Ferocious Wild Beasts!

Ferocious Wild Beasts by Chris Wormell

Jack’s mother told him never to go into the forest because there are ferocious wild beasts in there!  But Jack didn’t listen and now found himself lost in the woods.  When a bear walked up to Jack and asked what was wrong, Jack told him about the ferocious wild beasts of the forest and how they gobble up both people and bears.  The bear was worried and the two of them walked on together.  They met an elephant who was told about the wild beasts and was also terrified, so the three walked on together.  They next met a lion who when hearing about the beasts also traveled with them.  With the sinking of the sun, they had even more animals grouped with them and on the outlook for the wild beasts.  They heard a stomping.  They saw a huge glowing eye.  They heard a loud roar.  What could it be?

This is a great picture book.  It has wonderful pacing that draws readers in and captivates them.  The humor is broad and children will immediately understand that the very animals accompanying Jack on his travels are the ones his mother warned him about.  Wormell’s use of realistic animals makes the book even more successful as it heightens the tension and adds to the humor too.  The watercolor illustrations here will work well with a group as will the text which has a rhythm and flow that reads aloud nicely.

Highly recommended, this is a book where children will get the joke and enjoy playing along with it.  A perfect addition to story times on elephants, bears or lions.  Appropriate for ages 3-6.

Reviewed from copy received from publisher.

Also reviewed at BooksForKidsBlog, Kiss the Book, and A Patchwork of Books.

Lights on Broadway

Lights on Broadway: A Theatrical Tour from A to Z by Harriet Ziefert, illustrated by Elliot Kreloff, with Brian Stokes Mitchell

This A to Z book takes readers into the world of the theater, teaching the words that go with the shows.  From grip to marquee, readers will find plenty of words they don’t know.  But this book is much more than vocabulary because alongside each definition, there are quotes from Broadway actors, directors, choreographers, composers, writers and more.  This book is pure inspiration for those who have the acting bug and who long to be on stage. 

Ziefert and Kreloff have created a book that captures the excitement, glitz and joy of the stage.  Ziefert offers definitions that convey an excitement about the subject, always avoiding being dry.  Kreloff’s art is loud, bright and nicely stylized, suiting the subject matter perfectly. 

Give this to young actors and class clowns. It could also be used when doing a production in class to give a sense of what the larger picture of performing is.  A joyful riot of a picture book, this book will serve as the basis for many big dreams.  Appropriate for ages 5-8.

Reviewed from library copy.

Also reviewed by Sommer Reading and Read Along with Biblio.