Saturday, June 5, 2010

Children's Book Reading Extravaganza 2010: Picture Books # 81-77

Man, we are just chugging away with these picture books and I have to say, I am so not sick of reading them yet!  No one can believe me when they see the towering pile of picture books stacked precariously on my dining room table, but I really?  I feel sorry for those people.  They just don't get the fabulousness that is a good picture book.

Today we are going to check out numbers 81-77 on the list of Top 100 Children's Picture Books.  If you missed any of the other installments, have no fear...just click here.

(I know. I thought the rhyming was a bit much too, but I just went for it.)

Okay.  At #81 today is Possum Magic by the fabulous Mem Fox.  Can I get a "what what" for Mem Fox who also made an appearance at #97 with Where Is the Green Sheep?  Work it, Ms. Fox!

Possum Magic (Voyager Books)(Reminder - click on the image for linky-poos.)

This book takes place in the Australian bush.  Hush lives with his Grandma who does all sorts of bush magic with other animals.  She turned wombats blue and kookaburras pink aaannnnddd could make Hush be invisible.  Hush had all sorts of adventures while she was invisible - she slid down the tails of kangaroos and was safe from snakes.  But one day, Hush wanted to be visible again and asked his Grandma.  She looked and looked for the magic but couldn't find it anywhere.  Then Grandma remembers the magic has something to do with people food so she and Hush leave the bush to figure it out.  Finally, after much searching all over Australia, they find a Vegemite sandwich, some pavlova, lamington and it worked!  Hush never wanted to be invisible again and, once a year on her birthday, they ate all the magic ingredients again just to make sure she would stay visible.

I heart it.  Just heart it.  Not only is this story filled with references to the unique animals, places and foods of Australia, it has gorgeous illustrations to boot.  I think the storyline is amazing and love the adventure that Hush and her Grandmother go on.  If you are studying other continents, foods from around the world or animals, this book would make a nice little tie in.  Or whip out a map and look for places in Australia that are mentioned in the book.  A perfect read aloud in grades K-2. 

At #80 is The Jolly Postman: Or Other People's Letters by Janet Ahlberg.  This one...not so easy to find at one's public library.  Or at least it wasn't for me. Anyone have anything to add about this one?  I promise to post an update if I manage to track it down....

The Jolly Postman: Or Other People's Letters

Another tough one to find was #79, which is a bummer because it's another one I have never read before.  It's Our Animal Friends at Maple Hill Farm by Alice and Martin Provensen.Our Animal Friends At Maple Hill Farm

We have another repeat offender at number 78 - it's Dr. Seuss and How The Grinch Stole Christmas!!  The Lorax already made the list at #83.  This is one of my most favorite books to read aloud!  I love it and read it with much relish and drama.  Honestly, I do one mean Grinch.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Do I even need to summarize this one? I don't think so.  I mean, it's one of the best books ever, is on TV and was made into a movie.  I think we all get the gist, yes?  So, I will simply wax poetic about it here.  The illustrations are wonderful, the rhymes are wonderful, the story is wonderful and the message is wonderful.  In a nutshell?  Wonderful.  I can't wait to read this one to Mini Mimi.  *sigh*

To round out our weekend review is The Library by Sarah Stewart at number 77.  Ms. Stewart has already made the list with The Gardener so she is officially hot to trot.

The Library

Written in rhyme (Can you say Word Study opportunity??)  Elizabeth Brown grows up loving books.  In all honesty, she's kind of a super nerd and doesn't seem to have many friends other than her books.  She collects so many books that there isn't room anywhere in her house anymore.  (It's a little a la that show Hoarders on TLC...) Then one day, Elizabeth Brown walks into town and donates all her books to the town for free.  They turn her house into a library and Elizabeth Brown moves in with a friend and continues to read, read, read. (So evidently she did get out enough to meet a few people.)

I read this book at the beginning of the year every year with my first grade friends. (It makes a super first or second grade read aloud.)  I mean, I totally get Elizabeth Brown and her love of all things book.  We would totally nerd out together in real life.  Can't you picture it?  The rhyming pattern provides a great opportunity for some Word Study as well and you know how I love that.

Another great round up of books in my opinion!  Mini Mimi better watch out - her mom has been waiting YEARS to share all her favorite books with her and the list just keeps on growing.  Barnsey, here I come!!

Enjoy your weekends fellow book lovers (or should I say crack heads?)!

xo,
Mimi

16 comments:

Keldie said...

