Thursday, March 15, 2012

SPL Shelf Life [kids]


An Annoying ABC, by Barbara Bottner, 34 pages
@ SPL:  JP Bottn

When Adelaide annoys Bailey, who blames Clyde, an alphabet of annoying, bad behaviour is unleashed. Soon, Miss Mabel’s preschool classroom, from Adelaide to Zelda, is full of ABC catastrophe! Dexter drools on Eloise, who elbows Flora. While Flora is fuming, Grover grabs Horace, who understandably howls. Meanwhile, in another part of the room, Olivia overreacts, Petunia pesters, poor Winthrop weeps by the window … and so on.
Adding to the classroom chaos, on every page readers can find the class pet, a little hamster, who has escaped his cage and is scampering around or hiding somewhere in the room. No doubt the little creature is terrified by all the pandemonium around it!
The action ends abruptly when Zelda turns on the hose and “zaps” her classmates with water.  
Then Adelaide apologizes to Bailey. With that, a much happier chain reaction begins. Soon, the classroom is peaceful again. The hamster is caught and returned to its cage, toys are tidied up, the students dry themselves off with towels and then gather around Miss Mabel for a storytime. 
Barbara Bottner’s newest picture book is more than a concept/alphabet book – it’s also a hilarious tale that demonstrates the power of apology and it’s an exuberant exploration of language. With the detailed, goofy facial expressions of 26 grumpy preschoolers, created in watercolour and pencil by illustrator Michael Emberley, An Annoying Alphabet would be an enjoyable book to share with any preschooler, even with children who are already familiar with the twenty-six letters of the alphabet.
** Recommended for ages 3 to 6 years.
 
This is My Book, by Mick Inkpen, 30 pages.
@ SPL:  JP Inkpe

“Stop! Stop!” scolded the Bookmouse. “This is MY book!”  But the Snapdragon wouldn’t listen. Before anyone could stop him, he swooped down, snapped off the letter “K” from the word “BOOK”, leaving “BOO”. Next, he bit off part of the “B”, leaving “POO”.
“You’ve got to do something to stop that naughty dragon!” complained Clockwork Penguin. “He’s getting worse every time!” The other animals agreed.
Bookmouse had an idea. “We’ll need to find lots of o’s” he explained, “to make a big, scary “Boooooo!”. That will scare the Snapdragon once and for all!” So they went off to the deep, dark Moonwood to find some o’s.
But the ghastly “ooooo” sounds coming from the ghosts of the Woollywolves caused his friends to run away in terror, leaving Bookmouse all by himself.
It was scary in the Moonwood. It was VERY scary. Bookmouse felt like running away too … but he didn’t – at least, not before he had tricked the Woollywolf ghosts and snatched all of their o’s out of the air. Then he scampered home.
With no “o” sounds left, the Woollywolf ghosts couldn’t howl anymore, and were quiet.
Now it was time for Bookmouse and his friends to put his cunning plan into action. Would it work? Would it cure the Snapdragon of his mischievous behaviour and teach him a lesson?
Popular British author Mick Inkpen has created a picture book that plays with words and language in a clever and ingenious way. With its amusing artwork, this book is sure to become a fun favourite, especially with children who are learning how to read.
** Recommended for ages 3 to 6 years.

These reviews appeared in The Stratford Gazette on March 15, 2012. Written by Sally Hengeveld, Librarian. 

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