Rummanah Aasi
  I'm continuing to work on completing the list of Monarch books. The Monarch books are a great way to highlight some terrific books for K-3 readers. Today I'll be reviewing Say Hello to Zorro! and Clever Jack Takes the Cake.

Description: Mister Bud is a dog of routine. He has wake up time, nap time, rest time, dinner time, etc. And everyone knows to follow his schedule. Then disaster strikes! A stranger comes home at "make a fuss time" and throws everything off! Zorro is little bit bossy and Mister Bud wants nothing to do with him. But when the dogs discover they like the same things (like chasing the cat and napping), everything becomes more fun. As long as everyone follows the schedule.

Review: Say Hello to Zorro! is a humorous tale that is all too familiar with those who own pets and those in different family situations when a new routine is introduced or a new family member is added. Goodrich's gentle story is conveyed through a perfect pairing of well-spaced text and illustrations, resulting in just the right pace for young listeners to absorb the story through listening as well as looking at the great illustrations. Generous white space focuses the eye on Goodrich's warmhearted watercolor illustrations, featuring amusing exaggerated proportions, from Mr. Bud's gigantic snout and wee legs to his tall but skinny house, and endearingly expressive canine faces. The illustrations are so good that the book could have very well been wordless and still be able to tell the story. This cute story would appeal to wide variety of audiences.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: None.

If you like this book try: Grumpy Cat by Britta Teckentrup, Diary of a Wombat by Jackie French, Zorro Gets an Outfit by Carter Goodrich

Description: A poor boy named Jack struggles to deliver a birthday present worthy of the princess.

Review: Clever Jack Takes the Cake is a crafty story about a poor boy who has a dilemma. Like all the children of his village, he has been invited to the Princess's birthday party, however, he doesn't have a worthy gift to give her. Jack is smart and thinks outside of the box, but still within his financial means and decides to bake the Princess a birthday cake. He prepares this amazing cake, but on his long journey to the Princess’ castle the cake gets destroyed and eaten by various things along the way. By the time Jack gets to the Princess all he has is a story to tell her. The story of how he made her this great cake and then all of the things that took it away from him. To Jack's delight, the Princess did not get bored with his gift and he realized that  he always had something of value to offer, even if it is not an actual object.
   I really enjoyed the story of this picture book. Though the length of the book is quite long for a read-aloud, it definitely has appeal for both boys and girls as it features a princess and adventure. I also liked how the story gave a lesson without it being obvious. I only wished the illustrations were a bit better. They look as if they were drawn by crayon and sketched hastily.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: None.

If you like this book try: The Knight and the Dragon by Tomie De Paola, Flora's Very Windy Day
3 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    Ah! Say Hello To Zorro sounds so adorable Rummanah! I remember Gatsby was a lot like Mister Bud before we brought Griffin home, and then poor Gatsby suddenly had a lot of adjusting to do. They get along great now, but it was fun to watch Gatsby try and figure out what to do with the new puppy:) Definitely adding this to my niece's library list!

  2. I would love to check out the Zorro book, I am heading to the library tomorrow so I will see if they have it. I like the story about Jack it certainly has a good message!

  3. Both sound like great additions to my kids library. I LOVE picture books. As I edit out old ones, I scan my favorite blogs for new ones. I like the ones that tell a subtle lesson or message. They're my favorite.

    Great reviews of both books!

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