March 23, 2017
Little Louie isn’t really such a little kid. It isn’t like he needs his Mom every single second of the day. But when he comes down with a head cold it sure would be nice to be able to call her. Unfortunately, with his stopped up nose, instead of calling for Mom, he ends up calling for Bob.
For some people this might not be a big issue. You call out Bob and your Mom, knowing your head is stopped up, would check on you. Unfortunately, Little Louie has a dog named Bob. Every time he calls for his mom, along comes slobbery, overly-enthusiastic Bob.
His sister looks at him likes he’s loosing his mind when along comes Bob and Louie points out that he wants “Bob, not Bob.” Before long, Little Louie is still sick but he’s also frustrated. But so is Bob (he keeps coming like a good dog but Louie is super crabby) and Mom (what’s with this kid and this dog?).
Fortunately Mom knows that a cuddle can solve all manner of problems and soon Mom, Louie and even Bob have settled in for a nice nap.
Pretty soon Louie is feeling fit and when he can call Mom or Bob and get the one that he wants. The problem is that now when he calls Bob, he ends up with his mother too.
The subtitle for this book says it all. “To be read as though you have the worst cold ever!”
Anyone who has ever had a cold knows the problem — you try to speak oh so clearly only to have your stopped up nose botch something so badly that no one can understand you. Reading this book aloud to a group turns it into a fun game so be ready for your class to chip in with carefully mispronounced words that make it sound like dare hed id all topped up.
The story is silly (and something both parents and kids will identify with) and Matthew Cordell’s illustrations just notch it up. Bob (the dog, not the parent) is goofy and energetic and just as expressive as little Louie.
Share this book with your young reader today!
November 5, 2015
In the Canyon
by Liz Garton Scanlon
illustrated by Ashley Wolff
Beach Lane Books
Rhyming couplets narrate a young girl’s hike into the Grand Canyon. Yep. The Canyon.
From the rim to the base of the canyon and back out again, readers follow the narrator as she describes her experience. Kingbirds, red-tailed hawks and condors are named without the text feeling weighed down. Information is doled out a bit here and bit there without bogging down the story. An author’s note at the end of the book gives a bit more information on geology and the various animals. She also observes the surrounding stone, petroglyphs and fellow visitors to the canyon.
Don’t worry! Mom and Dad are there but they remain quietly in the background.
The heavy black lines of the block print illustrations give a slight stained-glass effect to the art without pieces feeling rigid or static. Personally I loved the warm oranges and deep purples of the desert that were used to color a landscape that many people think of as barren and lifeless.
The illustrations also add a bit more information than is delivered in the text. The condor mentioned in the story has a wildlife tag and the end papers include a map that flags various points of interest found throughout the canyon.
I’ve never hiked the canyon so I did have one question while reading the book but that point was clarified in the author’s note. Visitors really can and do take overnight trips into the canyon.
This would make an excellent bed time story but it also suitable for the classroom as it teaches about canyon life. It could also be used to launch a writing exercise involving observation and description.