What a Trip!

What a Trip! by Arthur Yorinks, illustrated by Richard Egielski

Mel is walking along kicking a rock when he trips and falls into another dimension where everything looks similar but very pointy.  When Mel trips there, he falls back into his own dimension where no one believes him.  After finally being diagnosed as nothing more than a klutz, Mel trips once again and falls back into the pointy dimension right in front of his father.  Will Mel be able to return this time?  And what happens when he meets the pointy Mel?

This is one of those books that is so surprising that you will draw even reluctant listeners into the story with Mel’s first trip.  Everyone will need to see what the other dimension looks like and Egielski’s illustrations are such fun that they will stay to see more.  Yorinks’ story is silly, funny and gloriously inventive.  Children will be so surprised by the folding page that changes everything in the dimensions, making it OK to play with your books. 

A complete winner of a picture book.  Use this with unruly elementary groups to get them focused and listening.  It is great read aloud or all on your own.  Appropriate for ages 5-8.

Sparrows

Sparrows by Hans Post and Kees Heij, illustrated by Irene Goede

Open this book and fully enter the world of the house sparrow.  From eggs to flight, the reader follows the birds as they catch food for their young, feed them, and then as the babies move from the nest to becoming fledglings.  The seasons change and we get to see how the sparrows live in each season until spring returns and new nests are built. 

The simple language of the book with its frank but child-friendly tone is very nice.  The illustrations are realistic, often featuring close ups on white backgrounds to clearly show what the text is speaking about.  Some of the illustrations are from interesting perspectives including the point of view of a fledgling looking to fly. 

Most children have sparrows around their house but few will think about the details of their lives until now.  This book is an accessible early nonfiction title for children on a subject they can easily relate to.  Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Winnie-the-Pooh Returns

80 years after House at Pooh Corner, an authorized sequel is being published.  Author David Benedictus will create an older Christopher Robin, which is about the only detail being released at this point.

One wonders if it will be a hit or miss.  Milne’s signature style would be hard to perfect and without it the book won’t feel like a sequel. 

I admit my stomach did a sour twist at the thought of a sequel, but I’m trying to be open minded.  After all, I freely ignore the Disney-fied versions of Pooh already.