Tag Archives: picture book review

Book Review: A Cooked-Up Fairy Tale – by Penny Parker Klostermann

 

 

 

 

 

Book: A Cooked-Up Fairy Tale
Author: Penny Parker Klostermann
Illustrator: Ben Mantle
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Date: September 5, 2017
Genre: children's picture book
Pages: 40
Price: $17.99 and up
My rating: A very funny story with amusing illustrations 

Penny Parker Klostermann took on the current challenge of mixing up fairy tales and coming out with a fabulous new story. With her new book – A Cooked-Up Fairy Tale – she has succeeded with an added a twist that is both funny and surprising for the reader.

William lived in the land of fairy tales where it was magical and amazing. Even so, William had a problem. He loved to cook, but no matter where he tried to work it just wasn’t a good fit. In one place the main ingredient in the wolf soup was too dangerous, in another his gingerbread men always ran away, and in yet another the customers (in particular, a bear family) were always way too fussy.

William decided to create his own home business. One day he found an order intended for Fairy Tale Headquarters, and he knew he could improve upon the bedtime snacks delivery. What resulted was a catastrophe when he presented his altered menu. For example, the poisoned apple for Snow White was instead a sumptuous Baked Apple with Caramel Drizzle. And what would become of Cinderella whose pumpkin coach was replaced by a delectable pumpkin pie! William has to do something to fix the problem he’d created for everyone.

It’s obvious there was a lot of time and work put into the whole process of creating A Cooked-Up Fairy Tale. Ben Mantle‘s amazing illustrations add wonderful details to Penny Parker Klostermann‘s funny and ingenious story. Cinderella’s expression and posture are particularly hilarious! 

Penny is the author of There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight, and this book is another wonderful demonstration of her love of humour through her words.

You can find A Cooked-Up Fairy Talewritten by Penny Parker Klostermann and illustrated by Ben Mantle – on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Goodreads, and when available on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, and Chapters.Indigo.

Your comments are greatly appreciated by featured authors and illustrators, and this blogger.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

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Book Review: Are We Pears Yet? – by Miranda Paul

 

 

 

 


Book: Are We Pears Yet?
Author: Miranda Paul
Illustrator: Carin Berger
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Date: September 19, 2017
Genre: Picture book; age 4-8 ; gr. K-3
Pages: 40
Price: $17.99
My rating: a funny & educational story about the growth cycle

Miranda Paul, with her creative imagination, has written a story that’s both amusing and educational in Are We Pears Yet?

Two pear seeds are excited that they will become pears. They love pears. One seed keeps eagerly asking the other, “Are we pears yet?” The other seed seems to know much more about the whole process so explains patiently each time what has to occur first. Soil, rain, sun, cold, a long 2-year nap …   🙂  Then they have to grow into trees, which takes another year! The impatient seeds are getting tired of waiting.

The illustrations cleverly created by Carin Berger present the story in a stage setting. Each scene shows props, stage hands, scene changes .. whatever is required to make the story move along. It’s laugh-out-loud funny.

Eventually – after another two years! – the seeds get to where a final event is about to happen, but the reader’s view is of the two main characters hidden behind a sign that reads: COSTUME CHANGE. When they come out, well … it’s just been such a long wait that it takes some realizing. 

Are We Pears Yet? written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Carin Berger is for everyone to enjoy. It’s fun, entertaining, informative, and quite different, with a chuckle at the very end, too.

You can find Are We Pears Yet?written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Carin Berger – on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Goodreads, and when available on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, and Chapters.Indigo.

Your comments are greatly appreciated by featured authors and illustrators, and this blogger.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

 

 

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Book Review: Kindergarten ROCKS! – by Katie Davis

 

 

 

 


Title: Kindergarten ROCKS!
Author/Illustrator: Katie Davis
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Date: June 1, 2008
Genre: picture book; age 4-7; Preschool - 3
Pages: 32
Price: hardcover: $16-$23; paperback: $8 - $10.40
My rating: enjoyable, entertaining, encouraging for children

Kindergarten ROCKS! by Katie Davis addresses the fear of many children setting off on that first day of school – the anxiety, the worry, the imagined worst-case-scenarios. Dexter has them all.

Dexter is a little boy soon to start kindergarten. Dexter knows all about kindergarten because his older sister Jessica, who is going into grade 3, told him about it. Even so, he’s nervous about it, or rather … his toy blue dog Rufus is worried about it. Jessica encourages her brother not to worry because – kindergarten rocks! Dexter keeps trying to convince himself it’ll be fine, but he takes Rufus along for moral support.

