24 January, 2011

Read to Me Picture Book Challenge -11 - 15

 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. A full list of books I have reviewed can be viewed here

Title: Good Baby, Bad Baby
Author: Nanette Newman
Illustrated by: Jonathan Langely
Source: Personal collection
Favourite Line: None!

Synopsis: This book has two stories in it. Each cover is the start of a story with them meeting in the middle. On one side is the story of good baby and on the other the story of bad baby. Sounds like a great idea, right?

What I thought: Lets be brutally honest here, I really don't like this book! In fact the only reason it is still in the house is because Kira likes it and goes looking for it at least once a week. Trust me, the moment she doesn't, it's gone! As you most probably have guessed, I didn't buy this book and if I ever remember who did, I will not be impressed! My problem is this - good baby is so sickeningly good, she never does anything wrong! Her voice is so gentle you won't hear her shout. She piles up the bricks, doesn't knock them all down. Now seriously, anyone who has kids knows there is something wrong here! All kids shout at some point, (even if their voices aren't very loud, they still try it out!) and what is the point of building a tower of bricks if it isn't to knock them all down. As for bad baby - the child obviously has no discipline in her life at all! She never says 'Please," she just grabs and says 'More'. She tip bowls on her head and throws jam on the floor.  Now I don't know about your house, but there is consequences for that kind of behaviour in this house and repeat performances are not tolerated! In all seriousness, I can see what the author is trying to do, but in the end I think they have totally missed the mark.

What Kira (5 years old) thinks: As I said, Kira loves this book and I am at a loss as to explain why! She does often say I'm the good baby aren't I mummy? to which I honestly reply Most of the time.

Recommended for: no one! Stay away! Don't let it in your house!

Title: Peace at Last
Author: Jill Murphy
Illustrated by: Jill Murphy
Source: Personal collection
Favourite Line: Well you would not believe what noises there are in the garden at night.

Synopsis: Everyone in the bear house is tired so off they all traipse to bed. Unfortunately Mrs Bear starts to snore, keeping Mr Bear awake, so he sets off around the house looking for somewhere quiet to sleep.

What I thought: One of the things I love about this story is it's poor Mr Bear who is kept awake by his snoring wife, rather than her being kept awake. Mind you, if he'd just given her a good poke in the ribs he most probably would have saved himself a lot of trouble!

What Kira (5 years old) thinks: Kira feels sorry for Mr Bear. And we have had interesting discussions about the noises you hear at night, although tonight she told me she would be able to sleep in the kitchen because she wouldn't hear the tick-tock of the clock!

Recommended for: those who want a fun read.

Title: The Midnight Gang
Author: Margaret Wild
Illustrated by: Ann James
Source: Personal collection
Favourite Line: On the stroke of midnight, when anything can happen, Baby Brenda climbs out of her cot, crawls backwards down the creaky-cracky stairs, whizzes across the kitchen floor, and squeezes through the cat-flap. The gang is waiting.

Synopsis: Baby Brenda and her gang make a midnight excursion to the playground where all sorts of fun is had!

What I thought: I was so pleased when I saw Kira had pulled this out tonight - it's one of my favourites! I remember first reading this when I was childless, working as a teacher librarian and being completely captivated by the story and the pictures. The kids I taught that year had a great time coming up for ideas of where Brenda and her gang could go next time. Ann James' illustrations are done with chalk pastels on coloured paper and are just stunning. Lovely little details like Brenda's bare bottom (she loses her nappy going out the cat flap!) delight and thrill kids and adults alike.

What Kira (5 years old) thinks: Kira loves the bare bum (who doesn't?) She has also told me in great seriousness that she did this when she was a baby and it was lots of fun! I asked her how she got out since we don't have a cat flap and she told me she climbed out the window instead - but she left her nappy on!

Recommended for: those who want a story that is a visual masterpiece as well as a great story.

Title: Cock-a-doodle-do0
Author: Steve Lavis
Illustrated by: Steve Lavis
Source: Personal collection
Favourite Line: Seven woolly sheep wondering where to go.

Synopsis: Explore the farmyard and the noises animals make while learning to count.

What I thought: Is it wrong to like a book because it doesn't take too long to read? There is nothing special about this book, but I silently cheer if Kira pulls in out at the end of long, tiring day. The animals are fun, the noises are fun, but in the end it's short which is sometimes the best thing!

What Kira (5 years old) thinks: Kira loves to count the animals and help make the noises of the farmyard at the end. Secretly I think she picks it when she knows she is tired and wants something quick too!

Recommended for: those who want a quick story with a little extra.

Title: Little Rabbit's New Baby
Author: Harry Horse
Illustrated by: Harry Horse
Source: Personal collection
Favourite Line: But it wasn't a baby. It was three babies!

Synopsis: Little Rabbit can't wait to be a big brother. He will be able to show the baby how to play games, hop and skip. But having new babies in the house isn't as fun as he thought.

What I thought: I love Little Rabbit. He is cheeky and always in mischief, but his heart is in the right place. When his new brothers are born, he wants to help, but gets frustrated when the babies can't play the way he wants. He also gets upset that so much of Mama's time is taken up with caring for the babies. Harry Horse manages to express the frustration of Little Rabbit so clearly. From his excitement to meeting the new babies, to the disappointment they aren't all he thought, to the realisation that he adores them anyway!

What Kira (5 years old) thinks: Kira goes through phases with these books (we have 4 Little Rabbit books) For awhile we seem to read nothing but and then he disappears for awhile. She loves the new baby book though and will often say Three babies mummy! That's a lot! I must admit, I agree with her!

Recommended for: those who may be about to add to their family!