Friday, July 21, 2017

Board Book: Peppa's First Pet

Peppa's First Pet (Peppa Pig) 2015. Scholastic. 16 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Splish! Splash! Splosh! This is Goldie the fish. Goldie is very special. She is Peppa's first pet. Mummy and Daddy Pig helped Peppa choose her from the pet shop a few weeks ago.

Premise/plot: Goldie the fish is not eating her fish food! Mummy Pig, Peppa, and George decide to take Goldie to the vet. They travel by BUS. On the way to the vet, they meet some of their friends. Mr. Bull, for example, plays his tuba for Goldie, and, other friends decide to sing "The Wheels on the Bus." At the vet, Goldie is judged very healthy and HAPPY. Peppa Pig decides that the bus trip made all the difference.

My thoughts: This isn't my favorite episode of the television show. But the board book is nice enough. If your little one can't get enough Peppa Pig, then you should read the books as well.

© 2017 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Maisy Goes Swimming

Maisy Goes Swimming. Lucy Cousins. 2017. Candlewick. 16 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Maisy is getting ready to go swimming at the pool. Take off her blue hat and scarf. Take off Maisy's brown boots. Open Maisy's red coat. Open Maisy's gray sweater. Pull down her green pants.

Premise/plot: Maisy wants to go swimming. (I hope it's an indoor pool! Since Maisy seems to be dressed for WINTER.) She needs YOUR help to get undressed and into the pool.

My thoughts: I don't personally know why Maisy appeals to young readers. But. I know that she does. Maisy interactive books can see a lot of use! There's just something fun about "helping" Maisy do things. Whether it's helping her brush her teeth or flush the toilet OR in the case of Maisy Goes Swimming, getting her completely undressed and then putting her swimming suit on her. Still, I can't help but think it's a little weird that an author is actively encouraging me to pull someone's pants and underwear down!

© 2017 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Board book: Pug in a Truck

Pug in a Truck. Nancy Coffelt. 2006/2015. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: This is our truck. It's flat in the front. This is me. My nose is as flat as the front of our truck. This is my friend. He calls me Pug. I'm Pug in a truck!

Premise/plot: This board book is narrated by a pug dog. His owner is a trucker. They travel the roads together hauling/delivering loads. The book is full of trucker lingo: double nickel, dragon wagon, keeping the shiny side up and the greasy side down, etc.

My thoughts: If you or your little one likes dogs, OR, trucks this is a fun little read to share together.  I am thankful the author included a glossary of the trucker lingo. I had heard a few of the words before, but not nearly all of them!

© 2017 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Board book: Hush, Little Horsie

Hush, Little Horsie. Jane Yolen. Illustrated by Ruth Sanderson. 2010. Random House. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]

 First sentence: Hush, little horsie, asleep on the farm. Your mama is near and will keep you from harm. She'll watch when you run, and she'll watch when you leap. And when you are tired, she'll watch as you sleep.

Premise/plot: Hush, Little Horsie is a bedtime board book. Readers meet several pairs of horses and foals in this one. On the farm. On the plain. By the sea. On the moor. In the stall. In the bed. In the bed?! Yes, the last few pages shift the story entirely. Readers see a mom reading a bedtime story to a little girl as she snuggles a stuffed horse tightly. The theme of this one from start to finish is that mothers are always dependable and loving.

My thoughts: Yolen has written about five or six very short horse-themed poems. I have nothing to say against their rhythm or rhyme. (I can be picky at times). But the poems are also very repetitive. There really isn't much unique about each poem or each pair. For horse lovers, it may still work. And perhaps even the repetitiveness can be seen as being purposefully lulling. I wasn't particularly impressed. Then again, horses have never been my thing.

© 2017 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Monday, July 17, 2017

Board Book: Good Night, Peppa

Good Night, Peppa. (Peppa Pig) 2015. Scholastic. 16 pages. [Source: Board book]

First sentence: One night, Granny and Grandpa Pig came over for dinner. Later that night, Mummy and Daddy Pig were going out. Granny and Grandpa Pig would stay and babysit Peppa and George.

Premise/plot: Granny and Grandpa Pig are babysitting Peppa and George. There is a problem: Peppa and George aren't tired. Jumping in puddles and splashing in the tub perhaps might have made other little piggies tired, but, not Peppa and George. After being tucked in bed, these two sneak down to watch TV with Granny and Grandpa Pig. What will Mummy and Daddy Pig find when they come home from their date?

