Big Wolf and Little Wolf By Nadine Brun-Cosme Illustrated by Olivier Tallec Enchanted Lion Books $16.95 ISBN: 978-1-59270-084-4 Ages 4-8 On shelves now. It’s seems strange to say that different countries produce different flavors of children’s literature, but it’s true. The Dutch books feel one way, the Japanese another. And the French books… well, where [...]
The Curious Garden By Peter Brown Little, Brown and Company $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-316-01547-9 Ages 4-8 On shelves now. They say that children’s books are inherently didactic. Particularly those of the picture book variety. There’s an idea that you can’t tell a story to a child without including some of your own personal values in the [...]
I think the lesson of the day here is that I haven’t been giving Lucy Cousins enough credit. While you may not be immediately familiar with her name, you’ve probably run into Cousins’s most famous creation, Maisy, at some point in your travels. Maisy is a mouse. Maisy is cute. Maisy is beloved by the 0-4 set. You haven’t lived until you’ve worked a reference desk where desperate two-year-olds come up to you like knee high zombies demanding, in their too high voices, your entire section of Maisy-related literature. Now because Maisy is so cute and non-threatening I was not initially impressed when I first heard about Yummy. Ms. Cousins wants to try her hand at fairy tales? Fine. It’ll probably be something along the lines of that Mary Engelbreit Nursery Tales collection. An early child introduction to fairy tales but without any of the original violent aspects. A watered down version, I’m sure. Well slap me upside the head and call me Charlie because I could not have been more wrong. Yummy is, if anything, the veritable antithesis to Engelbreit. With a good-natured, downright jovial tone of voice, Lucy Cousins takes old-fashioned stories and makes them as gruesome and funny as she is able.
Machines Go to Work By William Low Henry Holt and Company $14.95 ISBN: 978-0-8050-8759-8 Ages 4-8 On shelves now In his 1975 Introduction to his book Dandelion Wine Ray Bradbury has this to say about children and the ugliness of the mechanical world. “Trains and boxcars and the smell of coal and fire are not [...]
Tales from Outer Suburbia By Shaun Tan Arthur A. Levine (an imprint of Scholastic Books) $19.99 ISBN: 978-0-545-05587-1 Ages 9 and up February 1, 2009 On the face of it, I’m an inadequate reviewer for Shaun Tan. When you review a book for kids, what do you do? You take that little book, you pick [...]