21 January, 2011

Read to Me Picture Book Challenge - 6 - 10

 The Read to Me Picture Book Challenge is hosted by There's A Book.
Reviews for this challenge will be posted in blocks of 5.

Title: Too Loud Lily
Author: Sofie Languna
Illustrated by: Kerry Argent
Source: Personal collection
Favourite Line: 'Wonderful work!" called out Miss Loopiola. "But you could try stomping just a little louder this time please!"
Lily really liked Miss Loopiola.

Synopsis: Lily is loud. She tries to be quiet, but she isn't. Then Miss Loopiola arrives at school and utilises Lily's talents in the school play. Could Lily have found her true calling?

What I thought: I've always liked Lily. She's the underdog, the one who never quite gets it right. This a great read aloud, with lots of opportunity to use voice modulation to bring the story to life. As great as the story is however, Kerry Argent's illustration brings the book to life for me. I went to a conference once where Kerry Argent spoke and found it fascinating when she explained that even if we couldn't see the whole character in her drawing, if the were standing in a group with some behind the others, she still had to draw the whole animal and would just layer them one on top of the other. It's something I think of every time I see a book illustrated by her. 

What Kira (5 years old) thinks: This is on high rotation as a bed time read. Apparently a little bit of loud Lily before bed is a good thing. The spotty undies always extract a giggle and I have caught Kira and a friend doing a "Lily dance."

Recommended for: those who want a story that is a lot of fun while letting children know that everyone has a talent.

Title: My Uncle's Donkey
Author: Tohby Riddle
Illustrated by: Tohby Riddle
Source: Library
Favourite Line: My uncle's donkey is toilet trained...luckily

Synopsis: My uncle's donkey is allowed in the house and does a whole heap of things you really wouldn't think a donkey would do. Would my uncle's donkey be allowed in your house.

What I thought: This was fun in that lovely silly way that a nonsense book can be. Because really, would a donkey be allowed in your house? And if it was, would it be allowed to do cartwheels in the living room, talk on the phone and wear socks (but only when it was cold!) It puts in mind of a game where one person says My uncle's donkey {insert some activity here} and another replies with but {insert an exception to the rule}
The illustrations are striking. Using gray white and red, Riddle has the knack of putting a lot of expression into the donkey's face so you know when he knows he's up to mischief! 

What Kira (5 years old) thinks: I think she was a little confused by it. A bit young for it I feel. She did find a lot of the things the donkey did funny and when the final page asked "I wonder if my uncle's donkey would be allowed in our house?" her answer was a definite no!

Recommended for: those with older children who could appreciate the irreverence of the story

Title: Over In the Meadow
Author: Louise Voce
Illustrated by: Louise Voce
Source: Library
Favourite Line:

Synopsis: A rhyming counting book.

What I thought: A nice counting book, although trying to rhyme seven with even doesn't quite work!

What Kira (5 years old) thinks: Kira loves counting books because she gets to show off her counting skills! She loves being able to count each animal group and shout out the end number.

Recommended for: those looking for a quick read.

Title: Penguin Pete and Pat
Author: Marcus Pfister
Illustrated by: Marcus Pfister
Source: Library
Favourite Line: And when at last Pete plucked up the courage to ask for Pat's flipper in marriage, preparations were made for a big wedding party on the island.

Synopsis: Penguin Pete has returned from his trip around the world and a lovely female penguin called Pat has caught his eye. Is it true love for Pete?

What I thought: OK, confession time, I'm not a big fan of Marcus Pfister's work. Apart from the sparkly bits on the Rainbow Fish, I couldn't see the fuss. For me, a good picture book lets the pictures tell the story as much as the words do. I find Pfister's books too work and the stories not particularly inspiring either.

What Kira (5 years old) thinks: Kira picked this book because "The penguins are cute mummy." And she is right, the pictures are cute. However, I think she finds there are too many words as well. She fidgeted (not something she normally does during reading) and wanted to turn the pages quicker than I could read.

Recommended for: Penguin Pete fans.

Title: Milly, Molly and Different Dads
Author: Gill Pitter
Illustrated by: Cris Morrell
Source: Library

Favourite Line: "So there we are," Miss Blythe said. "All dads and families are different. That's just the way it is."

Synopsis: Sophie is sad because her dad has left. Miss Blythe encourages the children to talk about their dads and what makes them different.

What I thought: So every now and then your child  borrows a book that when you open it up and start to read it you think "OK, where is this going!" This is the first Milly and Molly book I have seen, but it appears to be a series whose motto is We may look different, but we feel the same.

What Kira (5 years old) thinks: Kira asked lots of questions about this book. Why is she sad?, Why is he in hospital? and made lots of comments He's wearing a funny hat, they are fishing. So, obviously she was engaging in the book. 

Recommended for: children possibly having a hard time with separation or other issues. It would be great as a jump off book for discussions about differences in families.