Alice in Wonderland Movie

Breathtaking images from the upcoming Alice in Wonderland film by Tim Burton are now on display at Rotten Tomatoes.  They also have an intriguing website for the film.  I can’t think of a better director for a film based on such a surreal book.  And even better, it has a superb cast!  Johnny Depp as The Mad Hatter, Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen, Stephen Fry as the Cheshire Cat, and Alan Rickman as The Caterpillar.  You can check out the entire cast on IMDB


OK Go by Carin Berger

This whimsical tribute to recycling and the environment is perfect for toddlers and young children.  The book shouts Go! immediately and readers are off following bright red sports cars as they race across the page, each filled with strange pointy nosed or beaked creatures.  Turn the pages and they get more crowded with vehicles, all clever and funny, but all pouring out exhaust.  Eventually the page is simply filled with the word “go” repeating over and over again.  Then come the dark clouds of smog, filling the page and a declaration to Stop!  The little creatures figure out many ways that they can help the environment and still get around. 

The words here are so very simple and accessible.  Older children will enjoy the fold-out page with its short rhymes about what to do to be more green.  Younger children will enjoy the cars screeching across the page.  Berger’s illustrations, all done in recycled materials, are very clever.  Even the final tips on the last page are done in a friendly tone just right for children.  Berger has taken a complex subject and made it clear, clever and concise. 

A very successful green picture book, this could easily be incorporated into preschool units on nature and storytimes as well.  Appropriate for ages 2-5.

Egg Drop

Egg Drop by Mini Grey

Grey returns with another fantastical tale about an inanimate object. This time it is an egg.  An egg who would not wait.  An egg who would not listen.  The Egg wanted to fly – like a bird, like a helicopter, like a round brown blimp.  But it did not understand aerodynamics, so it headed up a tower to soar.  At first the egg thought it was flying.  But it was falling instead.  Don’t despair, it did not go to waste.

Grey is wonderfully quirky in all of her picture books.  Mixing in Bernoulli’s principle and aerodynamics just adds to that strange surrealism in her picture books that make them both very different and very intriguing.  Her illustrations are mix graph paper with flying eggs, what’s not to love!  With this book, Grey has once again expanded what picture books can be about and what they can say. 

A strange and interesting picture book that does not nicely fit into units or story times, but is wonderful nonetheless.  Share this one with any quirky kids you know.  Appropriate for ages 4-6.