Rummanah Aasi
  I have fond memories of story-time as a kid, where my class would gather up close to listen and watch as the teacher and/or librarian would read picture books or other books aloud. While I student taught in elementary school, I always looked forward to reading to the kids. The best times were when you see how the kids are involved in the story and you could tease them about what would happen next. This year I'm taking a part in a picture book challenge hosted by Jennifer over at An Abundance of Books  in hopes of finding some great reads and new favorite titles.  Today I'm featuring three books that I've read so far this month: Children Make Terrible Pets by Peter Brown, In the Small, Small Pond by Denise Fleming, and Owl Babies by Martin Waddell.

Description: When Lucy, a young bear, discovers a boy lost in the woods, she asks her mother if she can have him as a pet, only to find him impossible to train.

Review: Children Make Terrible books is an adorable and hilarious read that cleverly switches the roles of pets and their owners. A girl bear named Lucy makes a pet of a small boy she finds hiding in a forest. She declares him "the cutest thing she's ever seen", brings him home, and begs her mother to keep him.  Her mother unbearishly seated in a comfy chair and reading a book, delivers the title's sound advice and tells Lucy that she is solely responsible for the boy. The boy, who Lucy names Squeaker, because that's the only sound he makes, throws tantrums and mimes all the escalating challenges of animal care. Even though the humans in the book wear clothes and live in a house, they are basically like critters who only "squeak" because the book is written from the bears' point of view. This would make an excellent read-aloud as the pictures are cleverly drawn and the dialogue as well as narration are distinctly separate. After I finished reading this one, I immediately had to read it to others. 

Rating: 4.5 stars

Words of Caution: None. Recommended for Preschool to 1st Grade.

If you like this book try: Too Much Noise by Ann McGovern, Skunk Dog by Emily Jenkins, Detective LaRue by Mark Teague

Description: In a series of collages, a frog views a year of changing seasons in a small pond.

Review: In a series of bright colors that reflect the seasons, young readers will be able to identify the various animals that either live or do various activities in the pond. The illustrations and rhyming text compliment the pictures really well. While adults will pay attention to the author's subtle changes in season and the various animals presented in the book, I think young readers will have more fun with reading the rhymes aloud.

Rating: 4 stars

Curriculum Connection: Habits, Seasons, Animals

Words of Caution: None. Recommended for ages 2 to 6.

If you like this book try: Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain by Verna Aarderma, The Earth and I by Frank Asch, Hello Artic! by Taylor Theodore

Description: Three owl babies whose mother has gone out in the night try to stay calm while she is gone.

Review: Do you remember the anxious feeling that your parents suddenly left you and you're concerned whether or not they returned? Owl Babies captures those feelings simplistically and beautifully as three baby owls find themselves alone when their mother leaves. They reassure one another that she will return and make guesses as to what happened. Children and toddlers would be relieved to find out that the mom does come back and all is well.  I will say that I wasn't captured by the text of this story. I actually think it pales in comparison to the rich, detailed illustrations that does a much better come in reflecting the babies' emotions. This would be a good one to use to relieve a child's fear of doing something alone such as going to school for the first time without a parent.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: None. Recommended for ages 3 to 6.

If you like this book try: Good Night Owl by Pat Hutchins or Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
4 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    Look at those little owl faces Rummanah! I want to take them home with me:) Along with the Children Make Terrible Pets book, that one looks adorable. Might have to buy it for my niece.

  2. danya Says:

    I flipped through Children Make Terrible Pets in the library and loved it! So cute and humorous :D

  3. Children make terrible Pets looks fabulous. I'm really going to have to read that one to my girls. I love children's books that make me giggle and my girls laugh.

  4. Awe! Now I want my own little Squeaker! So cute.

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