Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Grump. Janet Wong. Illustrated by John Wallace. 2001. Simon & Schuster. 32 pages.

Look how tired this Mommy is
Tired and frumpy
Grouchy chumpy
Oh, what a grump!

Look at Baby
Smart, good Baby
Happy Baby
Making gravy
Applesauce and ketchup gravy
Not too lumpy
Not too bumpy
Squish squish

Grump is one of my favorite, favorite, favorite books. I almost don't even need to make the qualification of favorite picture book. It's a book that begs to be read aloud again and again and again. The rhythm of it is almost magical--at least to me! I love the use of language, I do. I love the way it sounds, the way it feels on my tongue. It's real life. It's poetry. It just works.

The story of this one is simple. It's been a LONG, LONG, LONG day for this Mom and her Baby. And even if the Baby doesn't think he needs a nap, he needs a nap. But will this baby go down for a nap? Not without an all-too-familiar-struggle!

Baby's going to take a nap now
Baby's going to take a nap now
Baby's going to take a nap now
Take a nap now
Little lump.

She puts him in his crib and...

And oh of course that baby cries
Cries and whimpers
Cries and whimpers
Cries and whimpers
Play with me!
So Mommy sits 
And reads to Baby
Reads so pretty
Reads so softly
Reads and reads and reads until--

Can you guess what happened to the oh-so-tired, oh-so-grumpy Mommy?

This one is such a GREAT book. I loved how true-to-life it was. Not only for the baby, not only for the mommy--but it captures the ups and downs of the whole relationship.

This one has been a favorite going on ten years. Today I was looking to review some board books, hoping to find something great to share with you, when I thought again of Grump. Why isn't Grump still in print? Why hasn't it been reprinted? Why??? It's just a WONDERFUL book. And it would be a great board book!!! The combination of this story with that format would be just perfect!!!!

© 2011 Becky Laney of Young Readers

I Like Vegetables

I Like Vegetables. Lorena Siminovich. 2011. Candlewick Press. 10 pages.



I Like Vegetables is one of four titles available in Lorena Siminovich's Petit Collage series published by Candlewick. Previous titles include: I Like Toys (a concept board book about shapes), I Like Fruit (a concept board book about colors), and I Like Bugs (a concept board book about counting to five). And I must admit it is one of the best in the series. I thought it was really clever to use vegetables to show opposites! That harvest time is a great time to learn about opposites. The opposites included in the book are: above/below, inside/outside, tall/short, big/little, and empty/full.

It is a touch-and-feel book. And I enjoyed those elements on these pages. I especially liked the carrots and the peas! Well, for that matter I loved the corn too! If I'm being honest, I loved it all! I just *wish* that a touch-and-feel book would try a little harder to get the pumpkin right. Because I am relatively sure that most pumpkins do not feel velvet-like.

It is easy to recommend this one, to recommend the whole series! I just love the art and design of these!!!

© 2011 Becky Laney of Young Readers

I Like Toys

I Like Toys. Lorena Siminovich. 2011. Candlewick Press. 10 pages.


spinning top

I was a big, big fan of Lorena Siminovich's I Like Bugs and I Like Fruit. So I was super-excited to learn that there were two new books in the  Petit Collage series: I Like Toys and I Like Vegetables.

I Like Toys is a concept board book about shapes. The circle shape can be found in a ball, a yo-yo, and the tires on a car; the square shape can be found in a jack-in-the-box, a box, and a tower of blocks. Four shapes are includes in all: triangle, rectangle, square, and circle. Each page has a touch-and-feel element to it (the tires on the car, the sail on the sailboat, a block in the block tower, etc.

The art and design of this one makes it fun. While I wouldn't say this is my favorite book in the series, I can easily say that I'd recommend the series as a whole. The whole series is high quality.

© 2011 Becky Laney of Young Readers