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Last one for NaBlo!

November 30, 2012

And then back to doing it because that’s what I do.

Fiction!

Abbie Gets Fit by Doug Werner and Rafael D. Nazario is a poorly-written, decently-illustrated, small- or self-published book about using walls of text to encourage children to exercise.  Nazario is great with cartoony expressions, but doesn’t get a chance to do much else, since Werner’s chatty dad takes up most of the page.  Abbie doesn’t do well on her fitness test, so her dad gets her to health by waking her up at butt o’clock in the morning and taking walks hand in hand (not illustrated).  As someone who lost fifty pounds in fifty weeks (years ago, with only a ten-pound gain despite multiple health problems over the years), I am one of THOSE jerks who says “If you’re not looking at a genetic/thyroid issue, try eating less and exercising more.”  In her closing letter, Abbie tells what would’ve been a better story: the one of a child who felt better about all aspects of her life, and eats better too.  But whatever.  Thank goodness the letter is in there.  I’m not sure this is really Abbie’s story, this book, but it seems like her story is a good one, so combine the book and the letter at the end and you’ve said what needs to be said.  Not WELL, but there you go.  (Also, it seems like 13-year-old Abbie writes better than her dad.  Just saying.)

David A. Adler’s The Babe and I is a great book with a let-down ending.  Not that I figured on something flashy and wonderful, but it’s an awkward wrap-up after an endearing story of a kid trying to get by during The Depression. Loved the colors and backgrounds by Terry Widener, but am not quite sure about his faces.  Still, I think this is a good book for kids learning about The Great Depression and would probably be relevent today with the recession.

Barbara Joosee goes crazy with words in Lovabye Dragon, with gorgeous illustrations by Randy Cecil.  There are a lot of rhymes and sentences that don’t quite work to sound sing-songy or whatever, and kids will like it, but really, I just don’t want to read it aloud, so to the display shelf it goes.

The Invisible Man, by Arthur Yorinks, is soooo weird.  And funny.  A fruit seller becomes invisible, and the whole world freaks out.  I can see why people don’t like it, but it’s so utterly bizarre that I cannot forgive it.  The art by Doug Cushman is pretty darn funny too.

Not sure, not sure how I feel about Levi Pinfold’s Black Dog.  I mean, the art, my god the art, but the actual story?  I bet there are lots of kids who’ll like the whimsy of this book.  Personally, I would’ve been happier without the rhymes.  And really that’s it.  But the art!  Whoa. 

Again with the art!  Marla Frazee in Boot & Shoe, about two dogs who lose each other in the saddest way possible.  I cannot even love this book, although if there’s a less-sad sequel, awesome.  Kids might find it funny, the dogs doing the exact same thing so they’re never in the same place, but to me it’s just pathetic, in the original sense of the word.  I can’t even handle it.  GOGGIES.

It’s a Tiger! by David LaRochelle is HILARIOUS.  It’s gotta be the new We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, I swear.  Love the art by Jeremy Tankard.  Love love love the book, for real.  Story Time?  You bet!

Lee Wardlaw’s Red, White, and Boom! is a simple book for 4th of July, good for toddlers.  Very colorful collage-y art by Huy Voun Lee.

Traction Man and the Beach Odyssey by Mini Grey is super-trippy and fun.  Traction Man and his sidekick Scrubbing Brush are off to the beach!  But then they get lost!  Will their human ever find them again?  And who’s got all that ice cream?  Woo!  It’s Beach-Time Brenda!  Seriously, the Brenda advertisement alone is worth the price of admission.

One! Non-fiction! Book!

…But it’s stellar.  Manners by Aliki is by turns informative, cute, sly, and funny.  I love it and I’m so glad I reordered it.  Every child should read it when they learn how to read because it makes manners fun.  And also, the older they get, the more of the funnies they’ll get too.  It’s a little comic book-y, so that’s a neat format, and it has a ton of roleplaying for the kids to act out.

 

Aaaaand, done both my NaBlos!  Go me!  I missed 1 out of 60 posts, not bad!

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