Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Shelf Life [kids]

When Lions Roar by Robie Harris, 32 pages.
A common childhood emotion, fear, is addressed in Robie Harris’ When Lions Roar.
Many things are actually quite scary for young children. Preschoolers, for example, often have fears about the dark at bedtime. In this new picture book, a little boy is frightened by loud noises “when thunder booms”, “when lightning cracks”, “when lions roar” and “when monkeys screech”. 
What does this boy do about his fears? When they seem too close, and when he feels about to be overpowered by them, he closes his eyes, gathers his courage and firmly tells the scaries to go away!
Gradually the quiet returns to his world. The sun comes out and he can see flowers blooming. His parents and his puppy are nearby. He sees other children playing … the world is right again.
As this reassuring, sensitive picture book demonstrates, facing one’s fears and thinking positively can be amazingly effective, even for young children. (Two other excellent picture books which address childhood fears and anxieties are Nancy Carlson’s “There’s a Big Beautiful World Out There” and Cornelia Spelman’s “When I Feel Scared”.)
The author’s message is nicely reinforced with the simple but expressive drawings of Caldecott Medalist Chris Raschka.

** Recommended for ages 3 to 6 years.

Oh So Tiny Bunny by David Kirk, 36 pages.
During the day, Oh So Tiny Bunny is a very small bunny … but at night, he has very big dreams.
Snug in his bed and dressed in his blue ‘jammies, he dreams that he is as big as a dragon … as big as a forest … or even as big as a mountain. He can leap over houses and mountains and he dreams of eating clover as tall as trees and carrots the size of train cars.
As gigantic as Oh So Tiny Bunny’s dreams are, however, there’s something missing: a friend with whom to share these super-sized adventures!  Try as he might, he can’t find a friend anywhere in his dreams.
Then a wonderful surprise awakens Oh So Tiny Bunny and convinces him that sometimes, it’s nice to be small, after all.
From the author/illustrator David Kirk (creator of Miss Spider’s Tea Party and the Biddle Bunny books), this whimsical, imaginative picture book with its vibrant, eye-catching art, is sure to become a bedtime favourite.  

** Recommended for ages 3 to 5 years. 

This review appeared in the Stratford Gazette on February 27, 2014. Written by Sally Hengeveld, Librarian.

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