The Sea Tiger

TheSeaTiger

Image Credit: Templar Books (Candlewick Press), Victoria Turnbull

The illustrations are gorgeous, right? 🙂

The Sea Tiger explores themes of friendship, protection and encouragement. In the story, The Sea Tiger is the narrator but Turnbull uses speech bubbles for dialogue (and sound!). He is very confident in his presence and power but his best friend, a little Mer-Boy named Oscar, is a bit shy. They go exploring together under the ocean; majestic sea circuses and sea carnivals are just a few of their fun adventures.

The Sea Tiger protects little Oscar but like a good friend, he has his best interests in mind and slowly…encourages the young Mer-Boy to venture out and make a new friend. Their friend circle widens and their relationships are enriched.

TheSeaTiger2.jpg

Image Credit: Templar Books (Candlewick Press), Victoria Turnbull

Turnbull’s colored pencil illustrations remind me of old Chinese scrolls; the way she draws the tiger with his whispy tendrils of floating hair, the beautiful plant life and the muted colors she uses. Her illustrations also look very “vintage,”  especially how she draws the mermaids’ faces. How does she make the pencil look so soft?? Lovely! I also love the singing turtles with their squiggly note-bubbles filling the yellow-green ocean. I hope you’ll enjoy The Sea Tiger as much as I did!

P.S. Pay attention to the front and back endpapers! 🙂

 

Recommended for: All Ages
Great for: Friendship, Fantasy, Encouragement, Deep Sea Life, Animals, Confidence, Protection, Mermaids, Relationships
Book Info: The Sea Tiger by Victoria Turnbull, 2014 Templar Books (Candlewick Press), ISBN: 9780763679866

 

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

 

Specs for Rex

Image Credit: Bloomsbury, Yasmeen Ismail

Image Credit: Bloomsbury, Yasmeen Ismail

I remember when I started wearing glasses in the 8th grade. I wasn’t too thrilled about having a pair of weird things on my face all the time. Most of us have gone through a stage in our life when we didn’t like something about our appearance. In the cute picture book, Specs for Rex, Rex is SUPER DETERMINED to get rid of his bright red glasses.

Rex tries every way possible to hide his new glasses. He even puts them in his jelly sandwich at lunchtime! During Art time, he makes a mess painting his glasses in order to turn them into sunglasses. Thanks to his teacher, he gets a boost of confidence when he realizes just how helpful brand new glasses can be. Ismail’s vivid watercolor illustrations are great; they’re perfect for portraying Rex’s messiness while he romps through his classroom. This is a great book for children who are feeling a little self conscious. It reminds them that it’ll all work out in the end!

Recommended for: Kindergarten and up
Great for: Colors, Friendship, Confidence, Classroom, Community, Discussion, New Glasses
Book Info: Specs for Rex by Yasmeen Ismail, 2014 Bloomsbury, ISBN: 9781619637108