Review: Nasreddine by Odile Weulersse


Nasreddine by Odile Weulersse, illustrated by Rebecca Dautremer

Nasreddine and his father head to market together with his father riding the donkey along with a large basket of dates and Nasreddine walking behind.  When some men criticize them for letting a boy walk in the mud, Nasreddine heads back home while his father calmly continues on.  The next week, Nasreddine pretends to twist his ankle so that he can ride and his father walks.  But onlookers once again make comments and Nasreddine heads home.  The next time they head to market, the two of them both ride the donkey, but that doesn’t stop the comments either.  Then they both walk and let the donkey just carry the items for market, but the criticisms are still made.  Nasreddine makes one final try at fixing things: the two of them will carry the donkey!

The book ends with a note about the stories of Nasreddine which are told throughout the Middle East.  This story like the others about him are a perfect mix of humor and wisdom.  Here Nasreddine learns the hard way not to listen to the criticism of others.  The way that his father deals with it is patient and an attempt to invoke Nasreddine’s common sense and let him learn it on his own.  This adds to the merriment of the storyline as well as making for a very readable tale. 

Dautremer’s illustrations have the feel of a folktale with a modern edge.  The setting is clearly historical but the angles of the illustrations and their neat perspectives add lots of interest as well.  Nasreddine himself is a beautiful little boy, his round face and red tunic making him stand out in any setting. 

Perfect for sharing aloud, this book is a friendly and funny introduction to Nasreddine.  Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from copy received from Eerdmans Books for Young Readers.

Review: Bink & Gollie: Best Friends Forever by Kate DiCamillo

bink gollie best friends forever

Bink & Gollie: Best Friends Forever by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee, illustrated by Tony Fucile

Bink and Gollie return in their third book of escapades as best friends.  The first of the three stories in this book has Gollie wondering if she might have royal blood while Bink is much more interested in pancakes.  The second has Bink worrying about being short and buying the incredibly complex Stretch-o-matic that requires “excessive assembly.”  The third story has the girls wondering what collection they should start to get a record in Flicker’s Arcana of the Extraordinary. 

In all of these stories, we get to see Bink and Gollie as pure individuals.  It’s a relief as always to return to a storybook world where girls are not bedecked in glitter, ruffles and pink.  These are two girls who read as real and tangible and completely unique.  I also enjoy the way that the friendship between the two girls always has space enough for them to be themselves and not try to even mimic one another.  As always the stories are clever with great endings and completely readable by young readers.  The illustrations continue to have the same freshness as the stories and characters, with wonderful humor embedded in them.

Fans of Bink & Gollie will be clamoring for the third book and thanks to the unique characters and easy reading format, these books belong in every library.  Appropriate for ages 5-7.

Reviewed from library copy.

Ender’s Game – The Movie

Here is the first trailer for the upcoming Ender’s Game movie.  It comes out in November 2013.  Enjoy!