New York is My Playground

NewYorkIsMyPlayground

Image Credit: POW! (powerHouse Packaging & Supply, Inc.), Jane Goodrich/Bob Raczka

City life. Movement. Happy kids.

New York is My Playground is a joyful romp though New York City. Goodrich’s vibrant photographs accompany Raczka’s playful words in this simple and beautiful book. It’s more of a collection of photographs with text than a story; one huge spread shows a little boy “holding up” a large red sculpture and he says “I feel like I can do anything in New York.”

This book showcases the hustle & bustle of New York but also explores the fact that you can find a quiet, restful spot when you need it. Curious kids twist, run, jump and play on every page. I love the diversity of the kids and the energy of the photography. Goodrich’s shots are dynamic! The typography, with its vibrant colors, is fun; it looks like graffiti covering the city landscape. Instead of sitting in straight lines on the page, the typography is blended & bended into the city landscape. It’s really visually interesting.

This is a fun one! Kids in New York might recognize familiar spots and kids not in New York have the opportunity to check out a new city. New York is My Playground, with words like “running,” “dancing,” and “jumping,” is great for getting kids up and moving during story time!

Enjoy!

 

Recommended for: All ages
Great for: City Life, New York, Movement, Diversity, Read Aloud, Friendship, Family, Photography, Exploration, Feelings, Colors
Book Info: New York is My Playground photographs by Jane Goodrich/Text by Bob Raczka, 2016 POW! (powerHouse Packaging & Supply, Inc.), ISBN: 9781576877890

Last Stop on Market Street

 

LaststoponMarktSt

Image Credit: G.P. Putnam’s Sons (Penguin Young Readers Group), Matt de la Peña/Christian Robinson

 

Last Stop on Market Street is one of the best of 2015.

It’s about the relationship between a grandmother and her grandson and what makes it shine is the grandmother’s magic. She’s pure positive energy and has the ability to see beauty in everything. Her wisdom is gentle yet strong enough to open CJ’s young eyes to his world. As they travel through their neighborhood, CJ yearns for what others have but her thoughtful corrections and caring perspective show him just how much he already has. She gives him the gift of positive reflection.

Their bus ride in the rain is full of colorful people. A man plays his guitar and a blind man jokingly says he closes his eyes to better hear the music, and they do as well. CJ especially, begins to SEE; he sees the music and all of its vibrancy. At the last stop on Market Street, he steps off the bus and his lessons continue as he walks with Nana down the street…

LastStoponMrkSt2

Image Credit: G.P. Putnam’s Sons (Penguin Young Readers Group), Matt de la Peña/Christian Robinson

There are so many great things working together in this book. Until I sat down to write this review, I valued the story more, but when I slowed down (like CJ) and took time to appreciate the illustrations, I came to love how well they belong with this story. De la Peña’s poetic, rich and descriptive words combined with Robinson’s vibrant, blocky paint and collage illustrations carry the story to its destination.

I love the diverse people! I love how they speak in colloquial language! Nana sounds like my grandma and that detail is important; some young readers may connect to this book based on that detail alone. The everyday realness of this story shines brightly; Nana and CJ’s story is a reflection of us, our modern world and all of its amazing colors!

 

Recommended for: All ages
Great for: Community, Buses, Movement, Travel, Family, Lessons, Perspective, Diversity, We Need Diverse Books, Grandmother-Grandson, Community Service, Read-Aloud, Music, Disability, Discussion
Book Info: Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña/Illustrated by Christian Robinson, 2015 G.P. Putnam’s Sons (Penguin Young Readers Group), ISBN: 9780399257742

Wiggle

Image Credit: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (Simon & Schuster), Doreen Cronin/Scott Menchin

Image Credit: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (Simon & Schuster), Doreen Cronin/Scott Menchin

I have to admit, I wiggled while reading this book. It makes you wiggle. Honest! It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a cute story time book! I think your kids will enjoy this one a lot; especially the toddlers.

Puppy dog has the wiggles all day long from the time he wakes up until the time he goes to bed! He even wiggles while making breakfast…and that’s a little messy. This book encourages children to wiggle along; it gets them up and moving along with the story. Doreen Cronin always knows how to write great rhymes for speaking aloud.

Wiggle also has great art! I love the colorful ink illustrations and the puppy is so cute! The book’s cover is very striking. Menchin includes photographs in the illustrations in a collage style; puppy has a real pancake on his head and a cute little yarn outfit for his trip to visit the polar bears. Children will like this story time book and you’ll probably get a few giggles as well as wiggles! If this book is a hit, check out the accompanying books Bounce and Stretch.

Recommended for: Toddlers and young children
Great for: Storytime, Rhyme, Movement, Colors, Animals, Dogs
Book Info: Wiggle by Doreen Cronin/Illustrated by Scott Menchin, 2005 Atheneum Books for Young Readers (Simon & Schuster), ISBN: 9780689863752