Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Moon Shines Down

Title: The Moon Shines Down
Author: Margaret Wise Brown, additional verses by Laura Minchew
Illustrator: Linda Bleck
Acquired: Purchased at Ollie's
LLK Rating: 5 stars

Beanie's reaction: Beanie first read this book about a month ago, and it's been a favorite ever since. He has so much fun identifying all the things in the illustrations, especially the "Mooooooooon!" and the koala taking us through the story. He enjoys listening to the story and the rhythm seems to sooth him.

Mommy's reaction: What a lovely story. The illustrations are beautiful, crisp, and clean. The story is one I can easily read over and over (which is good, because Beanie loves it so much!). I said that the story seems to sooth Beanie, but the truth is that it soothes me as well. It's gentle and calming. It speaks of unity and helps us to remember that we're all in this together, no matter where we live. For older children, this could easily lead to a look at the map, so that they can see the places mentioned in the book. Fantastic! Educational, unifying, and calming. All great characteristics! The only thing I might mention that is a negative remark, is that in some places the approximate rhyme can jumble the rhythm. It doesn't seem to bother Beanie though. :)

"I see the Moon and the Moon sees me, 
And the Moon sees the children
In Zimbabwe
And all over Africa,
In fields and plains,
Children dance in summer rains." 

This book also has an interesting history. Miss Brown, as you may know, is best known for Goodnight Moon. The Moon Shines Down is based on a New England Sampler Prayer and was found in a trunk in a barn, unfinished. Laura Minchew, a fan of Brown's, found it long after Brown's death and decided to finish it. Laura is a children's book publisher, and she can be credited for some of the verses in The Moon Shines Down. Thank you, Laura, for finishing this book and getting it in the hands of children!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Pug In A Truck

Title: Pug In A Truck
Author: Nancy Coffelt
Illustrator: Nancy Coffelt
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children

Acquired: Borrowed from library
LLK Rating: 5 stars

Beanie's reaction: ELMO!! (We have a pug. His name is Elmo.) Beanie happily sat and read Pug In A Truck with me. He loved the bright, simple illustrations and he loved that two of his favorite things were combined: Pugs and trucks. Beanie gives Pug In A Truck his full endorsement.

My reaction: Pug In A Truck was perfect for my two year old. It had bold, bright pictures and didn't drag along with big descriptions. I had to read quickly because Beanie was so excited to turn the page and see what "Elmo" would be doing next. It was an enjoyable read for both of us and was the perfect length for his toddler attention span. It used some terminology that neither of us was familiar with, but there was a Trucker Glossary in the back. When I read this book with Goobie I'm sure we'll utilize that, but Beanie really didn't care, which was just fine. I like that Pug In A Truck is an acceptable book for both of my kids.

Examples of terminology from the glossary:
Hammerdown - To go fast, step on it.
Double nickel - Fifty-five miles per hour, the speed limit.

Examples of terminology in the text:

"Now we're at a double nickel again and back in business."

"We get on the freeway and put the hammer down."

Of course there's more, but you get the idea. It was fun learning the meanings, even for someone as old as me! ;-)

We would both recommend this book.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Let's Go, Froggy!

Title: Let's Go, Froggy!
Author: Jonathan London
Illustrator: Frank Remkiewicz
Publisher: Viking
Acquired: Borrowed from library
LLK Rating: 5 stars

From the cover flap: Spring is finally here, and Froggy can't wait to go on a bike trip and picnic with his father. But first he has to find his bicycle helmet, butterfly net, trading cards-- will he ever get out the door? Kid-pleasing sound effects and hilariously expressive illustrations make this a perfect choice for the read-aloud crowd.

Beanie's reaction: He had so much fun with this book, he was shaking. He was so excited! It was a FROG, for crying out loud. A frog, in pajamas, riding a bike, with butterflies out his window and it was so exciting! He kept gasping and pointing and he had a blast with Froggy.

Goobie's reaction: He joined us about halfway through the book, and stayed to the end. He wasn't as enthusiastic about it as Beanie was, but he was smiling and laughing and enjoying Froggy. He especially could relate to Froggy having to look for things. Goobie is constantly searching for some toy or special thing he's misplaced. And mommy and daddy are always telling him to go look for it, so he really could identify with Froggy and I could see some relief on his face. He wasn't the only one who had to go look for things!!

