Jan 8, 2022

More Giggles and Goodies in the New Year

 The first post of 2022 invited readers to enjoy some picture book laughs. If you missed it, click HERE. I'll wrap up the week with even more recommendations for picture books/early readers that will have kids giggling and running to tell someone else they should "Read this book!"

Candlewick, 2020

If you don't already know the work of author/illustrator David LaRochelle it's a pleasure and an honor to introduce you to a man who is as entertaining in person as he is in his books for kids. This latest pair of books are each "three-chapter" early readers that will hook young and old with their word play, wry wit, and comical illustrations. The first, SEE THE CAT: Three Stories About a Dog, was a Geisel Award winner in it's release year, followed now with SEE THE DOG: Three Stories About a Cat. In these creations, LaRochelle opted to contribute the words while illustrator Mike Wohnoutka provides the expressive interpretations that will have you looking back again and again from page to page. These characters are slyly observant, unwilling to take things at face value, and very skilled at expressing themselves with familiar words used in cleverly fresh ways.

From this Kirkus starred review, you'll get the idea of what these books are about.

"In a running argument with the author, Max the dog feels he must rectify each narrative statement as he perceives it applies to him. Story No. 1 begins, “See the cat.” There is no cat in the illustration, only the dog, who states with certitude, “I am not a cat. I am a dog.”  (Kirkus)

I wasn't the least surprised that this hugely successful book would spawn a companion, one that is equally appealing and distinct enough to stand on its own.

Candlewick, 2021

There is no better hook for beeginning readers and growing book-lovers than HUMOR! 

With three simple stories (chapters) and a perfect blend of illustration and text, this second book also invites repeated readings while building essential concepts of books, color, semantics, meaning, and voice. It's a delight for reading aloud to pre-readers and an enticing invitation to early readers who will WANT to read to someone else!

If that hasn't fully convinced you of the talents of David LaRochelle, I urge you to gather up some kids ]and digitally visit his website, where you will find even more about his books, HERE, and then tour his "pumpkins" tab where you'll view some amazing carved pumpkins. There you can also click on a video of an interview in which you can see for yourselves that he is a wry and  light-hearted fellow.

Philomel, 2021

Then shuffle on over to a word-twister, visual convolution of a picture book with the title: OVER, BEAR! UNDER, WHERE? If you've ever tried to convey the importance of punctuation in making meaning of words, or of illustrations in making meaning in picture books, this is the choice for you. Written by Julie Hedlund and illustrated by Michael Slack, this little beauty demands the full attention of everyone involved, including the characters on the pages. OVER (can you guess who that is?) and UNDER (look closely at the cover) are the best of friends and have the tenderest of hearts. The laughs will be spontaneous, the satisfaction from the first read is guaranteed, then sit back and enjoy how often and how curiously the young ones return to this again and again, each time developing even more appreciation of the layers of clever fun.

The energetic opening pages name two friends by their life patterns: OVER (bird) and UNDER (mole). That lively launch introduces their shared caring, curiosity, and conceptual word twists, all of which will captivate young audiences and their adult readers, having them chime in together after a few "read it again" requests. There's no better way to launch your new year in reading that with humor, and no better humor than these offerings. Aren't we all overdue to let loose with some chuckles, guffaws, and outright belly laughs?

an ent

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for including OVER, BEAR! UNDER, WHERE? in this post. I'm honored.


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