Tag Archives: funny picture book

Book Review: Blobfish Throws a Party – by Miranda Paul

 

 

 

 

 

Book: Blobfish Throws a Party
Author: Miranda Paul
Illustrator: Maggie Caton
Publisher: little bee books 
Date: May 2, 2017
Genre: children's picture book; 4 - 8 yrs; Preschool - 3
Pages: 32; hardcover
Price: $16.99
My rating: a delightful story about how one life can make 
a huge difference

 

Blobfish Throws a Party, written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Maggie Caton, is a funny story children will love. 

Blobfish lived on the bottom of the ocean where it was dark and lonely. He was tired of being alone. He wanted friends, and lights and delicious treats, but how was he going to get them?

Blobfish decided that there were only two ways to get what he wanted – one was to have a great party, the other was to save the world and be a hero. Either way he would get friends, and lights and delicious treats.

Realizing it was unlikely that he would have any reason to save the world, Blobfish knew hero status wasn’t much of a possibility. That left the party, so he shouted out, “DEEP-SEA PARTY! BRING A TREAT TO SHARE!”

Blobfish’s invitation wasn’t understood by anybody the way it was intended. For example, the mermaids heard it as “Cheap, free party! Sling on a sheet to wear!” Everybody heard it differently, so it just got more and more wacky, and wild, and noisy – all over the planet! But Blobfish was still alone.

Then something happened to change everything. There was an invasion. The rest you have to find out for yourself. 😉 

Blobfish Throws a Party by Miranda Paul is a funny rhyming story that, with each page turn, is sure to inspire giggles and anticipation for what is coming next. The gorgeous illustrations by Maggie Caton depict the story perfectly. This is one of those picture books adults will enjoy reading over and over to the children in their life.

You can find Blobfish Throws a Party by Miranda Paul on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Goodreads, and on Chapters.Indigo if available there.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

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Book Review: Little Red Gliding Hood – by Tara Lazar

 

 

 

 

 

Book: Little Red Gliding Hood
Author: Tara Lazar
Illustrator: Troy Cummings
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Date: October 27, 2015
Genre: Children's picture book; 2 - 10 yrs;  Preschool - 4
Pages: 40; hardcover
Price: $16.99
My rating: a skating contest like no other; funny

Little Red Gliding Hood is a fractured fairy tale written by Tara Lazar. It begins with the introduction before the title page, and we’re taken immediately into the story by Troy Cummings‘ clever illustrations.

A fractured fairy tale is a mix-up of nursery rhymes and fairy tales, bringing in characters from different ones to fit in the new story. Tara has the sense of humour to pull this off easily.

Little Red Gliding Hood loved to skate and she was very good at it. She would skate to her grandmother’s every Sunday for a visit. The problem was that her old skates were in bad shape and getting to be too snug a fit. She soon wouldn’t be able to skate to Grandma’s.

Conveniently, a pairs skating competition was announced with the prize being a pair of new skates! Little Red Gliding Hood had to win! Inconveniently, she didn’t have a skating partner. Little Red’s grandmother suggested asking the Gingerbread Man. Little Red said he’s too fast and she can’t catch him. Grandma suggested Baby Bear would be a good partner, but Little Red said Goldilocks thought so first. When Little Red went to ask the Three Little Pigs, the Big Bad Wolf showed up. Little Red skated away, frightened, with Wolf skating after her.

The day of the competition Little Red showed up to skate. When the Big Bad Wolf showed up, too, he scared Little Miss Muffet away and Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. It was chaos. The illustrations by Troy Cummings are funny and enjoyable.

The end of the story of Little Red Gliding Hood is fun and very cleverly done, making it a book that’s delightful to read over and over.

You can find Little Red Gliding Hood by Tara Lazar on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Goodreads, and on Chapters.Indigo if available there.

Please encourage an author and illustrator by leaving a comment. Thank you.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Book Review: Gertrude at the Beach – by Starr Dobson

 

 

 

 

 

Book: Gertrude at the Beach
Author: Starr Dobson
Illustrator: Dayle Dodwell
Publisher: Nimbus Publishing Ltd
Date: February 1, 2015
Genre: children's picture book; age: 4-8
Pages: 32
Price: $19.95; hardcover
My rating: an entertaining, beautifully illustrated story 

 

Here is another book I purchased at the children’s book fair I enjoyed a year ago.  Gertrude at the Beach is the second picture book written by Starr Dobson. The illustrator is Dayle Dodwell who also illustrated the first book.

