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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

New Books

2 hilarious books I can add to my Early Literacy lists.

Chicken Cheeks by Michael Ian Black, Illustrated by Kevin Hawks.

Some bears will go to any length to get some honey. This one recruits every animal that comes along to form, well, a stack. The result? Tail of the duck to the gluteus maximus of the duck-billed platypus (with many other rears in between). Readers will giggle with delight at the bird's eye view of some hysterical animal bottoms. Follow this back-sided journey up the tree - where the real surprise awaits. The pairing of Black's minimal text with Hawkes's visual story line will keep you chuckling from the bottom up. (review from publisher)

And Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas.

Hey! What rhymes with dust bunnies? Well not broom or vacuum cleaner, but they are prominent in this story.

Four bright-colored, hairy dust bunnies introduce themselves as Ed, Ned, Ted, and Bob. They rhyme together all the time. What rhymes with car? The first three bunnies join in merrily rhyming together, but Bob has other things on his mind. Ed, Ned and Ted are oblivious to what Bob is trying to tell them, chiding him for not rhyming. Their continued rhyming and Bob's refusal to play mixed with his growing desperation for them to understand will have everyone laughing. Classic vaudeville humor in a picture book.

Thomas has this book paced exactly right. It is a joy to read aloud, the words and the jokes hitting with a rhythm that is written directly into the text. Add to that the muppet-like bunnies with their buggy eyes and grinning mouths, and you have a winner of a book!

Put this on the top of your school visit books, tuck it under your arm for your own children, just share it whenever possible. Even better, it can work as an easy reader with its rhyming words and brief text. This one you just have to try. (review from

I love both these titles. Chicken Cheeks has some great rhyming and alliteration - great for phonemic awareness and letter knowledge. Rhyming Dust Bunnies is great with rhyme and not rhyming with Bob. I think kids will relate to Bob, when they have trouble rhyming.

Two other fun new titles: Duck and Cover by Jackie Urbanovic and All God's Critters by Bill Staines and Kadir Nelson.

Duck and Cover is fun story about Harold who has escaped from the zoo. There's a small misunderstanding about a dog that was eaten.

Hilarity ensues when all the animals at Irene's tries to help hide Harold.

All God's Critters is the traditional song illustrated with amazing personality by Kadir Nelson.

It's the first book I've seen Kadir illustrate like this. It's cute, and exudes character. I love the cat and dog chorus, the pony with daisies in her hair, and the high stepping little duck.

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