Friday, October 30, 2009

Picture Book Friday: Pumpkin Baby and Dangerous Alphabet

Although, Jane Yolen's Pumpkin Baby isn't really a "halloween" book, I'm throwing it up here because it has pumpkins in it and I need to get it reviewed. :-) It's been sitting on my shelf for way too long!

Boy, Jane Yolen sure is a prolific children's book author! I just searched Barnes and Noble because I was going to make the statement that "Pumpkin Baby is Jane Yolen's most recent published book." Good thing I checked that fact. Because according to the B&N website, this is actually no. 22 on her list. That is, she has 21 other books already out or coming out in the near future, including some very fun looking new "How Do Dinosaurs..." books!

Pumpkin Baby starts out with a three year old little girl imagining what a pumpkin baby might look like. Each year as she gets older, she imagines a new baby (cabbage baby, stork baby) until her mother has a new baby when she's six. The new baby is nothing like she pictured, but in a good way!

Very sweet book with fun adorable illustrations. Perfect for our house right now as we await arrival of Baby #3 in January. Though the entire book isn't about fall or pumpkins, there are several pages that illustrate both so it could nonchalantly be categorized as a "fall" book. :-)

Source Disclosure: This book was sent to me for review from Samantha at Penguin.

The Dangerous Alphabet by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Gris Grimly is just about the opposite of Pumpkin Baby. ;-) It was recommended to me by Carl from Stainless Steel Droppings when I joined the R.I.P. IV Reading Challenge. This is definitely not a book for younger children. But I believe older picture book readers and in particular boys will get a real kick out of this, especially around this time of year. It could be paired quite well with Goodnight Goon by Michael Rex.

The Dangerous Alphabet follows two children and their pet gazelle through the depths of a crazy underworld filled with monsters, animals, and pirates as they face a macabre alphabet adventure. Grimly's illustrations are utterly imaginative and you can't stop looking at them. Every time I take a look, I see something else. Each letter page seems to have an object or items in the picture that starts with that letter (ie: an apple for A, a snake for S, an x-ray for X). You and your child can have fun looking for all the things that represent each letter. Also, several pages of the book contain illustrations or early drawings of the actual pages of the book as well as one where a ghost is reading a copy of The Dangerous Alphabet to a group of children.

I say this book is not for young readers for the simple fact that many of the illustrations show children chained up or being dragged off by monsters. Definitely not appropriate for the preschool sector, but perfectly enjoyable for adults and older children.

Source disclosure: Borrowed from the library.

1 comment:

Charley said...

I love the illustrations in The Dangerous Alphabet. And I agree, it's sort of an alphabet book for adults.