We love picture books at our house. I read them to myself, my kids, and even my adult clients. (I'm a firm believer in bibliotherapy). So it's not hard for my kids to talk about picture books that resonate with them. Here are three reviews of three picture books from my three oldest children. Enjoy.
Sydney reviews a classic.
I like the book Leonardo the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems because it’s funny and has a good message. Monsters are scary and good at doing what they do. However, in this book, Leonardo is terrible at being a monster and scaring people. He tries multiple times to scare the “tuna salad” out of someone, but he can’t. He gets an idea and he researches until he finds the most “scaredy cat kid in the world” and he gives him "all he's got" until the boy cries. But scaring people isn't as fun as he thought so he decides to be a wonderful friend instead of a terrible monster. This book makes me smile because in the end, Leonardo chooses friendship and is true to himself.
Naomi reviews the 2015 Caldecott winner.
The Adventures of Beekle, by Dan Santat is an amazing book. Beekle is an imaginary friend who is tired of waiting for a child to dream of him, so he goes on a daring adventure to the real world. He looks everywhere, but cannot find his friend. So Beekle sits in a tree and waits for his friend to come. After a long time, Beekle still hasn't found his friend. He starts feeling sad just as a little girl named Alice calls up to him from the ground. They become best friends.
I love this book. First, I like how Beekle imagines that his friend will be a boy, but in the end his friend is actually a girl. Second, I love the illustrations, and how the imaginary world is colorful, and so is the playground, but the rest of the real world is drab and gray. Third, I love the word choice and how the words are handwritten. I think that this book is brilliantly written.
My four-year-old brother also loves this book and wants to read it every day. The words flow very well, and the illustrations are detailed and original.
The Adventures of Beekle teaches us to never give up, even if something is hard. Beekle traveled long and far to the real world. After a long day of waiting, it seemed that he would never find his friend. However, Beekle persisted, and found a friend in the end.
James reviews my current favorite.
The Right Word: Roget And His Thesaurus by Jen Bryant, is an fascinating and incredible book. It tells the story of a man named Roget and how he devoted his life to making lists of words. The illustrations in this book are prodigious. They include words and objects from Roget's lists.
I like this book because it is nonfiction, yet still fun to read. It taught me a lot about how the thesaurus was written and about the person who wrote it. I think that younger children could learn more than most adults know about Roget and the thesaurus. As you can see I used an onomasticon* to write this review.
The next time you go the library, or bookstore, pick up one of these three books. We highly recommend them!
Kirsti Call is a homeschooling mom of five. Her debut picture book, The Raindrop Who Couldn't Fall, came out December 2013. Her family band, Calling Out, plays songs written by her children. She contributes to Writer's Rumpus, and Kids are Writers. If you visit her house, you’ll likely find her reading a picture book. You can find out more about her at www.kirsticall.com.
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