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Another week, some more children’s books

November 13, 2012

It never ever ends.  Ever.

Picture books!

Tad Hills’s Rocket Writes a Story is the sequel to How Rocket Learned to Read, but I don’t have that one and this one can stand on its own.  Rocket is a cute little dog that talks but you’d never know it by the art, and he likes reading and wants to write a story.  I like this book because it goes through the process of creation AND revision, and it does it in such a way that kids probably won’t even realize they’re learning something.  It’s quite charming, especially the ending.

Where’s My Teddy? and My Friend Bear by Jez Alborough are way-too-similar rhyming books that don’t quite have the charm of the duck books.  Kids will probably want to hear this far more often than the parents.  I’m just warning you.

Snowman Magic by Katherine Tegen, with lovely, bright, but something’s-missing art from Brandon Dorman, is lacking the sparkle that books about magic should have.  There’s also the underlying creepiness of a magicked snowman and his dying and coming back to life.  Even I knew it was awful when I watched whatever that kids’ special was and Frosty or whoever melted.  But the kid in this story doesn’t see it that way.  Maybe that’s how you want to teach it to your kids.  But I’d rather say, better to leave the magic out or put the horror in.

Al Pha’s Bet by Amy Krouse Rosenthal is the really untrue story of the alphabet.  A man named Al Pha makes a bet with himself to be the one to put all of the king’s new letters in the most lovely order.  And so he does, with a little help from his friends and environment.  Love the art by Delphine Durand.  It has almost a comic strip feel to it, a little BC mixed with DC, if you will.  Gonna try this one with storytime, but I don’t know how they’ll feel about it.

Clifford’s Halloween is all about the pre-girly-girl Emily Elizabeth and big Clifford, not little Clifford with the cast of sellable characters.  Old-school Norman Bridwell.  It’s a simple little book about the previous Halloween, and would go really well with a dress-up craft, as it ends with asking the child what Clifford should be for this year.  When my daughter was little, she called him “Clippard” and I was going to type that.  Oops.  There’s nothing extraordinary about the story, but it’s Clifford, and he’s <3.

Okay, so here’s an interesting dilemma.  You know how people freak that we’re, as a society, becoming more PC?  And how other people freak that we’re not becoming PC fast enough?  ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore “Edited by Santa Claus for the benefit of children of the 21st century” (with illustrations by Elena Almazova and Vitaly Shvarov , if you want to find the right one) takes out the smoking but leaves in the fur and then says at the end that the fur is now fake.  Draw your own conclusions.  I like the art, though.  If you want to learn more, the site is

Philadelphia Chickens with CD!  Sandra Boynton, awww yeah!  Gonna recommend this to everyone.  Our teen librarian was singing the Laura Linney one the other day and it was fun.  I like Fifteen Chickens.

Board books!

I got Hug by Jez Alborough, but I don’t know.  Like, why doesn’t everyone hug him FIRST?  Why does hug=mommy?  I don’t know, I don’t know.  But then Tall is really good!  Same adorable monkey and friends, but somehow feels smarter.  Hey, concepts!

Caillou: My First Dictionary: In My House is a cross between a dictionary and a seek-and-find.  I like it, but French clowns are scary.

Okay, that’s all I have time for today.  Tune in tomorrow, when it depends on what I have time for.

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