Thursday, February 2, 2017

FIVE QUICK PICTURE BOOK REVIEWS


REVIEW

A man living by the ocean spends his time gathering up the bottles that come floating by.  After retrieving the messages, he delivers them.  But he can't help wishing that one of these messages would be for him.   One day a message comes in that is not addressed to anyone inviting the recipient to a party on the beach.  After seeking the message's owner, the man decides to show up to the party to explain that he was unable to deliver the message.  But things take a surprising turn.  I've noticed that Erin Stead tends to illustrate books that are a bit unusual.  With its adult main character and rather quiet story, Stead's soft use of color and spare backgrounds work really well.  I could almost feel the loneliness of the main character despite his cat and cow.  A gentle commentary on the power of friendship.


REVIEW

I have always found Sayre's books to be beautifully put together in both text and photograph.  This book is no different.  The photographs emphasize the attributes of winter and especially snow.  And the pages are broken up into different sized photographs emphasizing different aspects of the poem.  The full two-page spread of the squirrel with snowflakes on it's nose is especially striking.  The poem itself is also beautiful with only a few words per page, allowing the reader to absorb the meaning from the photographs and really appreciate the beauty of winter.  Sayre's created another winner of a book, great for pure enjoyment or teaching.


REVIEW

Sophie comes home from school every day to great her grandfather.  He asks her to help him find something that he has 'misplaced' in the room somewhere.  She inevitably finds it hiding 'in plain sight'.  But what does Sophie do the day she arrives home and her grandfather is still sleeping?  This is a tender story of the affection between a young girl and her grandfather.  It was fun to look at the illustrations for the items her grandfather 'misplaced' for her, I even spotted a couple of them in the illustrations before Sophie found them.  Pinkney once again delivers with his beautiful and touching illustrations.


REVIEW

Emma and Julia both love ballet.  While Emma goes to class, so does Julia.  But while Julia is already performing on the stage, Emma is still in the dreaming stage.  But when Emma sees Julia perform, her dream comes to life right in front of her.  This book is an ode to dreaming as much as it is to dancing.  The willingness of both characters to pore their hearts into what they are doing makes one smile.  And McClintock's detailed (and clearly researched) illustrations bring the two girls to life.  A beautiful book, perfect for those who dream of dancing themselves.



REVIEW

What a beautiful book!  In addition to being a sweet story about the power of one person to make a difference, this book presents a story of a community coming together to make something beautiful.  I loved the way Mira and the muralist worked together to inspire the neighborhood into doing something great.  Even more I love the fact that this is based on a true story and the artist in the real story is the illustrator of this book.  In this time of such turmoil, a book that demonstrates and encourages unity and coming together for a common goal is a wonderful thing.



2 comments:

  1. I LOVED LOVED LOVED The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles and Maybe Something Beautiful. Both of those are beautiful books with incredible artwork and positive messages.

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  2. Just found your blog and looking forward to checking out some of these reads. I'm a reading, writing mom and have my first early chapter book up on Amazon. I'd love for you to check it out and give me a review.

    Thanks and happy reading.

    http://www.libraryromp.com/p/home.html

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