Thursday, May 31, 2012

Avocado baby/ by John Burningham

What was that? Boring, boring and strange in not a ha-ha style. This book is about a weak baby that starts consuming avocadoes and then beating up robbers and hooligans. HA? I think this book meant to replace Popey and his spinach diet, but hey- im glad it did not. I am still a fan of Popey but not of this far-fetched vegan.

171 of 1001

Saturday, May 26, 2012


HAIRY MACLARY FROM DONALDSON'S DAIRY by Lynley Dodd tells the story of dogs going for a walk in their neighborhood.  out of the gate at house number 60, Donaldson's Dairy, a small black terrier -Hairy Maclary.  At 54 he is joined by a Mastiff -Hercules Morse as big as a horse.  At 52 they meet a Dalmation -Bottomley Potts and at 48 an Old English Sheepdog
-Muffin McLay like a bundle of hay.  At 36 is a Whippet -Bitzer Maloney, all skinny and bony, and finally at 22 the pack is completed with a Dachsund -Schnitzel Von Krumm, with a very low tum.  The text follows patterned rhymes and the list of dogs is repeated each time a new one joins up.  All is well until they encounter Scarface Claw!   He is a large, black cat with big yellow eyes and chunks missing from his ears and has a reputation as the "toughest Tom in town".  
The colorful and lifelike full-page illustrations, clever verses, repetition and simple plot make it a really fun read!

Bonnie R
170 of 1001

OLD BEAR/ by Jane Hissey

OLD BEAR by Jane Hissey is an exciting search and rescue story involving the animals on the window sill in the play room. Bramwell Brown a younger bear, Duck who wished he could fly, the impulsive Rabbit, and Little Bear the youngest of all the toys remembered that, one of their own, Old Bear, had been put into protective storage long ago. Now that the children were older it would be safe for him to return but he had been forgotten, up in the attic.  After several failed attempts, they came up with a plan that worked to rescue him and bring him back down to the play room. Beautifully illustrated, this is a warm story of friendship and reunion.
 169 of 1001
Bonnie R

ALFIE GETS IN FIRST by Shirley Hughes

ALFIE GETS IN FIRST by Shirley Hughes is the story of a competitive little boy who rushes inside to be first (thus the winner) arriving home after shopping with his mom and sister.  As mom makes her way outside to retrieve little Annie Rose from the stroller, Alfie slams the door. Bang! So now Alfie is stuck inside and his mom and Annie Rose are stuck outside without a key. Alfie is too small to reach the open the door or even reach the mail slot to pass the key to his mom.  Soon, kind neighbors become involved in trying to rescue Alfie.  It was a delightful, real-life page turner for Myra and me. We absolutely loved the illustrations that so clearly expressed Alfie's emotions ranging from glee, through fear to confidence.   In the end, Alfie proves to be bigger than his would-be rescuers thought and a real winner and everyone celebrate his success!
 168 of 1001
Bonnie R

POSSUM MAGIC written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Julie Vivas introduces us to Grandma Poss who did all kinds of " bush magic" and her granddaughter, Hush who had been made invisible by this magic to protect her from the dangers of the Australian bush.  In her heart of hearts Hush is ready to be visible.  She just wants to see what she looks like.  The story details the duo's adventures as they tour Australia searching for the secret to Hush's visibility. As they go we are introduced to Australia's varied landscapes, animals, cities and cultural foods (minties, pavlova and lamington, oh my!).  Hush magically eats her way to back to visibility. 
..... "It's worked! It's worked!" she cried.  And she was right.  Hush could be seen from head to tail. 
Don't miss the map of Australia and the Glossary of Australian Terms on the last page!
Bonnie R
167 of 1001

ANGELINA BALLERINA by Kathrine Holabird is the engaging story of a pretty little white mouse who wants so much to be a ballerina, she dances all the time.  She can't be bothered with everyday things like cleaning her room or eating or getting to school on time.  When her parents have come to their wit's end on how to deal with her behavior they make a decision to bring their little ballerina-wanna-be  down to earth.  They take her hopes and dreams seriously and support and guide her toward fulfilling them.  Shortly thereafter, Angelina begins ballet lessons.  The attention her parents paid to her love of ballet paid off in the form of her willingness to do all the things she didn't want to do before, because she could dance in ballet class and in recitals.  She followed her dreams but at the same time learned there is a time and place for fun, and a time to do your work.  Her perseverance paid off and she became a famous ballerina.

