Day: March 9, 2012

Review: Zig and Wikki in the Cow by Nadja Spiegelman

zig and wikki in the cow

Zig and Wikki in the Cow by Nadja Spiegelman and Trade Loeffler

This is the second Zig and Wikki book, featuring two little aliens who find their way to Earth.  In this book, the two friends lose their spaceship when they return Zig’s pet fly its native habitat.  On the way, the two discover that flies eat poop, that dung beetles use it as well, and that cows have multiple stomachs.  It’s all a matter of learning things up close and personal, right down to being swallowed by a cow.  This humorous mashup of scientific fact, alien appeal, and comic format makes for an engaging read for young readers.

It is really the blend that works so well here.  The writing is light and funny, combined with scientific facts that are highlighted with photographs.  Readers learn about food cycles, ecology and habitats without even realizing it.  Add in the humorous poop factor and the graphic novel format, and this is one appealing package.

A graphic novel series that is a lot of fun and also informational, this second book is a winner, winner, cow dinner.  Appropriate for ages 7-9.

Reviewed from copy received from Candlewick Press.

Review: Zoo Girl by Rebecca Elliott

zoo girl

Zoo Girl by Rebecca Elliott (Link to InfoSoup)

Told in just a few words per page, this book tells the story of a little girl who doesn’t have a family.  At the orphanage she is lonely and has no friends.  Then the children visit the zoo and suddenly the little girl feels at home.  She is left behind at the zoo and the animals discover her.  They befriend her and she lives with them for awhile until the zookeepers discover her curled up with the tigers.  The little girl does not want to go, and the book ends with a happy ending where the little girl is adopted by the zookeeper couple.  The story is a simple one, told in only a few words, but the sense of belonging and being wanted remains a powerful message.

Elliott’s story is really told in the illustrations rather than the words.  Her art is a rich mix of texture, patterns, drawing and photographs.  The rather simply drawn characters and animals live in a world made dazzling.  Even the air itself seems to have its own feeling and shape.  The elephant has wonderful wrinkles, the tiger has plush fur, and the penguin’s feathers are swirled. 

Also, in the orphanage, the mood is not grim.  It is specifically this little girl who does not have friends and feels alone.  The other children are merry and playing with one another.  That changes the message quite a bit too.

Perfect for toddlers because of its brevity, this book is a very friendly way to talk about adoption.  Appropriate for ages 2-4.

Reviewed from library copy.

This Week’s Tweets and Pins

Here are the links I shared on my Twitter and Pinterest accounts that you might find interesting:

13 Judy Blume books coming out as e-books – The Sacramento Bee http://bit.ly/zZ73eX

67 Books Every Geek Should Read to Their Kids before Age 10 | GeekDad | http://bit.ly/zibYqD http://bit.ly/zjSwQW

Children who are brought to books early get a head start – Independent.ie http://bit.ly/xlTvOu

Children’s publisher Scholastic developing app for e-reading – The Washington Post http://wapo.st/ydKJIK

Dahl named best children’s author – The Irish Times- #kidlit http://bit.ly/yvqB5Z

Five hundred new fairytales discovered in Germany | http://guardian.co.ukhttp://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/mar/05/five-hundred-fairytales-discovered-germany

Five questions for Erin E. Stead — The Horn Book http://bit.ly/A3US3k

Full-time School Librarians Linked to Higher Student Reading Scores http://bit.ly/wIg4nx

Spurred By Success, Publishers Look For The Next ‘Hunger Games’ : Monkey See : NPR http://n.pr/w1b7N3

Suzanne Collins Praises Movie Version of Her Novel, The Hunger Games http://bit.ly/vZgjqR

Today Is World Read Aloud Day! http://bit.ly/z1whC6

The Unlikely Best Seller – A Wrinkle in Time Turns 50 – http://n.pr/zoLOx1

Wimpy Kid author: even my son prefers Harry Potter http://tgr.ph/At1zGx