Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Happy Spring

Happy Spring!

There are lots of book reviews of books about spring on the TTLG Spring Feature Page.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Picture Book Monday with a review of It's Springtime, Mr. Squirrel

Here in southern Oregon signs of spring are everywhere, even though there is still a chilly nip in the air in the mornings and evenings. The official first day of spring is tomorrow, and so I bring you this review of a book that is sweet and deliciously funny!

It’s Springtime, Mr. Squirrel
Sebastian Meschenmoser
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
North South, 2018, 978-0-7358-4310-3
One morning Mr. Squirrel wakes up to see that the world outside his home has been transformed. He has no idea what has happened. Where did all the bright green grass and colorful flowers come from? Bear explains that spring has arrived that it is time to “lie in the sun, stroll through the meadows, and fill our tummies with fine food!”
   Happily Mr. Squirrel scampers this way and that. He finds delicious things to eat, gorges himself, and then naps in the sun. However, Hedgehog has no appetite for food or frolics. He has been to the pond where he espied a lovely lady hedgehog. Unfortunately, he was so terrified of the gorgeous creature that he fled.
   Luckily Mr. Squirrel is there to help Hedgehog. He tells Hedgehog that he needs to “gain fame and glory” to earn the lady hedgehog’s esteem, and the best way to do that is to show off how brave and strong he is and to win lots of fights. The thing is that to win fights you have to look suitably dangerous and intimidating.
   Mr. Squirrel quickly gets to work. He measures Hedgehog and then runs off to gather supplies. He is going to make his friend look tough and masterful. It takes a while to come up with the right costume but in the end he succeeds. Not only that, but he too dons a similar costume so that he can help Hedghog win a “dangerous fight.” Now all they have to do is find an opponent who will make them look good.
   Children are going to laugh out loud as the follow the adventures of Mr. Squirrel and his friends. Who knew that winning the heart of a lady hedgehog could be so hard? Who knew that spring could be so full of surprises?
   With its delightful animal characters and its surprising ending, this is a wonderful book to share with children. Adults will find it hard not to fall for Mr. Squirrel, who is such a good friend.

Friday, March 2, 2018

The March and April issue of Through the Looking Glass.

Happy Friday everyone. The new issue of Through the Looking Glass is now online. In this issue the special feature focuses on books that are about saving the environment. Some of the titles that I have reviewed are informative, some are how-to books, and others celebrate the people who have worked tirelessly to save wild spaces and wildlife. Then there are the stories that show us how important it is to save the environment. There is also an Arbor Day feature that looks at stories about trees. Who doesn't love trees!

March is Women's History Month here in the U.S. so I have added new books to the Women's History Month feature that I hope you will enjoy.

Do visit the new issue to see what is new.

Happy weekend,

Poetry Friday with a review of Won Ton: A Cat tale told in Haiku

I am lucky enough to share my home with three wonderful felines. Legolas is a big, fluffy, ginger tabby who is easy-going and easy to please. Sumalee and Sarafee are two very opinionated Siamese cats who are fussy, difficult, and demanding. They remind me a lot of the cat whose story is told in today's Poetry title. Won Ton is also a demanding fellow and he is determined to keep the humans in his life on their toes.

Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told in HaikuWon Ton: A Cat tale told in Haiku
Lee Wardlaw
Illustrated by Eugene Yelchin
Poetry Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Henry Holt, 2011, 978-0-8050-8995-0
In a shelter there is a cat. He is an elegant beast with beautiful blue eyes. In his cage the cat has a bed, a bowl, and a blanket, and he tells himself that what he has is “just like home.” Or least that is what he has been told.
   During visitor hours the cat feigns a complete lack of interest in what is going on, though he cannot resist a little peek. One person pinches him, and another pulls his tail, but then a boy comes along and he knows how to rub the cat’s chin just right. The cat tries to seem unconcerned. He grooms himself assiduously and does his best to appear as if there is “No rush.” In actual fact the cat is thinking, and hoping “Please, Boy, pick me.”
   Sure enough Boy does choose him and the cat is taken out of his cage. He is thrilled to be free, but at the same time afraid of what awaits him out there in the world. Briefly he “clings to what is known.”
   After a trip in a car, the cat arrives in his new home, and the process of naming him begins. He believes that he deserves a name fitting for an “Oriental Prince.” He ends up being called Won Ton, and he is not impressed.
   This wonderful tale, which is told using a series of haiku poems, is funny, sweet, and sometimes touched with just a little uncertainty and anxiety. It is a story about new beginnings that readers of all ages will be able to connect with.