Myra and I loved this story and Helen Craig's detailed, charming drawings. Mice aren't our favorite animals but Angelina, Mr. and Mrs. Mouseling and all the other mouse characters, though clearly little animals, with anatomically correct limbs and long whiskers, are successfully humanized and utterly winsome and dear.
 166 of 1001
Bonnie R 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What do people do all day?/ Richard Scarry

What do people/animals do all day? Work, sell and buy, clean and bake, treat  others at hospitals, teach the little ones at schools. The daily life of any city or a town is shown details every kid would dream of... This book should be purchased by every parent who is faced with millions of children's questions: why? who? what?. But this timeless classic book and lose your child for hours

Note that the pig in a butcher shop on the cover page chops and sells pork(or beef from a bovine brother?)!

165 of 1001
Ksenia R

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Tar Beach/ by Faith Ringgold

"it's very easy, anyone can fly. All you need is somewhere to go that you can't get to any other way."

In Faith Ringgold's fanciful TAR BEACH, while her family and friends gather in the warm summer night air Cassie Louise Lightfoot an eight-year-old African American girl feels "rich" lying on the tarred flat roof of their Harlem apartment, with stars and skyscraper buildings all around her.   Her boundless imagination transcends debilitating socioeconomic boundaries and allows her to feel capable of flying and fulfilling her limitless dreams. She is a perfect example of one who lives above her circumstances with an attitude that brings overcoming power over any of life's obstacles.  Cassie is able to rise above her problems and feel triumphant and empowered.  Very uplifting!

164 of 1001

Bonnie R

A bad case of stripes/ by David Shannon

The main character, Camilla Cream, in A BAD CASE OF STRIPES by David Shannon, loved lima beans but she never ate them because all her friends hated them.  Conformity was all important!  I think I was a little older than Camilla when that was the case with me.  I remembered my first day of junior high as I read and totally related to how worried she was about what to wear and what other people would think of her.  After trying on forty-two outfits she looked in the mirror and screamed.  She had broken out with a bad case of stripes!  For someone who wanted more than anything to "fit in",  having multicolored stripes was a disaster!  It got much worse before it got better but in the end Camilla learned that the cure for the stripes was to stop following the crowd and be herself.  So, go ahead and eat those lima beans you love, even if others think you're weird!

163 of 1001
Bonnie  R

That pesky rat/ by Lauren Child

Mr Fortesque says.  "Well, Tiddles, who's a pretty kittycat?"  And I squeak, "I am!"

THAT PESKY RAT, the clever creation of Lauren Child, is the engaging story is narrated by the pointy nosed, beady eyed, cutesy rat who lives in trash can number 3, Grubby Alley.  You may have seen him there!  It's very upsetting when he comes home every now and then and finds that someone has emptied all his belongings into a big truck and driven off with them. Therefore, he wishes he could live a life and have a name of a proper pet like his friends, Pierre the chinchilla, Oscar the cat, Nibbles the lop-eared rabbit or Andrew the Scottie dog. He sees the drawbacks of being a pet but still would do almost anything to be somebody's pet.  He's told that no one would want a rat for a pet, but this enterprising fellow doesn't give up. He makes his own advertisement and waits until a special somebody comes along.  In the end, he becomes the pet of Mr. Fortesque, an old man with very poor vision, who thinks the rat is a cat.

162 of 1001
Bonnie R 

Ox-cart man/ by Donald Hall

"In October he backed his ox into his cart and he and his family filled it up with everything they made or grew all year long
that was left over."

OX-CART MAN  written by Donald Hall and illustrated by Barbara Cooney is the wonderfully gentle account of an18th century farming family that uses an ox-cart to take their goods to market, where they make the money to buy the things they need and how work conveys meaning, happiness and contentment to life.  I wanted to turn the book over and start reading it over again. It's a real lesson in economics.  Year after year, we are all producers and consumers.

Bonnie R

161 of 1001

Dogger/ by Shirley Hughes

DOGGER written and illustrated by Shirley Hughes deals with the attachment, loss and eventual recovery of Dave's beloved stuffed dog, Dogger. The charm of this story is the selfless love and generosity of Dave's big sister, Bella.  It is beautifully illustrated and wonderfully conveys a timeless lesson on sacrifice, empathy and love for one another. 
Myra and I would highly recommend this one to anyone.

