Fox and Hen Together by Beatrice Rodriguez
The story begun in The Chicken Thief continues in this second wordless book. Here Hen has laid an egg but the refrigerator is empty, so she heads out to catch some fish. This leaves Fox to watch the egg. Hen fishes with her friend Crab, but when she catches a large fish, an eagle swoops out of the sky and grabs it. Hen holds on and so does Crab as the eagle carries them all to its nest filled with hungry babies. Just when you think they have escaped, a sea monster comes out of the deeps to grab the fish. Hen manages to escape that danger too, but then enters the house to find that Fox has been having adventures too.
Rodriguez has created a full-color immersive wordless picture book that has great appeal. The book has a great pacing that shifts from one page to the next, making for a very exciting and fun rollercoaster of a book. It is all told through bright colors, plenty of action and a storyline that twists and turns.
I am looking forward to the third in the series, Rooster’s Revenge, coming later this year. The stories make most sense if you read both of them, learning the tale of the Fox and Hen and how they came to live together.
A bright, action-filled wordless book, it is appropriate for ages 4-7.
Reviewed from copy received from Enchanted Lion.
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Cloudette by Tom Lichtenheld
Cloudette is the smallest of clouds. Usually it was just fine to be the littlest. She was called by cute nicknames, she had little friends, she was great at hiding, and she even slept in a special spot on the moon. But sometimes, she felt left out because she was so small. She couldn’t do the important work that the big clouds did, like storm fronts and rainbows. She wanted to do something big herself, but all of her big ideas didn’t work out. One day, she was blown by a storm to a new area where she had never been before. There she found a lone frog sitting in a dried up pond. Cloudette knew she could help, but only if she tried very, very hard. By helping in one place, she realized that there was a lot one small cloud could do in the world.
Lichtenheld’s text is a pleasure to read aloud. He has included all sorts of aside comments from the clouds, Cloudette herself, and animals too. They give the book more flavor and a stronger tone. The small making a large impact and doing something big is an idea that is featured in a lot of children’s books. Children relate to being the smallest, being envious of what bigger people can do, and feeling powerless themselves. Cloudette is certain to speak directly to the fact that small contributions can add up to something big.
The artwork here is bright, simple and entertaining. While some pages have a paneled look, many of them are single or double-page spreads. Lichtenheld nicely contrasts background colors to create a book that is colorful and that will work well with a group.
Cloudette will have you cheering for her and is sure to easily create small fans. Appropriate for ages 3-5.
Reviewed from copy received from Henry Holt & Co.
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