First Image of Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss

Entertainment Weekly’s cover story is Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, and man, I am very impressed.  Love the hair, the bow, the mockingjay pin, and especially that strong look in the eye:


What do you think?

Book Review: RRRalph by Lois Ehlert


RRRalph by Lois Ehlert

Ehlert returns with another cleverly illustrated book, this time featuring a dynamic dog.  Ralph is a dog who is able to talk.  No, really!  When they brought him home and asked him his name, he replied with “RRRalph Ralph.”  He can tell you where he is when he climbs up on his doghouse: “Roof roof.”  Just ask him what is on the outside of a tree, and he knows that it’s BARK.  The book continues with more questions for Ralph and him answering them with a variety of barks, until at the end, he only replies with a snore since he’s fallen asleep.

The book has a great sense of humor and after the first couple of examples of how Ralph replies to questions, children will be trying to guess the next answers that Ralph will give.  The dynamic color combinations of the backgrounds with the pop of black-and-white dog on them add to the fun.  Ehlert excels at her illustrations done using collage and found objects.  The can tab nose gives Ralph a jaunty friendly feel, as does the colorful collar and heart-shaped tag. 

A dog book that is barking up just the right tree for young children, this book belong on every library’s shelves and adds to the incredible body of Ehlert’s work.  Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from library copy.

Book Review: The Queen of France by Tim Wadham


The Queen of France by Tim Wadham, illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton

When Rose woke up in the morning, she was feeling royal.  So on went the crown, jewelry and skirt that turned her the Queen of France.  The Queen of France walked up to Rose’s mother in the garden and asked if she had seen Rose.  Rose’s mother explained that she hadn’t but that she hoped that Rose would remember to clean up her room.  The Queen of France was also interested in the ugly rose bushes that Rose’s mother was planting, but the queen’s finger was pricked by a thorn, so she had to find the Royal Physician.  The queen found Rose’s father, but not the Royal Physician.  The queen then took off her crown, and became Rose again.  She bandaged her finger and cleaned her room.  She then dressed as the queen again and headed to Rose’s mother.  The queen asked if Rose’s mother would be fine with the queen switching places with Rose.  Rose’s mother considered the idea, but explained that she would miss Rose very much if she left.  The queen left and Rose returned to herself for dinner.  Until that evening, when Rose felt scary…

Debut author, Wadham has created a picture book that celebrates imaginative play in a very charming way.  Rose is supported by her parents in her play, both of them happily participating as Rose changes characters.  The parents remain supportive and kind throughout, never questioning that Rose is playing rather than cleaning her room, just giving broad hints that it should be done. 

The illustrations add to the charm of the book, with their soft palette of pinks and blues and a lovely mix of modern and old fashioned feel.  Yes, this is a pink book with glitter on the cover, but it is a book that both boys and girls will enjoy thanks to its quality.  Rose’s body language changes as she becomes the queen, her nose high in the air and her feet prancing high.  I particularly enjoy the small clutter in the rooms: toys on the ground, bowls on the counter. 

Highly recommended, let’s hope Tim Wadham continues to create books like this with their deep understanding of childhood.  Appropriate for ages 4-7.

Reviewed from library copy.

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