Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Pumpkinpie's Picks

A new crop of books has come around, and a few of them have stuck.
Here's the handful that are keeping Pumpkinpie's attention these days.

Wynken, Blynken and Nod, by Eugene W. Field, ill. David McPhail

I was so happy to find that she loves this wonderful poem about sleep, a favourite of mine when I was a child. It has a dreamy quality of its own, and McPhail's stunning deep-blue nighttime scenes only add to its charm.

The Cat and the Wizard, by Dennis Lee, ill. Gillian Johnson
This story poem about two outcasts who find in each other great friendship is a real treat. It has silly bits and sweet bits, and it's told in lee's fun rhyming style. Even better, it is set in Toronto's own Casa Loma, the cat's home in this tale. The illustrations are a bit cartoony and whimsical, and hit a nice note for the story they accompany.

Up, Up, Down, by Robert Munsch, ill. Michael Martchenko
This might be my favourite Munsch story, as it lends itself so well to sharing with a group, complete with actions. And while the story does hinge on Anna not listening, she is not totally bratty, nor is the teaching-the-parents-their-own-lesson twist at the end of a really obnoxious variety. A cute and silly starter Munsch.

Boo and Baa Have Company, by Lena and Olof Landstrom
Boo and Baa are sheep, so for me, this starts out funny before I even open the cover. Luckily, the inside lives up to that expectation by being funny by way of dry understatements and leaving some things to be said by the terrific, graphically pleasing illustrations. In this tale (It turns out there are others! Must find them.), Boo and Baa find a cat stuck in their tree, and try to rescue it, with less-than-stellar results. Really, really cute, even if you are not a sheep freak.

What Will We Do With the Baby-O?, sel. by Theo Heras, ill. Jennifer Herbert
Compiled by a Toronto librarian (and sung by her on the accompanying CD, packaged separately), this collection contains a few less-common songs, including Pumpkinpie's current fave, Ally Bally Bee and the fabulous Jig Along Home, to which I could never remember all the words without a book like this one. I am, to be honest, not in love with the illustrations, but a volume of rhymes and songs does not depend on illustrations to interplay with text the way a story book does, so it is not a major flaw, and they are kind of fun and jaunty, after all.

Find these and more great reads at your local library!

Originally posted on MommyBlogsToronto/Better Than a Playdate.

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