Friday, August 30, 2019

Anne's Kindred Spirits

Anne's Kindred Spirits. Kallie George. Illustrated by Abigail Halpin. 2019. 64 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: The day dawned bright and cheery at Green Gables.

Premise/plot: Anne Shirley is staying at Green Gables. Her dreams are starting to come true. But will she find a bosom friend? Will she find a best, best friend and kindred spirit? Perhaps. Okay, she does! Her name is Diana. But life still has its hiccups. Marilla misplaces a brooch—a family heirloom—and blames Anne. Anne confesses to the crime so that she can go to the Sunday school picnic. But will Marilla let a “naughty” girl go? In this one, the two must learn how to communicate better!

My thoughts: I love the original novel. I do. I’ve read it dozens of times. I know all the twists and turns. I love all the twists and turns. I appreciate the adaptation. It is a gentle adaptation that is faithful to the original at least in spirit. It presents a few episodes at a time, and illustrates them perfectly. I love, love, love the illustrations!!!

The original novel may not hold the attention of many young readers (as a read aloud). The chapters may prove too long for their attention span. The language may be a little too descriptive and flowery. But this adaptation shares the heart and soul substance of the original with a new audience. Little ones can grow into Montgomery’s original text.

© 2019 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Anne Arrives

Anne Arrives. Kallie George. Illustrated by Abigail Halpin. 2018. 72 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: One sunny afternoon in June, Mrs. Rachel Lynde looked out her window.

Premise/plot: This is an early chapter book adaptation of L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables. That is it’s an adaptation of the first handful of chapters. It begins with Mrs. Lynde, Matthew, and Marina being surprised. Anne is a girl orphan and not a boy one like the Cuthberts requested! It ends with Anne apologizing to Rachel and being allowed to stay after all. (We don’t get so far as the brooch, the Sunday school picnic, meeting Diana, etc.)

My thoughts: I never thought the story would itself so easily to illustrations. But it does! The illustrations are lovely and delightful!!! They capture the emotional tones of the story quite well. Joy, wonder, anger, love, heartache, etc. The text is not identical to Montgomery’s. It is an adaptation. I had my doubts that anyone could “improve” upon the original. But George’s text fabulously suits young readers. The original text requires a good attention span as a read aloud choice. And it’s not one that most young readers can pick up and read on their own.

I loved the art and text!

© 2019 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Can You See Me?

Can You See Me? Bob Staake. 2019. 40 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: I am yellow.

Premise/plot: Can You See Me? This Beginner Book stars a chameleon playing hide and seek. The again again question of the day is, “Can you see me?” This one is repetitive and silly but may prove entertaining to young readers. Color words are often among the first sight words children learn to read.

My thoughts: I am not the ideal audience for this one! I liked it well enough, but didn’t love, love, love it like I have some other early readers. (For example, Go, Dog, Go; Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb; Are You My Mother.) Still recommendable to families with young ones ready to read.

© 2019 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Monday, August 26, 2019

Skunk in My Bunk

A Skunk in My Bunk. Christopher Cerf. Illustrated by Nicola Slater. 2019. Random House. 48 pages. [Source: Library]

 First sentence: GOAT. GOAT COAT. A goat in a coat.

Premise/plot: Can a Beginner Reader be entertaining and instructional?! Yes! This one features a series of stories all told in rhyme. The stories have a classic, almost vintage feel to them. Perhaps because of the illustration style. Perhaps because these are the same old rhymes that have been used to teach reading forever. (For example, pigs wearing wigs.)

My thoughts: I loved this one. Most of the stories were enjoyable. A few made me giggle. I loved, loved, loved the one starring a skunk! This is how it begins:
SMELL YELL/ “My bunk has a smell that’s so bad I could yell!”/ SMELL TELL/ “Why does it smell? I don’t know. Can YOU tell?”/ SKUNK BUNK/ “There’s a skunk in my bunk!”/ BUNK STUNK/ “THAT’S why my bunk stunk!”

© 2019 Becky Laney of Young Readers