“I don’t know what number to say. It’s different because it’s written in notes and it doesn’t just say what happens. That’s interesting. I think it’s made with colored pencils and I like all the details in the pictures. I like this book.”
I like the subtlety of this book. I love how Stewart doesn’t explain the evolution of the relationship between Lydia Grace and her sad uncle or how it ends, it’s there in the subtext and in the pictures but who expects a child to read subtext? But they can. She doesn’t tell you that the flowers help the shop’s business or that the uncle comes to love the girl, but it’s there. So much of what is important in this story is in what is unsaid.
I also love the huge amount of detail in Small’s drawings – even in a crazy busy picture like the one of the big reveal on the roof, you can pick out the different species of annuals. Or I can, the chum says he can’t tell so I guess that’s a special treat for the gardeners.
“4 and a half. I like the shading in the pictures and I like the expressions the cat makes. I like how he describes the cat, like, wiggled her bottom, I didn’t know what that meant before I had a kitten. It’s a cute book.”
I find it so interesting that Henkes is clearly drawing in the same style he uses in all his mouse books but the drawings are so much richer. It’s like getting rid of color freed him to explore texture.
Such a sweet book. We did buy this after we read it the first time around. Oh kittens, you are so adorable.
“4 out of 5. I really like the pictures and the way they are colored. In the story, I like the details, like it says, 1000 foot rope, not just rope.”
I think what the chum responds to in this book most (and he picked this one out to start us off, he really likes this book) is the story. It’s a great story about overcoming fear, and perseverance, and caring for someone else and just the joy of doing something amazing. The writing has so many perfect little moments, like in the climax,
She stepped onto the wire, and with the most intense pleasure, as she had always imagined it might be, she started to cross the sky.
That line always makes me cry.
And, of course, the pictures are gorgeous watercolors. A well deserved win for McCully.
The chum is interested in it and I think it will be a lot of fun since now, as an older kid, he can bring his own criticism. Stand by for chum reviews!
The final act in McCloskey’s Maine stories. The girls could be Sal and her sister, much older now.
Some children’s books seem only to be peripherally for children – this is one of them. It’s a picture book, it features children and children can enjoy it on many levels, but it’s really such an adult book. The language is so poetic and the emotional quality is so adult – that longing for the magic of nature and childhood.
This book is a freakin’ masterpiece. So lovely. Such poetry. The love of place makes you want to cry. But for a four-year-old… He was interested throughout and had questions, but his appreciation of the bittersweet joys of longing are minimal.
Surprise! It’s Margaret Wise Brown writing under a pseudonym.
A sweet story about a boy shepherd and a black lamb with a daring night time rescue which is exciting but only minimally scary.
Not my favorite of her collaborations with Weisgard. A bit too roughly illustrated and a bit too long in some descriptions. I was really struck by the use of color (or lack of) in the night time illustrations. It’s a strong choice that I think many illustrators might have shied away from.
I found the dialect of this story to be a problem. In my opinion, when you’re bringing a different way of life to children, you want to make it relatable in some way. The dialect in this book was such that it started to make the poetry of the images get a bit lost in the irregularity of the verb forms. And also, I’m reading it to a 4 year old. I don’t want his reaction to an interesting peek into the work of migrant workers to be filtered through, these people aren’t talking right. So I standardized the verbs.
A lot of the kind of questions an older child might have had, about why this small girl is working the field all day and so on, didn’t come up. But I did relate it to our local migrant workers, the long days and the hard work. Some really beautiful images in the text especially the cotton flower blooming out of season.
I’m not a huge fan of impressionistic illustrations, but that style was really used well here – especially in the early morning pictures with the fog and in the cotton fields. Pretty.
I’ve mentioned this phenomenon before. Sometimes you just pick up a book and the illustrations are so dated, the period of it’s publication just screams at you. I don’t mean dated in a derogatory way either, I love a lot of these books, but you’d never think say, Hide and Seek Fog was from the 1980’s or Knuffle Bunny was from the 1950’s. They look of their time.
And so to Drummer Hoff which screams late 60’s from two aisles away. The colors! The crazy stain-glass like divisions of objects. The crazy last “Make Love Not War” -esque image of the cannon covered with flowers and birds. The colors! Oh the colors!!!!!! It’s, uh, bright.
The chum liked it a lot but that’s pretty much because he’s 4 years old and it’s about a cannon. It’s very simple and unsubstantial. And so very very of the late 1960’s. Flashback!
I’d seen this book around forever but had never actually read it. It was better than I expected and quite funny – electric blankets indeed.
The art is simple but has a personal style to it that elevates it about the basic cartoonishness it gives of at first glance. The way she uses the watercolors for texture is a lot of that, I think. The unevenness of the color gives it a more adult feeling than an even wash would. There’s also some really interesting shadow details.
Good book, worthy of several rereadings.
I love this book but I have yet to find a child who agrees with me. Maybe a 9-year old? It’s a fascinating post-modern picture book with it’s intertwining stories and it’s overlapping time structure and so on but the chum found it a difficult combination of too advanced and boring.
I love how Macaulay makes the art styles very different for each story. The water colored train story couldn’t be more of a contrast to the very blocky abstraction of the cow and robber story, for example. And so when characters or ideas cross narratives, they look so different that kids don’t even recognize the crossover right away.
Such an interesting book.