Exclamation Mark

exclamation-mark

Image Credit: Scholastic Press (Scholastic Inc.), Amy Krouse Rosenthal/Tom Lichtenheld

 

Calling All English Teachers! Do you know about this book? If not, check it out!

Exclamation Mark is my favorite book from the clever Amy Krouse Rosenthal. I recently reviewed her newest book, Awake Beautiful Child, which is also very good.

This is a funny story about Exclamation Mark who’s on a journey of self-discovery. Maybe you’re thinking “You expect me to trust you that a book about a punctuation mark is gold?!?” Yes, you should…and it’s more yellow than gold anyway, but back to my point…if you value unique stories like I do, you will love this one. Exclamation Mark is quite unlike his peers and tries his best to fit in with the Periods but it just doesn’t work…period. One day, super inquisitive Question Mark comes along and gets Exclamation Mark to reveal his true potential!!! Rosenthal is such a clever writer; there are puns galore.

Lichtenheld’s illustrations are incorporated into the story; I love books that do this. The text and drawings are dependent on each other to successfully tell the story. His scratchy pen stroke punctuation mark characters are comfortable on the “lined paper” backgrounds of each page. Their expressions are adorable. The book also uses several fonts which is quite cool. Exclamation Mark is a great story about confidence and it just so happens to also be a great book for teaching punctuation!

P.S. Make sure to read the conversation on the last page!

 

Recommended for: 1st/2nd grade and up
Great for: Punctuation, Friendship, Confidence, Puns, Humor
Book Info: Exclamation Mark by Amy Krouse Rosenthal/Illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld, 2013 Scholastic Press (Scholastic Inc.), ISBN: 9780545436793

 

Wild Berries

WildBerries

Image Credit: Simply Read Books, Julie Flett

 

Guess what? It’s still Native American Heritage Month! Yippee!  If you didn’t see my first post celebrating this month, please check out my review for Hiawatha and the Peacemaker!

Wild Berries is a sweet little book. Julie Flett is Cree-Metis and lives in Vancouver, BC. Wild Berries is written in English with words translated into the n-dialect (Swampy Cree) of Cree. This particular dialect of Cree is from the Cumberland House area of Saskatchewan. As you enjoy the story, you can also pick up a few Cree words. Flett includes more information about the various dialects of Cree and a pronunciation guide at the back of the book.

In this book, Little Clarence and his grandmother set out for the day, exploring nature and picking all types of berries. Clarence starts out on her back but grows into a boy who is curious about his surroundings. He especially loves big, sour ininimina (blueberries). There are many animals in the woodlands and when his bucket is full of sweet berries, he is sure to leave a few as a gift for the animals…and they are thankful. The readers get a gift as well, Flett includes a recipe for Wild Blueberry Jam at the end of the story.

Flett’s style reminds me of cut paper though it looks to be watercolor and digital illustration. She uses basic shapes to make eyes, arms, animals and trees. The bright red orange sun follows the grandma and her grandson as they enjoy the day together. Maybe you’ll want to go berry picking after reading this book, I know I sure want to!  Come on spring.  🙂

Recommended for: All ages
Great for: Diversity, Native American Heritage Month, Cree, Language, Colors, Food Culture, Family, Animals, We Need Diverse Books
Book Info: Wild Berries by Julie Flett, 2013 Simply Read Books, ISBN: 9781897476895

Hermelin the Detective Mouse

Image Credit: Alfred A. Knopf (Random House Children's Books, Mini Grey

Image Credit: Alfred A. Knopf (Random House Children’s Books, Mini Grey

Oooh Hermlin is the cutest and smartest mouse around. 🙂 I love this book so much. I think I’ve found a new picture book niche that I enjoy; mysteries! I recently reviewed the book Shark Detective which is also a great one.

As you read Hermelin the Detective Mouse, pay attention to the first few pages; really look at the illustrations and read the text. It just might help you solve the mysteries! Hermelin is a little mouse who one day realizes that he can read. Off he goes typing with the typewriter in the attic of his house. He notices that his neighbors have quite a few stolen and lost things in the neighborhood so he sets out to solve some mysteries. Hermelin deftly solves all the cases and his neighbors, not knowing his identity, invite him to a party in his honor. BUT…let’s not forget that Hermelin is a MOUSE…and guess what many people are afraid of? You guessed it. Oh no Hermelin, be careful!

Mini Grey is a clever storyteller and illustrator. There’s so much going on in her illustrations and this is a GOOD thing. You can read the book several times and find new things like little notes on trash, letters on discarded paper, and facial expressions of important characters. She is amazing at composing a scene. They’re busy but very interesting to look at; like when solving a mystery, the closer you look, the more clues you’ll find. Your family will really enjoy reading Hermelin together and soon you’ll have little detectives running around your house!

 

Recommended for: All Ages
Great for: Mystery, Friendship, Discussion, Animals, Storytelling, Community
Book Info: Hermelin the Detective Mouse (as told to) Mini Grey, 2013 Alfred A. Knopf (Random House Children’s Books), ISBN: 9780385754330

 

Ball

Image Credit: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Mary Sullivan

Image Credit: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Mary Sullivan

This post is dedicated to my good friend Scott and his doggie Fuhlonnie (Yellow Dog) who recently passed away. She was a GREAT doggie and she loved her ball, right Scott?  🙂 So does the yellow doggie in this lovely book.

Ball has only one word in the entire book. Can you guess what it is? Yup, it’s “ball.” What makes this book memorable is how clever Sullivan is with her storytelling and how charming her illustrations are. The book is set up comic-book style so you have to follow the panels to read the story. It’s about a day in the life of an energetic and lovable dog who just wants someone to play ball with. The members of the family either have to go to school, are busy or are just plain rude! It’s quite a fun book; I chuckle every time I read it. I recommend the board book form of this book because it is very sturdy and in my opinion, looks the best stylistically. This book is great for toddlers, early elementary (could make for great storyboarding/creative thinking lessons) and for ALL dog lovers. Ball…ball?…ball!!

Recommended for: Toddlers, 1st graders and dog lovers  😉
Great for: Storyboarding, Creative Thinking, Discussion
Book Info: Ball by Mary Sullivan, 2013 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, ISBN: 9780544313613