Tag: rhymes

On Bird Hill by Jane Yolen

On Bird Hill by Jane Yolen

On Bird Hill by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Bon Marstall (InfoSoup)

A child goes walking on Bird Hill with their dog, along a shoreline and down paths. On Bird Hill there is a tree that shines with both dark and light. On the trunk is a limb with a twig. On that twig is a nest with a bird on it. Under the bird is an egg and then the chick begins to hatch. The chick hatches and stretches and looks down from the tree, sees everything around him, even the child walking away.

This is the first picture book by Yolen for a new series with Cornell Lab of Ornithology. It plays with the traditional cumulative nursery rhyme style, creating a story that builds and builds. The language is simple while the concept is complicated. It’s a story that insists upon the reader looking closely and seeing beyond the basics to what lies underneath. The book is also circular and spiraling, showing the interplay between humans and nature as one and the same. There is a real playfulness about it and also a deep seriousness that provides a dynamic tension in the book.

The illustrations are wild and whimsical. The world is similar to ours but also so different, filled with green grass, circular ponds, unique trees and interesting birds. They have an almost folksy quality to them that merges with modernism too. They depict nature’s connection to our own lives, particularly in the scene where the shell the chick has hatched from shows the house the child lives in.

A master author has created a poem that dances and lifts which is accompanied by illustrations that surprise and delight. Appropriate for ages 2-5.

Reviewed from library copy.

 

The Wheels on the Tuk Tuk by Kabir Sehgal

The Wheels on the Tuk Tuk by Kabir Sehgal

The Wheels on the Tuk Tuk by Kabir Sehgal and Surishtha Sehgal, illustrated by Jess Golden (InfoSoup)

This picture book puts an Eastern Indian twist on The Wheels on the Bus rhyme. Here it’s the tuk tuk taxi’s wheels that go round and round instead. The picture book captures the hustle and bustle of a city in India with people getting on and off the tuk tuk, rupees going ching ching as payments are made, and people having to squish in together.The tuk tuk stops for cows in the road and also for a drink of chai for the driver. There are spraying elephants and then the trip ends with Diwali fireworks in the sky. It’s a merry and dynamic ride that pays homage to the original while being uniquely its own story.

It is the energy of this book that makes it so much fun. The setting is captured in small moments that make sure that readers know that they are somewhere specific and exceptional. The rhyme retains its dynamic pace with the tuk tuk filling with passengers of all ages as the book moves along the streets of India.

The illustrations in the book are bright and cheery. They show busy streets with monkeys, cows, goats and more. Good food appears like steaming chai and poppadoms and then is happily shared with one another.

A superb look at another culture through a familiar preschool rhyme, this picture book invites readers along for a ride of a different sort. Appropriate for ages 2-4.

Reviewed from library copy.

Review: What This Story Needs Is a Pig in a Wig by Emma F. Virjan

What This Story Needs Is a Pig in a Wig by Emma Virjan

What This Story Needs Is a Pig in a Wig by Emma J. Virjan (InfoSoup)

The pig in a wig comes first in this story where she is quickly floating in a boat on the moat. But then it all starts to get even more silly as a frog, a dog and a goat on a log join her in the boat. A rat and an elephant come next and it gets even more crowded, then a skunk and house! It’s completely full when a mouse and a panda join the floating group. But the pig has had enough and orders everyone to leave. They swim to shore, but then it’s all a bit too quiet for the pig who figures out exactly what they need to stay together.

This very simple rhyming book takes a classic story line of wildly silly building up of creatures in a limited space. The rhymes are silly themselves, often forced in a way that adds to the humor. The entire menagerie of animals have no rhyme or reason them other than rhyming and sometimes not even that. It’s a very silly story and one that is sure to appeal to new readers.

The illustrations are done with simple lines and colors. Looking almost like a coloring book, the illustrations add to the simplicity and the innate appeal of the book.

An early reader that has enough silliness in it to appeal to new readers. Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from copy received from HarperCollins.

Review: Have You Seen My New Blue Socks?

have you seen my new blue socks

Have You Seen My New Blue Socks? by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier

Duck has lost his new blue socks.  He searches in his box, but they aren’t there.  He asks his friend Fox who hasn’t seen them either.  Perhaps Ox knows where his socks are?  Ox remembers seeing some socks down by the rocks.  But those socks are purple, not blue socks, and they aren’t new either.  Finally, Duck asks a group of peacocks about his socks.  And they do know where his socks are!  It turns out they are in a most surprising place!

Bunting has written a picture book in rhyme that dances along to a jaunty beat.  The rhymes are merrily done, done in a humorous way.  She makes it all look so easy and effortless, but rhyming picture books are some of the most difficult to do well.  Kudos to Bunting for maintaining the joy in simple rhymes.  Her words read aloud well and are also simple enough for beginning readers to tackle.

Ruzzier’s illustrations are the key to young readers spotting the blue socks which are slowly revealed as the book progresses.  Expect eagle-eyed children to figure out the answer even before the adults.  Ruzzier fills Duck’s world with lots of clutter from starfish to soccer balls to underwear.  Done in ink and watercolor, the colors are bright and add to the surreal nature of the story itself.

Socks lost and then found, rhymes and rhythms, and a delight of a read aloud to share, this book has it all!  Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from library copy.