October 12, 2015

Don’t Push the Button by Bill Cotter

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 1:18 am by suebe2

Don’t Push the Button
written and illustrated by Bill Cotter
Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky

It starts on page one when Larry the monster warns the readers “Don’t push the button.”  The warnings get stronger and stronger until Larry just can’t stand it.  He has to know what happens when someone does push the button.  What could possibly go wrong?

Larry has all the sass of Mo Willem’s Pigeon (Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Busand just as clearly recognizes both that sass and a few defiant tendencies in young readers.  But don’t think he is just Pigeon in a monster suit.  Although Larry speaks directly to the reader, as does Pigeon, the reader actually gets to take part in Larry’s story.

Seriously, be ready for some eager button pushing once your young story lover discovers that pushing it once changed Larry from purple to neon yellow and pushing it a second time gives him spots.  You may have to brace the book.  I’m not joking.

Cotter’s mixed media art work is bright and engaging.  Young readers will be attracted to both the fun, bright colors but also the simple forms.  As is so often the case, the eyes have it — emotion that is.  The drawings may be simple but Larry manages to be happy, sincere and scared all at appropriate times.

Because, as with all great picture books, this is about more than who can really push a button.  It is a story about consequences, exploration and adventure all wrapped up in a very simple package.

–SueBE

April 22, 2013

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 1:24 am by suebe2

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus
by Mo Willems
Hyperion
AR 4.9

Have you read Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus lately?  If not, then its time to pick up a copy to celebrate the book’s 10th anniversary.

This is one of those tongue-in-cheek books where the characters interact not with each other, but with the reader.  First on is, not the pigeon, but the bus driver.  He’s going on a break and will be right back and you, the reader, are to keep a certain feathered fowl from driving his beloved bus.

Good luck!

Why do you need luck?  Because Pigeon is no common fowl.  He will beg. He will plead.  He will demand.  And, if all else fails, he will throw one unholy tantrum.

Young readers are going to have no problem whatsoever identifying with Pigeon.  He wants so very badly to drive the bus and no one will let him.  These same readers will also be pulled in by Willems’ drawings.  Adults — do not be fooled.  They look crude and overly simple but Willems is a pro at getting emotion and action from broad black lines and some simple color.  Page through the book and you will see what I mean.  You don’t have to read one single word and you will still know exactly what emotion Pigeon is feeling and this bird is an emotional powder keg.

It’s hard to believe that this book is already ten years old.  Pick up a copy today and prepare to laugh with the young book lover  in your life.

–SueBE

 

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