Friday, September 12, 2014

Folk Tales, Fairy Tales, and Fables, Oh My! (FAMILY magazine reviews)

Although your child is back in school, s/he still needs you to read to her/him at home. Your child will do better in school, and you'll both enjoy the time spent together.

Here are a few tips for reading to and with young children:

·      Keep reading to your child even when s/he can read. Read books that are too difficult or too long for /her him to read alone.

·      Take turns reading a story with your child. Don't interrupt to correct mistakes that do not change the meaning.

·      Talk about the meaning of new words and new ideas in books. Help your child think of examples of new concepts.

·      Talk with your child about stories using: the beginning, middle, and end of the story to organize thinking and conversation.

The most important thing you can do to help your child become a successful reader is to communicate that reading is valuable and enjoyable. Have fun!

Tug-of-War by John Burningham
Candlewick, $16.99 (hardcover) 
Interest Level: Kindergarten – Grade 3 
(This book is available to purchase from Books & Books online:
            Although Hare, Hippopotamus and Elephant live together in the forest, Hippopotamus and Elephant are not always nice to Hare.  When Hare gets tired of the disrespect he thinks up a plan to trick both of them.
            He visits each one separately and challenges them to a tug-o-war.  At first they think it’s a joke, but finally each one agrees to the contest. 
            Hare hides between Elephant, who lives in the forest, and Hippo, who lives in the river, and pulls on the rope.  Hippo feels the tug and begins to pull.  Elephant is “amazed at the strength of Hare.” 
            Award-winning author/illustrator Burningham re-imagines this African folktale from an earlier version retold by Letty Schatz. Deep greens and blues that change to red keep young readers interested. The two bulky animals continue to pull through twilight and sunset. 
The bright moon rises and sets. Hare watches while Elephant and Hippo pull “all night long.”  
            When the two pull close enough to realize they have been tricked, Hare is long gone.  He may not be as strong, but Hare is “much more clever.”  This vigorous tale uses both strong language and peppy illustrations to appeal to young listeners and their adults.

Little Red Hot by Eric A. Kimmel 
illustrations by Laura Huliska-Beith 
Two Lions, $17.99 (hardcover) 
Interest Level:  Grade 1-3 
(This book is available to purchase from Books & Books online:
Once again, award-winning author Kimmel returns to retelling a favorite folk tale with a Texas twang.  The addition of hot chili peppers makes this an especially playful version of the familiar Grandma and Wolf tale.
Huliska-Beith combines gouache, acrylic, and colored pencil in collage on computer.  She uses southwest colors and a careful mix of white space with full and double-page spreads.  Text and paintings are a lively match.
Red wears a suitably colored sombrero and Granny knows when to race
for help, in spite of being down with a bad cold. Meanwhile, the wolf tastes a
wedge of hot pepper pie so spicy he shoots out of Granny’s house “like a rocket.”
Pecos Bill and the cowboys arrive too late to help out.  Although invited, they aren’t brave enough to join Red and Grandma for pepper pie supper.

The Crocodile and the Scorpion by Rebecca Emberley and Ed Emberley  
 Roaring Brook, $17.99 (hardcover) 
Interest Level: Pre Kindergarten – Grade 3 
(This book is available to purchase from Books & Books online:
            Crocodile and scorpion are not the smartest of creatures.  But each lives peacefully alone.
In spite of his small brain Scorpion knows he can’t cross the river without help.  He asks crocodile for a ride. 
Lazy crocodile wonders, “Have you no friends” to help?  Both recognize that stinging or biting, makes it hard to be friends.
Promising not to hurt each other, the two agree to cross the river.  The scorpion leaps on the crocodile’s back. 
Cut-paper illustrations in brilliantly contrasting colors -- blue river, green crocodile, purple scorpion – grab attention and intensify the text. Double page spreads sizzle with jaunty text and brisk rushing illustrations.
But scorpion cannot restrain himself.  A splashy battle and fighting words send both to the bottom of the river where “you can hear them … still.”
            This father-daughter team pairs their talents once again to create a picture book tale that snaps with energy.

Here are a few more titles to enjoy!

Ninja Red Riding Hood by Corey Rosen Schwartz 
illustrated by Dan Santat 
Putnam, $16.99 (hardcover) 
Interest Level: Junior Kindergarten – Grade 3 
(This book is available to purchase from Books & Books online:

Goldi Rocks and the Three Bears by Corey Rosen Schwartz and Beth Coulton illustrated by Nick Wragg  
 Putnam, $16.99 (hardcover) 
Interest Level:  Kindergarten – Grade 3 
(This book is available to purchase from Books & Books online:

Dangerously Ever After by Dashka Slater 
illustrated by Valeria Docampo  
 Dial, $16.99 (hardcover) 
Interest Level: Junior Kindergarten – Grade 2 
(This book is available to purchase from Books & Books online:

Aesop’s Fables illustrated by Ayano Imai  
MinEdition, $17.99 (hardcover) 
Interest Level:  Pre Kindergarten – Grade 3 
(This book is available to purchase from Books & Books online:

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