In the first book, My Goat Gertrude (read my review of it here) – told by Starr from her perspective when she was a child, we meet Gertrude the goat who was brought into the family by Starr’s dad. Gertrude is immediately loved by the three little girls and is soon found to be a handful of mischief. In this story, Gertrude at the Beach, nothing much has changed in that regard. Gertrude still gets into trouble.

It’s summer vacation and the family packs up to go to their cottage on the beach. As it’s Gertrude’s first time to the ocean, everyone is excited to see how she will react. When they arrive the first thing Gertrude does after sniffing the salt air is to stick her head way in under an overturned rowboat that had been left there. She seems to be fascinated with boats because later they find the boat moving and discover it’s because Gertrude got herself completely under it.

Gertrude is an entertaining animal. A dried up jellyfish has to be taken away from her to stop her from trying to eat it, and Gertrude mopes when sent to her towel under the beach umbrella. Then disaster strikes. Gertrude disappears and finally Starr sees her splashing in fear in the ocean, apparently heading toward to an anchored boat. For some reason she isn’t trying to come back to shore. Somebody has to do something!

The fact that Gertrude at the Beach was written about things that actually happened in Starr Dobson‘s childhood makes it even more interesting for children to enjoy. Dayle Dodwell‘s beautiful illustrations round out the story well.

A portion of the sales of this book are being donated to the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia.

You can find My Goat Gertrude by Starr Dobson on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Goodreads, and sometimes Chapters.Indigo.

Please encourage an author and illustrator by leaving a comment. Thank you.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

 

Book Review: Normal Norman – by Tara Lazar

 

 

 

 

 

Book: Normal Norman
Author: Tara Lazar
Illustrator: S.britt
Publisher: Sterling Children's Books
Genre: children's picture book; age 4 & up; Preschool & up 
Date: March 1, 2016
Pages: 40
Price: $14.95
My rating: Funny with lots of encouragement to love 
your differences 

Normal Norman by Tara Lazar is a book about defining the word normal, and in a very funny way.

The narrator of this story is a junior scientist who is narrating for the first time. She wants it to go well, so she introduces Norman. Norman is an orangutan, an average, ordinary, common creature – or so she thinks.

The junior scientist measures him and finds he is normal in size. Then she discovers Norman eating a snack, but he doesn’t eat bananas, he’s eating pizza. When she peels a banana for him he freaks out! He thinks it’s cruel! It gets more and more abnormal from there.

This is a funny story. Children will love that Norman is a purple orangutan who wears eyeglasses, which should have been the first clues to the narrator that Norman is far from being a normal orangutan. Norman also doesn’t want to sleep in a pile of leaves and branches like orangutans do, and he has a favourite stuffed toy.

The junior scientist narrator is distraught. Nothing is going as planned. Then Norman has an idea.

Children will love Tara Lazar‘s ending for Normal Norman. It’s funny and unexpected. The illustrations by S. Britt are fun and fabulous, making Norman a memorable character.

You can find Normal Norman by Tara Lazar on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Goodreads, and sometimes Chapters.Indigo.

Would you like to leave a comment for me, or for the author and/or illustrator?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Book Review: Snappsy the Alligator (did not ask to be in this book) – by Julie Falatko

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book: Snappsy the Alligator (did not ask to be in this book)
Author: Julie Falatko
Illustrator: Tim Miller
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Date: February 2, 2016
Genre: children's picture book; pre-school-3; age 3-8
Pages: 40
Price: $16.99
My rating:  An unusual and amusing story

 

Snappsy the Alligator – Did Not Ask to Be in This Book! is the first picture book written by Julie Falatko.

Snappsy is going along minding his own business, just living his ho-hum life. When he realizes he’s suddenly in a book being narrated about him he objects, to no avail.

Snappsy the Alligator Does Not Want to Be in This Book! – and he really does not want to be in this book! – is presented in a way quite different from the usual method of writing a picture book. Julie Falatko has included a narrator to whom her main character is talking.

If you pay attention to Tim Miller’s funny illustrations in relation to the words you will see that what the narrator is saying is, at first, describing everything Snappsy is doing. Snappsy finds that irritating. The reader can figure out what he’s doing without being told step-by-step, but then the narrator starts saying things that make Snappsy sound mean and adventurous. He also calls Snappsy out on his habits, challenging him to try something different. It’s amusing. And it’s effective because Snappsy does something different to make the narration more interesting. 

This is a funny story children will enjoy once they catch on to what’s happening.

