of yaaarn. Throw me some.
This one would pair well with The Cat Book by Silvia Borando.

This is a fun book for parents and little ones to share.

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



© 2017 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Friday, December 8, 2017

Here Comes The Tooth Fairy Cat

Here Comes the Tooth Fairy Cat. Deborah Underwood. Illustrated by Claudia Rueda. 2015. 96 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: Cat! You lost a tooth! Did the Tooth Fairy come? She left you a coin! What's the matter? You wanted to meet her? Aw, Cat. I understand...

Premise/plot: A disappointed cat tricks the Tooth Fairy and is punished for his trickery by having to assist the Tooth Fairy on three jobs. If Cat does well, will a meeting with the Tooth Fairy be the result?!

My thoughts: I loved it. I did. I really did. I thought Cat was adorable. Yes, Cat was a bit naughty to want to trick the Tooth Fairy. Yes, Cat, had some not-so-nice thoughts about the Mouse who was also helping the Tooth Fairy. But I love Cat all the same!!! I also found myself loving the narrative. The narrative is all in second person, and, it worked for me really well. I think that's one of the reasons why I loved it so very much. I also LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the illustrations.

Text: 5 out of 5
Illustrations: 5 out of 5
Text: 10 out of 10
© 2017 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Here Comes The Easter Cat

Here Comes The Easter Cat. Deborah Underwood. Illustrated by Claudia Rueda.  2014.  80 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: What's wrong, Cat? You look grumpy. The Easter Bunny? What about him? Well, of course everyone loves the Easter Bunny. Why? Because he's nice! He delivers chocolate eggs to millions of kids. It's a hard job. Don't be jealous. Why don't you be the Easter Cat?

Premise/plot: Cat is jealous of the Easter Bunny. He wants in on the action. Will the Easter Cat be competition for the Easter Bunny? Maybe, maybe not. The Easter Cat is a little too fond of naps and not so fond of hard work. But don't count him completely out. Easter Cat has a plan....

My thoughts: I enjoyed Deborah Underwood's Here Comes the Easter Cat. Cat is a lovable character who communicates mainly by signs and also body language. The illustrations are super expressive. Even children who can't read, can tell exactly what Cat is feeling at any given moment. The narrative tone is casual, conversational. I loved, loved, loved it.

Text: 5 out of 5
Illustrations: 5 out of 5
Total: 10 out of 10
© 2017 Becky Laney of Young Readers