Friday, December 23, 2016

Cybils Round-up #2

A few more Cybils nominees that have caught my attention:

Albert's Almost Amazing Adventure

Albert had an AMAZING vacation in Maine, and he can't wait to tell his friends about it! One day, he went to the beach and saw a man eating -

SHARK?!, a man eating a huge hot dog.

Albert has the admirable ability to appreciate the beauty in the ordinary. His friends are not so impressed, however, and his exciting account of his trip falls flat. This one made me immediately think of my middle guy, Logan who notices the cool tiny big in the big wide playground. Which made me immediately love Albert.

A Year of Borrowed Men

A very sweet story with lovely illustrations, covering one of those bits of history that I think I knew about and then forgot.

"When World War II 'borrows' the men in seven-year-old Gerda's family, the German government gives them in return three French prisoners of war who must sleep in an outbuilding and work the farm. Gerda knows they are under orders to treat the men as enemies, but it doesn't seem fair."

While there are some tense moments when the family is caught being 'too friendly' to the prisoners, this is mainly a story of friendship and humanity, told through the eyes of a child, and gleaned from memories of the author's mother.  Absolutely beautiful.

The Snurtch

Ruthie has a problem at school. She keeps getting in trouble for being not-very-nice. But it's not her, it's the Snurtch! That darn Snurtch follows her everywhere, throwing tantrums, being noisy, and generally being rude. When she finally faces the Snurtch and starts talking about him, he doesn't disappear, but he does become a little more manageable. And, as we discover, everyone else has some sort of Snurtch following them around too! A fun way to tackle some bad behavior with very young children, and isn't that a satisfying name to call it? (Try it - say it out loud - nobody is listening!)

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