Review: Ready Rabbit Gets Ready! by Brenna Maloney

Ready Rabbit Gets Ready by Brenna Maloney

Ready Rabbit Gets Ready! by Brenna Maloney (InfoSoup)

When Ready Rabbit wakes up in the morning, he doesn’t feel like getting right out of bed. But his mother keeps on calling him so he gets up. Then before he starts to get ready to go, he has to build a spaceship. His mother calls for him to pick up his toys and get ready to go. So Ready decides to get dressed. But what should he wear? He has all sorts of costumes to try on and consider until he remembers that rabbits don’t wear clothes! Breakfast is ready but Ready finds it quite boring to sit and eat. He’d rather be doing a daring rescue with an ambulance. Brushing teeth takes some concentration and before you know it, there’s toothpaste everywhere. Will Ready ever be ready for school?

Maloney creates the ultimate distracted child in Ready Rabbit, a rabbit who can’t concentrate on anything except his imagination. The voice of the mother only appears in voice bubbles and she never appears on the page. So the book is fully centered on the protagonist and his vivid imagination. The book works hard to make sure that the tone of the mother is encouraging and not angry and that Ready is actually slowly making progress towards getting ready even as he plays around.

The illustrations make this book particularly special. Ready Rabbit and all of his things are objects with Ready being a knit bunny with a face that is a piece of fabric with changing expressions drawn on it. One might not think it would work, but the result is charming and has a very different vibe than many picture books.

Families trying to get ready in the morning will recognize their own wish to play just a little bit longer. Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from copy received from Penguin.

Review: In Mary’s Garden by Tina and Carson Kugler

In Marys Garden by Tina and Carson Kugler

In Mary’s Garden by Tina & Carson Kugler (InfoSoup)

This picture book biography of Mary Nohl, a Wisconsin artist, tells the story of her first creations of large art. When she was young, Mary discovered that she loved art and making things and drawing. It was when she started to collect odds and ends from the beach near her home that she started to create her statues in her garden. Cement was combed and crafted, dotted with stones and other objects. One after another, huge creatures filled her yard, drawing visitors to see what Mary was creating. Mary died in 2001 at the age of 87 and her home still serves as a gallery of her art.

The Kuglers focus primarily on the finding of objects and the process that Mary used to create the art. Then they turn to the gallery she created with her huge creatures who are friendly and welcoming and wild. One can immediately see the appeal of her art. Turning to the back of the book, readers can see the actual art and her garden gallery. The more detailed prose found there also explains how her works is still problematic for her neighbors and how people are working to preserve it.

The illustrations are great and completely capture the whimsical and decidedly friendly nature of Mary Nohl’s art work. From the finding of objects on the lake beach to the creation of the art itself, the illustrations invite young readers to try their own hand at found-object art and to make themselves happy too.

Ideal for Wisconsin libraries, art teachers will enjoy having a book about a woman modern sculptor. Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from library copy.