Sunday, May 15, 2011

Books of the Week: I Saw Esau, Mercy Watson, I Broke My Trunk, The Nutshell Library

Here are our favorites from the past week:

Tintin, age 8

I Saw Esau: The Schoolchild's Pocket Book
Editors/illustrator: Iona & Peter Opie/Maurice Sendak
Publisher: Candlewick Press (October 1992); first in 1947 by Williams and Northgate as I Saw Esau: Traditional Rhymes of Youth
Source: Public library

I Saw Esau is a collection of 174 rhymes chanted by generations of children. As Iona Opie says in her introduction, these rhymes "pack a punch" and are "a feast of laughter." Ranging from insults and teasing to counting-out and game rhymes, the book is a great resource for bullies everywhere, and a humorous read for everyone else. Sendak's illustrations add to the fun. And, for the adult interested in folklore or etymology, the notes section explains the origins and variations of many of the book's rhymes.

Tintin's note: I liked it because it has different levels of rhymes and it's silly.

Find it: Amazon, IndieBound

Mercy Watson Books 1-6
Author/illustrator: Kate DiCamillo/Chris Van Dusen
Publisher: Candlewick Press (2005-2009)
Source: Public library

Thought of as a porcine wonder to some, Mercy Watson is a pig who likes toast with a great deal of butter on it. Her love of buttered toast sometimes gets her into trouble, as it does when she consumes a great amount of other people's buttered popcorn at the drive-in in Something Wonky This Way Comes, and it sometimes helps her solve problems, as it does when she wakes up to find toast to eat but instead captures a thief stealing her precious toaster and other kitchen appliances in Mercy Watson Fights Crime. The Mercy Watson series is a hit with both boys, and it was the obsession of the week for Johnny Boo last week. They're easy reads for 2nd grader Tintin, but they're so hilarious to him that he doesn't care.

Tintin's note: I think it should be a movie.

Find them: Amazon

Johnny Boo, age 5

I Broke My Trunk!
Author/illustrator: Mo Willems
Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children (February 2011)
Source: Public library

Gerald the elephant has broken his trunk. He can't wait to tell Piggie how it happened, but it's such a long, crazy story and Piggie gets a little frustrated waiting for the end of it. When Piggie finally hears what happened, she gets as excited to tell others as Gerald was to tell her and ends up with an equally crazy story of her own. Johnny Boo loves reading the part of Gerald while I read Piggie's lines, and we both think the illustrations are especially funny.

Johnny Boo's note: It was good and useful. My favorite part is when Elephant and Piggie broke their trunk and snout and the squirrel said, "What happened to your snout?" and Piggie said, "It's a long, crazy story."

Find it: Amazon, IndieBound

The Nutshell Library (Alligators All Around: An Alphabet; Chicken Soup With Rice: A Book of Months; One Was Johnny: A Counting Book; Pierre: A Cautionary Tale
Author/illustrator: Maurice Sendak
Publisher: Harper & Row (1962)
Source: Public library

In these four small books, Sendak teaches the alphabet, the months of the year, counting, and the importance of caring. They are amazing books on their own but even better accompanied by Carole King's Really Rosie CD, which includes the four Nutshell Library books in song. Get them all--after a couple of weeks of reading the books and listening to the songs, we haven't tired of them. And check out our Word of the Week post on Chicken Soup With Rice.

Johnny Boo's note: They were good writing. I like it because there was lots of freakin' out.

Find it: Amazon, IndieBound


Grandma and Grandpa said...

Both Tintin and Johnny Boo are Freakin funny!

Rockabye Butterfly said...

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~Rockabye Butterfly~

Julie P. said...

Great assortment of books -- as usual. I think that pig looks precious!

AISB Library said...

Thanks for featuring two of Sendak's lesser known books. Looks like it was a fun week!