Friday, May 21, 2010

Children's Books Book Review

I have begun reading Caldecott Medal winners to see what children's books are out there that I might find charming and/or delightful.  Because the medal is given for illustrations, I wanted to see if the content was as interesting and engaging as the imagery.  Here are the ones I chose for my first exploration.

The illustrations are very pretty.

The story is cute but rather dull.

I can't imagine wanting to read this to a child night after night.

In fact, I was pretty bored with it halfway through and, except for the stunningly beautiful pictures, I think the whole thing is pretty forgettable.

Surprisingly, this book includes a story that is one of my mother's favorite Buddhist stories so, naturally, I was pleased to see it included.

The illustrations are lovely and, when the panda, Stillwater, is telling the children different stories the visual change is obvious although not as lovely as the frame story ones are.

I liked this one a lot.  Probably mostly because of the fact that it has that one story in particular.

An alphabet book with abstract and very graphic images of various endangered animals.  Each letter is representing one animal in different parts of the globe.  Why they are endangered and where they live are listed along with how much at risk each species truly is.

The illustrations are black and white with a little red to add a dash of color.

A parent could easily use this book with older children to discuss a variety of things including ecology, biology, geography, etc.

Visually interesting but I don't think small children, ones learning their alphabet will find it irresistible.

A lovely book on many levels.  Visually interesting with some pages almost being like a "Where's Waldo?" except you are looking for Galileo.

There are quotes from Galileo as well as others and some interesting historical facts that add context above and beyond the simple story.

The main text is in print.  The quotes are in cursive, sometimes hard to read, but good practice for the independent reader to read something other than print.

A book that lends itself to discussion and further exploration.

I love this book.  I mean really love it.

I was giggling as I read it.

The illustrations are cartoonish and the story utterly ridiculous and together they make this book a quirky delight.

I want this book.  I want to read this book again and again.

(Rob says it is a cautionary tale.  I won't say why he says this, lest I spoil the plot.  But I think he's onto something.)

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