Tag Archives: rhyming picture books

Good Night, Baddies – Perfect Picture Book Friday

2 Jun

I don’t know about you all, but I’m feeling a little sleepy. It’s near midnight. My mind is wandering, wondering what all those fairy tail bad guys do at night when they get home from terrorizing the likes of Snow White, Jack-in-the-Beanstalk, the Three Billy Goats Gruff, Little Red Riding Hood, the Three Little Pigs, etc…during their day jobs. Thankfully, Deborah Underwood has written a book to answer just that question:

Awww, Wolfie has a pig stuffy!

 

Just look at that yawning wolf!

 

Poor, tired giant has worked up a sweat chasing that “awful Jack.”

 

Exhausted baddies heading home to the castle

“Sun dips down; the day is gone.

Witches, wolves, and giants yawn.

Queen and dragon, troll and gnome;

tired baddies head for home.”

Kids will end up sympathizing with those evil doers as they shed their bad selves like work clothes when they come home to the castle. The Troll washes his troubles away in a bubblebath. Wolves brush their fangs even though they haven’t caught Little Red Riding Hood or the Three Little Pigs.

And a blustering giant is scared of what he may find hiding under his bed. Now, what would you expect a giant to be afraid of, considering we’ve entered a world that has been turned on its head? I won’t spoil the surprise.

This lyrical story along with its watercolor and oil illustrations make me feel all warm and cozy, ready for dreamland. Deborah’s meter, rhyme, and word choices are spot on. Not a clinker in sight. And I love how she fearlessly uses the dreaded and much maligned semi-colon twice in the first stanza! Kudos, also, for the serial comma! Grammarians rejoice!

Yes, my friends, this one will be a bedtime favorite for everyone. Kids will love it for obvious reasons; parents will love it because they only have to read 221 words before tucking in their wee ones. But please give those sleepy little eyes extra time to savor the images before you turn out the lights and wish them sweet dreams.

TITLE: Good Night, Baddies

AUTHOR: Deborah Underwood

ILLUSTRATOR: Juli Kangas

PUBLISHER: Beach Lane Books (Simon & Schuster)

PUB DATE: 2016

TARGET AGE: Toddler-Kindergarten

For more recommended picture books, visit Susanna Hill’s blog for Perfect Picture Book Friday.

Parts and Even More Parts – Perfect Picture Book Friday

22 Apr

So you’re looking for a couple of books from a brilliant author/illustrator? Ones that will make kids say “ewwww” page after page, all while laughing uproariously? Ones that kids will want to read again and again and again because each little twist is ingenious?

Tedd Arnold’s will do the trick:

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For the most part, his rhyme is spot on,

“I just don’t know what’s going on

or why it has to be.

But every day it’s something worse.

What’s happening to me?”

 

but purists will note that the rhyme on the second spread is—inverted! **!!Gasp!!**

“I think it was three days ago

I first became aware—

That in my comb were caught a couple

pieces of my hair.”

 

Now, one could argue that this book was published in 1997 and the rhyme police have gotten much more strict in recent years. But I will tell you that if you’re an author-illustrator and you come up with something as original as:

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“Then later on (I don’t recall

exactly when it was)

I lifted up my shirt and found

this little piece of fuzz.”

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“I stared at it, amazed, and wondered,

What’s this all about?

But then I understood. It was

my stuffing coming out!”

Editors may give you a “Get Out of Rhyme Jail Free” pass. Page after page of inspired body part distress.

Not content with one body part book, Arnold published a second called “More Parts” (not reviewed here), and a third called “Even More Parts” in 2004. Originally published under the “Dial Books for Young Readers Imprint,” they are now published by Puffin.

“Even More Parts” takes a literal look at body part idioms and their horrifying consequences.

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Tongue-tied, anyone?

Although each page includes small comics of several idioms for each body part, Arnold selects the funniest to fill the spreads. The end papers include mini illustrations of many more. Bonus: All of these books should engage even the most reluctant readers AND PARENTS.  

“Even More Parts” could also be used to support Common Core Curriculum in kindergarten through second grade.

Check them out!

Titles: “Parts” & “And Even More Parts”

Author/Illustrator: Tedd Arnold

Publisher: Puffin

Ages: preschool-second grade

This post is in conjunction with Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday.

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