Friday, September 30, 2011

SPL Shelf Life [kids]

These reviews appeared in the Stratford Gazette on September 29th and was written by Sally Hengeveld, Librarian.

Can Hens Give Milk?  by Joan Betty Stuchner, 32 pages.

Shlomo, a poor farmer, had some hens and a rooster, but he couldn’t afford a cow to provide his family with milk. 
One night, Shlomo awoke with an idea. “That’s it!” he shouted. His daughter, Tova, rushed into his room and he explained, “A cow gives milk because she eats grass. If we feed grass to our hens, they will still lay eggs, but they will also give us milk!”
Shlomo’s family tried his idea the next day, but the hens had other ideas - which didn’t include eating grass! Instead, they preferred their usual grain.
Then Tova hatched the plan of rolling the grass into pellets that resembled grain. But the hens weren’t fooled. They refused the pellets again.
The next day, Tova had another idea. This time, the hens were fooled, and they ate the grass pellets … but they developed hiccups as a result. Worse, they stopped laying eggs, and of course, they didn’t produce milk either.
What to do now?
Finally, the wise Rabbi was consulted. After thinking for a little while, he had an excellent – and obvious – suggestion. A trade was made and the problem was solved! Shlomo now had both milk and eggs for his family.
But only a few days later, Shlomo again had a “brilliant” idea in the middle of the night …
Can Hens Give Milk? is one of the many humorous stories from the mythical town of Chelm, which, according to Jewish folklore, is populated mostly by silly people. Joe Weissmann’s vibrant, expressive illustrations add greatly to the appeal of this very entertaining children’s tale.
** Recommended for ages 4 to 8 years of age.

Tiny Little Fly, by Michael Rosen, 32 pages.

Everyone knows how pesky a buzzing fly can be on a warm day, and the sly little fly in this story is being particularly bothersome. First, it lands on an elephant’s toes, then on a hippo’s ear, and then on a tiger’s claw. Each animal is determined to get rid of the little nuisance, muttering “I’m going to catch that fly!” However, each animal, despite their great size and strength, has trouble catching the tiny insect.
The animals roll, stomp, jump, wave and thrash about in their efforts to trap the fly. Nothing succeeds. Mayhem ensues, and in the end, Great Big Elephant, Great Big Hippo and Great Big Tiger fall into a big messy mud pool … while the tiny little fly, with a mischievous wink and a smile, flies away.
Michael Rosen’s humorous rhyming tale is an example of a “pattern” or “predictable” story. In this type of story, a consistent word pattern is used, containing a repeated refrain with which young children can easily join - a first step in building their confidence to begin the process of reading independently later on.
Michael Rosen is the well-known children’s author of  such picture books as The Bear in the Cave, Bear Flies High and Bear’s Day Out.

** Recommended for ages 3 to 6 years.  

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