Thursday, August 4, 2011

Back-to-School picture book roundup

Many school-related picture books have arrived on my desk in the last week or two, but these are the only two I've really liked. 

Milgrim, David. 2011. Eddie Gets Ready for School. New York: Cartwheel (Scholastic).

David Milgrim has a real flair for simplicity.  I've never reviewed them, but his Ready-to-Read books featuring Pip and Otto are my favorites for very early readers.  Eddie Gets Ready for School is not an easy reader, but it's masterful in its simplicity.  It's nothing more than a checked-off list, one or two items per page, of all the things Eddie "needs" to do before school,
Put cat in backpack
Hug Mom
Take cat out of backpack
Find something else for show & tell
Some items (Eddie choosing in turn, the dog, goldfish, bird, and flat screen TV for show & tell), don't make the written list and are expressed only in the crisply drawn cartoon images on white space.  Mom and the dog are featured throughout the story.  Mom is happy and supportive, although root beer and cartoons for breakfast does try her patience a bit. So what does Eddie finally choose for a snack and show & tell?  You'll never guess!  This is a very funny back-to-school gem!

Murray, Laura. 2011. The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School. Ill. by Mike Lowery. New York: Putnam.

This gingerbread man is not running away as fast he can; he's running to catch up!  The children have cooked him up at school but, oh no! He's left behind when it's time for recess, but he's a smart cookie.  He'll find them,
I'll run and I'll run,
as fast as I can.
I can catch them! I'm their
Gingerbread Man!

Along the way, he loses a toe,
I'll limp and I'll limp,
as fast as I can. ...
and almost ends up as someone's snack,
I plopped on a sandwich
and chips with a crunch
OH NO! I cried out.
I'm in somebody's lunch!
 The story is told entirely in rhyme and presented comic style with panels and word bubbles. Cute and simple.  Kids will eat this one up.

Librarians will want to remove the poster before circulating this one.  Teachers will want to hang it in the classroom.

Author Laura Murray's website has some great Gingerbread Man extras - and a RT script coming soon!

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