Tuesday, November 15, 2016

PICTURE BOOK REVIEWS: Nanette's Baguette/The Cookie Fiasco/We are Growing


ABOUT THE BOOK

Today is the day Nanette gets to get the baguette! Is she set? YOU BET!

Mo Willems' hilarious new picture book, Nanette's Baguette, follows our plucky heroine on her first big solo trip to the bakery. But . . . will Nanette get the baguette from baker Juliette? Or will Nanette soon be beset with regret?

Set in a meticulously handcrafted-paper-modeled French village, the uniquely vibrant laugh-out-loud world of Nanette's Baguette may be Mo's best creation yet. Get set to krack into an irresistible tale you won't soon forget!

REVIEW

Mo Willems has really hit it out of the park, again, with this amusing look at a youngster's efforts to run an errand for her mother.  Young Nanette, a frog, is sent by her mother to buy a baguette from the local bakery. Despite being distracted by friends, Nanette makes it to the bakery and buys the best baguette available. But the bread smells so delicious, and is so warm, that Nanette is seriously tempted and before she knows it, the loaf has been eaten.  How can she go home after messing up her task?  Oh, what regret for poor Nanette. The rhymes are silly and fun to read out loud.  I found myself giggling while reading this to the kindergartners. And I adored the illustrations.  The town is a three-dimensional construction with the characters carefully placed and moved.  The amount of work that Willems went through to create the art for this book is evident in the photographs included on the end flap.  The unique illustrations along with the funny story and creative rhyming make for a thoroughly engaging and unique picture book.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Four friends. Three cookies. One problem.
Hippo, Croc, and the Squirrels are determined to have equal cookies for all! But how? There are only three cookies . . . and four of them! They need to act fast before nervous Hippo breaks all the cookies into crumbs!

REVIEW

In The Cookie Fiasco, the reader is presented with four friends trying to share three cookies.  Not only is this a fun way to introduce children to multiplication, but also the concepts of problem-solving and communication.  As the three friends continue to argue about how to fairly divide the cookies, Hippo nervously starts breaking the cookies adding to the tension.  As in the Elephant & Piggie books, this book makes for a fun story time book.  The emotions exhibited by the characters makes it easy to read with feeling which pulls the children into the story.  What I found especially interesting was how quick some of the children were to propose solutions to the dilemma.  And some of the suggestions came really close to the actual solution.  While kindergartners obviously haven't learned multiplication and division, it was interesting to see their efforts at problem-solving.  And having Elephant & Piggie show up introducing and concluding the story makes for additional fun.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Walt and his friends are growing up! Everyone is the something-est. But . . . what about Walt? He is not the tallest, or the curliest, or the silliest. He is not the anything-est! As a BIG surprise inches closer, Walt discovers something special of his own!

REVIEW

I would never have guessed that a book about blades of grass could be so funny.  Each of the blades of grass in this book are delighted to discover that as they grow they develop a unique characteristic that makes them the 'est'.  Curliest, tallest, silliest, or pointiest, each blade of grass is pleased that he/she is the best at something.  Such a simple story line and yet so very profound.  Who doesn't like to be the best at something, adult or child?  Yet Walt can't seem to find anything that he is the best at, at least not until he and the other blades of grass face off with a lawn mower and must deal with the consequences.  A funny, and yet surprisingly thoughtful take on the human desire to be appreciated for being the best at something.

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