Thursday, September 19, 2013

Library (and Bookstore) Round-up #11, Part 1: Picture Books and Early Readers

Reviews of the latest picture books we have out from the library... or couldn't resist buying!

The Twins' Blanket by Hyewon Yum.  A sweet story about twin sisters who have shared everything since - and including - the womb - as well as a bed and a blanket.  When their mother decides it is time for them to each have her own bed and blanket, she settles sibling rivalry over who should keep the original blanket with a satisfying Solomonic decision that provides each girl with a memento of their shared nights together.  The first time the girls retire to their new beds and blankets, they discover that they can't fall asleep without each other.  They hold hands across the divide between their beds and fall asleep, alone yet together, for the first time.  The illustrations here, with the endpapers done in the pattern each girl chooses for her own blanket, are beautiful, with bright bold colors.  It is amazing how many themes Yum addresses in this short, seemingly simple picture book: about siblings, twins, sharing, rivalry, parenting, bedtime, loveys and more.  The author description states that Yum is herself a twin, and her understanding of the special relationship twins have is very much in evidence here.  A perfect baby gift for new twin girls.

Ling and Ting Share a Birthday.  Another book about twin girls, this time an early reader! The sequel to Ling and Ting: Not Exactly the Same!, this book contains six stories about the girls' birthday and how they, too, like to share everything.  My five-year-old loves the first one so I actually purchased this one.  A great addition.

A Funny Little Bird by Jennifer Yerkes.  This book's stunning artwork, with its amazing use of negative space, is the real draw (tee-hee) here.  The plot, with its lesson about being humble and using your talents to help others, and the seemingly sudden ability of the invisible bird to make other animals invisible, is much weaker.  But the illustrations more than make up for it. 

ABC is for Circus
by Patrick Hruby.  What a shame that this alphabet book, with its vibrant, unique illustrations, wasn't published when my daughters were toddlers!  Unfortunately, my daughter have long outgrown alphabet books, but I highly recommend it to anyone with children in their life who are the right age for it.

Rifka Takes a Bow by Betty Rosenberg Perlov.  The debut book by a 96-year-old author.  Isn't that reason enough to check this book out?  This book is set in the heyday of the Yiddish theatre in the 1920s, for which the author's parents actually performed, wrote, and produced.  However, I found the exaggerated, cartoony illustrations, combined with the varying fonts which wander across the page, to be too busy for my taste.

What picture books do you have out from the library now?

1 comment:

  1. The only one of these I've read is Funny Little Bird, which I liked to a point. It totally went over my kids' heads. I felt it was one of those books that is a great idea but doesn't quite make it.