It’s Monday – What Are You Reading? 09/07/2015

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? was initiated by Sheila at Book Journey, and adapted by Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts with a children’s/YA focus – perfect for a children’s librarian like me. This weekly roundup is a great way to discover new blogs and bloggers, share recommended (or not so recommended….) titles, and add to your ever-growing to-read list.

imwayrThis week I’m featuring three picture books for your reading pleasure!

stanley

Title: It’s Only Stanley
Author/Illustrator: John Agee
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: 2015 
Genre/Format: Fiction/Picture Book 
Publisher’s Summary: Mysterious noises keep waking up the Wimbledon family. “That’s very odd,” says Mr. Wimbledon each time, but when he returns from checking on the sounds, he’s always reassuring: “It’s only Stanley; he’s fixing the oil tank.” “It’s only Stanley; he’s clearing the bathtub drain.”
But what Stanley the dog is actually doing while his oblivious family goes back to bed is deliciously absurd: he’s turning the house into a rocket ship to zoom himself and his family to another planet for an alien encounter. This is a perfect rhyming read-aloud for fans of irreverent tales like Click Clack Moo and I Want My Hat Back.

My Two Cents: I love picture books that present absurd/over-the-top stories with an entirely straight face. The different members of the Wimbledon family are awoken by strange noises in the night, which are repeatedly revealed to be the nocturnal activities of the family dog, Stanley. No one seems surprised by the fact that Stanley is fixing the oil tank, fixing the old TV, and clearing the bathtub drain – their only complaint is that Stanley is making too much of a racket while doing it!

The rhyming text is great fun to read aloud, and the illustrations are highly endearing (check out the reactions of the poor family cat, who bears the brunt of Stanley’s exploits).

This is certainly not a scientifically accurate picture book (the family take a jaunt to the moon without space suits), but it is a delightfully droll one. The publisher recommends it as a read-alike for fans of Jon Klassen and Oliver Jeffers, and I would have to agree – it has that same sort of tongue-in-cheek appeal that makes Klassen and Jeffers such beloved authors.

end

Title: The End (Almost)
Author/Illustrator: Jim Benton
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: 2015 
Genre/Format: Fiction/Picture Book 
Publisher’s Summary: When Donut the bear is told his story is over and he has to leave, he donut want to do it. After all, he hasn’t had a chance to have any fun! Will Donut’s sneaky schemes and elaborate disguises be enough to keep his story from ending? Donut’s silly antics in this clever picture book from New York Times bestselling author Jim Benton are sure to delight kids who never want their favorite stories to reach The End.

My Two Cents: One of my school-aged patrons brought this book to my attention, eagerly showing me “the funniest book ever”.  The End (Almost) is a fourth wall-breaking story in the spirit of Bad Kitty Drawn to Trouble or Z is for Moose, in which characters interact the the author/illustrator. This certainly isn’t the most complex or imaginative entry in the genre, but it’s still a fun kid-pleaser with simple, easy-to-read text that will appeal to emerging readers.

Interestingly, the creator, Jim Benton, is described not as an author/illustrator, but as “the creator of many licensed properties”……think of that what you will.

Little Baby Buttercup

Title: Little Baby Buttercup
Author: Linda Ashman

Illustrator: You Byun
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books
Publication Date: 2015 
Genre/Format: Fiction/Picture Book 
Publisher’s Summary: In this delightful love letter to a growing child, Linda Ashman and You Byun celebrate the magic of those fleeting days of early childhood. Their lively read-aloud shows the delight to be found in the world of a toddler. Every day brings new milestones and adventure—and little Buttercup is eager to reach out and experience it all, while her mother is always eager to reach out with a hug. Rhyming text captures a mother and baby’s joy in their shared time, and charming paintings make all the moments—both quiet and boisterous—shine.

My Two Cents: OK, I’ll admit it, I’m a big old sap. I love sweet things, and this picture book is one of the cutest I have ever seen. Reminiscent of Bunny Roo, I Love You (and from the same publisher), this beautiful rhyming picture book celebrates the everyday delights of raising a toddler. A mother and daughter spend a happy day together, exploring their neighborhood and enjoying being together. You Byun’s paintings perfectly capture those precious moments of early childhood, and the joy toddlers can find in just about everything. Byun was raised in the United States, Korea and Japan, and the Japanese/Korean influence is apparent in her oh-so kawaii paintings. Another recommended title for baby times.

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3 thoughts on “It’s Monday – What Are You Reading? 09/07/2015

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