Saturday, July 31, 2010

Another picture book roundup - read on!

Once again my bags of books are overflowing! Here are a few new titles worthy of mention:

Jacobs, Paul DuBois and Jennifer Swender. 2010. Fire Drill. Ill. by JuyVoun Lee. New York: Holt.

A picture perfect, non-threatening, multicultural, rhyming book about fire drills.  What more can one ask for? A must-have for every Kindergarten teacher.

Elya, Susan Middleton. No More, Por Favor. 2010. Ill. by David Walker. New York: Putnam.

Know a picky eater? Well, he's in good company.  There are plenty of picky eaters in the rain forest too! 
Deep in the rain forest - selva, so green,
lives Papagayo, an eating machine.
"Here, Bebe Parrot, papaya is yummy."
"No!" says the baby. "No more in my tummy!
Papaya for breakfast, for lunch and la cena.
Too many times in a row no es buena!"
With cute, double-spread acrylic on paper illustrations, a glossary and pronunciation guide for the many Spanish words, and a very funny story about eight picky rain forest inhabitants, No More, Por Favor is great fun! ¡qué divertido!


Roberton, Fiona. 2010. Wanted: The Perfect Pet. New York: Putnam. (first published in Australia)

Simple ink sketches, highlighted with minimal coloration tell the simple story of Henry, who, "more than anything else in the whole wide world," wanted a dog.  It is also the story of a duck, to whom
Nobody ever wrote. Nobody ever called. Nobody ever e-mailed,
that is, until he created "The Perfect Disguise."  Funny, touching, and hilariously illustrated!
                                                                         
London, Jonathan. 2010. I'm a Truck Driver. Ill. by David Parkins. New York: Holt.

This rhyming picture book has large sturdy pages featuring trucks of all kinds - cement mixers, fire engines, power shovels, and more.  Each truck has a 2-page spread with a short rhyme.  Some of the rhymes are a little forced,
I'm a big crane operator.  I lift steel beams high and build tall buildings that scrape the blue sky,
and in others, London rhymes words with themselves, but overall this is a winning book for two reasons - kids love trucks and these personified trucks are cute! 

Pinkwater, Daniel. 2010. Beautiful Yetta: The Yiddish Chicken. New York: Feiwel and Friends.

A trilingual book - English, Spanish, and Yiddish?  Yes, Yiddish - the language of Yetta, a runaway from Mr. Flegleman's organic chicken ranch!  Daniel Pinkwater has a unique sense of humor and he's obviously fond of chickens (The Hoboken Chicken Emergency comes to mind). Both of these are evident in Beautiful Yetta, in which the heroine escapes the chicken truck and finds herself in Brooklyn, where she promptly saves a small green bird, a parrot belonging to one of the local colonies,
Parrots?  ?פּאָפּוגײַ  popuGEYehn?
The chicken saved me. And look! Isn't she beautiful?
¡La gallina me salvó! ¡Y miren! ¿No es ella hermosa?
la gahYEEna me sahlVO! ee MEErehn, no ess EHya ehrMOsa?
And so begins the odd friendship and pairing of chicken and parrot, Yiddish and Spanish, on the streets of Brooklyn. The in-text pronunciation guides make it possible to share this story with only a passing ability in Spanish or Yiddish. A short explanation and chart of the Hebrew/Yiddish alphabet follows the story. A Spanish alphabet chart would have been welcome as well.

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