Friday, December 30, 2011
This book wa published in Sweden in 1901, so it has been around for more than a century. I cannot say that is does not feel dated, because it does; but opinions differ ( i do hope someone enjoys this book). The illustrations are neat, here is one:
The story is all right, but there are just so many more exciting and gripping stories for children around, that the book lost me on 3d page.
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I just got home from the nursing home where I shared The Boy Who Grew Flowers, written by Jen Wojtowicz and beautifully illustrated by Steve Adams. My friend, Myra called it a touching story with a sweet ending. Anyone who has a family that's "different", anyone with an interest or talent that makes it difficult to fit in with their peers, anyone with an oddity or disability that keeps them from participating in life in any way, anyone who is or has a good friend will relate Rink and Angelina. My favorite line was regarding Angelina when Rink had slipped out the classroom door... She marveled at how his absence could take the shine off such a pretty, sunny day. We should all aspire to be of such an excellent character as this "boy who grew flowers".
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HARRY THE DIRTY DOG written in simple script by Gene Zion and illustrated by Margaret Bloy Graham depicting the white dog with black spots changing to a black dog with white spots as he plays in typical scenes from the 50's including sliding down a coal chute. Harry reminds us, even if you have to take a bath occasionally, there is no place like home!
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This 100 year old treasure is the story of a miniature family that lived in a small house, deep in the forest, under the curling roots of an old pine tree. CHILDREN OF THE FOREST by Elsa Beskow takes you there as these four little children live and play and work with their very wise parents and enchanting creatures through each of the seasons of the year. My favorite line comes when Spring arrived .... They paddled and splashed in the stream, damming it to build a water mill. No one cared how wet or muddy they were for no child of the forest can ever catch a cold. ...I read this on the day my great-grandson was born. I was delighted when at the end of the story, Tom, Harriet, Sam and Daisy were amazed to find that they had a new, round, pink baby brother of their own, too.
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The back flap of the dust jacket has a color photo of author and artist David Wiesner as a five year old looking perfectly suited to slip right into his book! He undoubtedly combed the beach and might have been that curious little fellow who found the barnicle-encrusted underwater camera or just imagined that he was. It's quite apparent that he has quite the imagination! FLOTSAM is a book with a great story, great water color paintings, great detail and a great wordless storytelling style! I read this book while visiting the beach which made the whole experience even richer.
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I was sharing THE BABY'S CATALOGUE by Janet and Allan Ahlberg with my granddaughter during her labor on the day she brought her baby into our world. Babies can't really pick and choose their moms and dads, brothers and sisters but like most catalogues, this one is a great "wish book" offering an array of various choices in everything from high chairs to games and a whole two-page spread of "accidents" which is guaranteed to make you smile. I was drawn into the detailed water color illustrations loved the bold print category headings. Its perfectly designed for the two year old but quite enjoyable for any age!
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I'd say that is is an interesting book. when the great gray bridge is built the little red lighthouse thinks he is not needed any more. It just sits there with lights off because he can't turn on lights or bells by himself. He needs someone to turn them on and the great gray bridge explains that he is a master of the airplanes in the sky, and that means that the little red lighthouse is still needed. The little red lighthouse tries to turn lights on by himself then, but cannot. He needs a man to do it. The man who turns the lights on came and he did his job.
He was late because apparently few boys stole his keys
I'd recommend book to the people who learn to read and like rivers and lighthouses.
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Thursday, December 29, 2011
Quite a scary tale about friendship of two unfortuante creatures: a Magpie with a burnt wong and a Dog who is blind on one eye. But they are friends and here is how the Magpie put it:
"Fly, dog, fly! I'll be your missing eye and you will be my wings."
Then a cunning fox appears. She tests the friendship of the Magpie and the Dog, like that "dropping that wears away the stone" and enticing the Magpie to leave the Dog. And one day, the Magpie will.....
The story does not end good, but with some glimpse of hope.
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Virginia Lee Burton is also the author of a book i recently read for this blog: "The little house". Her style of telling stories leaves a lump in your throat: it is the second book where she speaks about old friends becoming less valuable and needed ans new times come and new gadgets appear. In the end these old friends go to the country where they can still serve and be useful.
I am glad that Mike Mulligan knew, that "the old friend is better than 2 new ones". Mike Mulligan knew that he will never switch his gorgeous Mary Anne to electric and gas shovels. He and Mary Anne left for the country and their adventures began......
Fanatastic story for any preschooler. I enjoy books by Virginia Lee Burton very very much!
