Friday, December 8, 2017

Here Comes The Tooth Fairy Cat

Here Comes the Tooth Fairy Cat. Deborah Underwood. Illustrated by Claudia Rueda. 2015. 96 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: Cat! You lost a tooth! Did the Tooth Fairy come? She left you a coin! What's the matter? You wanted to meet her? Aw, Cat. I understand...

Premise/plot: A disappointed cat tricks the Tooth Fairy and is punished for his trickery by having to assist the Tooth Fairy on three jobs. If Cat does well, will a meeting with the Tooth Fairy be the result?!

My thoughts: I loved it. I did. I really did. I thought Cat was adorable. Yes, Cat was a bit naughty to want to trick the Tooth Fairy. Yes, Cat, had some not-so-nice thoughts about the Mouse who was also helping the Tooth Fairy. But I love Cat all the same!!! I also found myself loving the narrative. The narrative is all in second person, and, it worked for me really well. I think that's one of the reasons why I loved it so very much. I also LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the illustrations.

Text: 5 out of 5
Illustrations: 5 out of 5
Text: 10 out of 10
© 2017 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Here Comes The Easter Cat

Here Comes The Easter Cat. Deborah Underwood. Illustrated by Claudia Rueda.  2014.  80 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: What's wrong, Cat? You look grumpy. The Easter Bunny? What about him? Well, of course everyone loves the Easter Bunny. Why? Because he's nice! He delivers chocolate eggs to millions of kids. It's a hard job. Don't be jealous. Why don't you be the Easter Cat?

Premise/plot: Cat is jealous of the Easter Bunny. He wants in on the action. Will the Easter Cat be competition for the Easter Bunny? Maybe, maybe not. The Easter Cat is a little too fond of naps and not so fond of hard work. But don't count him completely out. Easter Cat has a plan....

My thoughts: I enjoyed Deborah Underwood's Here Comes the Easter Cat. Cat is a lovable character who communicates mainly by signs and also body language. The illustrations are super expressive. Even children who can't read, can tell exactly what Cat is feeling at any given moment. The narrative tone is casual, conversational. I loved, loved, loved it.

Text: 5 out of 5
Illustrations: 5 out of 5
Total: 10 out of 10
© 2017 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Here Comes Valentine Cat

Here Comes Valentine Cat. Deborah Underwood. 2015. 88 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: Hey, Cat! Any Valentine's Day plans? This is a No-Valentines Zone? Why don't you like Valentine's Day, Cat? Valentine's Day doesn't have to be all mushy. Why don't you make a valentine for a friend?

Premise/plot: Here Comes Valentine Cat is one in a series of books starring Cat. In this one, Cat meets a new neighbor--a Dog. Will Dog prove to be a friend or foe? What kind of valentine should Cat make for Dog? A nice one? A mean one?

My thoughts: I love, love, love this series by Deborah Underwood. This one didn't disappoint. I'm so glad I encouraged my library to order it. (They already had the other books in the series.) I would definitely recommend the series to anyone and everyone who loves cats. I would also say that the book is a great example of narrative style. I love the conversational tone of the books.

Text: 5 out of 5
Illustrations: 5 out of 5
Total: 10 out of 10

© 2017 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

This Is My Book!

This Is My Book! Mark Pett. 2016. 40 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: My name is Mark Pett, and THIS IS MY BOOK! I am the author, and that means I get to write all the words. I am also the illustrator, so I get to make all of the pictures, too. Here, I'll draw something. This is Percy the Perfectly Polite Panda. He's going to help me explain the rules of my book. "I prefer to be called Spike." I drew you. I get to name you.

Premise/plot: Once Mark draws SPIKE, the book ceases to be his book. Though I must say Mark fights valiantly for sole control throughout. Spike--and those Spike draws--soon have a say in the action and characterization. Who does this book really belong to?

My thoughts: I enjoyed this one. I don't love metafiction for the sake of metafiction. But I happened to enjoy this one. (Though I'm not sure I enjoyed it more than Ryan T. Higgins' Be Quiet. I loved, loved, loved that book so much!!!) Spike is a super-fun character who loves the creative process of making a book. He disagrees with Mark on almost every page. I liked it best when Spike decided the book needed a flap and a pop-up.

Text: 4 out of 5
Illustrations: 3 out of 5
Total: 7 out of 10

© 2017 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Monday, December 4, 2017

The Little Red Cat Who Ran Away and Learned His ABC's

The Little Red Cat Who Ran Away and Learned His ABC's (the Hard Way). Patrick McDonnell. 2017. Little, Brown. 48 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: Aa Bb Cc Dd Ee

Premise/plot: Using nothing but the alphabet, McDonnell tells the story of a little red cat who has a mighty, big adventure before returning home once more.  It stars a cat, an alligator, a bear, a dragon, a chicken, and an egg....

My thoughts: Technically, I'm not sure if this one would count as wordless or not. The only text within the book is the alphabet. The story is communicated nevertheless. This one has plenty of adventure and some guesswork. The only letter I had trouble translating back into a word to further the story was Ww. (Which was 'wave.') The other letters I was able to 'read' correctly in the context of the story. (Mostly). If I'm being 100% honest, I interpreted Nnnnnnnnnnnnn Ooooooooooo! as NO and not "no over." But either way the story made complete sense.

Text: 0 out of 0
Illustrations: 4 out of 5
Total: 4 out of 5

© 2017 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Saturday, December 2, 2017

The Little Reindeer

The Little Reindeer. Nicola Killen. 2017. Simon & Schuster. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: It was Christmas Eve and Ollie had just gone to sleep when jingle, jingle, jingle she woke again with a start. What was that sound?

Premise/plot: A little girl--in reindeer pajamas--discovers a reindeer on Christmas Eve. A small adventure follows, and Christmas morning a souvenir of sorts is received as a gift.

My thoughts: I liked it. The story works well enough. Ollie is a cute heroine. I thought the illustrations were wonderful. It took several readings for me to see all the details in the illustrations and how they add to the story. This is one reindeer-obsessed heroine. Her pillow case, the art on her bedroom wall, the wallpaper of her bedroom, the book on her floor, her bookend, her chalk art, her stuffed animal that accompanies her on her adventure, and, of course, her pajamas.

Text: 3 out of 5
Illustrations: 5 out of 5
Total: 8 out of 10

© 2017 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Friday, December 1, 2017

Pick a Pine Tree

Pick a Pine Tree. Patricia Toht. Illustrated by Jarvis. 2017. 40 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Pick a pine tree from the lot--slim and tall or short and squat. One with spiky needle clumps, scaly bark, or sappy bumps. Long, straight limbs or branches bent--mmm! Just smell that piney scent!

Premise/plot: A family picks a pine tree and takes it home to decorate for the Christmas season. The story is told through rhyme.

My thoughts: I really enjoyed this one. I do NOT like real trees. In fact, the idea of being in the same room with a real tree is terrifying because I'm so allergic. But I do love this cheerful story. The family has so much fun. Even the pet cat gets involved. It's hard not to like this one.

Text: 5 out of 5
Illustrations: 4 out of 5
Total: 9 out of 10

© 2017 Becky Laney of Young Readers