The next seven days days are special in the children's book world because Children's Book Week is from May 10th to May 16th and Reading is Fun Week is from May 9th through 16th. In celebration of these days, I am going to post a review of a picture book every day. I chose picture books because it gives me the opportunity to enjoy reading and reviewing some of the treasures that I have sitting on my shelves. I hope you will join me every day for this Seven Days of Picture Books event.
Here is today's picture book review:
The Red Chalk
Iris van der Heide
Illustrated by Marije Tolman
Ages 5 to 7
Boyds Mills Press, 2006, 978-1-932425-79-6
Sara has a stick of red chalk and she tries to draw on the sidewalk with it, but the sidewalk is so bumpy that “none of her pictures turned out right.” Luckily for Sara, Tim is willing to trade his marbles for her “magic” chalk. Sara tells Tim that everything that he draws with the chalk “will come to life.” Not surprisingly, Tim is more than happy to make the trade.
After playing with the marbles for just a short while, Sara decides that the marbles are “no fun at all.” Down on the beach she sees Sam. Sam has a delicious looking red lollipop, and Sara soon comes up with a way to get Sam to trade her sweet treat for Sara’s marbles; Sara tells Sam that the marbles are “real pearls from the ocean,” and Sam is happy to trade her lollipop for the marbles. The problem is that Sam soon discovers that this trade isn’t going to work for her either.
In this lovely picture book, the author tells a story that some children, and a few adults, will find familiar. Like Sara, many of us are always eager to have what someone else has. We don’t use our imaginations to see that we have right now has great potential. Marije Tolman compliments the text with deliciously emotive illustrations that are touched with humor, and that add a special magical dimension to the story.
You can download a charming Children's Book Week bookmark here.When you open the page, right-click on the image and save it to your computer. Print the bookmark on heavy paper, then cut out around the dotted line. Then you can draw in your own favorite character and keep a list of your favorite books! Enjoy!