Friday, November 25, 2011

Currently from the Library: Some Book Reviews

We have had a run of great luck with library books recently and I wanted to share!

The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse by Eric Carle is full of the large vibrant illustrations we all expect from this illustrator. The limited text encourages young artists to experiment and imagine other possibilities while painting and drawing. After reading this book, I found First Son copying the pages with his own paper and markers. I actually heard Mr. Carle speaking on NPR about this title and found the story of his experience seeing Franz Marc's paintings for the first time fascinating. (Blue Horse I is shown at the end of the book.)

Waiting for the Biblioburro by Monica Brown, illustrated by John Parra, tells the story of a man who travels through rural Colombia with two burros carrying books, a mobile library for children otherwise without access to a library. It's well-told and vibrantly illustrated. I intend to read it next term during our sojourn in Central and South American for our preschool-reading-around-the-world. (Jeanette Winter has a similar story, Biblioburro: A True Story from Colombia, but I haven't read that one yet.)

Perfect Square by Michael Hall explores what a square is and what it can be. Read this book before presenting your child with a pile of square papers and watch what happens.  It's a delightful book. (The cover made you smile, didn't it?)

Me . . . Jane by Patrick McDonnell is a little story of Jane, who has a dream to live in Africa with the wild animals, a dream that comes true when Jane Goodall arrives in Tanzania in 1960. The text is simple, the illustrations are delightful and there is much to imagine after reading it. Plus, the picture of baby Jane with her toy chimpanzee is adorable!

Brother Sun, Sister Moon, Saint Francis of Assisi's Canticle of the Creatures adapted by Katherine Paterson and illustrated by Pamela Dalton is a stunning book. The illustrations glow on the black backgrounds. The text is a worthy adaptation of St. Francis's canticle. In a similar vein, I checked out Tomie dePaola's Let The Whole Earth Sing Praise. It's a nice little book but not quite as good.

LMNO Peas by Keith Baker is a charming romp through the alphabet, illustrated by career peas "(hikers, inventors, and investigators"). It's funny and well-illustrated. I loved it and so did the kids.

Not every week at the library is as full of delights as this pile of books, but isn't is wonderful when it happens?


  1. I love those weeks!! We've read several of those titles and enjoyed them as well. You've got me curious about LMNO peas. That looks fun!!

  2. Monica, isn't it nice knowing you can just request the book and don't have to run out and buy it? I hope you enjoy it!

  3. Oh gosh. The library is totally my BFF. For real. ;-D We've been enjoying CD's from there as well lately, which has been nice too.

  4. Yeah, when Kansas Dad went this week to pick up our books I had so many they had put them on my own little cart. I think Kansas Dad was a little embarrassed, but they very kindly said they had a number of patrons who had carts with their reserved books.

  5. That makes me feel better. I am always slightly embarrassed by the number I have each week, usually around 10 give or take, sometimes more, as I request our Letter of the Week books each week, plus any other particulars I'm looking for. Then Gemma just picks out a handful to take home. I always feel a bit lazy requesting ones that they pull for me at that branch, but it's just easier, and we're "Gold" members so it's not like it costs any more. Heh heh. I think I've seen your husband at the library before, I'm guessing he picks up from the branch we frequent.

    By the way, could you give me the link for that "Animals, Animals" poetry book you mentioned?

  6. Ten books, ha ha ha! Once I only requested eight and the librarian asked Kansas Dad if I was feeling well. She was worried about me.

    I regularly request 25 to 30 a week and usually have about 50 checked out to my card at any given time. It's up over 70 or 80 now with all the Advent books.

    Here's the link for that poetry book:

  7. Oh I feel SO much better. The past month or so it's more like 20 or so a week requested, and we typically have between 40 and 50 out at a time. I just LOVE their website and all the features. Do you use the lists? Anyways, I'm so glad to know it's not just me and they don't mind. I love the librarians there, they are very nice to us.

    Thanks for the link!


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