Tuesday, March 27, 2018

TRUCK FULL OF DUCKS by Ross Burach.  New York: Scholastic Press, 2018.  32p.  ISBN 978-133812936-6 hc. $17.99      PreS-Gr.2      E PIC

Burach doesn't waste time or paper telling this funny story about a truck driver and his cargo of ducks.  The story begins and finishes on the end pages - maybe because there are so many bold illustrations to take in.  As the truck leaves to deliver ducks, the delivery address is eaten, leading the group on an adventure to see who ordered a truck full of ducks.  Each stop on the way is full of rhymes and fun phrasing.  The book looks young, but second graders will absolutely love the jokes and wordplay, such as when the pirate tells the truck driver he ordered "a truck full of crackers...not quackers!" for his pet parrot.  There's a scary moment when the final delivery is to a hungry fox who lives in the dark forest, but never fear.  There's a happy twist to this delightful children's story.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

THE CHINESE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES by Ying Chang Compestine.  Illus. by David Roberts.  New York:   Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2017.  32p.  ISBN 978-141972542-5 hc. $17.99     Gr. 2-4     E PIC

The best thing about folktales is how authors envision new settings, new twists, and new endings to re-tell the old stories.  In the original version of THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES, traveling tailors make invisible clothing for a vain king, and leave town with the large fees he paid for the clothes.  This time, Compestine turns the tables on the dishonest palace administrators who've been steeling from the king.  The young king's tailors help to use the administrators' vanity against them by replacing the costly silks with burlap sacks and telling them that dishonest men can only see burlap, while everyone else sees the true beauty of the silks.   True to the original story, a little child blurts out the truth of the situation during the annual New Year parade.  The illustrator, Roberts, brings prior experience in fashion to the story, creating beautiful and authentic Chinese clothing.  He even makes the burlap look good!
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

BABIES CAN SLEEP ANYWHERE by Lisa Wheeler. Illus. by Carolina Buzio.  New York: Abrams Appleseed, 2017.  32p.  ISBN 978-141972536-4 hc. $14.95     PreS     E PIC

Comparing a range of animals to a sleeping baby, "babies can sleep anwhere" becomes a predictable line on every fourth page.  It's amazing how many words rhyme with "where" and can be written into descriptive sentences about animals.  The alternate pages have their own rhyme schemes, giving the story an easy-to-read cadence.  Buzio's illustrations are boldly drawn in muted colors, making it easy to identify each featured animal - most of them pictured with babies of their own.  Parents and teachers will enjoy reading and re-reading this book to preschoolers.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI  49855

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

I AM A CAT by Galia Bernstein.  New York:  Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2017.  32p.  ISBN 978-141972643-9 hc. $16.95.    PreS -  Gr.1      E PIC

Engaging illustrations that convey a sense of humor drive this story of classification.  A small cat claims to be one of the group of "big cats," including lion, cheetah, tiger, mountain lion, and panther.  Each, in turn, points out the characteristics that make them who they are.  The little cat asks them what they have in common, making them all "cats."  When they name all their common characteristics, such as long tail, sharp claws, whiskers, and eyes that see in the dark, the small cat shows that he has those same characterisitcs.  This clever way to categorize alike and different items can be applied in the classroom to other animals, plants, words, and math concepts.  It's a great book for preschool and lower elementary readers!
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI  49855