Saturday, January 22, 2011

Books of the Week – January 22, 2011

Here are our favorites from the past week:

Tintin, age 7

Sir Seth Thistlethwaite and the Soothsayer's Shoes
Author/illustrator: Richard Thake/Vince Chui
Publisher: Owlkids Books (September 2010)
Source: ARC from giveaway at Journey of a Bookseller

Sir Seth and Sir Ollie are really just plain old Seth and Ollie, 10-year-old kids with big imaginations. With tinfoil armor, a broom for a sword, and his trusty steed (or a golden retriever in the real world), Sir Seth and his friend travel to High Dudgeon to retrieve the magical soothsayer's shoes and bring right and honor to the kingdom. Along the way, they meet a helpful sloth, fire-breathing bats, bog runners, a jolly ghost-king and, finally, a selfish prince. Tintin loved the story and the rhyming and tongue-twistery text. This is a great book for independent reading and read-aloud enjoyment.

Tintin's note: I like Sir Seth because it has adventures.

Johnny Boo, age 5

You Read to Me, I'll Read to You: Very Short Fables to Read Together
Author/illustrator: Mary Ann Hoberman/Michael Emberley
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company (November 2010)
Source: ALA Midwinter 2011

Full of short stories with morals, this book is part of a collection that helps young readers gain more confidence. Each fable is divided into color-coded verses between two and eight lines (but usually two or four), so that parent and child (or, as in our case, brother and brother as well) can take turns reading. The other books in this collection end their stories with "You read to me, I'll read to you," but this one instead ends each fable with its moral. Although Johnny Boo is a fine, upstanding young man who would never hurt anyone other than his brother and of course doesn't need lessons on how to act properly, he really enjoys this book. In fact, he's obsessed with it and with the others in the collection that we already own. He would have looked in the library for the two that we don't own, but in his excitement over finding Ivy and Bean books on the shelving cart, he forgot. Next time. He reads this book all by himself, with me, and with his brother (who also likes these books). He even brings it in the car with him. When we read it together, he loves being able to pick which color he gets to read. Although Johnny Boo is a good reader and loves books, he still sometimes gets overwhelmed by the length of chapter books and will only read a little bit at a time. I've found that being able to take turns really helps Johnny Boo with the transition to chapter books.

Johnny Boo's note: I like this book because it has different fables to read together. I like all of the fables and stuff because they're great.

Tintin/Johnny Boo

Ivy and Bean Books 1-5
Author/illustrator: Annie Barrows/Sophie Blackall
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Source: Public library

Ivy and Bean are two 2nd grade friends who come up with some very interesting plans, like using magic to make Bean's sister dance forever and setting a world record by seeing how many straws Bean can fit in her mouth. We've written about Ivy and Bean before, and we've had books 1 and 2 out for a while (actually, we brought them back and then had to get them back out a short time later). This last time, however, we just had to get books 3, 4 and 5 out as well. Johnny Boo was the first brother to take a liking to this series. At first he would read a few sentences at a time and then he'd just want me to read the books to him. But something happened this week. Maybe it had a little to do with the You Read to Me book or maybe it was because he got to pick out a bunch of free bookmarks from the library and I explained to him that he could stop whenever he wanted, put the bookmark in, and not have to feel as though he had to read the whole book at once, but he read the first chapter of book 3 on the way home from the library and read some more at the grocery store. He's only on chapter 3 right now, but he's also on chapter 3 of book 4. He likes to go back and forth. And finally, after having seen the Ivy and Bean books lying around for the past several weeks, Tintin started, and finished, book 1 yesterday and is now on book 2.

Tintin's note: I like Ivy and Bean because it has magic and a ghost.
Johnny Boo's note: I like Ivy and Bean because there's different pages to read and different chapters.

Proof that they both like Ivy and Bean:

Disclosure: We are an Amazon affiliate, which means that if you click on most of the links in this post and purchase anything, we will earn a small commission through our relationship with Amazon.


Michelle said...

You have a great book review site. You Read to Me, I'll Read to You series looks great! My family has read one of these books. I guess I didn't know there were more.
Chapter books are great, but I think too many children are pushed into chapter books only at a certain age. There are so many higher level picture books worth reading. I like that you are combining chapter books and picture books.

Raising a Happy Child said...

We have to look for that I Read To You, You Read To Me book! We have the first one and love it. Thanks for joining WMCIR!

Julie P. said...

Too cute! I love the kiddos' comments! I am a huge fan of Ivy and Bean too!