Thursday, July 25, 2019

Board book: Goodnight, Starry Night

Goodnight, Starry Night (Peek-a-boo Art) Amy Guglielmo and Julie Appel. 2019. [October 15] Scholastic. 24 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Goodnight glowing moon up high.../ Goodnight stars. Goodnight sky.

Premise/plot: Love reading? Love art? This rhyming board book combines ART with the oh-so-familiar game of peek-a-boo. And if that wasn't enough, it is also a lovely bedtime book! So the art being shared with little ones:
  • Vincent van Gogh's The Starry Night
  • Berthe Morisot's The Cradle
  • Henri Rousseau's The Sleeping Gypsy
  • Franz Marc's The White Cat
  • Diego Rivera's Delfina and Dimas
  • Vincent van Gogh's The Bedroom
 The book ends with a smidge of information about each artist.

My thoughts: This was a lovely, charming book. I would have loved it even without the peek-a-boo feature. The rhyming text goes so well with the artwork they've selected to highlight. Many pages--though not all--feature a die-cut that allows a peek-a-boo effect with each piece of art. The text is definitely art-driven!

© 2019 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

The Pigeon Has to Go to School

The Pigeon Has To Go To School. Mo Willems. 2019. [July] Disney-Hyperion. 40 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: WAIT! Don't read that title! Too late. Rats...Why do I have to go to school? I already know EVERYTHING! Go on--ask me a question. Any question!

Premise/plot: The Pigeon is back in another picture book adventure. He's starred in MANY books including: Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!; The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog!; Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late!; The Pigeon Wants a Puppy!; The Duckling Gets a Cookie?!; The Pigeon Needs a Bath! The Pigeon, our HERO, is trying to convince us readers that he does NOT need to go to school. NOT HIM. NO WAY. What will it take to get him to WANT to go to school?!?!

My thoughts: I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, CRAZY LOVE AND ADORE Mo Willems. I do. I especially love his Elephant and Piggie series. But I also love his Pigeon series. Especially The Pigeon Needs a Bath! and The Duckling Gets a Cookie?! This may be my new favorite in the Pigeon series. Though I will say this, the books build upon one another. It is definitely true that one doesn't have to read them in a particular order in order to enjoy them. BUT... The more Pigeon books you've shared with your little one, your young reader, in the past, the more you will LOVE and ENJOY this latest title. (You both will.)
Does "school" start in the morning?
Because you know what I'm like in the morning! It is NOT pretty. 
I think most can relate to Pigeon!

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



© 2019 Becky Laney of Young Readers

A Friend for Dragon

A Friend for Dragon. (Dragon #1) Dav Pilkey. 2019. Scholastic. 64 pages. [Source: Review copy]

 First sentence: There once was a blue dragon who lived in a little house all by himself. Sometimes Dragon got lonely. "I wish I had a friend," said Dragon. So he went out into the world to look for a friend.

Premise/plot: Dragon is a lovable character created by Dav Pilkey. This is his first book; it is an early chapter book. Dragon is LONELY, oh-so-lonely. His first few attempts at making a friend fail. It seems, at first, that he will always be lonely and friendless. Then he meets APPLE...Is Apple the PERFECT friend for a Dragon?
Perhaps.

My thoughts: This one is super, super, super silly. Dragon is foolish and gullible...but he's also LOVABLE and KIND. I don't love, love, love this one as much as Dragon's FAT CAT but I do like it. I think I liked it more the second time than the first time. So maybe it just has to grow on you.


© 2019 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Pug Blasts Off (Diary of a Pug #1)

Diary of a Pug: Pug Blasts Off (Pug #1) Kyla May. 2019. Scholastic. 80 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Dear Diary, Baron Von Bubbles here. But everyone calls me Bub. Here are some things to know about me: I always dress to impress. I make many different faces: belly rub face, have to go out face, really have to go out face, face for Duchess. (She acts like she owns the place.) Face for Nutz. (He steals my stuff all the time.) Here are some of my favorite things: My skateboard. Bear. Peanut butter.

