Review: Who’s There? by Carole Schaefer

whos there

Who’s There? by Carole Lexa Schaefer, illustrated by Pierr Morgan

A very active bunny bounces into bed when the moon comes up.  But just as he is curled up and ready to sleep, he hears a strange noise!  What could be making the creak, creak, CRINCH?  When he sits up and listens, nothing is there and everything is quiet.  But then it comes from even closer.  Perhaps it’s a Crusty Dumply Ogre?!  The noise comes closer still.  Maybe it’s a Grimy Gooey Ghoulie!  The noise is even closer.  And now the door is starting to open!  The little bunny gets his flashlight out and shines it at the door.  And what does he see?  You’re just going to have to read the book to find out.

This book reminds me so much of Ruth Brown’s A Dark, Dark Tale which is one of my favorite autumn reads for kids.  This one reads aloud delightfully well too and gives the reader so much to work with from the dramatic pauses to the alarming noises.  The drama is well crafted, so the story builds up and up, each noise and reaction becoming more and more intense. 

Morgan’s illustrations are dark and dramatic, with only the bed and the door in stark colorful contrast to the darkness.  The descriptions and depictions of the imagined monsters adds to the fun, because they are so silly that children will feel a bit of relief from the drama.

Just the right amount of drama and tension for young listeners, this is a tale that will delight.  Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from copy received from Viking.

Review: Big Brothers Don’t Take Naps by Louise Borden

big brothers dont take naps

Big Brothers Don’t Take Naps by Louise Borden, illustrated by Emma Dodd

Nicholas adores his older brother, James.  He follows him everywhere and happily James includes him too.  James can write his own name (as well as Nicholas’), he goes to school, but most importantly, James doesn’t have to take naps!  James can use the phone all by himself, he helps Nicholas cross the road, and can read books too.  James shows Nicholas how to be a great big brother, how to share, and how to do things together.  That includes working together to help pick out a name for their new baby sister.  Which makes Nicholas a big brother too!

Borden writes with a gentleness combined with enthusiasm.  This is a book that captures a very special relationship and shows new siblings a book where everyone is excited by the new baby coming.  James may be a bit too ideal of an older sibling, since there is no negativity shown in this book at all.  But those parents looking for a book that shows siblings sharing and in a loving relationship will find a lot to praise here.

Dodd’s digital illustrations are bright colored and show the brothers relationships vividly.  The large expanses of colors are only outshone by the boys themselves with their bright cheeks and activity. 

A very positive look at siblings and new babies, this book definitely is a great pick for new big brothers and sisters.  Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from library copy.

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