Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Do Picture Books have to include Animals?

I know, I've been away from the internet lately. I've enjoyed a wonderful month of visiting with family and friends in England, including a whole week with two of my favorite animals:
But I haven't actually followed through on plans to read and write book reviews while I was there. There were so many other exciting things to do (think dogs... thing walking dogs for a start). So now I'm way way behind with everything, sending heartfelt apologies to everyone whose promised review is so drastically overdue, and struggling to catch up with catching up.

Since children's picture books are nice short reads, easy to pick up and put down frantic airport travels, and hard to ignore with their bright shining covers looking out from my reading apps or lying on my floor, I guess their reviews are the ones I'm bound to post first. Well... also since they tend to have animals in them. But are their animals as cute as those two dogs?

My first animal picture book review is for Bravo and Elphie by Hagit R. Oron and Or Oron, a tale of a very civilized elephant child and a friendly pet mouse, with a nicely nuanced lesson in family and friendship. I love Hagit Oron's Elphie books - the pictures are filled with so many great (and relevant) details that pull the story along, the characters vividly recreate believable people, and the stories are simple, smooth, and pleasantly inviting. Enjoy with a fine smooth cup of well-balanced 3-star coffee.

Next is a book featuring a cat and a sloth. Purrball Meets Burrball in Brazil by Anne Zoet (slated for release in September). The story may not read quite as smoothly as Bravo and Elphie, but the modern-day touches are equally nice, with a lost cat accidentally tied the charging cable of a mother's lost phone. Much fun ensues with nice detail and exciting adventure. Enjoy with some lively, easy-reading 2-star coffee.

Then there's 15 Ways to say Good night by Efrat Shoham illustrated by Yuval Israeli, an engaging and fascinating picture-journey over the world, told in the goodnights of different languages and cultures. Small child and alien (so not an animal I guess, though there are dragons sometimes) offer good night wishes to all, and a sleepless child will perhaps sleep better tonight. Enjoy with some rich elegant 4-star coffee.

Peter Joseph Swanson's Sleeping Beauty and the Dragon includes a (dragon) animal, of course. But mostly it's about people, real life reflected in a fantastically mixed-up fairy-tale, with those little touches of wisdom that sneak through the smoothly half-rhymed text. Enjoy with some seriously and superiorly elegant 4-star coffee.

And to round out my list, I've just read 3 Hilly books - Hilly Discovers Her Feelings by Meytal Raz-Nave, Hilly Finds Her Quiet Place, and Hilly Colors Her Dreams. These three really aren't about animals at all, though Hilly's dreams include the odd dragon and frog. The first is intriguing but short - certainly a cool way to introduce how to recognize feelings in others and in oneself. Quiet Place introduces the value of meditation, and Dreams introduces colors with some pleasing one-page semi-rhyming stories, adding chakra color meanings at the end. Enjoy all three with some easy-drinking 2-star coffee.

1 comment:

Jean Harkin said...

Keep thinking animal stories, but not necessarily only for children, not necessarily picture book either, but could certainly include pictures and illustrations. Do you have any greyhound stories after visiting with two of your faves?