Premise/plot: Readers meet Bub and Bella in this first book in a new series published by Scholastic. Bella is super-excited to be participating in an inventing challenge competition. But inventing something new and exciting is tough work. Especially with Bub, Duchess, and a crazy squirrel running around. When Bella's first invention goes amiss, can Bub help save the day?!

My thoughts: I enjoyed this one. I did. I thought Bub was adorable. I was glad that there was also a cat in the series. The series is in a heavily illustrated notebook format. It makes for a quick and cutesy read. The art is bold, colorful, and CUTESY.

It is similar to the Owl Diaries series, in my opinion.

© 2019 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Monday, July 22, 2019

Dragon's Fat Cat

Dragon's Fat Cat (Dragon #2) Dav Pilkey. 2019. (1992) Scholastic. 64 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: One snowy day in January, Dragon heard a funny noise. "Meow!" "That sounds like a cat," said Dragon.

Premise/plot: Dragon makes a new friend in this early chapter book by Dav Pilkey. That friend is, you guessed it, a cat, a FAT, GRAY CAT. There are five chapters in this one:
  • "Meow!" 
  • Life With Cat
  • Problems
  • Left Behind
  • Home Again
In the first chapter, Dragon meets a fat, gray cat and invites him inside.

In the second chapter, Dragon takes the cat inside and names him, "Cat." Dragon prepares a special bed for his new friend/pet. (The Cat takes Dragon's bed.)

In the third chapter, readers learn just how much Dragon does NOT know about owning a cat.
(Dragon does NOT know that his cat needs a litter box, for example.) He eventually finds himself at a pet store.

In the fourth chapter, Dragon realizes that he left Cat behind at the pet store. He must find and "rescue" Cat. When he finds Cat, he finds a big surprise! The reason why Cat was so FAT...

In the fifth chapter, Dragon returns home with Cat and her kittens. He starts preparing beds for all the little ones--he's named each one KITTY. Will Cat and kittens sleep in their beds?! Or will they still have ownership of Dragon's big bed?!

My thoughts: I loved, loved, loved, loved, CRAZY-LOVED this one. I enjoyed the writing very much. It was funny.
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.
 I think this one will hold great appeal for young readers. I first read and reviewed this one in 2009. It has been newly republished this year. 

© 2019 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Board book: I Love Mozart!

I Love Mozart: My First Sound Book. Marion Billet. 2019. Scholastic. 10 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Let's celebrate Mozart's music!

Premise/plot: This board book "introduces" little ones to six selections of classical music from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The songs included are: "Sonata for Violin and Piano," "Clarinet Concerto," "Sonata Facile," "Symphony No. 40," "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik," and "Twelve Variations on Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."

My thoughts: One of my favorite things about this one is that there is an off/on switch. Board books with batteries are tricky. On the one hand, they are usually fun. On the other hand, the batteries won't last all that long. The more beloved a book is, the quicker the battery dies. Then it is just SAD, SAD, super-sad. Little fingers can touch the 'buttons' on each spread to start and stop the music. Each song lasts under a minute.


Mozart is my favorite composer.


© 2019 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Into the Wild

Into the Wild. (Chicken Squad #3) Doreen Cronin. Illustrated by Stephen Gilpin. 2016. 112 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence:  "I got a bad feeling about that new box over there," said Sugar.

Premise/plot: Dirt (Peep), Sugar (Little Boo), Poppy (Poppy), and Sweetie (Sweet Coconut Louise) ARE the chicken squad. Supposedly these chicks are DETECTIVES who solve cases. In this one no one has come to them asking for help. Barbara--their owner--has built a box in her backyard. It is CONFUSING the chicks--greatly. Who is in the box?

My thoughts: This is the third book in the Chicken Squad series. In this one, the four chicks try to piece together the mystery of WHO is in the BOX in the backyard. Is it a real case since no one has come to ask them for help? Since the chicks are just curious themselves? This early reader series is only a mystery series in the very lightest of terms. The characterization has just as much substance as the mysteries--that is it's almost nonexistent. But it's a quick read with a few laughs.

© 2019 Becky Laney of Young Readers