It Gets Better

I’m sure many of you are aware of the incredible It Gets Better campaign.  Take a look at this beautiful and heart-felt video from author Cheryl Rainfield. 

Ernest the Moose Who Doesn’t Fit


Ernest, the Moose Who Doesn’t Fit by Catherine Rayner

Ernest has a problem, he doesn’t fit into the book!  He tries to shuffle in forward, but that doesn’t work.  He tries to squeeze in backward.  Nope.  He can get his middle to fit, but not his legs or head.  Luckily, Ernest has a small friend with a big idea.  It’s just going to take some tape and some paper.  They work for a long time until…  Well, you will just have to read it to find out how they manage to fit Ernest into his book.  Children will respond to the visual puzzle of how to get Ernest to fit into the book.  The final unveiling is definitely worth the suspense and build up.

Rayner has created a very simple book that is filled with a gentle humor.  The process of problem solving is played out here, from the issue itself through trial and error, and finally the brilliant solution!  It is a book that also demonstrations creativity and perseverance.  Rayner’s illustrations are charming mix of media with paint, crayon and paper arts.  The background to the illustrations is graph paper giving a great mathematical and structural feel to the whimsical art.  It is a dynamic pairing.

A great book to share with a group, this book will have everyone cheering Ernest and his friend and their solution to how to fit a big moose in a small book.  Appropriate for ages 4-7.

Reviewed from copy received from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

In the Wild


In the Wild by David Elliott illlustrated by Holly Meade

This book of poems explores wild animals throughout the world.  Intriguing animals from the lion to the panda to the polar bear are examined through poems that get to the very heart of them.  The poems are brief and at the same time evocative.  Paired with the watercolor and woodcut illustrations, the book is an inviting collection of poems suitable for the young child. 

Elliott writes his poems with a great sense of play and curiosity.  Turn the page, and you will get a contrasting approach with seriousness and grace.  It is this interplay of tone that makes this book so very readable, one never knows just what will happen in the next poem or what the next featured animal will be.  Meade’s illustrations offer a unified look for these ever-changing poems.  She stylishly captures the animals in iconic poses and situations that are made stylized and beautiful through her woodcuts.  The illustrations will project well to a group and offer large two-page spreads that show the animals in their habitats. 

A great pairing of the appeal of animals and the poetic form, this book is a magnificent addition to library collections.  Appropriate for ages 4-7.

Reviewed from library copy.

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