Friday, October 10, 2008

A Mediocre Day for Children's Books

My children's book reading streak continues! In all honesty this little streak was a result of two things 1) non-existent attention span 2) the need to get some books reviewed and out of my review closet! I've almost emptied all of the picture books out of my review closet, though, so you won't have any of these to look forward to for a while. Although, honestly, this latest batch wasn't so great, so I'm sort of looking forward to not reading any for a while!

We'll start with the good ones and work our way down:

Jamberry, written by Bruce Degan, I actually think I remember this book from my childhood. It was published in 1983, so that would be about right. Jamberry is a really fun long poem about a bear and a boy that go out berry picking, and I found myself with a mad urge to lick the pages a few times. I want to say this book came into my kindergarten classroom as one of those GIANT BOOKS that had to be propped up on the chalkboard because it was too big to hold. The berries look even better when they're huuuuuge! Great book back then and now.

Papa and Me, written by Arthur Dorros and illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez, is a story of a father and son having a good day together, and it's sprinkled with Spanish words. It's certainly a nice teaching tool, but it also has stunning illustrations. The cover is gorgeous, but the goodies inside are even better. Not my favorite story, but the pictures made up for it.

Don't Bump the Glump, written and illustrated by Shel Silverstein. This one has a big sticker on the front that says "Shel Silverstein's first poetry collection!" And I'm happy for the disclaimer because I didn't care for this one at all. It's a bunch of short poems about weird animals. Cute, sure, but not nearly as entertaining as Silverstein staples like Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the Attic.

Welcome to Your World, Baby, written by Brooke Shields and illusrated by Cori Doerrfeld, was a bomb. Not the bomb. It reads like a book written by a celebrity! Who'd have thought. At first I was sort of delighted with it because I thought the little girl had a baby brother and had swathed him in pink and tortured him with tea parties all the way through, but now I'm pretty sure baby sibling was a girl, and the book isn't nearly as much fun without the cross dressing. Illustrations: A+. It's another tragic case of a fine illustrator getting stuck with a boring book.


  1. I love Jamberry! We used to read it to our kids all the time. They would help us recite the lines. It's just so lyrical. Thanks for the good memories.

  2. Couldn't help myself, Lenore. :D

    Tammy, I can't believe I'd forgotten all about it! So many of those books from childhood come rushing back when I see them, but I don't think about 'em until I do. There was one about a giant and a toe I really liked, too. LOL

  3. Love your list of books. Pa pa and me reminds me of two books that I just bought to read to my kids... "A Day With My Dad," and "A Day with My Dad At the Beach," both written by Lance Waite. I am pleased that more author's are coming out with parent/child bonding books.


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