Day: October 11, 2011

Review: The Princess and the Peanut by Sue Ganz-Schmitt

princess and the peanut

The Princess and the Peanut by Sue Ganz-Schmitt, illustrated by Micah Chambers-Goldberg

Food allergies are booming in children today with nearly six million children in the U.S. suffering from food-related allergies.  Here allergies are merged into a fairy tale world to nice effect.  When a prince despairs of finding his perfect princess, a princess appears on his doorstep looking for shelter from the storm.  To test to see if the princess is indeed real, the queen places a peanut between her tower of mattresses.  But this princess doesn’t have trouble sleeping, instead she awakens with an allergic reaction!

Following the storyline of The Princess and the Pea, this book skillfully and with effective humor tells the story of having an allergic reaction and what should be done.  It is a book that reflects what children today are dealing with and also supports children who have allergies.  The book also has a question and answer section on allergies for adults and a glossary for kids.

The illustrations have the feel of an animated film with dramatic lighting, interesting perspectives, and touches of humor.  They will be an inviting style for children, who will enjoy the juxtaposition of modern allergies and fairy tale themes.

Make sure to check out Ganz-Schmitt’s first book that was about diabetes: Even Superheroes Get Diabetes.  Both books have a charm and an honesty about medical situations that children are dealing with.  Appropriate for ages 4-7.

Reviewed from copy received from Raab Associates.

Review: Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow? by Susan A. Shea

do you know which ones will grow

Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow? by Susan A. Shea, illustrated by Tom Slaughter

This interactive and engaging book will have children eagerly answering the questions inside.  The book is all about whether something is alive or not, whether it will grow or not.  Told in rhyming sets of questions, the final rhyme and answer is hidden beneath another flip-out page that makes it into a guessing game for the rhyme.  So in the first pages, “If a ducking grows and becomes a duck, can a car grow and become…”  Turn the page and you find “a truck?”  The flaps also have die cut holes in them that add to the appeal.  It’s a game and a book that will intrigue and fascinate young readers.

A large part of the appeal of this book is the rhyming couplets that create the guessing game.  Pairing living creatures and inanimate objects make for an appealing educational book.  Adding the rhyming guessing game takes it to another level.  The rhymes have a great humor to them, and will have children giggling at the thought that a stool could grow into a a chair or a sweater into a coat.

Slaughter’s illustrations are bright and graphic.  Using bold color combinations and strong lines, the cut-paper illustrations are very effective.  They have an colorful and inviting tone that is modern and striking.

Ideal for classroom use or in any library, this book should be enjoyed by many children.  The flap structure is large and sturdy, meaning it will work well for public or school libraries.  This book tackles a subject I haven’t seen in many picture books too, adding to the appeal. Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from library copy.

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