Friday, February 20, 2015


Title: The Bear Ate Your Sandwich
Author: Julia Sarcone-Roach
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Date: 2015

An eaten sandwich,
A dog who witnessed it all.

There once was a sandwich sitting in a red lunchbox on a park bench.

Apparently, a goofy black bear hitched a ride on the back of a pickup truck hauling berries into the city.  After exploring his new surroundings, the black bear spied a sandwich on a park bench and decided to eat it.  At least that's what the dog told the little girl of whom owned the red lunchbox.

Likely story.  You be the judge.
Great book for afternoon storytime, bedtime or anytime.

The Art: Bright, bold and beautiful.  The black bear character is soft, warm and loveable. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

ONCE UPON A TIME, THE END (asleep in 60 seconds) by Geoffrey Kloske

Title: Once upon a time, the End (asleep in 60 seconds)
Author: Geoffrey Kloske
Illustrator: Barry Blitt
Publisher: Altheneum Books for Young Readers; An imprint of Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing Division
Date: 2005

If this book was meant to be a quiet bedtime book with the goal to get your child to sleep in 60 seconds - then it is a bust. Well, sort of.

It is a bust only because I'm sure every single parent who has attempted to read this book to their child before bed ended up busting out laughing way too many times to support any gentle, descending flow that eventually leads to sleepiness in children.

Now, if this book was meant to be a fun, bedtime bonding book, then I must say, this book is a masterpiece.

Once upon a time, the End is a book that boasts many stories within a story. Once upon a time there was a little person who was dealing with a father of whom did not want to read a bedtime story to his child.  It seemed that Daddy had a hard day at the office. Every story, nursery rhyme or riddle he recited was cut, razed, pulverized and annihilated into a morsel of its original form and then completed with an accusation of incompetence in regards to the child's ability to fall asleep.  Brilliant.

"Then what's your excuse?
 Go to bed." 

"The end.
 Why are you still awake?"

This book will make you and your child laugh and giggle and it just may become their favorite go-to bedtime book of all time.   

Tip: If you are reading this book to your child before they go to sleep, allow a little extra time for your child to settle down after the book is done.  Sixty seconds will not be enough time.

The Art:  Beautiful shades of beige, peach and teal with some pops of red.  Light lines and fun cartoon characters. 

Monday, February 9, 2015


Title: Inside Outside
Author: Lizi Boyd
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Date: 2013

An absolutely, beautifully illustrated children's book.

By using strategically placed die cuts on every page, the young reader can see what's going on inside the house when the young child and his dog are playing outside and also outside of the house when he is playing inside.

This is a WPB (Wordless Picture Book). There is no vocabulary or dialogue in Inside, Outside.

With so much to see in this book, the young reader can spend ample time looking at and talking about what is going on in the story, and there is something new every time he turns the page.  There are so many types of animals, insects, pictures, posters, flowers and activities.

The Art: The colors and patterns are soft and gentle yet the lines are strong.  I have always been a fan of 'brown paper bag'  (BPB) literature as it tends to float a natural, organic feel to the physical and visual aura of the book.

My favorite part of the book is that there are two little white mice to find on every page.

And to add to all the positives, it is worth mentioning that the young child in this story is always smiling.

This is a perfect book for the quiet corner at school or as a bedtime book at home.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

THE RACE by Edouard Manceau

Title: The Race
Author: Edouard Manceau
Publisher: Owl Kids Books
Date: 2012

The best sports book for kids. Ever.
Or, should I say the best sports book for adults, that was written for children. Ever.

Despite the unusual choice of anthropomorphic characters (I get the hare and tortoise, but reindeer?), I must say, Edouard Manceau must have had children enrolled in organized and/or competitive sports.

While this book focuses on the cheating aspect of the athletes during competition - in this case - a running race, there are definitely innuendos to the adult encouragement of the unsportsmanlike behavior of the competitors.

After all, "it begins with a guy (a reindeer, actually), a can of paint, and a paintbrush."  There is a starting pistol, assigned number badges, medical support and a well-stocked rest stop for refueling.  There is no doubt this is an adult organized event.

But when the win at all costs attitude of the adults affect the outcome, like the adult reindeer (obviously, because children don't drive) driving a truck allowing competitors to hang on to the back in order to cheat their way to the front, the negligence of rules and regulations, thus allowing 'the old banana peel trick' and the digging of a concealed hole in the ground, made it obvious that the adult organizers were either running an unscrupulous event or were unaware of the importance of the assurance of fair play in competition. 

At last, when one competitor finally crosses the finish line and there is a entire entourage of media and even a marching band to celebrate his perceived (if not unfair) accomplishment, the message to the adults is clear; step back, take a look at what's important - understand what, when, how and why you want your child to participate in sport and keep it all in perspective.

The Art: Bright, yet organic colors and patterns. 

For the children reading the book, the message is also clear: don't cheat and do what makes you happy!

This is an excellent and rare book about good and poor sportsmanship.  It's one for the home library, indeed.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


Title: Mister Bud Wears the Cone
Author: Carter Goodrich
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Date: 2014

Okay, this story really isn't about Mister Bud.  The poor guy simply had a 'hot spot' that bothered him so he had to wear a cone to keep from aggravating it. This story is really about Zorro, Mister Bud's jealous little so-called best 'friend' (with an interesting five o' clock shadow) whom taunted, teased and even tattled on his frustrated and hapless old roommate.

When Mister Bud spoiled the coveted regular scheduled walk-and-a-biscuit because of the cone, Zorro thought he should just take things into his own paws and get his own biscuits while the owner was away.  And Zorro also thought it was fun to taunt Mister Bud by taking Mister Bud's toy and running away with it, causing Mister Bud to chase him and knock over a lamp with his cone.  Zorro thought Mister Bud was going to be in big trouble, and took great pleasure in that, but when their owner finally returned home....

Moral of the story:
If you want to know who is really stealing the biscuits, get a nanny cam.

The Art: Soft, blended colors and patterns.  

A totally entertaining book!
Available at Chapters/Indigo