Author Vladyana Krykorka has created three board books that each look at a different aspect of wildlife in the Arctic. The books are done in accordion style, so they spread out across laps or tables, creating even more of a vista of the Arctic landscape. Arctic Land features caribou, wolves, musk ox, Arctic hare and polar bears. Arctic Sea has whales, seals, narwhal, and walrus. Arctic sky is filled with swan, crane, raven, ptarmigan, loons, and owls.
There is a short verse that ties the animals together, but the real beauty here are the illustrations. Done in watercolor, they have a movement that is captivating. The long line of animals when the book is fully open is beautiful, filled with color and creatures.
While this book’s format may not survive long in public libraries, it will make a charming and education gift for a tiny naturalist. Appropriate for ages 1-3.
Reviewed from copies received from Annick Press.
A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka
Daisy, the dog, adores her red ball. She plays with it and even sleeps next to it on the couch. When her owner takes her for a walk, Daisy brings along her ball. At the park, she plays and chases after it. When it gets stuck behind a fence, Daisy frets until it has been retrieved by her owner. But when another dog tries to play with Daisy’s ball… it pops! Daisy is broken-hearted, carrying the tattered remains of her ball. And there is nothing that will make her feel any better. Or is there?
This wordless book works because of the gorgeous illustrations. Daisy is a black-and-white dog and her world is colorful and bright. From the bright red of her ball to the striped couch in green, the book embraces color. Raschka also uses color to convey emotion, which is particularly effective when the air itself is colored with purples and blues after Daisy’s ball is popped. Before that, the background was done in pale blues and yellows, light and airy, even playful.
The storyline is clear with the illustrations filling double page spreads or broken into panels. Children will immediately relate to Daisy’s loss of a favorite toy and to her emotions throughout. It is a book that naturally leads to discussion of when the child lost something, or something was broken, and the way that they felt about it.
A winning wordless read, this book is a joy to share with children or perhaps with your favorite furry friend. Appropriate for ages 2-4.
Reviewed from library copy.
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Inspired by Eric Carle’s The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse, artists and celebrities across the country are creating and auctioning off art. The paintings are from luminaries of the children’s book world and celebrities. The NEA Foundation will receive all proceeds from the auctions and will use the funds to support arts education in schools.
This is a worthy cause that could get you an original Ed Young, Tomie DePaola, David Ezra Stein, or Emily Arnold McCully for your home or office. You know you want one!