We listened to Chomp as we drove cross-country from South Dakota to Oregon last week, and it made for an excellent audiobook. Frequently laugh-out-loud funny, finely crafted, and full of interesting commentary on environmental issues and “reality” TV. We are in the car ALL THE TIME but never listen to audiobooks anymore. I’m hoping that my son’s pleasure in Chomp will spark a desire to start listening to stories again. I’ve downloaded Hoot and Flush for our trip home next week.
A very funny picture book about a sick boy who only wants his mom, but thanks to a very stuffy nose, every time he calls “Mom!” it sounds like he is calling “Bob!”–the dog. Bob valiantly shows up again and again–even though he’s not really wanted. I didn’t read this one aloud but suspect it probably shines best as a read-aloud.
The Journey That Saved Curious George is the fascinating story of Margret and H.A. Rey’s wartime escape on bicycle from the Nazi invasion of Paris. I knew nothing about the Reys before reading this book, and they’re an interesting couple. Borden’s writing is clear and thoughtful, and her use of white space breaks up what would otherwise look like very text-heavy pages. Allan Drummond’s illustrations are terrific: the whole book looks like a travel journal or scrapbook with illustrations, photos, ticket stubs, etc.
Happy Dreamer is the type of Peter Reynolds book that doesn’t work as well for me. I appreciate the message about being a dreamer and holding onto your dreams, but without a specific character and narrative (as we see in Ish and The Dot, still my favorite Reynolds’s books), there isn’t enough for me as a reader to hold onto.
Moto and Me is a splendid nonfiction account of the months that writer and photographer Suzi Eszterhas spent as a foster mom to an abandoned serval kitten she named Moto. The photos are remarkable, of course, and the information about servals and wildlife rescue is so interesting. Eszterhas is so good at writing nonfiction that is comprehensible to the youngest readers while also engaging adults–not an easy feat.
Another winner from Mo Willems’s Elephant & Piggie Like Reading series. Really needs to be read aloud to be fully appreciated, I think.
Akiko Miyakoshi’s The Way Home in the Night is a beautiful book–gorgeous illustrations and a quietly resonant story about a sleepy little bunny who observes the houses and people she passes on her way home and wonders about their lives.