“Today, our baby is not laughing. Not a hint of a dimple or a glimmer of a smile, but a face like thunder!” Though everyone in the family tries to get the baby to smile with tickling and peek-a-boo, bubbles and tricks, the baby won’t smile. Even the dachshund on the unicycle doesn’t work, and we all know how funny wiener dogs are. But when the older brother challenges baby to a staring contest with absolutely no laughing, the baby smiles, chuckles, and laughs. The pictures are have a gentle cartoon quality with soft lines and bright colors. There’s only one thing that I don’t get: What’s with all the costumes on the characters? I mean, the grandma is a fairy princess, the grandpa is a pirate, and there’s no explanation. Though I have to admit the outfits do make the book a little more fun. Great storybook for the preschool set.
Still My Grandma, by Véronique Van den Abeele, illustrated by Claude K. Dubois
Camille and her grandma have a wonderful friendship. They bake and shop and laugh together. But one day Camille’s grandmother seems confused, and she doesn’t get better. In fact she has Alzheimer’s disease and has to live in a house with other older people. Camille and her family visit, and Camille finds new ways to keep up their traditions. She brings her own treasures to Grandma and takes her for walks in her wheelchair. She says, “It’s true that she’s not the same person she used to be, but she’s still my Grandma and I love her very much. She loves me too.” While it would be helpful for kids going through similar experiences, it could also be read to show how people can change and we can still hold onto our love for them. Sweet book with soft, gentle illustrations.
Pirate Pete’s Talk Like a Pirate, by Kim Kennedy, illustrated by Doug Kennedy
Okay, after that last book we need a funny one and this is it. Pirate Pete has a great ship, but he needs a crew. He goes to Rascal Island to find the right people for his ship. As each person is tested on his or her experience, they all seem to fail the most important test. None of them can talk like a pirate and so they have to walk the plank. It’s great fun to see their words turned into pirate talk. When one likely contender says that he is extremely courageous, the pirate captain corrects him:
“Ye should’ve said,Apparently, along with their salty phrasing, pirates also like to rhyme. I liked the illustrations, which were softer than I’ve been used to with the Melissa Long books where you see every blackened tooth. They are done as... I’m going to say oil paintings with a question mark, but you get the idea of the style. This book is lots of fun for the older preschoolers up to first, even second grade. (At this point, it’s also an Amazon Bargain Book. Order now!)
I’ve not a yellow bellied bone
From me head to me toes.
I’ll stand brave upon this ship wherever she goes!”