Mommy's reaction: Let's Go, Froggy! was fun to read. The sound effects mentioned in the cover-flap made the story interactive. When Froggy goes "flop flop flop" we used our feet to flop. When Froggy hits his head and it goes "bonk!" we pretended to do the same. This even got Goobie into the story. The main reason I enjoyed this book was Goobie's reaction. It was awesome seeing Beanie get so excited over a book, but seeing Goobie relate to Froggy was even better. The relief and small smile on his face when he realized that Froggy's daddy said the same thing to Froggy that his parents said to him... that was the best.

Hedgehog Bakes A Cake

Title: Hedgehog Bakes A Cake
Author: Maryann Macdonald
Illustrator: Lynn Munsinger
Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell Books for Young Readers, originally published by Gareth Stevens Publishing
Acquired: Borrowed from library
LLK Rating: 5 stars

Beanie's Reaction: Absolute adoration. Beanie and Goobie both love to help me in the kitchen, and he especially loves eggs and messes, so when Rabbit, Squirrel, and Owl all try to "help" Hedgehog bake his cake, he showed me where the eggs were and told me where the messes were. Interactive reading is awesome. :)

Goobie's Reaction: For a reluctant reader, he was very into Hedgehog Bakes a Cake. (insert hoots and hollers and confetti) As soon as I started reading he asked to bake a cake. He listened intently and commented right along with Beanie. Goobie even took the book afterward so he could look at it by himself. Success!

My reaction: I was thrilled that both boys enjoyed it, listened, and sat through the whole thing. I was even more thrilled with the story itself. Hedgehog just wants to bake a cake. But the poor hoggie gets some very unhelpful and undesired assistance. Squirrel, Owl, and Rabbit make a mess of his kitchen and essentially ruin his cake, but through it all he accepts their help. He knows they mean well. They all leave to get cleaned up, and while they are gone he cleans up the messes and fixes the cake. When everyone returns they all sit and enjoy the cake. Hedgehog's so called "helpers" say things like, "Aren't you glad I showed you how to do it?" and other such things. Hedgehog never once gets upset with them or tells them HE made the cake, thank you very much. Instead he just smiles, enjoys his friends' company, shares the cake, and says:

"Thank you for all your help," said Hedgehog. "Next time I will try to do it all by myself."

Isn't that fantastic? What a story of kindness. It was so nice to read a story that celebrated good behavior and kindness. And humbleness to boot! 

I have a feeling this is a book we will be checking out often. :)

Originally posted on Literati's Literary Library.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

A Train Goes Clickety-Clack

Title: A Train Goes Clickety-Clack
Author: Jonathan London
Illustrator: Denis Roche
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Acquired: Borrowed from library
LLK Rating: 5 stars

Beanie's reaction:
Gasp! Point! "Mommy look!" :) Beanie was very excited about this book. In fact, I was in the middle of setting up this blog when he came in, clutching it to his chest. He crawled up on my lap and I took a break to read with him. He loved it. He's all about trains, and this book was, as you might have gathered, a train book. ;-) He loved pointing out the trains, and the colors of trains, and all the other things; birds, hats, people, cars, babies, flowers, etc. He sat through the whole book and asked to read it again.

Mommy's reaction:
Nice and colorful, perfectly simple. There's nothing I can think of to say about this book other than it was fun to read and we enjoyed it. And hey! That's great! I can't think of anything negative about it at all. Which is also great! It was a nice length, the pictures were fantastic, the story was simple and light and happy. My endorsement, it has. :)


Hello and welcome to Literati's Literary Kids! LLK is a sister blog to Literati's Literary Library. Over there, I blog about young adult, middle grade, and adult books. But here we are all about the kids!!

Joining me will be my sons, Goobie and Beanie. They each have their own unique qualities to bring to the table. So let's do a meet and greet!

Age: 4
Interests: How things work, snuggling, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, swimming, cars.
Reading profile: Not much of a reader, despite my efforts. He is a hands-on kind of guy with little interest in books. A reluctant reader, to be sure. If Goobie gives a book a good review, you know it's a keeper!

Age: 2
Interests: Airplanes, trains, cars, cats, dogs, ducks, insects, snakes, and all types of food.
Reading Profile: I have a feeling that most of the reviews on LLK will have an opinion from Beanie. He loves books. He loves to go to the library with me and pick out books. He frequently hugs books and comes asking me to read with him.

And finally, me! I'm here because I want my kids to have the opportunity to read. I want them to learn and experience and open their minds to things outside of the living room.

The three of us are teaming up to read, review, and spread the word about books. We are always open to recommendations, especially if it's a book that you think one of the boys would be interested in. We do accept review requests, but please refer to our guidelines before submitting a request. Thanks!