You can find Snappsy the Alligator Does Not Want to Be in This Book! by Julie Falatko on my BUY THE BOOK page.

I also post my reviews on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Goodreads, and sometimes Chapters.Indigo.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

Book Review: There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight – by Penny Parker Klostermann

 

 

 

 

 

Book: There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight
Author: Penny Parker Klostermann
Illustrator: Ben Mantle
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Date: August 4, 2015
Genre: children's picture book; pre-school-2; age 3-7
Pages: 40
Price: $16.99
My rating: A very fun twist on an old nursery rhyme

 

I’m sure you know the nursery rhyme that starts with “there was an old woman who swallowed a fly, I don’t know why she swallowed a fly … ”  And I’m sure you’ve heard several variations of that rhyme. Well, if you haven’t read this one you really must treat yourself to this book.

There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight by Penny Parker Klostermann is a very entertaining story. She substituted the woman with a dragon and the fly with a knight. That in itself is funny, but when you see the illustrations it’s quite hilarious combined with the story-telling.

Penny‘s rhyming is fun to read and even to sing-along to, which – yes, I did, just to see how it sounded, you understand. (The rhythm is great, by the way.) She has the dragon swallowing the knight, then the knight’s royal steed – clippity, clippity, clippity, clopping around which became quite annoying to the dragon, the squire with his pants on fire, the cook with his recipe book, and more characters until he even swallowed the castle. Oh my! That was too much. The dragon had the realization he was being impolite and … well, you have to read it.  🙂  The ending has a surprise twist to it, too.

The illustrations by Ben Mantle are beautiful. The characters’ expressions and actions are so funny and in vivid rich colour. Each time I read There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight it makes me snicker, so I expect for children it’s so much fun to read and examine the pictures.

You can find There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight by Penny Parker Klostermann on my BUY THE BOOK page.

I also post my reviews on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Goodreads, and sometimes Chapters.Indigo.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Book Review: I Thought This was a Bear Book – by Tara Lazar

 

I Thought This Was a Bear Book

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book: I Thought This Was a Bear Book
Author: Tara Lazar
Illustrator: Benji Davies
Publisher: Aladdin
Date: August 2015
Genre: children's; picture book; pre-school - 2; age 4-7 yrs
Pages: 32; hardcover
Price: $17.99 (varies)
My rating: a fun, creative change-up of a familiar fairytale

Tara Lazar is a prolific children’s author with an imagination that is intriguing and humorous. I Thought This Was a Bear Book is her second of five books so far, with another one coming out this spring and one in 2018.

In I Thought This Was a Bear Book we meet the bear family – Papa, Mama, and Baby – out berry-picking. Overhead there is an alien spacecraft obviously in trouble and coming in for a landing. Only Baby seems to notice at first.

On those first two pages of the story the words are “Once upon a time there were three bears.” From then on those words are the only ones that are not conversation between the characters in the story, aside from onomatopoeia, such as WHOOSH and THUNK! Also, those two pages are illustrated by Benji Davies to look like the pages of an open book.

Look at what I mean; this is one page, not several.

i-thought-this-was-a-bear-book-page

 

 

 

 

 

 

Isn’t that neat? 🙂

Apparently, the alien somehow fell out of his book and landed in theirs! Such a conundrum. He was quite bewildered and when face-to-face with the bear family he was indignant at being called a martian. “I am Prince Zilch from Planet Zero!” he informed them. They set out to try to find a way to send him back to his own book in time for him to save the planet from giant planet-eating numbers.  See what I mean about Tara’s amazing imagination? I would never have come up with an idea like that. 

This story is quite funny with the prince saying zark, zoot, zinder when he is feeling overwhelmed. A tour bus stops for tourists to take pictures of the bears and the alien, while Prince Zilch and the bears are trying to find a way to get him back to page 27 in his book. Goldilocks even makes her appearance, much to the bears’ dismay. 

There are many ideas they come up with, all the while Baby Bear is trying to get their attention so he can share his idea on how to help. Benji Davies‘ illustrations add so much to the story, some being really funny, and all bright and interesting. As you read you must pay attention to the extra activities going on in the story through the illustrations – just because it’s so much fun.

Tara even includes the reader in helping to solve the prince’s problem, making it an interactive book in that way. I Thought This Was a Bear Book is an entertaining read for which you might want to have a little extra time to enjoy and share with a young reader or pre-reader. There is so much entertainment in the story.

You can find I Thought This Was a Bear Book by Tara Lazar on my BUY THE BOOK page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