October 7, 2012

Fox In Socks

Fox In Socks
by Dr. Seuss

The two main characters in this book are the Fox and Mr. Knox. The fox is coming up with funny tongue twisters for Mr. Knox to say. Mr. Knox keeps asking the fox to not make it so hard but the fox just keeps coming up with one tongue twister after another, until Mr. Knox has enough and builds the Fox into one of his own stories and finally has revenge, placing him in a giant bottle where he can't say anything anymore.

Again, Dr. Seuss added a ton of fun pictures to look at for the kids. However, what really stands out in this book is the writing. It is a bunch of fun but also a challenge to read this to your kids. I could see this book be  great, once boys get to the age where they can read it themselves. It really shows how many words are written in different ways, but are pronounced the same. My oldest likes it, but I am not sure how much of the story he is really getting yet. 

October 4, 2012

If You Give A Mouse A Cookie

If You Give A Mouse A Cookie
be Laura Joffe Numeroff

This is a cute little story about a mouse that comes across a little boy and spends some time with him. It starts with the boy giving the mouse a cookie and then leads from one thing to another.

There are a ton of pictures and only one sentence per page. It's a great book for little boys because it invites to talk about a lot of activities they do during their regular day like taking a nap or coloring a picture.

What this book reminds me of is the life of a mom. It's quite funny, when you look at the pictures, the mouse wants this and that and the little boy is doing everything for the mouse. As the book progresses, the little boy looks more and more tired. On the last page he sits in a mess, help asleep, cleaning stuff everywhere and the mouse is on his lap eating another cookie. That is so much how I feel many nights. Makes me smile.

October 1, 2012

Duck! Rabbit!

Duck! Rabbit!
by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld

This book has not much of a story. It has a picture of the duck/rabbit on each page and then on each side a voice arguing for it being a duck or a rabbit. It concludes with each voice taking on the other voice's opinion and that is pretty much it. 

First my kids took a moment to get what they are talking about. Once they had it figured out, that the same picture could be both a duck and a rabbit, it was pretty easy going for them.

The graphics I found lacking of creativity. There was really not much to this book.

The writing is in the form of an argument and that wasn't what I was looking for as well. Maybe I am overreacting, but I am trying to get my boys to argue less. I don't need a book for them written in the form of an argument. 

The boys didn't favor this book either. They wanted to read it perhaps twice and then it got old really fast. 

September 28, 2012

The Magic Hat

The Magic Hat
by Mem Fox

The story line of this book is very simple. A magic hat flies into a small town. As it rests on people's heads it transforms them into an animal. After a few people are changed, a wizard comes to town and transforms the animals back into people. Everyone is having fun, the wizard leaves town again and uses the magic hat to transform himself into a boy.

The graphics of the book are alright I would say. Sure, they are pretty but also very detailed. At times, there is much more going on in the graphics than there is in the story. For instance, in the graphics the wizard brings an egg when he comes to town. Later you see a chicken hatch out of the egg and the people following it. None of that is in the story.

The writing is pretty good. There is a rhyme to it and it's easy to read. Yeah, I must say the writing is good although the book could be a bit longer for a 4 year old and the story line could be a little better done as well. Overall, my five year old really likes the story. I think he is mostly fascinated by the idea of magic.

September 25, 2012

All The World

All the World
by Liz Garton Scanlon and Marla Frazee

The book is more about rhymes and a poem that takes you through a wonderful day. The rhymes are mostly not in sentences but list words that describe and name things. 

I think the most stunning feature of the books are the amazing drawings. The book is seriously a piece of art. The combination of breathtaking drawings with words that give you warm fuzzy feelings lets this book have quite an emotional impact on the reader. 

I like about this book that it is not just a cute book or just a girly fuzzy book, but that it is looking at the world at large and I think that makes this book a good read not just for girls but for boys as well. I know my boys enjoy this book, even though it doesn't get them as much as a scary monster book would. However, when we do get to the end and it say "All the world is me and you", even they get their fuzzy feelings out and like to include all the people that are important to them and should be added to that list. 

September 18, 2012

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
Lee Virginia Burton

This is certainly one of the classics. Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel Mary Anne run out of work. All the new shovels, like the electric shovels and the Diesel engine shovels are taking their jobs away. They go to the town of Popperville to get a job there for building the new Town Hall cellar. Their offer is to do it in a day, or  do the job for free. As they dig very fast, they forget to leave an exit and are stuck in the cellar. A little boy had an idea. They leave Mary Anne in the cellar to be the heater of the building and Mike Mulligan becomes the janitor. 

For my two year old this story is much too long, but my five year old really enjoys it. It is a great story about construction, about engines, about adventure. One thing that I thought might be harder for him to understand are things related to the different time this book takes place at. Things like steam engines for instance, but he doesn't seem to mind one bit. 

The graphics are what I think one would call pencil drawings. They are detailed and interestingly made. Usually there is a drawing covering half a page or something similar, whereas newer children's books seem to have drawings covering almost the entire page. 

The language is great. Simple enough for a five year old to understand but also challenging at the same time and perhaps too much for a younger child. 

September 13, 2012


by Lyn Rossiter McFarland

Widget is the name of a little stray dog. He comes across a very nice looking home, but there are already six cats living with the older lady. The cats don't like dogs so Widget behaves like a cat and they accept him. As an emergency comes up and the cats don't know what to do, Widget barks and gets people's attention. Everyone is okay in the end and finally the cats decide that a dog might not be so bad after all.

The graphics are good in this book, the writing is also very nice. The story line is good and the over all it seems like a well done book. However, it never really got to my boys. They will read it now and then but it is not one of their favorites.

What I liked to do is go over the six cats and count them, count their six beds and their dishes too. But I wonder why it didn't get that popular with us. Perhaps it is because the story elements are dealing with social aspects more than other books do, such as finding a home, living with others and being accepted. I just don't see my boys think about those things very much.