Friday, October 11, 2013

Shelf Life [kids]

Too Much Glue by Jason Lefebvre, 32 pages.
What young child hasn’t imagined, even for a few seconds, using an entire container of glue on an art creation?  In this laugh-aloud tale, Matty, who loves working with glue, does exactly this on his art class project.
Despite his teacher’s repeated warnings, Matty pours all of the glue from the classroom containers onto his art.  Mixed with lots of sequins and googly eyes, the sticky lake looks quite impressive … but it’s not impressive enough for Matty.  Unable to resist, he belly flops onto the table and rolls around, letting the glue and everything else cover him. 
When he tries to get up from the table, Matty discovers, of course, that he’s stuck in the gloopy mess.  All he can do is lift his head from the table, wave his hands and wiggle his feet.  Worse, there’s only half an hour until school ends for the day. 
While his teacher hyperventilates into a paper bag, some of his classmates try to lasso Matty from the mess. They try to pry him loose, using a toy tow truck.  They attempt to blot up the glue. Nothing works. Matty is still stuck. 
Summoned from his office, the principal doesn’t know what to do.  He puts a sticky note on Matty and leaves the room.
Even the school nurse can’t come up with a solution.
In the end, it’s Matty himself who comes up with a plan - one which results in a true “work of art”!
Young listeners will be “glued” to this hilarious, outrageous story, reminiscent of the tales written by children’s author Robert Munsch.  It would be enjoyed as a read-aloud in an elementary school class.

** Recommended for ages 5 to 7 years.

The Pencil by Allan Ahlberg, 46 pages.
Once upon a time, a lonely little pencil lay alone for a long time on a piece of paper, doing nothing.
Then, one day, it moved a little… and then a little more. Soon it began to draw. 
First it sketched a boy. It drew a dog for the boy, and a cat, too. 
When the dog and cat refused to eat black and white food, the pencil drew a paintbrush to add colour. After that, the pencil and the paintbrush created a bright, beautiful world of colour in which the boy and his pets could live and play - a town with people, animals, houses, roads and parks.
However, the people in that world weren’t happy. They complained about how they were drawn – “My ears are too big!” “This hat looks silly!” and so on.  The pencil created an eraser to remove their complaints, and all was well again … for a time. 
Suddenly, the eraser began to do its job all too well.  It began to rub out houses, flowers and trees. The pencil needed to draw a plan, quickly! What would it do now?
Reminiscent of Harold and the Purple Crayon, the clever ending and the plot of Allan Ahlberg’s new picture book about imagination and creativity will keep children guessing what will happen next.  

** Recommended for ages 3 to 6 years. 

This review appeared in The Stratford Gazette on October 10, 2013. Written by Sally Hengeveld, Librarian.

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