Sweet stories to share with children while storms rage outside.

READ REVIEW

THE LOST LAGOON

A fierce storm visits a magical farm where fairies, gnomes and mice freely mingle with a few chosen humans.

The titular lagoon only appears when conditions are just right; the Running River must flood enough to fill a basin where tall trees now grow from ground that was formerly covered by river water. After a particularly rough storm, Tiptoes Lightly and her friends Greenleaf the Sailor, Pepper Pot, Pine Cone and Jeremy Mouse journey up the swollen waters in search of this legendary spot. They’re in luck. The Lost Lagoon is there, beautiful and serene, a perfect place to camp out. Meanwhile, the humans who live in the farmhouse—Tom Nutcracker and his sister June Berry and their father Farmer John—entertain themselves with stories from a book called The Adam Tales. After the storm has passed, Tom takes a midnight ride on his pony and meets up with Greenleaf for a boat ride all the way to the moon. Luckily, his father is understanding and doesn’t punish Tom too badly for sneaking out in the middle of the night. Mythical creatures and humans alike bask in the opportunity to explore and listen to each other’s stories about how the world came to be. Down, who also provides the simple but effective illustrations throughout the book, treats his characters with just the right playful touch, encouraging readers to suspend their disbelief and engage with impossible creatures. Evoking classic creation myths, Down weaves into his narrative fantastical explanations of the first man and woman. His book also nods to Thornton Burgess with its inclusion of fables to explain things such as why slugs have no shells. Adults may regret a lack of complexity and find some of the exchanges slightly saccharine, but children will inherently realize this collection offers an antidote to the viral spread of movie-based narratives and those containing more than a hint of violence. The stories are easy enough that accomplished early readers can enjoy them independently; they are also perfect for out-loud reading sessions at bedtime.

Sweet stories to share with children while storms rage outside.

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2010

ISBN: 978-1453801963

Page Count: 130

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Nov. 15, 2010

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Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit.

THERE'S A MONSTER IN YOUR BOOK

From the There’s a…in Your Book series

Readers try to dislodge a monster from the pages of this emotive and interactive read-aloud.

“OH NO!” the story starts. “There’s a monster in your book!” The blue, round-headed monster with pink horns and a pink-tipped tail can be seen cheerfully munching on the opening page. “Let’s try to get him out,” declares the narrator. Readers are encouraged to shake, tilt, and spin the book around, while the monster careens around an empty background looking scared and lost. Viewers are exhorted to tickle the monster’s feet, blow on the page, and make a really loud noise. Finally, shockingly, it works: “Now he’s in your room!” But clearly a monster in your book is safer than a monster in your room, so he’s coaxed back into the illustrations and lulled to sleep, curled up under one page and cuddling a bit of another like a child with their blankie. The monster’s entirely cute appearance and clear emotional reactions to his treatment add to the interactive aspect, and some young readers might even resist the instructions to avoid hurting their new pal. Children will be brought along on the monster’s journey, going from excited, noisy, and wiggly to calm and steady (one can hope).

Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit. (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6456-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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THE NAME JAR

Unhei has just left her Korean homeland and come to America with her parents. As she rides the school bus toward her first day of school, she remembers the farewell at the airport in Korea and examines the treasured gift her grandmother gave her: a small red pouch containing a wooden block on which Unhei’s name is carved. Unhei is ashamed when the children on the bus find her name difficult to pronounce and ridicule it. Lesson learned, she declines to tell her name to anyone else and instead offers, “Um, I haven’t picked one yet. But I’ll let you know next week.” Her classmates write suggested names on slips of paper and place them in a jar. One student, Joey, takes a particular liking to Unhei and sees the beauty in her special stamp. When the day arrives for Unhei to announce her chosen name, she discovers how much Joey has helped. Choi (Earthquake, see below, etc.) draws from her own experience, interweaving several issues into this touching account and delicately addressing the challenges of assimilation. The paintings are done in creamy, earth-tone oils and augment the story nicely. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 10, 2001

ISBN: 0-375-80613-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2001

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