105 Ways to Give a Book

Cybils: Random Picture Books

What’s the sound of one blogger blogging?

It seems so quiet in the kidlitosphere as the the Christmas week rolls by and everyone catches up on their Cybil-nominated books. I’ve been quite lucky in the picture book category, having seen many of the titles in my library even if the publishers never sent them. Also, the books are 32 pages long. Here are a few brief reviews of some random titles.

Orange Pear Apple BearIt really takes looking at Orange Pear Apple Bear, by Emily Gravett, to get why everyone is talking about this book. It is so simple, but so perfect. Using just four words — okay, one extra word at the end — the book shows us order and color. The apple and pear are together, but on the other page is an orange bear. Eventually the bear gets hungry, and everything goes on down. Fun book for young ones, with lovely watercolors over charcoal sketches. (It’s interesting how the “extra” lines of the sketch make the pictures look so right.)
Pest FestPest Fest, by Julia Durango, illustrated by Kurt Cyrus, is a bonanza for bug-lovers, with all your favorites in great detail. It’s interesting to see the scale represented by the bugs against acorns, flowers, and dogs. The bugs are competing to see who should be the winner of the Pest Fest, and while the butterfly is lovely and the cricket fiddles a great song, the ugly, lowly housefly bemoans his lack of talent. But it is found that to be pesky is the best gift of all. While the story is cute and informative and told in rhyme (props on noting that the Cricket fiddles, not sings), I’d give the real prize to the illustrations. While seen from the bugs’ perspective the whole time, at the last end page we are treated to the view of a human awakening and running from the bug party that has collected on his sleeping form. Lots of fun.
The Magic RabbitThe Magic Rabbit, by Annette Le Blanc Cate, is your typical magician-has-rabbit, magician-loses-rabbit, magician-gets-rabbit-back story. A magician and his rabbit are best friends, but one day they get separated during a magic act. Though they both try and try, they can’t find each other in the big city. Then the rabbit sees the magic yellow stars, follows them, and finds his magician once again. A sweet story of friendship and perseverance. The illustrations are very detailed in black and white, with only the stars in yellow. Readers will enjoy looking in the background of the pictures to find the magician, even when the bunny can’t. Very nice book.

Now I’m off to the mall to let my niece play on the toddler playground and to allow my preteen to show me the wonders of Abercrombie and Fitch.


Becky said...

It has been fairly quiet this week, hasn't it? I'm really missing reading everyone's daily posts.

Little Willow said...

While everyone else was being social this past week and celebrating the holidays, I posted nine million times.

Vivian Mahoney said...

Thanks for these reviews. And have fun spending money at Abercrombie and Fitch.

Have a wonderful New Year!

Robin Brande said...

Love your opening line. It does kind of feel like that, doesn't it?

Happy New Year (soon), Mother Reader! I've enjoyed playing words with you all year long. Here's to a productive, happy, relaxing 2008!