Learning to read can be hard, and this book offers youngsters tackling the skill needed sympathy.

READ REVIEW

I DO NOT LIKE BOOKS ANYMORE!

Monster siblings Alphonse and Natalie (Alphonse, That Is Not OK to Do! 2016) return in a sympathetic story about learning to read.

Natalie is excited to go to school and to learn to read. She and her younger brother, Alphonse, love stories, both hearing them and telling them. But when the teacher hands Natalie her first primer, reading seems harder than expected, as “the letters and words looked like prickles or birds’ feet.” Despite the teacher’s encouragement to sound out the words, Natalie is frustrated by the difficulty as well as the absence of a real story in this book about a cat that sits. Practicing eventually gives her mastery of this book, but when Alphonse asks Natalie to read aloud one of his books, the letters and words look “like scuttling insects with too many legs and eyes.” Natalie declares, “I DO NOT LIKE BOOKS ANYMORE!” Instead, she decides to take care of her sick elephant, Sinéad, while making up her own more interesting story. Dad helps by writing the words to the pictures she draws with her brother, producing a homemade book she can read again and again. Bold, primary colors against white space create supportive scenes peopled by this lovable family of adorable, Muppet-like monsters eager to nurture some perseverance and full of patience with Natalie’s struggle and ultimate accomplishment. Natalie is on her way to reap the pleasures of learning to read, as seen in the endpapers, by authoring her own storybooks, a recognized strategy to foster beginning readers.

Learning to read can be hard, and this book offers youngsters tackling the skill needed sympathy. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Nov. 20, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0334-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

While the amusing scenario may prove to be more a nostalgia trip for adult readers than something today’s kids will...

OY FEH SO?

Weekly Sunday visits from their two aunts and one uncle are so disagreeable that three children take steps to alter the atmosphere through some harmlessly exaggerated imitation.

Each Sunday afternoon the family guests arrive, heavily plop themselves on the living room furniture, and make negative, complaining and resigned statements. “Oy,” says Aunt Essy. “Feh,” says Aunt Chanah. “So?” says Uncle Sam. “That was all they ever said!” Despite the children’s parents’ attempts to make pleasant conversation or the children’s enthusiastic play-acting performed for the guests, the reaction is always the same uncongenial three words. Ink-and-watercolor illustrations depict Essy, Chanah and Sam with unflattering caricatures of stereotypical adult Jewish characters, with clownishly large noses, slouchy, overweight bodies and unsmiling faces. In exasperation, the children each take a role and comically mimic their aunts’ and uncle’s behavior, forcing laughter and recognition. This mishpocheh now redeems itself with a newfound willingness to tell family stories and loving childhood memories; the palette here modulates from muted tones to bright, sunny colors.

While the amusing scenario may prove to be more a nostalgia trip for adult readers than something today’s kids will immediately recognize, they will appreciate the overall sentiment even if they miss the Yiddish essence. Nu? (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: April 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-55498-148-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Groundwood

Review Posted Online: Feb. 27, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

HUNGRY! HUNGRY! HUNGRY!

In this moderately effective "jump" story, a lad anxiously questions a distracted-looking, green-skinned goblin as he watches it ransack his house: " 'Why have you got such a big fat bum?' 'Squishing things and squashing things . . .' 'Why have you got such a grumbly tum?' 'Hungry! Hungry! Hungry!' ” The arced lines of text are printed in dialogue balloons, and Hess views the domestic destruction from canted or rolling perspectives in which food, garbage, shampoo, and small toys fly as the goblin shambles along in a cloud of spattered paint or ink. At last the interloper winds up in the lad's bedroom: " ‘What have you come for?' 'YOU!' ” But, as lifting the concluding gatefold reveals, the goblin will accept a jelly bean instead. "A Dark, Dark Room" it's not, but read aloud with the proper gusto it should elicit a few belly laughs, as well as a mild climactic jolt, and the art is unusually fascinating. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2001

ISBN: 1-56145-214-6

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2001

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more