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In this book
With your little eye
Take a look
And play 'I spy'
EACH PEACH PEAR PLUM by Janet and Allan Ahlberg is more than a story book and more than a picture book. It combines story in rhyming verses with intricate, detailed illustrations in which favorite nursery and fairy tale characters hidden on every page. If the characters are not not familiar, its a great introduction to each from Tom Thumb to Jack and Jill to Baby Bunting. Charming!
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What a speed! What a dog party! This book rocks and moves! Similar to Dr.Seuss quirky style, it is filled with bright characters and funny verbal interactions:
Do you like my hat?
I do not like it.
Fantastic for kids learning to read for its repetition techniques, bright pictures and lovable hyperactive doggies!
accolades to Go, dog. GO!!!
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From the very moment I picked up this book I was struck with the way Patrick Benson's illustrations, each back-dropped in darkness, had captured their personality and emotions. "I want my mommy!" said Bill. Separation anxiety is a subject children of any age can relate to. OWL BABIES written by Martin Waddell is the short story of anxious moments during what must have seemed and eternity for Sara and Percy and Bill waiting for the return of their Owl Mother that ends happily with her return. Loved it!
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Monday, December 26, 2011
A story of a house on the hill and the city growing all around it. The little house loved seasons, sun and moon but when the road was built and skyscrapers started popping up, its old world is lost. Now all that is left to a little house is to dream about the seasons and countryside while choking on the car fumes in the bustling metropolis.
Very nostalgic book ends quite well: little house is taken into the countryside by the MOVERS and the little house will be happy again!
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Sunday, December 25, 2011
It is the very first book in Harry potter series. it is written by Rowling. It is story about an English boy who finds out to be a wizard at the age of 12 and must go off to school to learn magic. At school he meets two of his greatest friends Ron and Hermioney. With his new friends he goes on many adventures while learning magic and defeating the dark lord.
Overall a very good read for all ages with a interesting story line but it is definitely more favorable towards younger ages with its easy vocabulary while also throwing in some of those weird magic words.
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Overall a very good read for all ages with a interesting story line but it is definitely more favorable towards younger ages with its easy vocabulary while also throwing in some of those weird magic words.
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This book is boring in the first chapter of two ,then it starts getting much much better. My favorite part is when Charlie won the ticket to the chocolate factory and everyone in Charlie's family moved to the factory. Wonka's glass elevator could carry all grandpas and grandmas in it. I actually liked the book after the first two chapters and i hope you'll like it as well. Bye.
I finished this book on..... a week before Christmas.
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The story of a frog who goes fishing for some minnows, but hardly gets anything but only a prickly stickleback. On top of that he almost himself becomes a minnow for a large trout! Thanks to disgusting taste of the mackintosh, the trout let him go; and alas there is no more fishing for the froggy on that day!( maybe never more!)
Quaint illustrations that take you right into the beginning of the 20th century will be marvelled and admired. Overall, worthy reading to your kids: improves vocabulary on fishing terminology.
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Thursday, December 22, 2011
Sunday, December 18, 2011
This panda in the boxers underwear( see the cover) reminded me of my husband. The rest is a bit too forgettable and overthought. Although,there is a tiny story inside the book about 2 monks: a tiny bit of Oriental Wisdom shared with the children
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Friday, December 9, 2011
Follow Pony Boy Curtis (yes that's his real name, just like it says on his birth certificate ) a 14 year old "Greaser" coming of age living on the wrong side of the tracks. Pony is a kind and dreamy kid being raised by his older brothers after their parents die, Pony is torn between growing up tough or staying "Golden". After being attacked by the rich westside kids (the Soc's), Pony's best friend Johnny kills one in defiance of Pony. Pony's already hard life is turned up on end. With the pressure of social standing and trouble with the law will Pony grow up hard like most of the gang of Greasers he calls the family or can Pony find his way out of Poverty?
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Moomin Family is back! This book has been fun to read; it is actually action-packed with introduction of some new characters who speak very funny! In this book Moomins find a magic hat that does real wonders, and Hemul finds a new hobby- now he collects plants. You will also meet an ugly creature named Morra ( in Russian version), who leaves cold stains behind, here she is:
and these are thieves Tofsla and Wifsla, who stole a suitcase with a ruby from Morra. Now Morra hunts for them.
In the end everything will end well...... I liked this book much better than Comet in Moominland.
