The Right Word

right word a

The Right Word
Roget and His Thesaurus

Jen Bryant
Melissa Sweet
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2014

From the back of the book, “If only all the ideas in the world could be found in one place, then everyone would have one book were they could find the best word, the one that really fit. Peter carried this idea with him like a secret treasure.

“The story of Peter Mark Roget, creator of Roget’s Thesaurus, one of the most widely used reference books ever published, is presented in this delightful picture book biography…”

So the reason we picked up this book (at a library sale – for a $1.00! Score!) was because of the illustrations. We came for the art and stayed for the story!!

The story of Peter Roget is fascinating – he collected words in long lists for most of his life. When he was 8 he wrote his first book filled with lists of words! Words and their meanings became his passion which ultimately ended up in a one-of-a-kind book categorizing words according to their meaning, not their spelling.

The illustrations are something else altogether. The artist created collages out of mostly watercolor (I think) as well as other mediums (acrylic, gouache, etc). These collages are so intricate and stunning, you have to read the book first, then go back and linger over every page to make sure you see everything. If you’re familiar with author/artist Graeme Base and how detailed his illustrations are, then you’ll have an idea of what M. Sweet’s pictures look like. Gorgeous! Fascinating! Amazing!

If you see this book at the library, check it out!!

Rating 5 of 5 paws for fabulousness!!

Reviewer: simon-locSimon

right word bright word c

I Wish I Was Sick, Too!

sick a

I Wish I Was Sick, Too!

Franz Brandenberg
Illustrated by Aliki
Random House, 1976

From Goodreads, “When Edward gets sick and gets special treatment in bed, his sister thinks itis unfair and wants to get sick as well.”

Very cute story about a kitten who is jealous of her brother. Now, kittens, let’s be honest – when one of your siblings was getting special treatment for something or another, were you jealous of them? Did you wish you could get special stuff, too? I’m sure you have, we all do; its apart of being a cat (or person). And even though its in our nature to be jealous of others, we can choose not to be. I know its hard, but there’s an old adage that says, “Be careful what you wish for; you just might get it.” And getting what we wish for doesn’t always turn out to be a good thing.

Elizabeth is jealous of her brother and wishes she were sick so she could get special treatment, too. Well, she did get sick and it makes me wonder if it was worth feeling miserable, probably queasy and weak just to get those niceties of eating in bed, phone calls from aunt and uncle, grandma reading to her and so on. She must have thought it not worth it because she was so grateful to get well.

This little picture book is a good way to learn not to be jealous of others. Next time you’re feeling jealous over what’s going on with a sibling or friend, remember that its better to be thankful for the good that’s in their lives as well as yours!

Rating 4 out of 5 paws for a good life lesson and very cute illustrations.

Reviewer: Simon

simon-loc

I See a Cat

i see a cat a

I See a Cat
Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Book

Paul Meisel
Holiday House, 2017

From Goodreads, “When a housebound dog spies a cat, a bird, and other animals outside a glass door, he is excited: I see a cat. I see a bird. I see a squirrel. When the dog’s beloved boy comes home from school, the two pals dash outside, determined to get up close and personal with all the backyard wildlife!”

When I first saw this book on the library’s website, I told mom to get it right away! What could be better than reading a book about cats? Reading a book about cats because this isn’t a book about cats. Its about a DOG!!!! A dog who is waiting for his human to come home and sees a cat walk by his window. A d-o-g. I can’t tell you how disappointed I was that the cat only appeared on a couple of pages.  However, mom said I shouldn’t say a book is bad because its about a dog and not a cat. After all, dogs are people, too, just like cats.

Anyhoo, it is a cute cat and a cute dog and a cute book. Its very easy to read for earliest readers as the phrase “I see a…” is repeated on every page. Little kittens (and puppies) will enjoy spotting the animals and insects and learning to read the names (just don’t let those puppies get too crazy about all the squirrels).

Rating: 3 paws out of 5 because it is not about cats!

Reviewer:

simon-locSimon

 

The Boy and the Blue Moon

blue moon a

The Boy and the Blue Moon 

Sara O’Leary
Illustrated by Ashley Crowley
Godwin Books, 2018

From the dust jacket, “When there’s a blue moon, magical things can happen—and in this enchanting picture book about a boy and his cat, they do.”

In this beautiful, blue book, the whole world is blue – including the boy and the cat. They go on a walk through a blue forest, and ultimately end up on the Blue Moon. The story is full of charm, magic, wishes, hopes and dreams. But the illustrations are amazing – especially where the boy and cat are in a boat on a lake – gorgeous and dreamy!!!

The only fault it has is one of continuity – an error so small that it would have been missed – but we’ve seen so many lately (or maybe they’ve always been there and we haven’t noticed), we’ve decided to point them out – anyhoo, it appears the cat slipped out of his life-jacket for a page while they were on the lake. It’s a small illustration snafu, so no biggie.

Rating 5 out of 5 paws for being beautiful, blissful, bewitching, and blue.

Reviewer:

simon-locSimon

The Great Dictionary Caper

dictionary caper

The Great Dictionary Caper

Judy Sierra
Illustrations by Eric Comstock
Simon Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books, 2018

From Goodreads.com: “When all of the words escape from the dictionary, it’s up to Noah Webster to restore alphabetical order in this supremely wacky picture book that celebrates language.

“Words have secret lives. On a quiet afternoon the words escape the dictionary (much to the consternation of Mr. Noah Webster) and flock to Hollywood for a huge annual event—Lexi-Con. Liberated from the pages, words get together with friends and relations in groups including an onomatopoeia marching band, the palindrome family reunion, and hide-and-seek antonyms. It’s all great fun until the words disagree and begin to fall apart. Can Noah Webster step in to restore order before the dictionary is disorganized forever?”

At first, I wasn’t going to bother reviewing the book, I didn’t like it, found it boring and didn’t want to waste a post on it. From the title, the book sounds like a mystery but inside it is literally a bunch of words illustrated as living creatures and each page introduces the reader to a different type of word. It felt like a lesson in grammar rather than an enjoyable mystery for young kittens – which is great if you’re a kindergarten teacher. EXCEPT, the author, editors and publishers all missed the misspelled word! Can you believe it? A book for kittens about a dictionary and grammar and it has a misspelled word. The Library can tolerate one or two misspelled words in a novel – everybody makes mistakes but to misspell the word ‘rhyming’ (spelled ‘ryhming’) is unforgivable. I mean really. The word even gets flagged by spellcheck!

Rating 2 out of 5 paws ONLY because of the illustrations. They are cute and the artist did a good job. The book really needs to be pulled from production, corrected and reissued with a sincere apology to all the libraries who spent a part of their tight budgets on a bad book.

Reviewer: simon-locSimon

 

the-great-dictionary-caper