Wednesday, July 1, 2009

From the Stacks

I picked up two books from the stacks that I just love. I thought I would use this blog to talk about miscellaneous books and ideas about reading, so here's my first post.

Play! A Flip-a-Shape book

It looks like this book series was created by Harriet Zeifert, a name that is extremely well known in children's lit circles. And she did a wonderful job with it, as always. I can honestly say that this book has been "kid tested, mother approved". I took it home to my 15-month-old son, and it's become one of his new favorites. He loves the colors and shapes. Cut-outs of the shapes carry over to use patterns and colors from the previous pages, reminiscent of Lois Ehlert's Color Zoo and Color Farm. It's a beautiful board book. Well done!

The Magic Beads
written by Susin Nielsen-Fernlund
illustrated by Genevieve Cote

I happened upon this book in the stacks and was intrigued by the beautiful butterfly illustrations on the jacket cover. I opened it up and read this outstanding story about a girl who has butterflies when she finds out she has to do a Show and Tell. Each child is assigned a day to do their Show and Tell and as Lillian gets to see all the other children do their Show and Tells, her butterflies turn to grasshoppers, then rabbits, and so on. In each spread, the illustrations are offset by black and white images of what Lillian is feeling or thinking, and color illustrations of what is actually going on. Up until this point, the story tells an everyday tale of a child nervous about presenting in front of her class, but then the story flips. We find out Lillian is nervous because she lives with her mom in a women's shelter right now. And she doesn't have her toys or really much of anything that she can bring for Show and Tell. She overcomes by bringing in her "magic beads", a long string of beads that she plays with and creates "tight ropes" and "wands", "snakes" and a "leash" for her pet elephant. It turns out that imagination is the best toy of all. The author and illustrator even handle the issue of the women's shelter and why Lillian is there with such delicacy and matter-of-factness, that it makes the book, just endearing to me. I LOVE this book!

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About Me

I'm a children's librarian and mother of two preschoolers. On the side, I play soccer, bike, scrapbook, crochet, and read an obscene amount of children's books.