19 January, 2011

Read to Me Picture Book Challenge - 1 - 5

Given we read so many picture books in this house, I thought I would post reviews in bunches of 5.

 The Read to Me Picture Book Challenge is hosted by There's A Book.

Title: Fancy Nancy
Author: Jane O'Connor
Illustrated by: Robin Preiss Glasser
Source: Personal collection
Favourite Line: When we arrive at The King's Crown, everyone looks up. They probably think we are movie stars. 

Synopsis: Fancy Nancy loves to be fancy. Unfortunately her family is not so fancy until Fancy Nancy teaches them how to add a bit of class to their lives.

What I thought: We love Fancy Nancy in this house. It's a sure fire hit for my 5 year old daughter and her friends. In fact, a friend was looking after Kira one day and they had a Fancy Nancy day. They got dressed up and headed down the park in their finery of jewels, dresses and gloves. Very fancy! Despite all of her fanciness, Nancy in the end is a gorgeous little girl with a loving and supportive family. This is evidenced if in no other way, than by the last lines in the book:
"I love you," says dad says.
"I love you," says mum says.
And all I say back is, "I love you"
Because there isn't a fancy - or better - way of saying that.
What Kira (5 years old) thinks: "I have a peignoir," (that's a fancy French word for dressing gown.) leaping out of bed to show me! "I like the sparkly cover and the French words." (You can't tell on the cover I have here, but the cover of our copy has lots of sparkles on it!)

Recommended for: those who have little girls who like to be princesses.

Title: Fancy Nancy and the Posh Puppy
Author: Jane O'Connor
Illustrated by: Robin Preiss Glasser
Source: Personal collection 
Favourite Line: Sometimes it's hard being the only fancy person in a family.

Synopsis: Fancy Nancy wants a fancy dog and what better than a papillon (pronounced pappy-yon, something I never knew until I read Fancy Nancy!) But maybe even a papillon is too fancy for Nancy's family

What I thought: Another Fancy Nancy hit! Sometimes things are not always as good as you think as Nancy finds out when she babysits this highly strung pampered pooch. This Fancy Nancy book looks at the importance of considering the needs of all the family rather than just one person.

What Kira (5 years old) thinks: "It's funny when the puppy blurps," (our family's unique [unique is fancy for one of a kind did you know??] word for vomiting.) The first time we read this, Kira showed great concern for Nancy's little sister who upset the puppy. Even now she reassures me that the little sister was only trying to help.

Recommended for: those who have little girls who like to be princesses.

Title: This Dog Bruce
Author: Frances Watts
Illustrated by: Bridget Steven-Marzo 
Source: Personal collection and library. 
Favourite Line: This dog Bruce comes sniffing along, wagging his tail and looking for fun!

Synopsis: Bruce is a very bouncy puppy who just wants someone to play with him, but his over exuberance scares the other animals away. Can they find a game they all can play?

What I thought: Bruce has been a hit in our family for many a year. We actually own a copy, but Kira chose to borrow it from the library as well. (hence the double on the source tag!). It's a fantastic read - a - loud with a great rhythm and rhyme that kids love.

What Kira (5 years old) thinks: Kira loves to read this book. She always chimes in with the  This dog Bruce.. line. In fact, quite often she does it alone, meaning I only read half the book these days!

Recommended for: those who love a good rhyming book that kids can join in with.

Title: Bunny and Bee's Rainbow Colours 
Author: Sam Wilson
Illustrated by: Sam Wilson 
Source: Library.
Favourite Line: Outside their home, in the cold black night, the big white moon shines its light.

Synopsis: Bunny and Bee have a lovely day exploring all the colours around their home.

What I thought: Bunny and Bee is a rhyming book and it's ok. It has a lovely rhythm but in the end is nothing special.

What Kira (5 years old) thinks: This is the second time Kira has borrowed it from the library, but each time she has only asked for it to be read once. Each time though she has pointed out who is Bunny and who is Bee on each page.

Recommended for: those who like rhyming books.

Title: Clive Eats Alligators
Author: Alison Lester
Illustrated by: Alison Lester
Source: Personal collection
Favourite Line: But Ernie loves to visit the taxidermist.

Synopsis: In this book, Alison Lester explores the daily lives of seven different children and the different things they do at different times of the day. This is a one in a series of books. Other titles include Rosie Sips Spiders, Ernie Dances to the Didgeridoo and When Frank was Four. Each includes the same 7 children and follow the same format. For example, in Clive Eats Alligators, the first double spread is titled breakfast. It tells you what each of six of the children eat, accompanied by a small picture. You turn the page to a bigger picture on one page and the text But Clive eats alligators  on the other page. Each child gets to shine as they are singled out for the double spread.

What I thought: I've always loved Alison Lester's picture books and this series is wonderful! Each child is immediately identifiable and their personalities shine through as you discover a little bit more about them each time. I've used these books in teaching, and the children have always enjoyed putting themselves in the books and adding their likes and special traits. They are truly books about accepting and celebrating everyones differences.

What Kira (5 years old) thinks: "Clive really loves alligators, doesn't he mummy?" Another book that Kira loves joining in with. She can finish off each section with what each child is doing or enjoying and with questioning, will put herself in the book with glee. (What does Kira have for breakfast? Weetbix!)

Recommended for: those who want a book that teaches about differences without ramming it down your throat!