The colourful illustrations – created by the author illustrator, Katie Davis – contribute to the humour of the story. Example: “When we finally got to school, I couldn’t wait to see my classroom.” The illustrations belie what Dexter is saying because in that scene Jessica is pulling Dexter who is strongly resisting.

Much to Dexter’s relief, he discovers he has a friend from pre-school in his class and he soon forgets to be anxious. There are so many fun things to do that Dexter even forgets where he left Rufus. Then he’s worried for a totally other reason and a search ensues.

Told mostly by Dexter himself, Kindergarten ROCKS! is a story young readers and pre-readers will really enjoy. The illustrations fit well with the words to add to the humour and show the child’s angst which is quickly resolved. The images are bright, bold, uncomplicated, and look as if they were created through the use of Crayola crayons which are depicted on one page. And who doesn’t love using Crayolas?

Kindergarten ROCKS! written and illustrated by Katie Davis is a must read book for young children and the adults who read to them. It’s fun, bright, and reassuring.

You can find Kindergarten ROCKS!written and illustrated by Katie Davison my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Goodreads, and when available on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, and Chapters.Indigo.

Your comments are greatly appreciated by authors, illustrators, and this blogger.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂 

Book Review: Love, Triangle – by Marcie Colleen

 

 

 

 

 

Title: Love, Triangle
Author: Marcie Colleen
Illustrator: Bob Shea
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Date: October 3, 2017
Genre: children's picture book; age 4-8 
Pages: 32
Price: $21.99
My rating: delightfully fun & educational at the same time

Love, Triangle by Marcie Colleen makes geometry fun – and it’s not even a math book! Or is it – in disguise?

Marcie Colleen introduces geometry to young readers through her lively characters – Circle, Square, and Triangle. Circle and Square had been friends “ever since they were a dot and a speck.” (Isn’t that a great line?) They were practically inseparable, the best of friends, and appreciated one another for their differences.

Circle and Square’s friendship took on an uncomfortable dimension when Triangle came along. They both wanted Triangle as their own friend and soon their friendship is in danger of collapse. In fighting over Triangle they cause a new problem for Triangle when he attempts to find a way to patch up the friendship between Circle and Square – which is illustrated with humour and play on words.

Marcie Colleen‘s use of language in Love, Triangle is easy and clever. The illustrations by Bob Shea are “spot-on”, amusing and visual of the geometric situations created through the text. His illustrations show geometric shapes for children to discover, and, combined with the text, makes this a wonderful book for classrooms. In fact, because of the benefits (simple geometry, word play, friendship, cooperation, and more) found in this book, Marcie is offering a free cross-curricular guide for teachers HERE.

Children and students are sure to love Love, Triangle by Marcie Colleen.

You can find Love, Triangle – written by Marcie Colleen and illustrated by Bob Shea – on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Goodreads, and when available on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, and Chapters.Indigo.

Your comments are greatly appreciated by authors, illustrators, and this blogger.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Book Review: Tuktuk: Tundra Tale – by Robin Currie

 

 

 

 

Book: Tuktuk: Tundra Tale
Author: Robin Currie
Illustrator: Phyllis Saroff
Publisher: Arbordale Publishing
Date: August 25, 2016
Genre: picture book; age 8-12, gr K-3
Pages: 32
Price: $17.95
My rating: educational entertaining story with life-like
 illustrations

 

Tuktuk: Tundra Tale by Robin Currie is educational in disguise, and children will love the accurate illustrations by Phyllis Saroff.

This story is set in the Arctic, “at the top of the world”, and on the first double spread we see an Inuit driver controlling his dog sled over the snow and ice. What we also see, that he does not, is one of his waterproof boots – a kamik – fall off the sled and land right beside a furry little animal named Tuktuk. Tuktuk is a collard lemming and he decides the kamik with its warm fur will be just right to help keep him warm as the colder weather of winter sets in. 

As Tuktuk is dragging the kamik the long way to his burrow, Putak the polar bear sees it and wants it. Tuktuk knows he can’t win against a polar bear so he comes up with a silly idea, convincing the bear the kamik is for his nose. The bear tries it on his nose but it makes him sneeze so ambles away without the boot. 

Using the rule of threes, Robin Currie brings two more animals who try to take the kamik from Tuktuk. Tuktuk has silly ideas for each of them and they leave without his find.

