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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Scholastic Books Review

Princess B, Monkey and Mama have received a few new books courtesy of Scholastics Canada to review. This review is separate from the Read-To-Me- Mama Monday series which will return in October.
We received 4 books over the summer to read. Since starting JK Princess has to record daily readings in her communication folder and return it daily to the teacher. The promotion os reading is great because it becomes our winding down time. Although I have noticed that Princess B has started to memorize the stories we repetitively read...two of them are in this review.
The Underpants Zoo, Author/Illustrator Brian Sendelbach, ISBN: 978-0-545-24935-5, Ages 3-8, May 2011, Hardcover, $19.99 CAD, is about a zoo where all the animals where underpants just like us. What kind of underpants would a lion wear? how about an elephant? Come through the gates of the Underpants Zoo and find out the answers to these questions, and see just how an octopus manages to wear his underpants!  My Review: Brian Sendelbach is a bestselling illustrator and has created a funny and wacky world that captured my little one imagination and love of reading. This book has become a favourite of Princess B and Monkey. It is now a staple in out bedtime routine and we read it at least 3 out of 7 nights of the week. This book has captured her creativity and she loves to discuss the types of underpants other zoo animals might wear as well. Each of the animals in the book wear the underpants that characterize them, lions= royalty, monkeys= wild, and so on. it has rhyming and colour filled illustrations that draw every reader to enjoy it! From start to finish the book entices and pulls you into an world of wonder and enjoyment and fun with every page turn. We give The Underpants Zoo 4 thumbs up!!

Meow said the Cow, Author/Illustrator Emma Dodd, ISBN: 978-0-545-31861-7, Ages 4-8, May 2011, Hardcover, $19.99 CAD, is a story of how the happenings on a farm was changed when the cat got tired of the the noises each animal made every morning. So the cat played with black magic. And what happens next is truly a mixup. Horses were "quacking" and Cows were "meowing"...but when the animals demanded to have their voices back the cat reversed the spell for all of them but one... And the cat got a taste of his own medicine each morning when he wakes early and gives a "Cock-a-doodle-doodle-doo!!!" My review: This is a book that I loved reading to the kiddies because I noticed that I would read it with more zealous each time. It is a fun book! I use it to get the kids attention sometimes when they are getting a little out of hand and I begin to use a voice that is not my own. It is a great book to help teach your children of the sounds associated with each animal as well as recognition of what has happened in the story. It has become a favourite of Monkey. We give this book of animal antics 4 thumbs up!

Give Me Back My Dad!, Author: Robert Munsch, Illustrated by Michael Martchenko, ISBN: 978-1-4431-0764-8 (paperback), ISBN: 978-1-4431-0763-1 (hardcover), Ages 3-8, May 2011, $7.99 (paperback), $19.99 (hardcover) CADs , is a wonderfully written story inspired by Cheryl, a young girl that the author met in Rigolet, Labrador 20 years ago. The story tells of the ice fishing trip that Cheryl took with her dad. In this tale it seems that the fish are too smart for Cheryl and her dad. The fish try to catch humans right back! In the end, Cheryl and her dad bring home something good and it isn't a fish at all! My Review: Robert Munsch is the greatest children's author I have ever known. I loved reading this as it is written and it is a tale that by doing that drew the kids to request it over and over. Honestly, I love all of the books written by Munsch. This one is a fun tale of fish versus human, human versus fish that in the end becomes a family story. It was fun asking what Cheryl and her dad need to do to catch a fish. Our family gives this tale 4 thumbs up!!!
Side Note: This book was chosen as the winning story in the Scholastic Canada's Pick-A-Munsch contest!!!

Picture A Tree, Author/Artist Barbara Reed, ISBN: 978-1-4431-0761-7, Ages 3-8, October 2011, Hardcover, $19.99 CAD, is a beautiful book about how trees are pictured in every season and from every angle. It discuss how these wondrous living beings give shade and shelter. They protect and bring beauty to any landscape. What do YOU see??? Taking a closer look at a tree and its splendour and glory in the colours creates excitement and relaxation. The shape of a tree can ignite imagination and conjure a world of wonder, through it becoming a pirate ship, a friend, or a tunnel to name a few. Its grandeur creates a sense of family, belonging, changes, growth, endings and new beginnings. What you make of a tree when you look at one closely leaves the possibilities to be never ending...just as in the circle of life. My Review: This picture book is created in the art of Plasticine as the author brings her story to life. It really made us feel as if we were in the book. The colourful modelling of clay and means of bring the story to her vision through her craft is amazing. It brought me back to my child hood where we used trees as our pretend homes and hiding places as we played amongst them at my grandmothers. I enjoyed thinking back to what role trees played in my life as I was growing up, serving as pretend places, homes, stores, and fun hideaways. The pride of having planted a tree in my parents yard and now seeing the size of it as well as the animals that call it home. We discussed the way trees change go through as the seasons change and what it means. I used this book to help the kids understand the seasons and changes that take place throughout the years. 4 Thumbs up for Picture A Tree!!!! 

All of these works of literature can be found on the Scholastic website, if you are interested in adding them to your library!!

Disclosure: We received these books free of charge from Scholastic Canada in exchange for the reviews expressed above. There was no monetary gain made from these reviews, no money exchanged hands; and the opinions expressed here are that of our own, you are free to make your own judgement.

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