Saturday, May 17, 2014

Picture Book Reviews

As summer gets started, I thought a few books with follow-up activities might be in order. With perfect timing, HarperCollins sent a box of cute picture books for us to try out.

Shark Kiss, Octopus Hug

Charlie the shark and Olivia Octopus were the best friends the ocean had ever seen.
All Charlie wanted was a hug. Olivia desperately wished for a kiss.
This is the story of how they both found what they were looking for.
While kids will no doubt figure out the solution to their dilemma pretty quickly, they will still enjoy all the things Charlie and Olivia try along the way - and the unexpected (by them) results. Illustrator Kevin Cornell also illustrated Mustache! and Count the Monkeys, which are hits everywhere. The obvious follow-up activity: lots of hugs and kisses for the reader! You could also take a trip to the ocean, if you lived less than 200 miles from it, or try any of the activities Charlie and Olivia come up with (create a recipe, put on a show, etc.) Available on shelves June 3.
It's an Orange Aardvark!
I was drawn to the illustrations immediately, and without even going past the cover thought about fun art projects involving paper scraps and glue!
Boom! Rumble, rumble.
Did you hear that?
The five carpenter ants who star in this book did.
One ant is convinced there's an aardvark outside their stump, ready to eat them up!
Three ants aren't so sure.
One ant decides to drill a peephole and investigate.

Wrrrr . . .
A peep-hole book! Every kid loves those. Add in a paranoid ant and the feeling that you are smarter than the characters in a book, and this one is sure to be another hit with the littles. If you like doing voices, it can be a fun read-aloud as well!
For a simple follow-up activity: Take several pieces of 8x10 cardboard or tag board, and cut small peep-holes in different spots. Let the kids tear out pages of magazines with interesting pictures, and present them to each other with the cardboard on top. Let everyone in the family guess what the picture is based on what they see in the hole, then see who was closest to being correct (or who had the craziest answers!) Already in stores.
I Am Otter
Well. Apparently Garton has a blog. Or, rather, Otter has a blog. And it is freakin' HYSTERICAL! How have I not known about this?! Think Betty Bunny meets Curious George. Otter does not appear to post very often, but I am hoping that will change with the publication of her very first (and hopefully not last) book. You can, in the meantime, enjoy activities such as dressing Otter up, which I know my kids will enjoy, and which I may or may not have played with myself for a bit. Purely for reviewing purposes, of course.
Follow-up activity: Teddy gets blamed for an awful lot of things. Do your kids have a favorite toy who would make a good scapegoat? write or video tape their explanation of how that toy was actually responsible for any recent household mishaps. (Maybe I will finally find out exactly how the bedroom window got broken!)

More to come soon! Thanks to HarperCollins for these clear winners!

No comments:

Post a Comment