Tag Archives: K

The Black Book of Colors

Author: Menena Cotton, illus. by Rosana Faria
Rating:
Reading Level:pre-k – 2nd (and all ages)

Publisher: Groundwood
Edition: 2008, Hardcover

The Black Book of ColorsWhat a unique and amazing book!!!! I am speechless and wish everyone could read/touch/experience it!

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LRBC01-A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever


written and illustrated by Marla Frazee
published by Harcourt, 2008
40 pages/picture book

This book has already been recognized by the Horn Book/Boston Globe Book Awards as an excellent title in the picture book category. (It’s an honor book.)

The two people chatting about this book are Roxanne and Lily Feldman.

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Bear’s Picture

Author: Daniel Pinkwater; illustrated by D.B. Johnson
Rating:
Reading Level: pre-k, k, 1, 2

Pages: np
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Edition: Hardcover, 2008

Bear's PictureAbsolutely fabulous! The text is matter-of-fact; straightforward; and it conveys a great sentiment — the artist’s own interpretation is enough to make any artwork worthwhile. A bear can be a painter and he can paint whatever he feels like and see whatever there is in the picture without being told by others that he can’t paint or what his artwork means.

And the ART in this book is unusual, for sure. The contrast between the gray-scale color scheme of the three characters and the vibrant multi-colored painting keeps the readers’ focus on the “real” protagonist of the story: the painting, in progress and in its final state. I love how the bear’s scarf gets progressively messier, with more colors until it’s completely covered. And of course, the page where you must turn the book around to see the final picture from bear’s point of view of a bear that is embedded within the autumn honey tree, cool stream, hollow log, field of flowers, and the two gentlemen’s hats is such a beautiful and breathtaking moment! The color scheme reminds of of Kandinsky and Klee in their modern, abstract style. The final image of bear sleeping in the hollow log (his own creation) engulfed by the snow is the perfect and calm end note to a rigorous story.

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The House in the Night

Author: Susan Marie Swanson; illustrated by Beth Krommes
Rating:
Reading Level: Pre-k, K, babies

Pages: np
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Edition: Hardcover, 2008

The House in the Night This one has a classic look and a classic feel — from its scratch board, 3-colored (black, white, yellow) illustrations to its minimalistic and poetic text — a great addition to bedtime lullaby stories. This one doesn’t make me say, “Who needs another bedtime story? Don’t we have ENOUGH?” Obviously, we don’t since talented writers and artists like Swanson and Krommes still have new things to offer for new generations of children and their parents. The pictures are worthy of looking closely over and over again (thanks to the artistically and strategically placed yellow ink and the cosmic scope of the “story”.) This repeatability is definitely one reason why parents and children can enjoy the book night after night.

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Garmann’s Summer

Author: Stian Hole
Rating:
Reading Level: K to 3rd

Pages: n.p.
Publisher: Eerdmans
Edition: Hardcover, 2008

What an unusual book. At first glance, the images turned me off — from the cover to the first pages — with the weirdly proportioned heads/bodies done with photo-collages. Then.. I got sucked into this style and most importantly, I got mesmerized by the text and by the matter-of-fact tone of everyone’s answer to Garmann’s queries about death and fears. The illustrations eventually reminded me of Terry Gillian’s work for Monty Python’s Flying Circus with many pages featuring curving flower stems and vines and the unlikely pairings of objects: the ancient aunt on a skateboard above skyscrapers or the bus load of images of famous jazz and other musicians… So, this is a very strange experience: from “Ugh” to “Brilliant!!!”

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Grumpy Bird

Author:Jeremy Tankard (illustrator)
Rating:
Reading Level: Pre-k to 2nd

Pages:
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Edition: Hardcover, 2007

I LOVE the grumpiness of Bird and his host of 4-legged friends who totally are so clueless to his mood. The Wahaha-WOW ending is so unexpected and satisfying. There is a great momentum building through this seemingly simplistic picture book. Tankard‘s thick-black-outlined endearing group of animals and brush-painting trees, accompanied by bleached photo background is dexterously done. There is just so much to look at and such a joy to read aloud and to share!

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Duck at the Door

Author: Jackie Urbanovic (also the illustrator)
Rating:
Reading Level: pre-k to 2nd


Publisher: HarperCollins
Edition: Hardcover, 2007

This is an absolute WINNER! The text is sparing and just right to convey the situations from page to page — I enjoyed the individual thoughts from the animals mixed in with the straightforward text.

Each animal in the house is distinctly designed and incredibly adorable/attractive/expressive. Their body language speaks volumes!

The surprising second-to-last spread made me *GASP* with horrified delight.

This whole package just WORKS!

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