Sunday, April 17, 2011

Frank Cammuso, Katherine Hamilton , Dr. Seuss, and Jane Yolen to name a few

I haven't done one of these in awhile due my lack of continuous reading, but figured it was about time for one, since I recently finished two books in the past week. Since there are so many, as I have not done this the beginning of March, I will divide it in half again. 

Otto's Orange Day by Jay Lynch and Frank Cammuso
Cute introduction to young children who may have never read a graphic novel before, which features Otto the cat who wishes everything to be orange. The moral of the story is to be careful what you wish for. I mostly picked up this volume because I love Frank Cammuso's more adult work, "Max Hamm, Fairy Tale Detective," and was thrilled to know that he also did children's graphic novels. Three stars, recommended for ages 5-8. 

Scrambled Eggs Super by Dr. Seuss
I had never heard of this Dr. Seuss book before, but found it the other day when I was helping with a project at the library. The idea is interesting, a young boy (Peter T. Hooper), wants to create the best scrambled eggs ever so he goes all over the world collecting bird's eggs. The crazy names Seuss comes up with for the birds is awesome, though the story goes on for much too long. Three stars, recommended for ages 4-8. 

A Boy Named Giotto by Paolo Giurnieri
This children's book was a random find for me while shelving, and tells the beginning of the story of the Renaissance painter Giotto. He is a poor shepherd boy who likes to draw and is found by the famous artist Cimabue, who helps him learn how to paint and get the colors he needs to create his realistic artwork. The art in the book I liked, though I couldn't quite place where it was from, until I read this NY Times article(, which sums it up: "The book's rich, gilded illustrations evoke the Byzantine style that preceded Giotto, while suggesting as well the more subtle colors and the emotional intensity for which he later became famous." My main problem with the book is that just as it was getting interesting, the book abruptly stops the story. I think it should've gone into more detail about his work, or maybe given resources for the child to explore Giotto's life further. Three star, recommended for ages 8-12. 

My Uncle Emily by Jane Yolen
Cute story based off real-life events of a young boy named Gib and his "uncle" Emily Dickinson, bees and 2 poems that she wrote him. Loved the illustrations, that showed Ms. Dickinson in a very humane and loving way (I always thought she was a little creepy to be honest). Four stars, recommended for ages 5-8. 

Ida B:...and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World by Katherine Hannigan
I picked up this book as I had been shelving it a bunch and the cover looked interesting, plus it had the recommendation from Kate DiCamillo on the cover, so I decided to give it a try. Ida B is a young girl living on an apple tree farm with her Mom and Dad. She is home-schooled and lives a simple life talking to the trees, who answer back. Everything changes when her mother is diagnosed with cancer, the family has to sell part of their land and Ida B is forced to go to public school. So she spends most of the book being really angry and sad at everyone. Three stars, recommended for ages 8-12. 

Dog Loves Books by Louise Yates
I love this little cute picture book that I picked up while shelving the other day. This little white dog, which reminded me of our dog who likes to sniff and lick all the books I borrow from the library, loves books and decides to open his own bookshop. While he is reading, he gets transported to whatever world he is reading about, be it dinosaurs or marsupials or alien civilizations. He helps a young girl find all the books she needs too. Four stars, recommended for ages 3-8. 

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