Mini-reviews of some of the books we have out from the library right now.
Emma Kate by Patricia Polacco. This book's surprise ending following a seemingly typical story about an imaginary friend is just delightful.
Sam Who Never Forgets by Eve Rice. An oldie but goodie. This quiet story about a zookeeper who may have forgotten to feed Elephant for the first time is just lovely to read aloud: "But just as a tear starts to fall from Elephant's eye, just as Elephant starts to cry..." It reminds me of A Sick Day for Amos McGee, although by rights it should be the other way around.
Waiting for Winter by Sebastian Meschenmoser. The punchlines here about animals who try to identify snow by the description "white and wet and cold and soft" and, of course, are mistaken, are hysterical to the preschool set, but in my opinion the lead-up to them is too long.
Frederick by Leo Lionni. I knew this book but hadn't thought of it as a book about winter until I saw it on an NYPL winter-themed list. A perfect choice, about a mouse who, instead of saving nuts and corn for the winter, saves sunlight, colors and words. A book about the power of imagination and creativity to warm our souls and sometimes, even our bodies.
Polar Bear Night by Lauren Thompson, illustrated by Stephen Savage. Another quiet book with rhythmic, repetitive prose about a polar bear cub who wanders out to see a meteor shower and then returns to the comfort of his mother's arms. I love the atmospheric, tonal illustrations by Stephen Savage (it was a New York Times Best Illustrated Book) but my 4-year-old kept asking why the polar bear cub was changing colors.
All the Water in the World by George Ella Lyon, illustrated by Katherine Tillotson. The rave reviews (of both the text and the illustrations - and their interplay) are well-deserved, although I would have appreciated sidebars or an appendix with more facts to complement the poetic text. And I couldn't decide how I felt about the narrator calling the reader "honey."
Have you read any of these? What did you think?