Rummanah Aasi
  Looking for a good picture book to read to your child or class? I've got two for you today! The Snatchabook by Helen Docherty and One More Candle by Merry Susiarjo will entertain and amuse young readers. Many thanks to Sourcbooks Jabberwocky and Merry Susiarjo for the copies of the books. The reviews are my own, honest opinions.

Description: Where have all the bedtime stories gone?
One dark, dark night in Burrow Down, a rabbit named Eliza Brown found a book and settled down...when a Snatchabook flew into town.
   It's bedtime in the woods of Burrow Down, and all the animals are ready for their bedtime story. But books are mysteriously disappearing. Eliza Brown decides to stay awake and catch the book thief. It turns out to be a little creature called the Snatchabook who has no one to read him a bedtime story. All turns out well when the books are returned and the animals take turns reading bedtime stories to the Snatchabook.

Review: The Snatchabook is a delightful, heartwarming read that explains the magic of reading and enjoying a good story. With rhyming text reminiscent of Dr. Seuss's work, this book refuses to be read silently. A tiny village where every family in every nook and cranny reads a book before bedtime is invaded by a creature called Snatchabook who steals books during the night when everyone is sleeping. Eliza Brown who leaves her story at a cliffhanger (how we all hate that!) when her book gets stolen is determined to solve the mystery. She plans one night to gather all the books she can find and stays awake long into the night to catch the thief. Eliza meets a small creature called Snatchabook who confesses his crime and tells her that he is not a malicious character who hates reading but rather he loves books but has no one to read to him at night. Eliza quickly hatches a plan, resulting in a satisfying ending. The gorgeous illustrations are a perfect match for the lively text. The rhyming sounds misses a beat but I had so much fun reading this book that I didn't mind so much. This book is a fabulous fit for both storytime and one-on-one reading. 

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: None. Recommended for PreK-Grade 1

If you like this book try: The Wonderful Book by Lenoid Gore, Wild About Books by Judy Sierra, Story for Bear by Dennis Haseley, How Rocket Learned to Read by Tad Hills

Description: Nola is just over a year younger than her sister Betty, and they decide to have one big, shared birthday party every year rather than each having a smaller one. But poor Nola gets upset that Betty always has one more candle than her, and fruitlessly seeks help from all the light-giving things she finds in the world outside. But just as she begins to accept the reality of their different ages, the solution comes as an enchantingly simple surprise. Emmeline Pidgen's authentic and imaginative illustrations bring this sweet and gentle picture book story magically to life.

Review: One More Candle is a story of sibling rivalry, but not in the usual catty, antagonistic kind of a way which was refreshing to see and read. Sisters Nola and Betty celebrate their birthday on the same day, except Nola always has one more candle than Betty. Betty finds this completely unfair and tries different ways to ask for one more candle- from her parents to pets to the environment around her. A whole year passes and finally Betty gets what she wishes for as a parent and learns a valuable lesson of patience. The childlike curiosity and worries of Betty are handled well. The book moves along at a nice pace and the pictures with its pastel colors and drawings are good match to the book's gentle tone. My only small criticism is that the text is a bit too heavy and awkward at times. I think clearer and short sentences would have worked better than trying to add dialogue. Other than that, I would definitely recommend One More Candle to show kids how nicely siblings can work together and get along.  

Rating: 3.5 stars

Words of Caution: None. Recommended for PreK-1

If you like this book try: Betty Bunny Wants Everything by Michael Kaplan
1 Response
  1. I am headed to the library in just a bit with my kids. I am going to look for Snatcha book!

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