Monday, March 16, 2009

review: One Boy

One Boy written and illustrated by Laura Vaccaro Seeger. Roaring Brook, 2008 (978-1-59643-274-1) $14.95

You always get something extra in a concept book by Seeger. This one is a counting book to begin with, but as the pages are turned, cut out pictures also demonstrate how words can be contained by other words: one boy is all alone, six cars turn out to be toys on the carpet. The surprises are fun--ten ants in your pants!--and there's a satisfying framing device, as all the pictures turn out to have been drawn by the one boy, who is now all done. Illustrated with bright, primary colors, this is a terrific choice to share with inquisitive toddlers, who can soak up information about words and reading without even realizing it. (2-5)

copyright 2009 Wendy E. Betts

Other Blog Reviews:

Help Readers Love Reading

Books for Kids Blog

Sam and Sam's Dad Read

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Nonfiction Monday: Gone Fishing

Gone Fishing written and illustrated by David McLimans. Walker, 2008 (978-0-8027-9770-4) $16.99

This follow-up to the Caldecott Honor book Gone Wild: an Endangered Animal Alphabet counts from one to ten and then back again, illustrating the numbers with stylized, folk-art drawings of endangered sea creatures. Drawn in blue, white and black, against blue or black backgrounds, the pictures are very striking, though squeezing the animals into the shapes of the numbers is sometimes an exercise in imagination. Each page also contains a more realistic drawing plus some basic information about the creature: class, habitat, regions, threats and endangered status. A "Diving Deeper" section at the end offer more detail on each one, and there is also a section on ocean facts by tens: "Less than 1 percent of water on Earth is freshwater. In every fisherman's haul of shrimp, the nets catch up to 10 times the weight of the shrimp in other species, which is then trashed. Giant kelp, the fastest-growing plant in the ocean, can grown up to 100 feet long in little more than a year."

As nonfiction this book is a little dry, no pun intended, but numbers that come with tentacles, bulging eyes and sharp teeth are an immediate eye-catcher, and the creative use of limited colors and negative space only adds to the strong visual appeal. (5-10)

copyright 2009 Wendy E. Betts

Other blog reviews:

A Patchwork of Books
In The Pages...
SherMeree's Musings
Check It Out

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