Review: Anthony and the Gargoyle

This wordless picturebook lets you travel in time from generation to generation. Through illustrations done in a decidedly warm Parisian pallet Kastelic pushes thoughts to run free in a collection of images that propel Bogart’s narrative forward. Illustrated in graphic-novel style, each panel, gives the reader plenty to discuss. Discussion, essential, as it engages children in much needed analysis essential to developing reading and comprehension skills. This book is ripe for dialogic reading.

Review: They’re So Flamboyant

In this engaging book, filled with artful, amusing, alliteration, Genhart weaves a tale of inclusion and exclusion using different birds to bring out assumptions about a group that is new to the neighborhood. Each bird type, begging to be read in a different voice/accent (you and the kid will have more fun that way), finds a different reason to exclude, fear, mistrust the flamboyance.

Review: Rapunzel

“But where is the prince,” my son asked at the end of the story. “There isn’t one,” we answered. And so began the discussion at the end of Woolvin’s Rapunzel, an empowering take on the traditional damsel in distress story we’ve all heard (and told) over the years. In this Rapunzel, Rapunzel doesn’t need saving. She figures everything out, all on her own.

Review: Inside the Suitcase

I generally recommend Flap Books solely for the 4 and under set. The Peek-A-Boo crowd has a tendency to skew young and holding a kid’s interest gets harder as they get older. Once the quaintness of lifting paper to reveal something underneath is gone, a story has to be pretty good to keep a youngin’s attention–and those stories, at least in this type of book, are rare. Perrin, however, manages to merge a delightfully engaging narrative and wonderfully detailed illustrations into some basic and intricate folds that elevate this Flap Book to another level.

Review: What is Love?

Regular Bookshelf readers understand that I have become a softy over the years and that, even though I’m somewhat jaded in real-life, a good picture book can get the waterworks flowing–especially when I’m blindsided by a suckerpunch ending. And, although I should have seen this one coming, I didn’t; and, this one hit me in all the feels.

Review: ¡Esta Caca es Mia! (Spanish)

Argentinian author/illustrator Gusti Rosemffet hits the comical sweet spot with this, his hysterical tale of two flies that both lay claim to, you guessed it, the same pile of poop! Poop, being the universal common denominator of humor for children of-a-certain-age, is spread throughout most pages of this sincere, warm-hearted picturebook. [Yes, I know what I just wrote. Lighten up.]

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