Archive for October 28, 2015

The Gingerbread Man Loose at Christmas

Written by Laura Murray
Illustrated by Mike Lowery

Good deeds and sweet treats for any neighbors you meet is the teacher’s plan. The gingerbread man, who is part of the class, sets out to do his own random deeds of kindness when the sudden snow storm sends the rest of the class back to school. The plot twist is fresh and unexpected. Characters are realistic and illustrations are detailed and entertaining.

Rhyming and rhythm, plus fun fonts and graphics will have grade two readers and grade one listeners wanting to start this new holiday book over and over again. Teachers, librarians and parents will enjoy this new holiday book capable of fulfilling literacy core curriculum standards while providing Gingerbread fun. Other books with the same main character are available: The Gingerbread Man Loose on the Firetruck, and The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School.

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  • Gingerbread ManTitle: The Gingerbread Man Loose at Christmas
  • Author: Laura Murray
  • Illustrator: Mike Lowery
  • Publisher: G.P.Putnam’s Sons, 2015
  • Reviewer: Elizabeth Swartz
  • Format: Hardcover, 32 pages
  • ISBN: 978-0-399-16866-6
  • Genre: Picture Book
  • Grade level: 2

The Nonsense Show

Written and Illustrated by Eric Carle

Surrealism or nonsense? A little bit of both can be found in this new book by Eric Carle. Most nursery rhymes contain such nonsense and are actually what make them fun.

The nonsense show brings to mind the reality shows of today that point out some of the silliness of our lives. Each page says or shows something impossible, ridiculous, laughable, and silly. A snake who lost his tail? A bird coming out of a banana peel? An upside down man eating cake?

Eric Carle once again uses his specially made paper and collage with painting illustrations. Grade one readers will be able to read most of the book on their own, just being challenged with the array of multi-syllabic words on the last double-paged spread. Teachers, librarians and parents will most likely read this book aloud at least at the beginning.

Core curriculum standards in literacy can be met in the teaching of picture clues, fiction versus nonfiction, rhyming words as well as other isolated skills.

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  • Nonsense ShowTitle: The Nonsense Show
  • Author/Illustrator: Eric Carle
  • Publisher: Philomel Books, 2015
  • Reviewer: Elizabeth Swartz
  • Format: Hardcover, 40 pages
  • ISBN: 978-0-399-17687-6
  • Genre: picture book
  • Grade level: PreK to 2

I Am Henry Finch

Written by Alexis Deacon
Illustrated by Viviane Schwarz

Henry is a finch. And he acts like a finch. Up in the morning with the flock. Says “Good morning” with all the finches. “Good afternoon,” “Good evening,” and “Good night” too. The only change in the routine is when the Beast shows up. The finches fly to a tree. Then Henry has a thought about being great. A thought that gets him swallowed by the Beast. Eventually, he plants a thought in the Beast’s head. “Open.” The Beast opens its mouth and out flies Henry. Safe again, Henry invites the other finches to have thoughts.

The wonderful illustrations in this entertaining book make up a good deal of the story. When inside the Beast, where it’s dark, the pages are black and the images are jumbled.

The book may be silly, but first graders will learn a lot about following their talents and about being a leader. As a read aloud, it’s a great tool for teachers and parents to interact with the kids.

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  • Henry FinchTitle: I Am Henry Finch
  • Author: Alexis Deacon
  • Illustrator: Viviane Schwarz
  • Published: Candlewick, 2015
  • Reviewer: Sue Poduska
  • Format: Hardcover, 40 pages
  • Grade Level: K to 3
  • Genre: Picture book
  • ISBN: 978-0-7636-7812-8