A children's book blog by Miriam Rainwater

A children's book blog by Miriam Rainwater

"TV. If kids are entertained by two letters, imagine the fun they'll have with twenty-six. Open your child's imagination. Open a book." ~ Author Unknown

Friday, September 9, 2011


ZooZicalTitle: ZooZical
Author: Judy Sierra
Pictures: Marc Brown
Publisher: Knoff Books
Publication Date: August 9th, 2011
Rating: 5 stars

"Zoo-Zi-cal, n. a song-and-dance extravaganza performed by the denizens of a zoo."

When I opened up the cover of ZooZical and found Dr. Seuss-style poetry filled the pages, I knew I'd found a gem.

Just when the zoo starts to feel  lonely and depressing because of the cold winter weather and lack of visitors, a small hippo and baby kangaroo get an idea.  They can had a hip-hopping and toe-tapping time all over the zoo.  In fact, they can put on a ZooZical!

Positive Elements: The pages are full of humor and references to traditional children's songs. The rhyming words are original and give the poem a more mature sound.  The pictures are bright and very, very detailed; you'll want to stop every page and take in everything that is happening. 

Negative Elements: I did not find anything I felt was negative in this work; three cheers for author Judy Sierra!

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Grandpa Green

Grandpa GreenTitle: Grandpa Green
Author/Illustrator: Lane Smith
Publisher: Roaring Books Press
Publication Date: August 30, 2011
Rating: 4 stars

"He was born a really long time ago..."

Grandpa Green, that is.  The narrator is a young boy frolicking through his grandfather's garden.  The bushes tell the story of grandpa's life, from his infancy through his marriage through the friendship he now shares with his grandson.  The illustrations are largely green (as the title suggests) and make you wish that you could visit a garden like that.  This garden would far surpass Callaway Gardens!

Positive elements: The boy honors his grandfather by telling his story.  Grandpa and Grandma are said to "never argue, at least to hear [grandpa] tell it." Grandpa sets aside his own desires and serves his country in the military.

Negative elements: On page 14, there is a bush statue of his grandparents meeting in France during the war.  I feel that the statue of the grandmother is a bit too curvaceous and defined for a children's book.

Grandpa Green is one boy's sweet tribute to his grandfather. As readers join him in his respect, they will remember different things about their grandparents and wish to talk about them. This would be a great book to read as a family!

What do you remember about your grandfather that endured you to him?