Bonnie R
160 of 1001

THE CHURCH MOUSE / by Graham Oakley

"In a busy little town, not very far away, there is a church...and in the church there once lived a mouse whose name was Arthur..."
(and a few other characters with a capital "C")

THE CHURCH MOUSE by Graham Oakley is the story or Arthur who enjoys all the amenities and safety of the church and his sidekick Sampson the church cat who "had listened to so many sermons about the meek being blessed and everybody really being brothers that he had grown frighteningly meek and treated Arthur just like a brother."  But Arthur was lonely for the companionship of other mice, so, with the blessing of the parson, he implemented a plan to make the church the home of the many mice who were living in frightful conditions all around town. Poor, meek Sampson became the baby-sitter of all the young ones while all the adult mice did various tasks in the church to earn their cheese.  After a bad Saturday night of babysitting, Sampson drifted off during the sermon and dreamt he was back in the days before he was reformed.  But, it wasn't a dream!  He was chasing mice all over the church and caused such a ruckus the whole congregation left in a huff vowing to not return til the vermin were gone.  Sampson repented but it was too late.  "It was all working out so nicely," the parson went on sadly, "but you'll have to go in the morning.  A church is no good without a congregation, is it?"  Well that's not the end of the story but I'll just say there was an interesting turn of events that and Sampson and Arthur rallied the mice to save the day and establish themselves as permanent residents of the church.  The text and illustrations are fitly joined together to create a hilarious and wonderful little story with an excellent ending.

159 of 1001
Bonnie R


The story of MORRIS'S DISAPPEARING BAG by Rosemary Wells takes place on one Christmas morning, when a young bunny named Morris, his two older sisters, and his older brother open their gifts. In typical fashion the older siblings get the most interesting and thrilling gifts  (a chemistry set, a hockey outfit, and a beauty kit) and are not willing to let their baby brother touch them.  But then ...   Morris finds a disappearing bag.  He jumps right in and becomes invisible! Now he has something everyone wants to try. Think back to Christmases long ago.  Wasn't the packaging always the most fun?  And, if you could have made you siblings disappear wouldn't that have made it the best Christmas ever?  Merry Christmas, Bryan!!

158 of 1001
Bonnie Roeder

PEACE AT LAST / by Jill Murphy

PEACE AT LAST  by Jill Murphy is a story that follows Mr Bear who can't sleep because of all the sounds that keep him awake, from his wife's snoring to a dripping tap. Mr Bear goes to a myriad of different places in and outside their house trying to find somewhere quiet to sleep.  That's where the fun begins for the reader.  Murphy’s brilliant use of onomatopoeia like "SNORE, SNORE, SNORE"; "TICK-TOCK, TICK-TOCK, CUCKOO! CUCKOO!" and "DRIP, DRIP" engages us, appealing to the auditory senses. And, Murphy’s colorful and detailed illustrations are appealing our visual senses.  Well, poor Mr Bear has a pretty rough night.  By the time he settled down and said to himself, "Peace at last." ........  "BRRRRRRRRRRRRR!"  went the alarm clock!  It was time to wake up!
Haven't we all been there, done that?  Ugh!
157 of 1001
Bonnie Roeder


WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE by Maurice Sendak tells the story of Max, who gets a little carried away in a wolf costume and threatens to eat his mother up. As punishment, his mother sent him to bed without supper.  Now, that's when things start getting interesting! Alone, in his room, a wild forest and sea grows out of the recesses of his disgruntled mind, and Max sails to the land of the Wild Things. The Wild Things are fearsome-looking monsters, but Max proves to be the fiercest, conquering them by "staring into all their yellow eyes without blinking once", and he is made "the king of all wild things", dancing with the monsters in a "wild rumpus". Even though he enjoys the excitement of being with his adoring subjects, he soon finds himself lonely.  And, he smells good things to eat so he abdicates his throne and returns to his bedroom where he finds his supper.... and it was still hot.
Bonnie R
156 of 1001

MR. TICKLE / by Roger Hargreaves

MR. TICKLE by Roger Hargreaves begins with Mr. Tickle bed and making himself breakfast without getting up because of his "extraordinarily long arms".  I found that  a bit creepy.  He then decides that it is a tickling sort of day and so goes around town tickling people (and, in some instances causing some pretty serious havoc) - a teacher, a policeman, a greengrocer, a station guard, a doctor, a butcher and a postman.  I'm not a ticklish sort of person so the thought of this indiscriminate tickling struck me as a more than a bit creepy.  Mr. Tickle "laughed and laughed" at the thought of all the people he had tickled.  The book ends with a warning that Mr. Tickle could be lurking around your doorway, waiting to tickle you.  Now that's really creepy! 
155 of 1001
Bonnie R