G Is for One Gzonk

G Is for One Gzonk: an alpha-number-bet book by Tony DiTerlizzi.

This book, written by Tiny DiTerlooney aka Tony DiTerlizzi, is an homage to Dr. Seuss with wildly imaginative creatures named amazing names who follow in alphabetical order (kind of).  DiTerlizzi offers his own special mix of language, humor and illustration that modernize the classic format.  I enjoyed that this was an alphabet book for older children where only the creature matches the letter being featured and DiTerlizzi takes pains to point out how nothing else on the page matches.  I also appreciated how the narrator of the book is drawn in a realistic style while the other illustrations appear flat and drawn.  This changes over the course of the book, which is just charming.

This is not an alphabet book for preschoolers.  This is one to share with first graders and older.  It is very silly, full of laughs, and rather sophisticated.  It will be enjoyed as a lap book or a book to be read to one’s self rather than a read aloud for a crowd. 

Tudley Didn't Know

Tudley Didn’t Know by John Himmelman.

This picture book’s illustrations immediately drew me in.  The turtles basking in the sun on logs and trailing their limbs in the water captured completely the mood of a summer’s day.  But that mood doesn’t last long with Tudley around.  When a bird drops a piece of lichen into the pond, Tudley helps out by picking up the lichen and flying it back up to the nest.  Yes, flying.  Tudley doesn’t realize what he can and can’t do, so he is able to do all sorts of amazing things that turtles don’t normally try.  Finally, he is faced with having to do a turtle sort of thing in order to survive, but he has to be shown how to do it. 

I loved the message of this book.  Try to do something before you tell yourself you can’t.  I know that it will speak to children who are often told that they can’t do something even though deep inside they know that they can.  This book is a great read aloud and will be a wonderful addition to turtle storytimes as well as units on self-esteem.