Tuesday, January 26, 2016

NELLIE BELLE by Mem Fox. Illustrated by Mike Austin.  New York: Beach Lane Books, 2015, 32p.  ISBN 978-1416990055 hc. $17.99.    PreS-Gr.1    E PIC
Mem Fox works her magic with simple rhyme and repetition to create a read-aloud adventure that appeals to a single reader or whole classroom of listeners.  The audience will want to join in the story by repeating "Is it fun in the yard /sea/ park, Nellie Belle, Nellie Belle?" Nellie Belle makes a day of it by playing in the yard, walking down the street to the beach, taking a swim, and ending up in the park where the woods are dark and unfamiliar.  The catchy rhythm of the story comes to a halt when Nellie Belle is NOT having fun in the forest, but uses good sense to return to the safety of home.  Digitally textured to look like sponge painting, Austin's large illustrations send out a blast of color from each page.  This book is a "must-read" for preschoolers.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

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