Monday, August 11, 2014

Picture Book Reviews

Riff Raff the Mouse Pirate

Ahoy, mates . . . and mice! Riff Raff the Mouse Pirate is setting off on a treasure hunt with his cheese-loving crew, but before they can find the treasure, the bold buccaneers must find the missing clue. Join in on the fun in this hilarious, easy-to-read sea adventure!

Mysteries for the very young are hard to find, beyond search-and-find books, and this one is a cutie. The missing clue is part of a street name, and the mice (all named after types of cheese), have to pay close attention to their letters as they hunt for the treasure. Two fun extensions come to mind: devise your own treasure hunt using local street signs and partial clues, maybe ending up at a friendly neighbor's. While there you could enjoy the other idea: sample the different types of cheese the mice are named for!

Monster School: The Spooky Sleepover

This appears to be the third in the Monster School series, which I have somehow missed. Norm is the only normal (get it? Norm? Normal? Yes, all the names are like that) student in his school. Having friends with different abilities can be handy, though, when you are feeling a little homesick. I think I will have to order the rest of these, as the humor is right up any first-grader's alley: "Isaac lost his fuzzy blanket and cried his eyes out." Picture of purple-skinned Isaac blubbering amid a dozen or so eyeballs rolling across his sleeping bag.

The Great Balloon Hullaballoo

When Simon the squirrel's mum sends him off to the shop, Simon decides to fly to the moon in Old Uncle Somerset's hot air balloon in search of cheese. Shopping in outer space is very exciting, but proves to be a bit of a distraction . . .

Well, we know as soon as Simon's mother admonishes him not to forget the cheese, that he will do just that. In between, however, come some unpredictable adventures as Simon and his friends fill the rest of the grocery list on several different planets (reached by hot air balloon, how else?) Adults may want to practice before reading out loud, as the rhymes and rhythm get a bit tricky in places, but kids will enjoy the just plain silliness.

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