Hush Little Bunny by David Ezra Stein (9780062845221)
Caldecott Honor-winner Stein has rewritten the classic song of Hush Little Baby into a rabbit-filled delight. A papa bunny spends a day with his little bunny, experiencing a day in spring just as the snow is disappearing. The two of them explore the meadow together, running under the big blue sky. They munch on clover, hide from a hawk, and then return to play in the sun. In the afternoon, the little bunny plays with other young bunnies and papa bunny intervenes when someone is mean. As the day comes to a close, they watch fireflies and rejoice in spending time together.
The book follows the phrasing and structure of the original song, which will inspire singing along when sharing this one aloud. There is such a sense of joy throughout this book about the warming weather, the beauty of spring and the pleasure of being with someone you love and who loves you. The illustrations echo that spirit with their playful nature. The watercolors are filled with the greens of spring and the gold of the sun.
Another winner for Stein, this one is just right for springtime reading. Appropriate for ages 2-4.
Reviewed from library copy.
Away with Words: The Daring Story of Isabella Bird by Lori Mortensen, illustrated by Kristy Caldwell (9781682630051)
As a child, Isabella Bird was not well. She spent much of her time with aches and pains stuck indoors. Then her doctor had an idea that fresh air might do her good. She traveled on horseback with her father and realized that she loved to explore. However, Victorian England was not conducive to a woman traveling on her own, and Isabella once more fell ill. Once again, she was prescribed travel and set off on a journey to Canada and the United States. When she returned, triumphant and with many stories, she was encouraged to write a book. This set her off on a lifetime of travels and adventures around the world and writing books that captivated nineteenth-century readers.
Mortensen demonstrates how very stifling life in the 1800s were for women and girls. Happily, Bird was able to discover her own passion for travel and adventure. The book tells stories of her travels and the harrowing situations she found herself in, like climbing volcanoes, surviving severe cold, and dangling from a cliff by her skirt. Scattered throughout the book are excerpts from Bird’s own writing that show how stirring and evocative her prose was.
The illustrations in the book are done with simple lines that really capture the action and at times the boredom of Bird’s life. Bird’s journal, with her on all of her travels, features heavily in the illustrations as it drops over cliffs, loses pages to the wind, or has Bird writing in amazing situations.
A look at a woman who did not allow social conventions to slow her down, this is an inspirational story of following one’s bliss. Appropriate for ages 6-9.
Reviewed from ARC provided by Peachtree.