Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Can I Bring My Pterodactyl to School, Ms. Johnson?

Lois G. Grambling Can I Bring My Pterodactyl to School, Ms. Johnson? Illus. by Judy Love. 28pp/ Charlesbridge 2006 ISBN 1-58089-044-1 $16.95 (Early Elementary)

Lois G. Grambling writes about a boy’s wacky and incessant need to bring his
pterodactyl to school. Like Grambling’s previous prehistoric driven books, this
imaginative story is no different. However, it is Judy Love’s masterful
interpretation through art that makes the story come to life and makes every
student want to win a pet pterodactyl. Love’s illustrations liven the story unlike
previous illustrators in the dinosaur-based series. Both the writing style and the
illustrations immerse the reader in a colorful world where a prehistoric pet is the
only thing to own for several useful reasons. This book is hilarious and only
complements the other works of Lois G. Grambling.

Jesicca Worthington, BGSU Student

Epossumondas Saves the Day

Coleen Salley Epossumondas Saves the Day ; illus by Janet Stevens. 37 pp/ Hartcourt, Inc. 2006 ISBN 0-15-205701-3 $16.00 (Primary)

Epossumondas returns in this terrific tale by Coleen Salley titled Epossumondas Saves the Day. As done in other stories by Salley, she incorporates an old story about “Sody Sallyraytus” and puts a modern twist on it to attract a younger primary reading level. In Epossumondas Saves the Day, an evil snapping turtle gobbles up all of the people that are supposed to attend Possum’s birthday party, and when he goes to find them all he defeats the turtle and saves all of his folks. Salley teams up with Janet Stevens again to illustrate the astounding artwork by using mixed media on watercolor paper. Salley’s intricate writing style combined with Steven’s talented artistic abilities makes Epossumondas Saves the Day an excellent and exciting read for children.

Emily Sobul, BGSU Student

Who Is Your Favorite Monster, Mama?

Barbara Shook Hazen Who is Your Favorite Monster, Mama?; illus. by Maryann Kovalski. 29pp/Hyperion Books for Children 2006 ISBN 0-7868-1810-7 $21/99 (Primary)

What would you do if your monster mama appeared to love your monster brother and sister more than she loved you? Harry, the middle child in this monster menagerie, feels just this way. Hazen adds to her growing collection of wonderful stories for children with this rhyming collection of quirky words, which give insight into the life of a monster family. Readers will delight in the monsterized version of life found in this book, as Harry lays his head on a pillow slab and eats frosted fly pie for dinner. Even if young readers must listen to the story instead of reading it for themselves, they will still be able to enjoy Kovalski’s imaginative and entertaining artwork, which utilizes sketchy outlines and shading to give the appearance of a dark underground dwelling for the monster family.

Chelsea Bonta, BGSU student

Call Me Marianne

Jen Bryant Call Me Marianne; illus. by David A. Johnson
32 pp. Eerdmans Books for Young Readers ISBN 0-8028-5242-2 $16.00 (Primary-Intermediate)

A curious young boy adventures through the zoo. This is a normal day for Jonathan, but this time a lost hat he finds leads him to a new place and a new experience. Jonathan returns the hat to Marianne and she teaches him the basics of poetry. Bryant’s dull text somehow leads to a good story. The ink and watercolor pictures used by Johnson are very detailed and take the story to another level. Like Music for the End of Time, Bryant teaches the reader about a wonderful art form. This is important to her, and though she fails to take the reader to an exciting place, the reader will close the book with a smile on his/her face.

Rob Sheldon, BGSU Student

The Adventures of Old Bo Bear

Alice Schertle The Adventures of Old Bo Bear; illus. by David Parkins. 32pp/ Chronicle Books LLC 2006 ISBN 978-0-8118-3476-6 $16.95 (Preschool, Primary)

No adventure is too far-fetched for a young, imaginative boy and his Old Bo Bear. The young boy encounters the devastation of his bear coming out of the washing machine, without an ear – coming out clean, fluffy and stinky. This leads the two of them to taking their vivid imaginations to guide them through wild adventures as pirates, cowboys, construction workers and private eyes. The author, Alice Schertle (The Skeleton in the Closet) delightfully tells the story in a poetic form with noticeable rhythm. Through the story’s adventures, illustrator David Parkins creates bright, colorful paintings done in acrylic and alkyd paints that take over the pages creating a brilliant duo between the detailed illustrations and story line. The book has charm and charisma, especially with the bond between the young boy and bear. The Skeleton in the Closet is another magnificent book that is enjoyed with its appealing poetic rhyme and style.

Amanda Malone, BGSU Student