Red, red, red by Valeri Gorbachev.
Turtle hurries through town telling everyone who asks him where he is going that he is off to see something red, red, red. Each animal he passes wonders if it is their red thing that he is looking for. No, it isn’t the roses, no not the watermelon, and not even the fire engine! What could it be?
As always, Gorbachev has created a world filled with a little mystery and lot of friendly animals. The illustrations are very friendly with a vintage feel. I appreciate the focus on color and children will enjoy guessing what the next offer of red will be and also guessing before the final page what Turtle was really looking for.
Share this with preschoolers who are working on their colors. This book is perfect for color-related story times as well.
New Socks by Bob Shea.
This cheery, clever little book features a chick who has gotten new orange socks. There is very little actual storyline here, but the joy of new sock is completely contagious. From sliding on wood floors to allowing a chick to be brave enough to slide down the big slide, these socks can do almost anything!
The graphic art is hip, fun and bright. The words are catchy and will rely on the reader to read them with enthusiasm. Though the book is short enough for even toddlers, I would think that kindergarteners on up will appreciate the quirky humor and imagination of this book.
Great to read aloud at any time, don’t save this one for your chicken or clothing storytimes, though it will work well there too.
Nickelodeon is showing a TV movie on Saturday, June 9th that is based on the Shredderman books by Wendelin Van Draanen. Shredderman Rules! is definitely going on my TiVo!
You can also check out the cool Shredderman.com website from Random House where you can meet the characters, find computer fun, and play Shredderman WebQuest.
Water Boy by David McPhail.
A boy is told by his teacher that he is mostly water, and the story begins. At first he worries that if he is scratched water will pour out of him or that he will turn to ice in the winter, but soon he finds himself drawn to water. His grandmother makes him a sweater of ocean blue and he wears it every day. But then strange watery things start to happen and he finds a power that he would never have imagined he had.
McPhail has the ability to create amazing stories that envelop a reader, leading them further and further along a fantastic path. I believe his realistic art style adds to the sense of a fantasy that is real. The softness of the illustrations and their rather old-fashioned feel create a sense of home and warmth on each page, even when waves are singing and raindrops are balanced on tips of fingers.
This is a great first taste of reality-based fantasy, allowing children to see fantasy as not just books with monsters, dragons and wizards. Instead it is a book about how the tangible can become strange and different through a single child. And what power that is to give our children.
Share this during units on weather or liquids/solids. It is a great addition to rainy day story times as well. Recommended for Kindergarteners and first graders on moist and misty days or the driest of summer weather.