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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Clowning Around

Schools out, clowns have taken over the library, our tote is crammed with circus reads, the water is just right, so let the summer begin!  Yes, we’ve already started  our summer reading and planning some excursions to other area libraries.  

Little Reader wants to know what we’re gonna do when we finish reading all the library books?  I’m pretty sure by that time we will be promoting my new book and giving magic garden tours.  But one must write to be published, and my writing has been on the backburner for a while now.  Looking for a little motivation here?  I did just order a book of idioms, as I have a spark for an interesting story.  What kinds of children’s stories are there not enough of?   I’m personally tired of the preachy being yourself is best, and the how we are all winner reads.   Where are the stories with a premise of self responsibility and hard work?  Okay, I’ll stop here and today will write.  Many popular picture books are also trending characters like Pinkalicious, Splat Cat, Brown Bear etc…  So I will visit my pickle factory and work on Emma :-9

Of course, only after a romp in the garden!  It’s beginning to look like something from Journey to the Center of the Earth.



Clowning Around With Words
With few circus choices, only one was a big hit.

Eat Your Peas, Ivy Louise!
By Landry, Leo




Don’t play with your food, especially the peas!  Ivy Louise has no intention of eating her acrobatic peas, and when they climb up her spoon they end up flying out the window.  Basic story, funny pictures, but a little too young for Little Reader.

I Want to Be Somebody New!
By Lopshire, Robert




Spot is bored being himself and decides to change his shape. Is an elephant, giraffe, or mouse best?  You guessed it, his shape is best.  And why can be found in the read.   I will say the rhyme scheme was choppy and I’m exhausted with the “being you is best” preachy reads. 

Ballet of the Elephants
By Schubert,



A beautifully illustrated biography of how the circus master John Ringling North, ballet-master George Balanchine, and composer Igor Stravinsky created the elephant circus ballet.   With complex sentences, people focus, and with out a concept of depression era circuses, Little Reader did not connect.  I was surprised this was a Texas Bluebonnet Award.   Don’t be fooled by awarded books, especially if the author’s notes in the back are longer than the story.  

The Happiest Hippo in the World
By Steel, Danielle




I love hippos but ugh... another super- preachy be yourself read.   Greenie the green hippo thinks he’s too different from all the other circus animals and goes on a journey to fit in somewhere.   I do find it fitting that Greenie goes to New York in search of other outcasts like himself.  If green hippos do exist, then where else would they be right!  Pictures made it tolerable, but adult authors should stick to adult books and not try and write for kids. 

The Circus Ship
By Van Dusen, Chris


 

Having not had a lot of luck with the circus books thus far, this eye-spyish read was a charmer. Beautiful illustrations wrap around this loosely based true story of a sinking circus ship.  When a greedy circus owner saves himself and not the overboard animals, fifteen of them swim safely to a nearby island.  And when the ringmaster comes to take them away from the town’s people who have come to love them, they must keep them out of sight.  You will love how the animals fit in with the island scene, and can say Chris Van Dusen is one of our favorite authors.  I enjoy stories that are inspired by actual events, but sadly many animals and people did not survive this sinking ship.   "Can we keep this one forever?" - Little Reader

Secret Circus
By Wright, Johanna


 

There’s a tiny secret circus in Paris, and only when the people sleep do the mice come out.   A bit of oddness here with simple repetition.  “It’s looks scratchy and not pretty, I think it’s a French book?”  - Little Reader  Not to offend the French, but what a funny observation.  The illustrator uses thin black lines on textured paper, creating an unusual style

Other Tote Pics

Shark vs. Train
By Barton, Chris




Superman vs. Batman don’t have anything on Shark vs. Train. A competition of burping, bowling, pie eating, and more!  Again I’m stereotyping, but a great boy read!

Yes Day!
By Rosenthal, Amy Krouse



A day of Yes!   When one red headed lucky boy asks his mom to please have a pizza for breakfast you *page turn* to picture of boy eating pizza!  The yes’s continue with small treats, having a friend over, eating outside and more.  “I have lots of yes days, but H has lots of no days.” - Little Reader   We are talking a 17 year old teenager, what do you expect?

Robot Zot!
By Scieszka, Jon




Just like Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story, Robot Zot is one looney toy invading earth… aka the kitchen.   He soon finds himself battling household electronics and falling in love with a toy cell phone.  A bizarre story that I enjoyed more than Little Reader.    Lots of colorful pictures, and if she were into robots maybe this would have gone over better.  The youngest teenager loved it bringing back memories of her favorite movie, The Brave Little Toaster.
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