“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.
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.
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.
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.]
Life is a struggle. And, if you are familiar with these words: “I’ll be good now, I promise.” Then, chances are that your child is smack in the middle of the demographic for this funny, charming picture book by Haughton, loosely translated as I will behave very well. [The actual English title is: Oh no, George]
There is a reason why I use this small, Inuit-owned, publisher as a reliable go-to for birthday gifts. Inhabit Media is a wonderful resources for developmentally appropriate, fun, accessible, stories that you would not otherwise find in the “big” publishing houses. Little Moar and the Moon is one such example.
With whimsical yet warm drawings deftly bringing Dagobah to life (you know, where Yoda trained Luke) Deas provides an engaging backdrop for an engaging story about becoming a Jedi. It is not, as one might first suspect, Luke’s story. But rather, Chhibber breaks the fourth wall and talks to the child directly, using Yoda, thereby guiding the reader on the path to Jedidom.
Okay, I will admit this upfront. Jaded as I am, I was very skeptical about this book. When I read the press release that stated: “invites young scientists and day dreamers to look closely and think deeply in a lyrical nonfiction text . . . ” I rolled my eyes so far back into my head that the propulsion almost knocked me off of my chair. I thought this book was going to be the typical, “Oh, look, a tree; oh, look, a bird (illustration of child pointing at tree, bird).” I should not have been skeptical.” Alladin, Blinick and Pajama Press deliver a wonderful book. Thank goodness. This is not your standard point and look book.
This book plays on many levels and handles the difficult themes of inclusion/exclusion, friendship, otherness and differences with subtle clarity and dexterity. It is great for children as young as those in PK and could easily teach a lesson to Middle Schoolers.