Green Eggs & Ham – The TV Show

Green Eggs and Ham

Netflix has announced that it will be turning Dr. Seuss’ beloved book Green Eggs and Ham into a 13-episode TV series. The adaptation will be written by Jared Stern who also wrote Wreck-It-Ralph and is working on the upcoming Lego Movie sequel.

Executive Producers include Stern, Ellen DeGeneres, Jeff Kleeman, Mike Karz, and David Dobkin. The project will be distributed by Warner Bros. TV.

It is expected to be released in 2018 and is said to be “the highest-end, most expensive animated program ever produced for television.”

Review: I Don’t Like Koala by Sean Ferrell

I Don't Like Koala by Sean Ferrell

I Don’t Like Koala by Sean Ferrell, illustrated by Charles Santoso

When Adam opens his gift and discovers Koala inside, he is not pleased. After all, Koala is “the most terrible terrible.” He has bright yellow eyes that follow Adam around the room. So Adam decides that he must get rid of Koala, but it’s not that easy. Every night Adam puts Koala away in different places all over the house and happily goes to be alone. But when he wakes up, Koala is right there on his pillow, every morning. His parents think that he loves Koala, even though Adam tells them that he hates Koala. Then comes the day that Koala seems to have eaten Adams snack! So Adam hikes up into the forest and leaves Koala there. But Koala is waiting for him at home when he returns. One night though, frightening things loom in the dark and Koala is right there to protect Adam and make him feel safe. But someone else might just be being freaked out by Koala too.

Ferrell captures the creepiness and the appeal of strange stuffed animals. He creates a horror vibe that is just right for young readers with the way that Koala appears in bed in the morning and can’t be left behind anywhere. It’s a funny riff on scary movies, something that some special stuffed animals can evoke with ease. The parents don’t understand or step in to protect their son in the story at all, adding to that eerie feeling throughout that makes the book such fun.

Santoso creates the ultimate creepy stuffed animal in Koala, a strange beast who readers will also grow to love as the book progresses. The expressions on Adam’s face are priceless as he tries to explain why he hates Koala so very much and when he discovers Koala’s return again and again. The use of dark colors for both Koala and Adam unite them as a pair in the book even as Adam struggles to be separate. Santoso’s illustrations continue the dark eerie feel of the story.

An exceptionally dark picture book, this book is great fun and reads aloud well. Share it with children ready for a little fright with their stuffed animals. Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from copy received from Atheneum Books for Young Readers.

Review: Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson

sidewalk flowers

Sidewalk Flowers by JoArno Lawson, illustrated by Sydney Smith

As she heads home with her father who is distracted by his cell phone call, a little girl dressed in vibrant red picks wild flowers. Along the way, she takes a moment to smell each of them, creating a bouquet of bright colored blooms. The flowers grow unnoticed by the others on the street in this urban setting, but the little girl spots them all growing out of sidewalk cracks. When the girl and her father reach the park, she notices a dead bird on the sidewalk and leaves some of the flowers there with the bird. A man sleeping on a park bench is given a sprig too. Then she decorates the collar of a friendly dog with more flowers. As they reach home, the little girl gives each of her family members flowers, leaving a trail of them on their hair and heads. The final flower is used to decorate her own hair at the very end.

This wordless picture book is immensely lovely. The story arc really works well and has moments of sophistication that create a vibrant urban world for this girl to live within. As she gathers the flowers, other beautiful parts of the city that would have been overlooked too light up with color or are captured in small moments. From the display of bright fruits in the market to the pigeons on the street, each small piece adds together so that readers “see” the beauty of the city along with the young protagonist.

The art is expressive and lovely. The city is shown in black and white against which the red girl pops like a bright ruby. Portions of the city are done in color, like flowered dresses and the small flowers that the girl gathers too. Then when the girl starts sharing her flowers, the entire world becomes colorful and bright. It is a dynamic shift in the middle of the book, showing the power of generosity and community.

Subtle and powerful, this picture book celebrates seeing the beauty in everyday life and sharing it with others. Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from library copy.