Monkey and Me, by Emily Gravett
Incredible illustrations, not much story. The whole book is Monkey and Me went to see some [insert animal here]. It is very cute that the sock monkey and the girl are acting like the animal right before they show it. And the pictures are extraordinary. Someone else mentioned, and I agree, that the last line breaks the rhythm of the book. But apparently only Americans are getting the book end with “Zzzzzz.” In the UK they get a different ending that fits better, but I suppose they thought we weren’t sophisticated enough to understand “went home to get some tea” here across the pond.
Little Hoot, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Jen Corace
Little Hoot likes school, and playing, and even practicing his staring. But he does not like Bedtime. Why? “Because when you’re an owl, you have to stay up late, late, late. That’s just the way it is.” While all of his other firends get to go to bed, he has to stay up and play. What torture! It’s a fun switch on the usual bedtime book. Nicely done book with the fun storyline and sweet, slight pictures.
Belinda Begins Ballet, by Amy Young
I’m a fan of the Belinda books, having a ballet student in my home. I would never have guessed that there would be a prequel. When Belinda was born, like all babies she had tiny everything except her feet. Her big feet gave her lots of trouble, but the worst was when her teacher thought she should be a clown in the talent show just because she could wear the big clown shoes. Belinda was more interested in the ballerina who practiced before her, and so Belinda tried out the moves at home. I liked the book better on the first reading than on the second where I started to nitpick about: (a) Why was the teacher so mean? (b) How much time do they get to practice for this talent show anyway? and (c) How come Belinda learns the ballet moves in her room, alone, when my eight-year-old has been taking lessons for years and can’t do these moves? Still, young ballerinas will love the new Belinda book regardless of the flaws.