The rich, bold illustrations are amazing in Tuktuk: Tundra Tale. Each page is a feast for the eyes and adds great detail to the description in the story of the northern clime. “Polaris appeared in the expanding night sky …”  “The Northern Lights shone …”

In the back of the book is a section (that can be photocopied or printed from the website for educational use) called For Creative Minds, in which the reader will find very interesting information – Polar Seasons, Arctic Skies, Arctic Vocabulary, Life in the Cold: Animal Fun Facts – with illustrations from the book coinciding with the information. Beautifully done!

Tuktuk: Tundra Tale by Robin Currie is a book to treasure, both for its amusing adventure of a clever collard lemming and for the information revealed in its fabulous illustrations by Phyllis Saroff. Readers will discover more details with each read through.

You can find Tuktuk: Tundra Tale by Robin Currie on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Goodreads, and when available on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, and Chapters.Indigo.

Your comments are greatly appreciated by authors, illustrators, and this blogger.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

 

 

Book Review: 7 Ate 9: The Untold Story – by Tara Lazar

 

 

 

 

 

Book: 7 Ate 9: The Untold Story
Author: Tara Lazar
Illustrator: Ross MacDonald
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Date: May 16, 2017
Genre: children's picture book; humour
Pages: 32
Price: $18.99
My rating: Entertaining story filled with puns and humour

7 Ate 9: The Untold Story is a very entertaining story. And how can it not be, having been written by Tara Lazar?

Private I is asked by the number 6 to help him. He has heard that 7 Ate 9, and he is scared 7 would soon be after him. Private I pointed out that 7 is always after him – as in 5, 6, 7. That fact doesn’t console 6 and he fears his days are numbered as both 7 and 9 seem to be missing!

Private I goes to the café for a slice of pi.  (No, I didn’t mean to type pie.) The waitress, whose name is B, has the scoop. She’d heard that 7 ate 9, and she drops a scoop of ice-cream onto Private I’s pie that’s shaped like the number π – which is the mathematical pi.

As you can easily figure out from what little I have said – not wanting to give away the whole story – there are many puns and word plays in this funny picture book 7 Ate 9: The Untold Story. The bold, creative illustrations by Ross MacDonald (a Canadian now living in the US) are perfectly suited to the story and visually add to the puns. The reader must pay attention to the illustrations to not miss the added humour.

In a surprising and funny conclusion, Private I cleverly solves the mystery of missing 9 and 7, reminding the adult reader a little of Sherlock Holmes.  🙂

Tara Lazar has cleverly written a book for children that is full of puns, plays on words, and humour. Young readers are sure to enjoy 7 Ate 9: The Untold Story.

You can find 7 Ate 9: The Untold Story by Tara Lazar on my BUY THE BOOK pageI also post my reviews on Goodreads, and when available on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, and Chapters.Indigo.

Your comments are greatly appreciated by authors, illustrators, and this blogger.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Book Review: Turkey Tot – by George Shannon

 

 

 

 

Book: Turkey Tot
Author: George Shannon
Illustrator: Jennifer K. Mann
Publisher: Holiday House
Date: August 31, 2014
Genre: children's picture book; 4 - 7 yrs, Preschool - 1
Pages: 32
Price: $16.77
My rating: wonderful story to encourage ingenuity

 

Turkey Tot by George Shannon is an adorable story reminding one of the story of the Little Red Hen.

Turkey Tot had three friends, Chick, Hen, and Pig. One day they spied juicy berries on a bush, but they were too high to reach. The friends sadly went on their way to the pond, but then Turkey Tot came up with an idea. If they could find … something … it would help them reach the berries, but his friends said no, they won’t find that, he’s being silly, and he has been different from the day he was hatched. 

Turkey Tot was not one to give in to defeat. He kept coming up with ingenious ideas. His friends continued to reply the same negative way. Finally, they refused to listen to more of his schemes, so Turkey Tot worked at a plan alone with a variety of things he did manage to find.

When Turkey Tot appears in a way they never expect to see him – and with juicy berries to share – they marvel over his cleverness. After all, they decide, he has been different from the day he was hatched!

This is a cute story with bright, bold illustrations created by Jennifer K. Mann. The images give such expression to the story, each little character has its own personality and appeal. For little people learning to read, the font is large and dark for easy reading.

Children will enjoy this story, and very possibly be prompted to make things themselves.  It’s a great way to encourage creativity and to encourage children to trust themselves, to not be discouraged by other people’s negativity, and to not give up trying.

You can find Turkey Tot by George Shannon on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Goodreads, and on Chapters.Indigo if available there.

Your comments for authors and illustrators are greatly appreciated.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