Tag Archives: best books

Book Review: The Monsters’ Monster by Patrick McDonnell

14 Oct

It’s been QUITE A WHILE since I posted a book review. Perhaps that’s because I’ve not felt inspired to do so in a while? Maybe, maybe not. At any rate, I felt VERY inspired to write about Patrick McDonnell’s (he’s the creator of the Mutts comic and several other lovely picture books) new story, The Monsters’ Monster.

Grump, Groan and Gloom ‘n Doom are monsters. At least, they THINK so. The like to SMASH, BASH and CRASH, and they live in a gloomy castle on a hill above a monster-fearing town. However, they can’t decide which of them is the MOST monsterly. All of their debates on the subject end in a brawl (these are two of the glorious vocabulary words used in the book: debate and brawl). So, Grump, Groan and Gloom ‘n Doom decide to solve the problem by making the BIGGEST, BADDEST monster EVER. They gather supplies (like gunk, glue, and a smelly old shoe) and, in true Frankenstein fashion, raise their monster up to the heavens for a jolt of lightning. When their monster is lowered to the ground and begins to tear off his bandages, they cheer “It’s alive!”

And then the monster utters his first words: “DANK YOU.”

Wait, what? Who is this BIG, BAD monster saying thank you? Monsters don’t say  that! But Monster finally plows through a wall and heads toward the village to the bakery. Grump, Groan and Gloom ‘n Doom  cheer and follow closely behind, hoping to hear the “howls and yowls” of the bakery’s inhabitants. But when Monster emerges, having NOT smashed up the bakery, with a small white paper bag, what will they do?

This is JUST the right kind of not-so-scary story that’s right for young kids. It’s a bit long for toddlers, and introduces lots of great new words to add to a preschooler’s vocabulary. And the message of happiness at simply being alive? LOVELY. McDonnell’s illustrations are silly and filled with detail, but the muted shades of green, orange and grey are just right for the slightly-eerie tone. Add this to your Halloween or Monster storytime ASAP. You WON’T regret it – and neither will the kids who get to enjoy it!

DANK YOU! 

Trailer Tuesday: The Pigeon Gets a Cookie by Mo Willems

3 Apr

Not much more needs to be said other than: THERE’S A NEW PIGEON BOOK AND IT’S OUT TODAY!!! Pigeons worldwide comment:

(Thanks, Mr. Schu, for pointing out the video!)

Books to look forward to: Ollie the Purple Elephant by Jarrett J. Krosoczka!

13 Aug

I adore Jarrett J. Krosozcka’s books – especially Punk Farm, which allows me to release my inner Ramone – so it’s a foregone conclusion that I would be excited for the release of Ollie the Purple Elephant. And after watching this video, where Jarrett describes how Ollie was imagined, and a bit of the story, I’m even more excited to read it!

Bonus: learn how to properly pronounce “Krosoczka.” I am pleased to hear that I’ve not been mangling it all these years.

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Chomp! Happy Shark Week!

4 Aug

Honestly, I’ve never actually watched any of the gore/mayhem that comes with Shark Week. But then I only  got cable a couple of years ago, and it was basic BASIC cable. But, in honor of the phenomenon, here are some great shark books to share during the commercials.

  • Shea, Bob. I’m a Shark!Shark is pretty proud of his scary-making

    Shark says "hey!"

    skills. But don’t tell him if a spider’s nearby.

  • Geist, Ken. The Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark. Will shark chomp through the house made of seaweed? You betcha. The house made of coral? Of course. But the sunken ship house? Hmmm…
  • Peck, Jan. Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea. The kids joined in on the “swim away” refrain. Lots of sea creatures, but the shark really gets noticed!
  • Schwarz, Viviane. Shark and Lobster’s Amazing Undersea Adventure. Not really a storytime share, because of the cartoon-panel illustrations, but super funny and a good one-on-one book. What scares shark? Besides spiders, I mean. Tigers, of course!
  • Barton, Chris. Shark vs. Train. A picture-book version of “anything you can do, I can do better.” But really, they’re both good at stuff.
  • Arnosky, Jim. Gobble It Up! a fun song about eating. What would you eat if you were a shark? It may seem gross to you, but if you were a shark, well, you’d gobble it up! (Also includes whales, raccoons, pandas, and others…).

What are your sharkey favorites, for storytime or otherwise? We’ll eat ’em up!

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