Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day!

Three books the didn't exist last Earth Day! Three books I will be reading to kiddies large and small today:

OK Go by Carin Berger. This is the kind of picture book I like to give my very-very-very beginning readers who can't even read "beginning readers" except for possibly Pip and Otto. If you can read the words "stop," "go," and "OK," you can read most of this book, and you can have an adult look over your shoulder and read all the little fine print. The illustrations are intricately detailed and just weird enough that you can't figure them out at first glance, so the little ones like to sit and pour (pore?) over it. Which kind of pour? Anyway. What the illustrations actually contain: funny little creatures puffing around in contraptions that pollute. Then half way through, they switch to bikes and feet and other environmentally friendly forms of transportation. Sweet!

Dinotrux by Chris Gall. This book was one of the biggest disappointments to me! I though, it has dinosaurs crossed with trucks, how can it go wrong? Well. It also has no plot. The dinotrux tromp about the Earth leaking and dumping and grinding ... the first part is like a field guide of dinotrux, detailing their bad behavior ... and then the book ends! It gives us some line about how in the following millennia the dinotrux have evolved into the helpful vehicles of today. Huh. I guess it's a nice foil to all of the books that emphasize how vehicles help people. But did we need a foil to that? And why couldn't there be some kind of explanation for why the dinotrux changed? I would have accepted some deus ex machina. I just wanted a story! However, I will be reading the book anyway, because it is in my collection, and the illustrations are transfixing and we can discuss.

Curious Garden by Peter Brown. Thank you, Peter Brown, for writing a wonderful garden story for children who live in the city! I am always on the lookout for books that might help city kids become botanists and naturalists (like this one!), and I am also always on the lookout for Peter Brown books, because they are wonderful. I mentioned this book in my personification post, because clearly I am obsessed. The garden in this book has a mind of its own, friends, and when it creeps all over the slightly fantastic urban landscape of this book, you get a setting where magic could take place, and you will probably find yourself on your knees next to the Fs looking for Weslandia.

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