Day: January 17, 2012

Review: Wee Granny’s Magic Bag by Elizabeth McKay

wee grannys magic bag

Wee Granny’s Magic Bag by Elizabeth McKay, illustrated by Maria Bogade

Emily and Harry are looking forward to heading out to the park with Wee Granny, but most of all they hoped that she would bring along her amazing tartan bag.  They had seen magical things come out of that bag!  Last Christmas, she had pulled out a lamp-post (fully lit) to help Harry see his carols.  Then in the summer, she pulled out chairs for them to sit on the beach.  Emily and Harry tried to see inside Wee Granny’s bag, but she closed it too quickly.  Then they tried asking her what she had in there, but she only said she had brought her phone.  When her phone rang, the children were amazed to see her pull an entire phone booth out of the bag and answer it!  It was their mother calling, asking them to make more cupcakes for the fair.  And that is when Wee Granny really pulled amazing things out of her bag!

Originally from Scotland, this book celebrates grannies, tartan and magic.  McKay writes with a cheerful tone and the entire book awaits the magic that everyone knows is coming!  The pacing is nicely done, dancing along happily.  The story has a gentleness to it as well that is warm and friendly.

Bogade’s illustrations are done in ink and watercolor.  They have a merriness to them as well, filled with bright colors and playing up the effect of pulling huge items from a small bag.  The humor of the entire work is well reflected in the images.

For children too young for Nanny McPhee, this picture book introduces an equally magical Wee Granny who is sure to fill their bedtime dreams with magic.  Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from copy received from Floris Books.

Review: No Two Alike by Keith Baker

no two alike

No Two Alike by Keith Baker

Starting with the fact that no two snowflakes are alike, though they almost are, this book merrily explores the snowy woods.   Things are found in pairs, and pointed out to be different from one another.  No two nests are the same, no two tracks in the snow.  Branches and leaves are all different from one another.  Throughout nature it’s the same.  Even the two very similar little red birds who accompany the reader on the trip through the snow are shown in the end to be different from one another, “Almost, almost… but not quite.”

Just right for toddlers, this book looks at things that may seem the same but upon closer inspection are actually different.  Baker’s writing is simple and effortless, gliding through the story with just enough support to carry the book.  The rhythm and structure of the book also help make it a great read aloud.

His illustrations are equally light and cheery.  The two red birds are merry companions for young readers as they explore the snowy woods together.  Readers can stop and take the time to see the differences between things for themselves. 

This book could be used in several ways.  It could be used to explore differences in objects or for walks in nature to explore how each object is different.  It can also be used as a gentle way to enter conversations about how we as people are all different too in many ways. 

This sweet, jolly book makes is worth a warm snuggle on a wintry day and a walk in the winter weather to look up close at nature.    Appropriate for ages 1-3.

Reviewed from library copy.