My thoughts: Granny and Grandpa Pig are very lenient and relax most of the rules and routines of Mummy and Daddy Pig. But Mummy and Daddy Pig don't seem to mind a bit. Peppa and George love spending time with their grandparents!

I do love the television show. If you and your little ones enjoy the show, you will most likely enjoy the books as well. 

© 2017 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Board book: The Goodnight Train

The Goodnight Train. June Sobel. Illustrated by Laura Huliska-Beith. 2006/2012. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 30 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: The Goodnight Train gets set to roll. It's being shined and filled with coal. Wash the cars off with a hose. Scrub the engine's dirty nose. Scrub-a-dub! Scrub-a-dub! Toot! Toot!

Premise/plot: The Goodnight Train is a bedtime book for little train lovers. It's written in rhyme. The text is silly, but the illustrations are even sillier perhaps.

My thoughts: Trains are ever popular with little ones. Not just with boys but with girls as well. This board book is perfect for little ones that can't get enough of tracks and engines. What better way to fit in some cozy time with your little one than to read about trains.

© 2017 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Board Book: Time for Bed

Time for Bed. Petr Horacek. 2014. Candlewick Press. 16 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Time to play. Time to put away my toys. Time for supper. Time for a bath.

Premise/plot: Time for Bed is ALL about bedtime routines from start to finish. What makes this board book a bit different from other bedtime books is the format. Each page is shaped. A surprise picture is revealed at the end of the story.

My thoughts: The story is simple and predictable. There isn't much text per page. Which is either a really, really good thing or a bad thing depending on YOUR little one's attention span. The illustrations are very bright and colorful. I think the shaped pages may be easier for young children to turn themselves.  

© 2017 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Friday, July 14, 2017

Board Book: Welcome

Welcome: A Mo Willems Guide for New Arrivals. Mo Willems. 2017. 30 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: Our research indicates this is YOU. Take a good look. How remarkable it is that you are you. You are a unique combination of LOVE + Time + Luck. I am lucky, too. I am lucky that you are here with me...while we read this book together.

Premise/plot: Mo Willems has a new picture book. It is for "new arrivals." It is written in the second person, presumably to your new baby. It celebrates reading books together among other things.

My thoughts: I asked for a second opinion on this one. My mom said, "what a disappointment! I expect more from a Mo Willems' book!" I concurred--which is why I went to her in the first place. I was very disappointed. Still, I want to talk about what this book is and isn't.

There is a mirror at the front and back of the book. Many books for babies feature mirrors. Babies do like to look at themselves...usually. So this could be a plus.

Also the cover is thicker and sturdier which may invite a certain amount of sucking and chewing. The pages themselves are not as sturdy or as thick as a traditional board book.

The text of the book is wordy. Or should I say verbose?! It is the sound of your voice reading anything, that babies enjoy, or so I've been told. So the fact that the book is text-heavy wouldn't have to be a deal breaker. Comprehension isn't the goal, right? Not at the 'new arrival' stage.

There is some repetition. Nine times we see the refrain, "while we read this book together." Repetition goes hand in hand with being a book for babies, toddlers, or preschoolers.

The book is all about being honest.
Please enjoy your stay. Many activities are available for you to enjoy, including, but not limited to: SLEEPING and WAKING, EATING and BURPING, POOPING and MORE POOPING. Other options are available upon request and will be updated on a regular basis. Of our current offerings, I can personally recommend your being right here with me...while we read this book together.
If you have further questions do not hesitate to CALL or FLAIL ABOUT or SCREAM LIKE A BANSHEE. Someone is standing by 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They will be with you as soon as possible. Right now I am here with you...while we read this book together.
Honesty is good.

Is the book truly for newborns? for very young babies? Or is the book written for new parents? Is the message really written for--directed to--new arrivals to this thing called parenting. If the "new arrivals" in question are actually the parents, then, I think it would make more sense!

Parents can establish the habit, the routine, of reading books aloud to their newborns. It is never too early to start reading aloud. One shouldn't worry if the baby can understand, comprehend, the text. As a bond-builder this one can more than suffice.

I guess what I found so disappointing were the illustrations. I just was not amused or impressed by the illustrations. I did not find them appealing. I found them dull, boring, uninspired.

