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Book Review–Too Many Frogs!

Title:  Too Many Frogs!

Author:  Sandy Asher

Illustrator:  Keith Graves

Publisher:  Philomel

Pages:  [31]

ISBN:  0399239782

This is such a fun book for a read-aloud!  Rabbit enjoys his nice, quiet life:  he cooks his supper, cleans up his mess, and reads himself a story every night.  One night, however, his life is turned upside down by the friendly and eager Froggie who shows up at his door ready to listen to the story.  Night after night, the same thing happens, only each time the mess and disturbance to Rabbit’s formerly placid life intensifies.  Rabbit finally draws the line, only to realize (of course) that he misses Froggie’s company.  The story is repetitive enough to delight preschoolers but interesting enough to delight adults.  Or maybe I enjoyed the story so much because I identify greatly with Rabbit.  Either way, this is a fun easy book that is sure to please!


Book Review–The Seven Silly Eaters

The Seven Silly Eaters

The Seven Silly Eaters

Title:  The Seven Silly Eaters

Author:  Mary Ann Hoberman

Illustrator:  Marla Frazee

Publisher:  Browndeer Press

Pages:  [37]

ISBN:  0152000968

This is one of the best read-alouds we’ve enjoyed in a while.  Written primarily in rhyming couplets, this is the story of the Peters family and the beleagured Mrs. Peters who has seven of the silliest eaters around.  Each one of her children has only one thing he or she will eat, so poor Mrs. Peters works herself into a tizzy keeping up with their demands.  Of course, the problem is solved in the end, and I must say that it is a solution that most children would enjoy.  As the reader of this read-aloud, I enjoy the rollicking rhyme and the terrific illustrations.  I also identify on a small scale with Mrs. Peters and her never-ending work.  Maybe that’s why I like this book so much!

Book Review–Rufus and Friends: Rhyme Time

Rhyme Time

Rufus and Friends: Rhyme Time

Title:  Rufus and Friends:  Rhyme Time

Author and Illustrator:  Iza Trapani

Publisher:  Charlesbridge

Pages:  35

ISBN:  9781580892070

 Iza Trapani has written and illustrated a delightful book of nursery rhymes in Rufus and Friends: Rhyme Time.  Actually, I should be more precise and say that she, to use the terminology from the title page, has “extended” some “traditional poems” in this book.    The premise of the book is that Rufus and friends, all dogs, are performing a series of short skits in which they act out nursery rhymes.  The illustrations are complete with a play program which serves as the table of contents and a curtained stage on the first and last pages of the book.  Delightfully funny illustrations accompany such rhymes as “Hickety, Pickety,” “Doctor Foster Went to Gloucester,” and “Wee Willie WInkie.”  The author’s note at the end of the book gives insight into the author’s love of nursery rhymes.  My girls, ages four and two, have requested this book numerous times.  So has their mother!  Be forewarned:  this book contains several serious tongue twisters!

Book Review–Loud Emily by Alexis O’Neill

Loud Emily








Title:  Loud Emily

Author:  Alexis O’Neill

Illustrator:  Nancy Carpenter

Publisher:  Aladdin

ISBN:  0689810784

Poor Emily.  Born with an abnormally loud voice, Emily irritates almost everyone in her household, except her family’s cook.  The cook finds Emily’s loud voice useful for calling in the servants, and when Cook takes Emily to the harbor to buy fresh fish for dinner, Emily finds a real occupation for her voice:  working on a whaling ship calling out the captain’s orders “from the fo’c’sle to quarter-deck above gale force wind.”  What follows is an adventure filled full of mariner’s vocabulary, averted disasters, and a chance for Emily to shine.  Set in what appears to be New England in the 1800s, this is a fun book for all ages.  The illustrations are beautiful and reminiscent of era artwork, only with a whimsical element.  The endpapers are in the style of scrimshaw carvings and are illustrated with illustrations from boats and chanteys that were sung on whaling vessels. My girls, ages 4 and 2 1/2, loved this book.

Book Review–Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum by Lisa Wheeler

Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum








Title:  Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum

Author:  Lisa Wheeler

Illustrator:  Laura Huliska-Beith

Publisher:  Little, Brown

ISBN:  0316988944

This fun, rhyming picture book recounts the unlucky episode of several animals (a toad, a shrew, a goose, a crow, etc.) who all get stuck in a wad of bubblegum in the middle of the road.  Unfortunately for them, a truck comes down the road, but due to their own pragmatism, they save themselves.  However, following closely on the heels (wheels?) of the truck is a “big-bottomed bear” who is intent on eating them all for his next meal.  This time, it’s the bubble gum that saves them.  This book is best read in a sing-song voice, and it’s guaranteed to please all listeners (and readers), ages two to ninety-two.

Book Review–Play, Mozart, Play! by Peter Sis

Play, Mozart, Play!

Title:  Play, Mozart, Play!

Author/Illustrator:  Peter Sis

Publisher:  Harper Collins

Length:  [26 pages]

ISBN:  0061121827

Synopsis:  This picture book is a simplistic telling of Mozart’s childhood as a child prodigy.  While light on text, the real story is told through pictures.  Peter Sis’ pictures do not disappoint as they reveal the fantastical world Mozart’s music created in his own mind.  The emphatic command of “Play, Mozart, play!”, which begins as a command from his father, takes on double meaning as Mozart’s musical ability becomes the play of his childhood.  This book can be enjoyed on all levels, from preschool to adult.

My Thoughts:  I know there is probably much more to Mozart’s home life than is revealed in this short book.  However, what I glean from it is that indeed, Mozart’s musical ability became a source of entertainment and enjoyment him as well as others.  The story aside, the illustrations make this book worthwhile.  Animals, musical instruments, and furniture take on lives of their own because of Mozart’s music.  There is plenty to look at and talk about in the illustrations of this book alone.  I really enjoyed this book, and so did my girls (ages 2 and 3 1/2).