Monday, August 17, 2015

Picture Book Reviews

My Bike

Tom, the narrator of this cheerful picture book for preschoolers, is the proud owner of a bright green bicycle. After Tom describes all the parts of his bike, he rides the bike to work. He rides along busy roads and bustling streets, past cars and buses and animals and people, until he arrives at the circus, changes into his work clothes, and goes to work. It turns out that Tom is a clown, and his job is to ride a unicycle on a high wire under the big top! A fresh and fun look at riding (on two wheels and one), community, transportation, and professions, with a surprise ending!

Wow - Byron Barton has been illustrating books pretty much since I was born, so getting a new book of his across my desk makes for some serious flashbacks! His signature colors and shapes are largely the same, with the nice clear font we are used to, and which is so appealing to young children. Listeners during a read-aloud might enjoy a Q and A after each page: "did you pass trucks on your way here, too? Buses? ..monkeys???"

In the Waves

With a sweet surprise ending, this story will delight readers young and old, and with photos of the girls from years past, this picture book keepsake is the perfect present for any Lennon and Maisy fan.

We haven't had cable since before Sheridan was born, and I have never heard of these two young ladies, so I guess I get to judge the book on its own merits. Odd concept, I know.

It's supposed to be a sing-along, but you have to go to a web site to hear the song - I don't know if it's one played on their TV show, or what. Since not everyone reads next to a computer, this could be an issue. As a reader, the rhythm is off - my guess is that, in the song, some words are drawn out more so that it works. The pictures, though, drawn by Steve Bjorkman, are cute. Fans of the sisters may enjoy this one, particularly the photographs of the girls in the back, but as a general library book I would give it a pass.

Rappy the Raptor

Meet Rappy the Raptor, a velociraptor who speaks in rhymes all of the time, whether it's morning or noon, October or June. Now, how did it happen that he started rappin'? Well, here's Rappy's story in all its glory!

Now, here's an author name I recognize! Rappy's rhythm is a little more fluid, but changes in spots, so I would practice well before reading it out loud. Plenty of Gutman humor (i.e. things involving body parts that my 9yo son will find hysterical), and perfectly matched illustrations from Tim Bowers (yet another familiar name).

All three available in stores and on our shelves now.

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