Mockingjay Trailer – Part 2

The second half of President Snow’s Panem Address is now available.

Thanks to GalleyCat for the link!

Review: B Is for Box by David A. Carter

b is for box

B Is for Box by David A. Carter

With the happy little box on the cover smiling at you, this book is impossible not to want to open and explore.  It is made all the more enticing by being a David Carter pop-up book.  Happily this alphabet pop-up does not disappoint.  Done in a simple style, the pop-up features are mostly about pulling tabs or turning wheels.  There is a small finale at the end, but don’t expect large elaborate pop-ups in this little book.  Instead they are just right for small hands to explore and not damage.  Built of heavy paper stock, this pop-up would make a good one to start small children on the wonders of books that turn into 3D.

Carter’s text is has a lively lilt to it and carries nicely throughout the alphabet.  There are no huge surprises here in the text, the delight mainly comes from the pop-ups, the tabs and the levers.  Though simple, they have a strong appeal, just as opening the flaps on the pages do too. 

Careful toddlers will enjoy this book that will dance them through the ABCs with ease.  Appropriate for ages 2-4.

Reviewed from copy received from Little Simon.

Review: Three Bears in a Boat by David Soman

three bears in a boat

Three Bears in a Boat by David Soman

The co-creator of the Ladybug Girl series returns with a completely different type of book.  It is the story of three little bears who accidentally break their mother’s favorite blue seashell, so they set off to find her a new one.  Along the way they meet other bears on boats but only one can give them any advice about finding a blue seashell, they need to look for a hat-shaped island and then look in the right place.  As they travel, the bears look and look for a blue seashell, but don’t find one.  Once they give up hope, they start to argue and as they fight a storm blows up around them.  They may be forced to return home to Mama empty handed, and after all, their mother is a bear!

Soman has created an exceptional picture book.  It hearkens back to many classic picture books, particularly ones by Maurice Sendak like Where the Wild Things Are and the Little Bear series.  It also has ties to the three bears, Beatrix Potter and even Melville.  But best of all, it reads like it is a classic already, one that will be shared with children for years, and very rightly so.  The story arc is brilliantly crafted, moving the story forward and also coming full circle, returning the bears in time for a warm supper with Mama.  It is so strongly built that there is a sense of coming home when reading the story, but also one of surprise and delight at discovering it.

Soman’s art is extraordinary:  from the faces of the little bears that show every emotion clearly despite the fur to the landscapes that are like opening a window to the ocean.  There are page turns where you simply sit for a moment and linger, looking at the new vista before you until you are ready to read the words on the page. 

A top Caldecott contender, this picture book feels like returning home to Mama after a long trip at sea.  Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from copy received from Dial Books.