Text: 4 out of 5
Illustrations: 1 out of 5
Total: 5 out of 10

© 2017 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Board book: So Many Feet

So Many Feet. Nichole Mara. Illustrated by Alexander Vidal. 2017. Abrams. 34 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: High Feet/ A mountain goat's toes/ help it climb and hold on to/ the smallest bit of rock. Slow Feet/ Giant tortoises move slowly,/ carrying their very heavy bodies/ on their small feet. Fast Feet/ An ostrich has two strong/ toes on each foot that help/ it run fast.

Premise plot: In all, readers are introduced to "High Feet" (mountain goat), "Slow Feet" (Giant tortoise), "Fast Feet" (ostrich), "Snow Feet" (polar bear), "Dancing Feet" (shovel-snouted lizard), "Jumping Feet" (kangaroo), "Hanging Feet" (sloth), "Thumping Feet" (elephant), "Wet Feet" (duck), "Glue Feet" (gecko), "Soft Feet" (tiger), "Blue Feet" (blue-footed booby), "Dirty Feet" (mole), "Scratchy Feet" (chicken), "Picky Feet" (butterfly) and "Snatchy Feet" (bat). Each two-page spread has an illustration of the animal and an animal fact. All facts are feet-related, of course. The book ends with asking readers, "What can your feet do?"

My thoughts: For anyone who loves animals and animal facts, this is a cute and informational board book for families. Some children--even young children--are super-super curious about the world around them. Some days it seems like they have way more questions than you have answers. This book is fact-filled. I honestly haven't been that curious about feet. But this one kept my interest.

© 2017 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Board book: Charlie Rides

Board book: Charlie Rides. Bob Bianchini. 2017. Abrams. 20 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: This is Charlie and he loves to ride.......bikes with Dad when it's sunny outside, soapbox cars in a downhill race, a rocket ship to outer space,

Premise/plot: Charlie Rides: Planes, Trains, Bikes, & More is a board book about a father and son who enjoy spending time together riding. (The rocket ship to outerspace is an amusement park ride.) By the end of this one, readers learn what Charlie's favorite, favorite thing to ride is.

My thoughts: I really like this one. I'm not sure if there truly is an imbalance of representation between mothers in literature and fathers in literature, but, this one is certainly a good example of a father being there and being an important part of his family. It is also one of the funner transportation-themed books.

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

© 2017 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Board book: Tinyville Town: I'm A Librarian

Board book: Tinyville Town: I'm A Librarian. Brian Biggs. 2017. Abrams. 22 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: I'm very good at answering questions. People ask me all kinds of things. I like to help people get the information they need.

Premise/plot: This board book is essentially a day in the life of a librarian.

There's Owen. What's he looking for today? Books about elephants! The search is on! The elephant books are missing! Where could they be?
My thoughts: I really loved this one. It's simple but true. I love that the last image is of him reading in bed--he loves a good mystery. The last words are good too: "I'm a librarian."

© 2017 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Monday, July 10, 2017

Board book: Nighty-Night

Nighty-Night. Leslie Patricelli. 2017. Candlewick. 26 pages. [Source: Review copy; board book]

First sentence: Dinner is done. Bye-bye, sun. See you soon. Hello, moon!

Premise/plot: It is BABY's bedtime. Almost. Is this your typical bedtime routine book? Yes and no. It stars Leslie Patricelli's BABY. So it doesn't feel typical. It is DELIGHTFUL AND FUNNY. For anyone--of any age--who has spent time with this character, it's a must.

My thoughts: Board books CAN be great fun. Leslie Patricelli is GREAT at making board books fun for the entire family. The text itself is simple, and, the illustrations are bold and colorful. But the story is easy to relate to and genuinely amusing. (Loved the "bye-bye, pants" and the "naked dance" on the way to the tub.)

© 2017 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Board book: Hair

Hair. Leslie Patricelli. 2017. Candlewick. 26 pages. [Source: Review copy; board book]

First sentence: I have a hair. I take care of my hair.

Premise/plot: If you're not familiar with Leslie Patricelli's board books--especially if you're a parent with littles--you need to be. The star of this one will be a familiar face to those who have loved--or LOVED, LOVED, LOVED her delightful series. In this one, the baby will be getting a hair cut. Literally one hair cut.

My thoughts: I adore Leslie Patricelli's books. I do. This BABY has long been beloved. So it is great fun for me to see the release of two new books this year. (The Other is Nighty-Night.)

Definitely recommended for families with toddlers.

© 2017 Becky Laney of Young Readers