Ask Me

AskMe

Image Credit: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Bernard Waber/Suzy Lee

Ask Me, written by Bernard Waber and posthumously published with illustrations by Suzy Lee is so sweet. The little girl in the story enjoys a fun day with her dad. As they spend time together, she asks him to ask her questions about her likes and reminds him about things she loves. They’re both attentive towards each other while being totally a part of their autumn surroundings. Their relationship is very solid and loving and I appreciate the fresh style of the writing; the story is essentially dialogue between the two. The pace and delivery of the story (also the illustrations) remind me of another great book about a father and daughter, Sidewalk Flowers.

AskMe2

Image Credit: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Bernard Waber/Suzy Lee

Lee depicts a messy piggy-back ice cream treat, romping through the falling leaves and dad pretending to be a bear. These are just a few of the tender moments in this book. I love the way she uses colored pencil and long, scratchy strokes to create the vibrant reds, oranges and yellows of fall leaves. Not only is the story comforting, but the colors and her sketchy-style of illustration is as well and readers will love this father-daughter relationship. What a cute book!

P.S. Another book that starts on the end pages (like Remy and Lulu)! Watch them get ready for their day out. 🙂

 

Recommended for: All ages
Great for: Family, Relationships, Father-Daughter, Colors, Animals, Autumn, Nature, Community, Read-Aloud, Love, Environment, Discussion
Book Info: Ask Me by Bernard Waber/Illustrated by Suzy Lee, 2015 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, ISBN: 9780547733944

The Bear Report

TheBearReport

Image Credit: Abrams Books for Young Readers (Abrams), Thyra Heder

 

Have you ever felt uninspired to do your homework? Too bad you didn’t have inspiration in the form of a 600 pound polar bear…some people have all the luck.

In The Bear Report, Sophie has to find three facts about polar bears for class but unfortunately she has a few misconceptions; one is that they’re mean. As she sits in front of the television, avoiding her work, a polar bear suddenly shows up on her sofa and tells her that they’re not ALL mean. Olafur is actually quite a nice guy with varied interests. He takes her to his world and tours her around. They dine on fish sticks, he teaches her about whale music, shows her the arctic animals and she even uses her smarts to help them out of a tricky situation. I think it’s safe to say that Sophie’s found what she needs for an excellent school report…and a new friend.

I love the fantasy of this story and it’s very cute. I enjoyed the friendly banter between Sophie and Olafur. Heder crafts an original story with heart. Her watercolor illustrations are beautiful; Olafur and Sophie have the best expressions and watercolor is the perfect medium to depict the translucent blue ice and shiny waters of the ocean. Be sure to check out this excellent story about the beauty of the Arctic and an unlikely friendship!

Recommended for: All ages
Great for: Animals, Humor, Friendship, Fantasy, Inspiration, Environment, Northern Lights
Book Info: The Bear Report by Thyra Heder, 2015 Abrams Books for Young Readers (Abrams), ISBN: 9781419707834

 

Flotsam

Image Credit: Clarion Books (Houghton Mifflin), David Wiesner

Image Credit: Clarion Books (Houghton Mifflin), David Wiesner

I’ve mentioned earlier how much I love a bold line and simple images that “pop.” Well, I also love DETAILED illustrations. David Wiesner is a master at storytelling through skilled detail. I love his book Flotsam and it’s very easy to see why this book won the 2007 Caldecott Medal.

Image Credit: Clarion Books (Houghton Mifflin), David Wiesner

Image Credit: Clarion Books (Houghton Mifflin), David Wiesner

This book is wordless. The lack of words encourage imagination and the illustrations have so much packed into them that you can come up with various interpretations of what’s happening. Keep staring at the gorgeous watercolor illustrations and you will find something new each time.

In Flotsam, a curious boy enjoys a day at the beach when suddenly, a huge wave knocks him over and washes up an old underwater camera. Inside he finds a roll of film, gets it developed and what he discovers is pretty amazing; a mechanical fish, a hot-air-ballon-puffin fish and more! Has he discovered the secrets of the ocean?? Each photo is even more fantastic than the first. Perhaps the coolest discovery is a portrait of every child that’s found the camera taking a photo with the portrait photo found before. I love this aspect of the book because we see children from all over the world and throughout time, who, like the young man in the story, discovered the wonders inside the camera. If you have a child with a vivid imagination, they will enjoy this book because it encourages fantasy and creativity.

Recommended for: All ages
Great for: Creative Thinking, Storytelling, Discussion, Diversity, Cultural Diversity
Book Info: Flotsam by David Wiesner, 2006 Clarion Books (Houghton Mifflin), ISBN: 9780618194575