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This is so far the best-illustrated book i have read for this blog! It feels to be hand-drawn. The plot is very simple: there is a rooster named Chanticleer with the harem of seven hens. Once he gets tricked by a foxie and finds himself between her teeth. Now It is time for Chanticleer to devise a plan to set himself free and return to his beloved wives.. It is worth reading even just for the sake of magnificent illustrations!
Some lovely citations from the book:
"by careful management the widow was able to take care of herself and hew two daughters"
"her bedroom was very sooty, as was her kitchen in which she ate many a scanty meal" ( never heard this word sooty before)
"Go on!" - the hen said. "Shame on you, you know i cannot love a coward, by my faith!"
and the rooster responds: "... when i see the beauty of your face all scarlet red about the eyes, my fears die away"
Isn't it splendid?
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The touching story of friendship of a boy and a bear happening in a small town in Alaska. While Ben and Mark found each other to be the best friends in the world, there are always some people who will stand on their way. The most memorable parts of the book are the conversations between locals, Mark's family teaching Ben how to fish and everything about fishing season in Orca town. There is just so much in this tiny book, and it is not only about a boy and a bear! I love this bond between the father and the son: how with the help of the father a boy matures and grows to be a man; how he tries hard not to disappoint his father. This a great tale of friendship and loss, a great story of one strong family.
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Thursday, December 8, 2011
WHERE'S SPOT? by Eric Hill uses two of names that triggered a sense of nostalgia in my head. If you're my age you remember your first grade reader with the lovable Dick, Jane and Sally with their pets, Puff, the cat and Spot, the dog. I was just sure I would "See Spot run." But, as I began to read, there was another favorite memory running through my head. Who doesn't remember playing Hide and Seek? Sally, the mother dog, in this case, is the seeker of her playful pup, Spot, is hiding. Lots of fun and surprises ensue as the reader helps her check out every "hiding place" (under the bed, in the closet, etc.) each one being a pop-up that when opened reveals the hiding place occupied by an animal other than Spot, except the last one. You always find what you're looking for in the last place you look.
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It is a delightful sotry about an African girl who carries a basket of fruit to her friend. On the way, various animals treat themselves to the delicious content of her basket. What will she bring to her friend in the end? You'll be surprised!!
Great story, reads very simply, with gorgeous ilustrations. Good pick for story times: teaches children names of fruit and animals.
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THE STORY OF BABAR THE LITTLE ELEPHANT by Jean De Brunhoff is a delightfully illustrated account of tragedy, resilience, good fortune, progress, happiness, sorrows, roots, affection, generosity and responsibility of this amazing little elephant. You may have to explain why the hunter shoots Babar`s mother or why Babar lives with a nice old lady in the lap of luxury or why the king ate poison mushrooms or why Babar marries his cousin but and do not let this stop you from sharing this classic with your young ones. Seize this great opportunity to talk with them about the reality of loss and other issues. The lesson to be learned is that life will not be perfect but we can only imagine what is possible!
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Fun and educational is what Eric Carle's THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLER is. This book of bold, colorful pictures and simple words tell of the caterpillar who eats its way through a whole week leaving actual holes eaten through the foods and the pages! It's a preschoolers introduction to science (moon and sun), biology (metamorphosis of a butterfly), nutrition (variety of foods), the days of the week, and counting. When the fun begins the learning starts!
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Sunday, December 4, 2011
“The Call of the Wild” by Jack London.
Can Buck: the half St. Bernard , half Scottish Shepherd resist the call of the wild? This story takes you along with Buck, a giant dog stolen from his home in California and shipped out to the Yukon. Buck goes from house dog to working sled dog and finally as leader of a wolf pack. Along the way he suffers from abuse and harsh northern environment. He also finds love in a kind adventurer, John Thorten. But with the lost of his John, Buck gives into the call of the wild. I think I would also give into the call if I lost my love.
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Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Well, it is a German book about root kids living underground. They help mother Earth doing various preparations for seasons: painting lady bugs and washing beetles. Summer comes, they play in the forest, but when cold winds of fall change warmth of summer, root children return underground, to the cozy and warm place. Well, there is no place better than home!
