Monday, 24 October 2016

Creepy Carrots! by Aaron Reynolds & Peter Brown

Full disclosure: I'm re-posting this previous Halloween review b/c we're still enamored by Creepy Carrots! at our house and I think it warrants another look:

Well, it's almost time for Halloween and our annual search for the perfect book for the season is on.  We've settled for a tried and true favorite this year: Creepy Carrots! (words by Aaron Reynolds and pictures by Peter Brown).


Jasper Rabbit is the little tyke in charge of this tale. He can't get enough of the carrots from Crackenhopper Field and in time convinces himself that there are creepy carrots following him around... everywhere.

The illustrations are just that little bit film noir and they work in tandem with the words to create a slightly spooky, unpredictably crackin' tale. Jasper Rabbit's road to gluttony is paved with paranoia and eventually he has to put an end to those creepy carrots once and for all.

E thinks the three main carrots are hysterical and has a ritual of inspecting the illustrated end papers with each read.  I think it's a perfect book to get you in the Halloween spirit.

And for an extra treat check out this awesome little film.

Happy Halloween! 


video

Thursday, 13 October 2016

The Lion Inside by Rachel Bright & Jim Field


This is a gentle picture book with an important message.  Mouse is overlooked by the rest of the animals who are all much bigger and louder than him.  He's fed up at being ignored, forgotten and even stepped on.  So one day he decides his only option is to ask the biggest, baddest beast of all to teach him to roar. The animal with THE most ferocious roar is the Lion King and he spends his days upon a high rock.  How in world is a tiny mouse going to take him on?  By digging deep, thinking like a winner and being strong is how.  Mouse gathers up enough courage to approach the lion and to his complete surprise discovers that this enormous beast with the powerful roar is actually, well, he's actually scared of mice.  So while Mouse discovers something new about himself he also learns that even the biggest beasts have fears to face. Together the two forge an unlikely friendship and the concluding sentence sums this book up perfectly:

"Yes, that day they both learned that, no matter your size, we all have a mouse and a lion inside."


With sing song ryhme, a quick paced storyline and engaging illustrations (check out Mouse's ears!) this is a winner that E and I have shared together.

Monday, 3 October 2016

Keep those kids reading!

 My book searches have changed some since E started reading. I now spend a lot of time looking for books that are pitched at his reading level but still have a story and characters that interest him. Every kid is different but through trial and error I've found that reading at our house works best when E picks up a book in his own time and reads at his own pace. I leave little book piles around the house so that he can 'discover' new titles without the pressure of thinking he has to read it or even has to like it. And slowly over the last year I've begun to notice him picking up more and more books and sitting down to read them independently.

It's taken me quite a while to find the right books to fit a kid who could be described by any of those trendy labels depending on the day or the hour (early/developing/confident/reluctant, etc, etc). Currently the most popular titles are the Early Reader series from Orion, the Project X Alien Adventure series from Oxford University Press and the Penguin Young Readers books. Penguin is especially good at capturing the nuances of difference reading levels and once E finishes these three series next up my sleeve is the brilliant 'Who Was ...." nonfiction series also from Penguin.



And for anyone who's wondering, I do take E to the library to pick out his own books but sometimes it's just good for everyone to have a little break from Beast Quest now and again.