Thursday, May 12

Sizing-Up Sequels: 3 Early Readers

Most early readers are part of some sort of series. It makes sense, obviously, because hey, if a kid likes reading one type of book, then great—he has ten more to read. So there's some potential to do a lot of "sizing-up" of sequels. I'm still trying to branch out and try new series. In the mean time, here's three follow-up reviews...

The Thank You Book
Mo Willems

My rating: ★★★★

ISBN: 978-1423178286
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Date of publication: May 3, 2016
Age: Grades 1 - 3

Themes: gratitude, friendship, animals

Piggie is determined to thank EVERYONE she knows. But Gerald is worried Piggie will forget someone . . . someone important.

Excuse me while I grab a tissue and bawl my eyes out--I'm SO UPSET this is the last Elephant & Piggie book. But what a way to end it. Right in the feels. It lacks the five stars because it does feel more like a wrap-up then an actual story. But hey, it encourages kids to say thank you and makes you feel all the feels. So thank YOU, Mr. Willems, for providing such a wonderful series of books. (See all other Elephant & Piggie books I reviewed here)

Find it at your library or on Amazon

Mr. Putter & Tabby Smell the Roses
Written by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Arthur Howard

My rating: ★★★

ISBN: 978-0152060817
Publisher: HMH Books
Date of publication: September 15, 2015
Age: Grades 1 - 3
Genre: Realistic Fiction

Themes: pets, friendship, plants, celebrations

Mr. Putter wants Mrs. Teaberry’s birthday to be extra special this year. So how about a trip to the Conservatory to see the beautiful trees and plants and flowers? It will be heavenly. And it is! Mr. Putter and Tabby and Mrs. Teaberry and Zeke sniff the air. They smell the roses. They learn the plant facts. It’s the perfect celebration . . . until Zeke finds the banana tree.

I originally reviewed the first Mr. Putter & Tabby book as part of my "oldies," because, man, it's been going for awhile. And I really enjoyed that first one. Well, fast foward twenty books in the series, and they still have a certain level of charm. The friendships are cute, the stories are simple, the illustrations are quaint... But I wasn't all that wowed; it was a tad boring. I'd still recommend it, to people who enjoy the series.

(Oh, and then there's the illustration of a woman taking a cell phone picture of a rose--how sadly modern, haha. It's like a small homage to the fact most people don't stop to smell the roses, they stop to Instagram it. Bummer.)

Find it at your library or on Amazon

Amelia Bedelia By the Yard
Herman Parish, Lynne Avril

My rating: ★★★

ISBN: 978-0062334275
Publisher: Greenwillow
Date of publication: January 6, 2016
Age: Grades K - 2
Genre: Realistic Fiction

Themes: yard sales, family relationships, humor, buying & selling

Amelia Bedelia's mother loves garage sales so much, she decides to have one herself! But Amelia Bedelia loves her garage and does not want to sell it, so she and her parents decide to call it a yard sale instead. People come from all over the neighborhood to buy Amelia Bedelia and her parents' old things, and one woman even buys the yard!

It's not my favorite of the modern Amelia Bedelia, but man, do I still love this series. I reviewed Chalks One Up and enjoyed For the Birds (great for learning about birds). This one was cute--definitely had more of those punny jokes I enjoy. But I don't imagine parents appreciating that Amelia literally sold the digging up all their plants. So I took issue more with the story this time. I still love the illustrator and vocabulary lesson (it's always fun to use Amelia to teach/discuss homonyms and idioms with kids).

Find it at your library or on Amazon

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