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Tuesday, November 29, 2011
KNUFFLE BUNNY A CAUTIONARY TALE was written and illustrated by Moe Willems (the same author who gave us DON'T LET THE PIGEON DRIVE THE BUS). The illustrations are unconventional black and white photos overlaid with colorful and expressive cartoon characters and objects. The story line is nothing out of the ordinary. Trixie, before she could speak words, walked to the laundromat with Daddy to put in a load of laundry and they left. But then she realized she did not have her Knuffle Bunny! She tried to communicate to her daddy that her favorite companion in all the world was missing. Not having the vocabulary she needed to make him understand, she did everything she could to show him how unhappy she was. She had a meltdown. You have to get this book just to see the illustration of this toddler going "boneless". I never realized that becoming limp and refusing to stand up actually had a name! Fortunately, Trixie's Mommy knew right away, what was wrong. Trixie's "I told you so" expression when Daddy finally realized his mistake lets you know she feels completely validated. We can all relate to the frustration a parent feels when a child has a tantrum but few of us can remember and understand what it feels like to be so little and have it be so hard to get adults to understand you. I love the end of this book but I I want you to read it in Trixie's words.
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THOMAS THE TANK ENGINE contains four stories written by the Reverend W Awdry but starts with a letter:
Here is your friend Thomas the Tank Engine. He wanted to
come out of his station yard and see the world. These stories tell
you how he did it.
I hope you will like them because you helped me to make them.
Your Loving Daddy
How many authors have been inspired of motivated by their children to put pen to paper? This was the case when this clergyman and railroad enthusiast created these stories and characters that would make him famous to amuse his son, Christopher, during a bout of measles at the age of two and a half. Each story takes young Christopher through the sometimes cheeky, sometimes impatient, sometimes boastful little engine's humbling experiences as he interacts with others and grows up to become a really useful engine. Now that's enough to put a smile on any face!
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Its another genius classic by Dr Seuss!! OH, THE PLACES YOU'LL GO! is a wonderful, moving book about life !
"You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. .... Wherever you go, you will top all the rest. Except when you don't. Because, sometimes, you won't. .... The Waiting Place.... NO! That's not for you! Somehow you'll escape all that waiting and staying. .... Oh, the places you'll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won. .... Fame! You'll be famous as famous can be, with the whole wide world watching you win on TV. ......Except when the don't. Because, sometimes, they won't. .... And when you're alone there's a very good chance you'll meet things that scare you right out of your pants. ... And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)"
With the outrageously bizarre style of illustrations we would expect from Dr. Seuss and love, this book is reminder that the path to success will include setbacks and delays and difficulties overcome by optimism and perseverance. You're going to love it! I'll guarantee it!
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Giving a hungry traveler a cookie might seem like a nice thing to do, but in IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE by Laura Joffe Numeroff, it is only the first in a series of interconnected and ever-increasing requests. Brightly colored illustrations by Felicia Bond accompany the narration about how giving a mouse a cookie will lead him to ask for a glass of milk, and then a straw, and so on. Young readers will be amazed to see how giving a tiny mouse a small snack can actually result in having the mouse give himself a haircut, sweep and mop the house, and draw himself a picture. It's a good segue to a lesson about the repercussions and unforeseen effects of our decisions and actions.
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Monday, November 28, 2011
The best part of the book was the anticipation. Its story let me down as a little boring. The illustrations were great, but it seemed like Bonnie and Clide without the bloody masacre. Maybe my son will stay away from loan sharks : the best moral of the story.
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It's one of the most peculiar books i have ever read. It was much more delight compared to the cartoon from my childhood. There is a continious pun and play with English language, so i would always ask myself while reading: how would you translate this? and this?
The conversations among the characters in the books are of a great absurdity; but this is exactly what makes a book such a fun to read. I will probably now start a notebook to write down all the memorable quotes from this masterpiece:
"and how many hours a day did you do your lessons?" said Alice in a hurry to change the subject.
"ten hours the first day," said the Mock Turtle: "nine the next, and so on."
"What a curious plan!" exclaimed Alice
"That's the reason why they're called lessons,"- the Gryphon remarked: "because they lessen from day to day."
Curiouser and curiouser! (Alice)
'Give your evidence,' said the King; 'and don't be nervous, or I'll have you executed on the spot.'
Overall, one of the most imaginative and cleverly entertaining books i have read. I am very happy to have read it in original language; to enjoy it thoroughly.
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Sunday, November 27, 2011
“The Jungle Book” is a collection of stories by Rudyard Kipling. I had a preconceived idea about “Jungle Book” thanks to Disney. I was waiting for a dancing fool of a bear, and got a stern head master that would bruise his pupil Mowgli. I loved the story of Mowgli and am happy to find out there are more Mowgli story in “The Second Jungle Book”. I can’t wait to read.
The stories in the Jungle Book are Mowgli's Brothers, The White Seal, Rikki Tikki Tavi, Toomai of the Elephants, and Her Majesty's Servants.
