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scrounge: /skrounj/ informal verb: to actively seek [books] from any available source

Category results for 'preschool'.

I love the beautiful, cool-toned artwork in this book -- the mixed-media pictures, the blues and greens and collections of complementary colors decorating plumage -- Birds is lovely.

The beginning part of the book contrasts different kinds of birds -- some migrate, others stay home; some are large, others are small, etc. The second half is a simple celebration of the joy of listening to bird songs and watching them fly. 

This book isn't very wordy and doesn't try to be all "educational" about it -- no actual names of birds are mentioned. There's a place for books like that, but I also appreciate the linking of birds with the imagination, and the affirmation that birds bring something important and intangible to our lives.

(In compliance with FTC guidelines, I disclose that I received this book for free through LibraryThing Early Reviewers. I was not required to write a positive review.)

Scrounged From: LibraryThing giveaway

Format: Hardcover
Author/Illustrator: Carme Lemniscates
Pages: 40
Content Advisory: None

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The Cave is a short but amusing book about a little creature whose eyes are visible from outside of its cave. A hungry wolf waits outside, continually asking the creature when it will come out. The book follows a simple formula, but contains enough mystery that children will probably enjoy it, and even adults will likely find it amusing. And it's short enough to keep repetitive readings from becoming tedious.

I enjoyed the illustrations and appreciated that the book didn't try too hard to be deep or funny -- it sticks to its sparse wording and allows a simple tale to develop about the interplay between these two odd characters and one bigger-than-it-seems cave.

(Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy.)

 

Scrounged From: NetGalley

Format: Kindle
Author/Illustrator: Rob Hodgson
Pages: 32
Content Advisory: A bit of peril

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I enjoyed Laura Seeger's exploration of the color green in Green (see my review here), and I thought Blue was just as well done -- illustrations consisting of textured paintings, including cut-outs on each page that become something different when the page is turned. The text also follows the same pattern, describing (with occasional rhymes) different kinds of blue as displayed on each colorful double page.

This particular book is different in that it has a theme -- it follows the story of a boy and his dog, and thus illustrates even the feeling of "blue" as the boy eventually mourns the aging and loss of his friend. This is very simply communicated through the pictures and spare text, and will certainly tug at the heart-strings of any dog-lover. I'm not much of a "dog person" myself, but I can still appreciate the friendship portrayed here, and how adequately the feeling of loss can be summed up with just a color. 

I think it would be wonderful to see a picture book like this for many more colors!

Scrounged From: Our local library

Format: Hardcover
Author/Illustrator: Laura Vaccaro Seeger
Pages: 40
Content Advisory: None

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I've read many Bible stories for children over the years. We grew up on Kenneth Taylor's The Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes and now we like Sally Lloyd-Jones's Jesus Storybook Bible. We've also read many picture books featuring individual stories -- some I liked, others were more generic, poorly illustrated, or tried too hard to make the story into something it didn't need to be. Still, I could list many good ones, but here are some I really like, some of which are by authors who are well known even outside the realm of religious literature.

 

Jerry Pinkney is a Caldecott-winning artist who has illustrated many books for children, including a wordless version of The Lion and the Mouse. Here in Noah's Ark, Pinkney tells the simple story from the Bible without messing with the narrative -- but the attention to detail in his words and paintings capture the epic scope of this story, as well as the courage and sense of survival. (When it comes to this particular story, we also enjoy Peter Spier's wordless version of Noah's Ark.)

 

I enjoyed The Very First Christmas board book because it tells the story from a Christian perspective, and doesn't feel the need to embellish the narrative with speculation. The story is a bit choppy at first for this reason, but it relates Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem, and the special visitors the baby Jesus received, paired with beautiful, reverent illustrations. See my full review of both versions of this book here.

 

I was pleasantly surprised to see a Creation picture book from Cynthia Rylant at our library, since I didn't realize that she was an illustrator as well. The text here is right from the King James version of the Bible, which is probably more familiar to many people despite the archaic language -- it does have a certain poetic feel to it. The paintings are fairly simple, with broad brush strokes and few details, but I think it works well and helps to capture the simplicity and repetitive nature of the text.

 

When I first saw the cover of this book, I assumed it was the story of the shepherd and the lost sheep, from the parable Jesus told. But it's actually a very modernized version of Psalm 23. Still, the illustrations show the commonalities between these two passages, and the title, Found, helps bring the ideas together. Love is the central theme here -- God's love never fails. This is a delightful (and sturdy) large-sized board book from Sally Lloyd-Jones, and I really liked the colors and texture in Jago's illustrations as well.

 

Psalms may not be "stories," but they can communicate many important ideas about God and people's relationship to him. Psalms of Praise takes a look at a few short verses from the book of Psalms, focusing on different postures -- a fun way to teach children how to relate to God, and also about different forms of movement, from walking, lying down, running, and even jumping over a wall! I've really enjoyed both titles I've read from this series of board books -- see my review for the "opposites primer" about the creation story here.

We Build Our Homes is such a cute, readable nonfiction book, telling the stories of animals who are known for building homes -- especially unique ones. Each species of animal has a beautifully illustrated two-page spread to tell its story from a first person perspective (as the "we" in the title implies), which I think makes the text more story-like for young children.

We learn about birds, insects, mammals, and more animals that build their houses out of many different materials and in many different settings. One of the most interesting to me were the edible-nest swiftlets, birds who build their nests in caves -- and their nests are made out of their own saliva!

The text here manages to be both informative and readable, while remaining at a level that preschoolers can still appreciate. For older children, the book is not too wordy to read in one sitting. 

(Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy.)

Scrounged From: NetGalley

Format: Kindle
Author: Laura Knowles
Illustrator: Chris Madden
Pages: 64
Content Advisory: None

More Reviews at Amazon

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