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Lord Wibbleton of Wibblonia (more children’s book reviews)

December 8, 2011

Hello, new readers!  I’ve been noticing you noticing me.  A special hello to the receptionist from the balance therapist’s.  I should’ve warned you that some of these posts can get pretty PG-13 (or R during the recaps, because I get so angry).  However, my children’s book reviews stay pretty clean.  I hope you enjoy them, and I hope you pick up a copy of Press Here for your future baby, because it is awesome.  Sure, little babyreceptionist won’t be able to get it for another two years, but what makes it a great book is that it’s incredibly entertaining for adults, too.  I’ve seen them play with it until they get to the end.  Even the ones who don’t have kids.  You cannot stop pressing the “buttons”!

Good Night Texas is a board book by Adam Gamble and Mark Jasper.  It’s a cute little thing–as someone who spends the summer in Austin every few years, I’m always happy to read anything about Texas, although I do not remember ordering this book.  (Sometimes books are ordered for you using system money; you just smile and nod because it means more shiny new books.)  One thing I have to say: The water in the San Antonio River Walk does NOT sparkle.  Oh God, does it not sparkle.  It is pretty gross-looking.  I ordered some of the other books in the series for the library: Good Night New Jersey and Good Night Philadelphia.

Lighthouse Christmas by Toni Buzzeo and Nancy Carpenter is the story of two children who live in isolation after the death of their mother, by their father’s choice.  Away from everything, the older child is afraid that snow will keep away their very necessary food supplies and is old enough to understand that Christmas will be very meager for them indeed.  The younger still lives in blissful ignorance of the harsh changes in their lives.  But the family still finds a way to celebrate Christmas, with the help of some surprises.  It’s a heartwarming little book, where the note at the end explains what younger children will find magical (so skip the note) and older children will find cool. 

Perfect Snow by Barbara Reid has a combination of Plasticine (makes the kids look a little shiny, but the detail’s amazing) and smaller ink and watercolor pictures.  The combination adds little to the story other than the content of the panels, and there’s no sense of them blending to create a better story.  They just…are.  Still, the story itself is solid and, as I said, the detail’s amazing.  Kids will probably enjoy it more than adults.

Red Sled by Lita Judge is almost wordless, which works for the story but makes it a terrible read-aloud.  I always wonder about wordless books–who are they for?  At least in fully wordless books, the children can add their thoughts and sounds.  In this, we have some interesting sounds, some phrases that might be dialog, except if it is, the animals are speaking, and they don’t, generally, so then it comes off sometimes as commentary.  This is not to say that this isn’t a good book, but only that the inconsistancy of the text makes it confusing for me as someone who reads and reviews books.  I would not use it for story time BECAUSE of the small amount of text.  More, yes, less, yes, this much?  I’ll probably skip it.  But I liked the book, for whatever that’s worth.

Well, I expected to write a lot more today, but that isn’t going to happen because of all the other things I needed to get done today.  In fact, this post is being finished up fully four hours after it was begun.

Good night, Booksliders.

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