The Boy and the Blue Moon
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.
The Great Dictionary Caper
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.
Madeline at the White House
John Bemelmans Marciano
From the dust jacket, “Madeline and friends are off to enjoy a wonderful American adventure. The White House in Washington, D.C., is their destination, where they are the guests of the president’s lonely only daughter for the annual Easter Egg Roll. Cake and ice cream, dress-up games, and scary stories told in the dark are capped off by a magical nighttime tour of the capital’s most famous landmarks, before it’s time for the twelve little girls in two straight lines to say, “Au revoir, America!”
This is my first Madeline book and I really liked it. The only disappointing thing was that Madeline only got 1 day to spend with the lonely president’s daughter. She should have had at least a week to tour the city with Candle!! It’s a lovely rhyming story that is fun to read out loud and the pictures are simple line drawings that tell a whole lot more than meets the eye. I wish I were invited to the White House Easter Egg Roll – it looks like so much fun!!
Rating 4 out of 5 for all the fun (and magic, too!) this slim volume contains.
The Story of Easter
Illustrated by Stefano Vitale
From the dust jacket, “Easter evokes many images for many people: spring, rebirth, decorated eggs, fancy Easter bonnets, and the Easter bunny. How did these disparate traditions come to be associated with what is the central and most holy of holidays for Christians?
“With an informative text and glorious illustrations, this book explains how and why people all over the world celebrate Easter. It begins with the biblical story of Jesus’ resurrection and then describes how people honor this day and the origins of these traditions. Instructions for decorating eggs and a recipe for hot cross buns round out this delightful story of the Easter season.”
As the publisher’s blurb states, this is a well written and easy to understand book about Easter. The writing is fairly small so it’s perfect for reading aloud to younger kittens but older, school age ones should be okay on their own. But don’t let them read it alone! It’s too interesting to not share with the whole family. The retelling of the Bible story is an accurate overview and then it’s cool to read how some of the traditions Americans celebrate with are from different cultures around the world. But, somehow, the author wasn’t able to come up with the origins of the Easter bunny! The illustrations are quite pretty and enhance the story.
Rating: 4 out of 5 paws because it’s a lovely book and can be read by non-Christians without offending them.
Love One Another
The Last Days of Jesus
Illustrated by Elizabeth Uyehara
Scholastic Press, 2000
From the dust jacket, “Once there was a man named Jesus. He was a teacher who traveled the countryside and spoke to all people of God’s love and forgiveness. “Love God, and love one another,” he said.
“Those who wanted to learn more became Jesus’s disciples. But when Jesus and his disciples entered Jerusalem to speak to the large crowds gathered there, some of the temple priests grew angry and envious. When the priests’ plot against Jesus led to his arrest, trial, and death, the disciples came to understand the true meaning of Jesus’s teachings.”
This is a nice retelling of the story of Jesus’ last week. Some parents will like it for their kittens because it leaves out the more gruesome parts of the story. But I don’t think it’s a true “Easter book” because the depiction of the risen Christ is only a bright light. We celebrate Easter to worship Jesus Christ as He is now – resurrected from the grave. It would have been good to have an illustration of Jesus bathed in that bright light to bring home the message of resurrection.
Rating: 3 out of 5 paws – While the focus of the book is on loving one another and there’s nothing wrong with that, I would like to have had the focus be more on the Resurrection of Jesus than on His disciples.