Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Something Might Happen

Twitchly Fidget trembled all over. No, nothing had happened to him. But it might.

So begins the story of the adorable, yet fearful, little lemur named Twitchly.

He is so fearful, he won't take a bath, he won't get dressed (for fear of putting his shoes on the wrong feet),
he won't eat breakfast, he won't even put a roof on his house for fear of it falling in on him.

Finally his Aunt Bridget Fidget drops in and tells him that he must fix himself up.
She forces him to bathe, eat and get dressed.

He realizes nothing bad will happen to him.

Something Might Happen by Helen Lester. Illustrated by Lynn Munsinger.

We also love Hooway for Wodney Wat also by Helen Lester.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Mystery Mansion

Do you like looking for clues?

If so, this is the book for you.

Each page has a hidden alphabet letter (or two!), hidden animals, foreign language phrases, and a secret message revealed at the end.

The main character, Tommy, is invited to his Aunt Jeanne's mansion. She's a little bit different and is also hiding on each page. She has planned an extravagant hunt for her nephew. He's a brave boy who doesn't seem the least phased by mazes, secret tunnels, and numerous little yellow notes.

Perhaps you'll be inspired to create your own scavenger hunt. Or perhaps you'll be inspired to create art out of the alphabet like we were. Our letters are not camouflaged. No, quite the opposite, we chose to have them jump out at you.

Mystery Mansion by Michael Garland

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

How to Paint the Portrait of a Bird

Take one french poem
Pour faire le portrait d'un oiseau
written by Jacques Prevert in 1949

Translate it
Illustrate it

and voila....

a beautiful beautiful book

translated and illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein

The book begins with the first step a young artist must take:
first paint a cage with an open door

It then follows a surprisingly beautiful series of steps to painting a colorful singing bird.

We gobbled up these amazing illustrations
Izie loved the part where you must erase the cage, one bar at a time, being careful of the bird's feathers. He chose to draw the colorful bird on it's branch in the mid-day sun.
JT loved how it might be necessary to wait years if necessary for the bird to land in your cage. He was inspired to draw an eagle.

A perfect book for a bird-filled spring day.

How to Paint the Portrait of a Bird by Jacques Prevert

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Tough Cookie

They call me a tough cookie. I guess I am. Come from a good family. Regular batch. Lots of dough. Lived the high life. Top of the jar. They're all gone now. I hit bottom and stayed there. It was rough. Still is. But you get used to it. I'm a tough cookie.

Tough Cookie by David Wisniewski is a classic crime drama set in a cookie jar. Lot of cookie play-on-words. This book gets better and better each time we read it.

One thing we love is the map of the cookie jar (the home of these cookies and the scene of the crime). Areas include the exclusive neighborhood of upjar (home of just-baked and best quality store bought cookies), Crocker Observatory (watches lid activity), and downjar (most shops, services and schools).

Izie drew the processing net that catches the cookies when they first drop into the jar.
The criminal (fingers) is pictures sneaking into the jar to get a cookie.

JT and Izie loved the fight scene (go figure). Fingers tries to grab a cookie but the crumbs attack him and try as he might, he can't get a cookie, he just comes up with crumbs. Crumbs that he doesn't want.

JT drew fingers trying to grab our hero, Tough Cookie

Mom's favorite part: I'm knocking back a cup of java when this classy blond rolls up. Store bought. Easy on the eyes.

And of course, baby sister found this book irresistable to chew on. We had to keep it far from her sticky fingers.

This book is immensely fun to read aloud.

Tough Cookie words and pictures by David Wisniewski