Weekly Low Down on Kids Books – or, my obsession with water work

September 20, 2012 at 6:43 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Title: The Pout-Pout Fish in the Big-Big Dark

Author: Deborah Diesen

Illustrator: Dan Hanna

Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux

Although I hate the title, because I have a severe adversion to anything that even remotely sounds like it *may* be baby talk, I love this book.  I picked it up at the library today, despite the title, because I have a soft spot for underwater children’s illustrations.  Anything dealing with the ocean in the world of kid lit is right up my alley for whatever reason – it moves me.  Just like I loved Memoirs of a Goldfish, the illustrations for Rainbow Fish, and Eric Carle’s odd Mister Seahorse story.  It is probably the same reason I took kiddo to the Dallas World Acquarium long before we ever went to the Houston Zoo, where we live.  (If you have not yet visited the Dallas World Aquarium, please click that link and watch the home page video, you wont regret ‘wasting’ the time.) And its why I loved that she loved the beach.

My impulse for underwater things goes beyond kid book impulses every now and again.  My guest bathroom is beach themed, a common choice, I believe, but part of my decor involves pictures from my honey moon and, yes, more books.  The first that comes to mind is: Poseidon’s Steed.  I haven’t read it yet, but I plan to.  Maybe someone out there would like to read it with me sometime?  On top of my beachy bathroom, I find myself being drawn to genres I would never in my life enjoy otherwise, like Kendall Grey’s Just Breathe series.  All profits from her urban fantasies go to whale education organizations.  Read an interview I did with Ms. Grey as well as my review of her book here.

Impulses aside, once I read The Pout-Pout Fish in the Big-Big Dark to kiddo today, I was rather pleased.  Kiddo was riveted, curled up in my arms, pointing out the fish on the page and colors she recognized, while soothed by the rhythm of the poem.  She was in no rush for the story to be over and thoroughly enjoyed each and every page.  If you have a toddler, you know how daunting it can be to find a book that your child doesn’t turn the pages ahead of the story for you, impatient for you to finish reading.  The Pout-Pout Fish isn’t one to be rushed, and it was quite lovely.

P.S. This is a good title for dealing with older children who are scared of the dark.

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The Low Down on Kid’s Books

January 9, 2012 at 10:09 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

How do Dinosaurs Clean Their Rooms – Yolen

This is Ayla’s first dinosaur book and the first thing we’ve read by Jane Yolen. Cute, clever, and rhyming this is great board book for a 14 month old learning to put her toys away before she leaves a room and goes to another. Its quickly becoming an afternoon favorite.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs – Barrett

Ayla and I read this recently for the first time. She seemed to enjoy it when I made the action loud enough, but its definitely going to be more exciting when she’s a little older. All in all, though, it does not live up to its hype.

Punctuation Station – Bryan P. Cleary

Ayla and I love Bryan P. Cleary books and are trying to collect them all. We checked this one out of the library this week, and as usual she found the rhymes exciting, even if she doesn’t quite know what they mean yet!

The Sea of Bath – Bob Logan

Ayla loves this one. She’s really into the illustrations and there’s the perfect amount of story per page, so she is able to sit still for just the right amount of time before she turns the page for you. We checked this copy out of the library, but I think I’ll have to go buy a copy soon.

Where to, Little Wombat – Charles Fuge

Ayla wasn’t sure about sitting through the first page, but by the second she was hooked.  The first time we read this she made me read it three times in a row and carried it around the house for an hour after that.  The illustrations are fun and she loved being introduced to new animals she hadn’t seen before: wombat, emu, and koala. Plus, the story is super cute too.
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