Thursday, February 26, 2009

Picture Book Thursday - Winter Edition

Here in Atlanta, spring is in full force, but since the Weather Channel headline was about the biggest snow of the season for Holly, we're featuring books about winter! (Sorry about the snow, Holly...but it's probably a great day for curling up with a good book.)

The Mitten is a retelling of a Ukrainian folk tale by the incomparable Jan Brett. This is one of our favorite books for any season. Little Nicky asks his grandmother to knit him a pair of white mittens, though she warns he will lose them in the snow. He does indeed lose a mitten, which becomes shelter for a series of increasingly large forest creatures. The pictures are gorgeous, and each page has a little preview picture of what's coming next, making it a perfect book for reading to younger children and asking, "Who do you think will climb into the mitten next?" The story is simple and sweet, and Lilah sits still through the whole book. A magical winter tale.

Just a Snowy Day by Mercer Mayer is a pull-tab entry in the Little Critter series. It's less involved as a story than the other books, but it's a fun one, and the tabs are nice and sturdy, so I haven't had to re-glue something Lilah managed to rip off the book yet! Children can pull Little Critter down the hill on his sled, scratch and sniff his mug of cocoa, and tuck him into bed at the end of a long winter day. This one is a winner for younger children.

I've posted about Jane Chapman and Karma Wilson's Bear series before, but not about this entry. This is the first Bear book, in which Bear's friends slip into his lair while Bear hibernates. More and more animals join in, bringing food and making tea, until a huge party is going on while Bear snores on. The rhyme and rhythm are delightful to read aloud, and Lilah loves this book. It holds her attention through all the pages. It's a fun book for children and adults. A wonderful read-aloud about winter!
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Yes, here in the Twin Cities, we are quite in the midst of a blizzard. UGH! Not fun (although, the kiddos think all the snow is cool). :-) Winter is quite the fitting topic for Picture Book Thursday today. And I'm not the least bit jealous of Allison's spring weather in Atlanta, no I'm not (okay, that was a total lie).

We checked this adorable picture book out of the library: A Really Good Snowman by Daniel Mahoney. Jack is excited for the big snowman-building contest! But his little sister tags along. Her help may not always be so helpful so Jack is quite excited when the rules for the contest say only three to a team. He plans to build his snowman with two friends. But he notices his sister struggling and decides he should help her. Turns out he enjoys himself! This is a fun little book showing a typical sibling relationship. May be good if an older sibling is complaining about a younger sibling. It can show how it is nice to help each other out, even though the younger sister annoys him. He still loves her and wants to help her out when she needs it. The illustrations are fun and the different types of snowmen are great (there's big ones, shorts ones, large ones, skinny ones, and even and Elvis one!).

The charming story of A Snowman Named Just Bob by Mark Kimball Moulton talks about friendship. One night it snows and Bob's voice speaks to a little kid asking him to gather up all the snow to create a new friend. Bob comes along and they have a good time, but he lets the child know that even though he will not always be there, that he can think of him and he'll be near. The last words of the book are: "We all joined in celebration, for his message was quite clear, that just like all good faithful friends....Bob is always near." A good lesson for children (maybe even friends moving away) to know they can have friends who are not always right there but you can still think of them and care for them. Very sweet book. Pretty much a retelling of Frosty the Snowman. :-) In looking this one up, I realized there are some sequels! A Snowgirl Named Just Sue and The Annual Snowman's Ball.

Hope you're staying warm and at home if you live somewhere where it's still winter. :-)

1 comment:

Lenore said...

Based on illustration style, I am most drawn to A really good snowman.

Wish winter would hurry up and be over. I am constantly freezing and I have a cold.