I was very happy to read “Rikki Tikki Tavi” it was one of my favorite cartoons growing up. And “Her Majesty’s Servants” reminded me of reading “War Horse” with its brave and not-so brave war animals talking of there duties in war
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Friday, November 25, 2011
A great book of nursery rhymes: famous and not so, some are still recited and loved. The illustrations are quite imaginative, some are black and white, some are in color. I particularly remember one verse about Humpty Dumpty, who was sitting on the wall. It was translated into Russian, and i really loved reciting it over and over in my childhood. This book is a real treasury of memories, childhood and the long gone past.
And here is one of my favorite verses form this book, because it reminds me of my husband:
Curly Locks! curly locks! wilt thou be mine?
Thou shall't not wash dishes, nor yet feed the swine,
But sit on a cushion and sew a fine seam,
And feed upon strawberries, sugar, and cream!
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Wednesday, November 23, 2011
LOST AND FOUND is a creation of Oliver Jeffers with his spare and humorous illustrations in beautiful water color paintings that give expressiveness to each of the characters. I love the ridiculousness of the boy's stick legs, the lollipop trees with square shapes overlaid, and the oh-so-cute pudgy penguin! The story is one of a boy and the penguin he finds on his doorstep. Assuming he is lost, the boy attempts to return him to the South Pole. After a long and dangerous adventure, the boy realizes that the penguin was not lost-- he was lonely and looking for a friend. Its a reminder that being a problem solver is not always the right thing to do and emphasizes the importance of companionship, friendship and a hug.
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Peggy Rathmann used intricate silhouettes on a variety of beautiful sky-scapes to illustrate THE DAY THE BABIES CRAWLED AWAY. As the day progresses toward evening the color changes a little creating a vibrant happy feeling despite the trouble that the babies get into in following butterflies, frogs, bats and other things. The main character in this poem is the boy who heroically "saves the day" by being a guardian and retriever of the babies, reuniting them to their families at the end of the day. He looked the part of the hero he was in what appeared to me to be an Aeromax Jr. Fire Fighter Helmet which, of course never came off ... not even when he fell fast asleep. What a day! I especially like the next to last page - a precious mother-son moment.
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THE QUANGLE WANGLE'S HAT by Edward Lear is a poem read to Louise Voce by her grandmother when she was a child. It inspired the the illustrations of Mr Quangle Wangle Quee, his incredibly attractive and roomy hat, the Crumpetty Tree and the host of guests that bring this classic nonsensical poetry to life. The story line takes us from sympathizing with Quangle Wangle eating his jam and jelly and bread all alone to a very happy Quangle Wangle enjoying the wonderful noise of his "hat-lodgers". I love his broad smile!
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Pija Lindenbaum's hilarious illustrations and Bridget's winning personality make BRIDGET AND THE MOOSE BROTHERS a delightful read. I always say, experience is something you get when you're not getting what you want. But, in this case, Bridget's experience with the misbehaving, untidy, disrespectful, loud, intrusive, disgusting, demanding moose brothers revealed what it was that she didn't want. Perhaps being an only child is not so bad after-all.
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Thursday, November 17, 2011
If you ask me, THE ELEPHANT AND THE BAD BABY written by Elfrida Vipont and illustrated by Raymond Briggs is the story of baby taken for a ride by a bad elephant. Every time the elephant stretched out his trunk something was stolen and the two of them were chased by a disgruntled merchant as they went rumpeta, rumpeta, rumpeta, all down the road. Finally the baby's fault was declared... "He never once said please!" That is bad. But he quickly learned his lesson... "And the Bad Baby said, "PLEASE! I want to go home to my mother." I loved the Bad Baby's mother's reception!
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SKIPPYJON JONES is a rambunctious Siamese kitten with large ears that make him look like a Chihuahua. He is known as El Skippito, the great sword fighter, (a "Zorro"-like hero) to his group of imaginary friends, Los Chimichangos, a roving band of Mexican Chihuahuas . High adventure ensues as he defends them from the menacing giant Bumblebee Bandito who has been stealing their beans...
"Red beans, black beans,
Boston baked and blue,
Cocoa, coffee Kidney beans,
Pinto and jelly too!"
"And now he comes for us, Poquito added. Because we are full of beans too."
Skippito Friskito was the dog for the job.
Bangito! Crashito! Pop-ito! Skippito! Who knew that playing with your imaginary friends could cause such a ruckus in a boy kitten's closet?
But all is well that ends with "Buenas noches, mis amigos." Thank you, Judy Schachner, for such an action-packed, clever, fun book.
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