Am I Yours? by Alex Latimer (9781682630440)
When an egg is blown out of its nest by the wind, different dinosaurs try to figure out who it belongs to. As each kind of dinosaur walks past, the egg asks if it belongs to them. The stegosaurus asks the egg if it has spikes under its shell, but it doesn’t. The brachiosaurus wonders about a long neck. Perhaps it has horns or a crest? Or maybe sharp teeth like the T Rex? But nothing matches what is hidden under the eggshell. When the sun sets though, the dinosaurs can see the silhouette of what sort of dinosaur is in the shell!
Latimer uses rhyme and a strong pattern structure to create a book that will be a winner with dinosaur fans. So many dinosaur books don’t read aloud well, but this one is a treat to share aloud. Latimer’s rhymes are skillfully done, creating just the right rhythm to move the story ahead at a brisk pace. Children who know their dinosaurs will love naming the different kinds and trying to guess what is inside the shell before it is revealed.
The illustrations are just as playful as the story with bright colored dinosaurs of red, green, blue and orange. Done in strong colors throughout, the book has a graphic appeal that will work well when shared with groups of children.
Add this to your next dinosaur-themed storytime. It is sure to please! Appropriate for ages 3-5.
Reviewed from library copy.
And the Ocean Was Our Sky by Patrick Ness, illustrated by Rovina Cai (9780062860729)
Get ready for a tale that will literally turn your perspective upside down. This is a novel that takes Moby Dick and transforms it into something new and fresh. Bathsheba is a hunter, serving her Captain and hunting men. As whales, they have their own ships, pulled by their Captain and containing the spoils of war. Whales waste nothing, unlike men. There is one man, Toby Wick, who is legendary. Having taken a man hostage, they have him lead them to Wick. But Bathsheba finds herself connecting with their prisoner and she refuses to kill him, making excuses to keep him alive with them. They continue their hunt of Wick, all heading to their destinies.
Ness draws readers immediately underwater and into the gravity-defying world of the whales. There is no chance to catch your breath and find your balance, instead you must trust in the current and follow where Ness leads you. His storytelling is that of a master, offering brevity and clarity as he builds a marvelous world below the surface of the water. There is a richness to his writing even though it is so crisp too, emotions deep and generations long playing out on the page.
Bathsheba is a compelling main character, filling the page with her doubts and questions about prophecies and destinies even as the book draws her closer and closer to her own. Throughout the book there is a feeling of a tragedy playing out before you, the homage to Moby Dick is deftly done. Readers familiar with the classic will immediately see the strong connections and still it is also a fascinating read without knowing the classic at all.
Another tremendously original and marvelous read from Ness. Appropriate for ages 10-13.
Reviewed from ARC provided by HarperTeen.