I'm loving reading about all these different picture books! Possum magic is one of my fav kids books, but I am Australian, and I did grow up reading this book, so I guess I am a little biased :-)
Just thought I'd share with you how awesome the Jolly Postman book is. The story is about a postman who has all these letters that he has to deliver, but they get all mixed up and he has to work out who they belong to. All the recipiants are fairy tale characters, and have clever references to the stories. But the best part is that all the letters are actual letters that are tucked into envelopes in the book that you can take out and read. It is so great to be able to interact with the book like this. Also probably why it is not in the library because it is quite easy to lose bits of the book!! Hope you manage to find it - it's great, there is also a Christmas version that's fantastic too!!

Keldie said...

I'm loving reading about all these different picture books! Possum magic is one of my fav kids books, but I am Australian, and I did grow up reading this book, so I guess I am a little biased :-)
Just thought I'd share with you how awesome the Jolly Postman book is. The story is about a postman who has all these letters that he has to deliver, but they get all mixed up and he has to work out who they belong to. All the recipiants are fairy tale characters, and have clever references to the stories. But the best part is that all the letters are actual letters that are tucked into envelopes in the book that you can take out and read. It is so great to be able to interact with the book like this. Also probably why it is not in the library because it is quite easy to lose bits of the book!! Hope you manage to find it - it's great, there is also a Christmas version that's fantastic too!!

Nf1andprek-whisper said...

is your 100 books a blog hop or challenge... I want to do it??? or is it just your blog.... eatmywords40@yahoo.com
or http://nf1andpre-kwhisper.blogspot.com

Me said...

The Jolly Postman is ADORABLE. One of my favorite books as a kid. They probably won't have it in libraries, as it's got lots of... removable stuff inside that kids could take out.

Tina said...

The Jolly Postman will probably be really hard to come by in a library. The story is told through letters sent from one character to another and each letter is kept in an envelope on the page - great format, but too easily lost or damaged for most libraries I would think. Worth buying though for use when teachin letter writing/

futureflstar said...

Mimi,
The Jolly Postman is a favorite of mine! It's the story of a little postman delivering letters to characters from fairytales(ie goldilocks, baby bear, red riding hood, etc). Each page has a little rhyme and then the opposite page has a pocket which contains the letter or postcard inside. Love this book. I bought it last year and I love reading it :)

Beth said...

The postman books are hard to find in a library, because the pages have envelopes that you take letters out of to read. It's a fun book, with lots of fairy tale references and small stories in the illustrations, but I bet all the letters get lost very quickly. Probably worse than a pop-up book for durability.

Linda said...

The reason you probably won't find The Jolly Postman at the library is because each page contains an actual letter that you can take out of an envelope on the page. Once you lose the letters, the book has lost its charm. This story is written in rhyme and takes place in a fairy tale land. The postman stops in with various fairy tale characters and gives them each letters that fit their stories. For example, the witch gets and advertisement for all sorts of witch paraphenelia. At the end it all ties together with an even that they attend. I used this book with second grade. We did a big fairy tale unit where this fit very well. It isn't a great read aloud, but the kids enjoy reading it to themselves. It also fits well with the topic of letter writing. My students wore this book out and I had to replace it.

redbirdsandwombats said...

Jolly Postman is GREAT! It was one of my absolute faves when I was a kid. The Jolly Postman delivers letters to several different storybook characters- a catalogue to a witch (to buy boots and hats and frogs and cauldrons!), an invitation to Goldilocks' birthday party to Baby Bear, and so on. The coolest part is that each page is actually an envelope, so you can pull out each piece of mail and read it yourself. I think they also made a Christmas-themed one, too.

Seriously- you've GOT to get this book somewhere. Too adorable!

CoffeeShopBloggers said...

Awesome list and I love Possum Magic!

I wanted to share my list of Favorite Picture Books You’ve Never Heard of at http://www.pragmaticmom.com/?page_id=1919

Pragmatic Mom
Type A Parenting for the Modern World

http://PragmaticMom.com
I blog on children’s lit, parenting and education

justthebeginning said...

The Jolly Postman was one of my favorites when I was a kid! I honestly don't remember too much about the story other than on each page there were pockets (shaped like envelopes) and inside were letters written from various characters. Would be a good book to use for the letter-writing genre during writer's workshop =)

Heather said...

I heart the Jolly Postman books. It is such a cute format with little letters tucked in envelopes within the book. The kids get a kick out of the fairy tale/nursery rhyme characters scattered throughout. It is great for letter writing.

Jen said...

I used to love The Jolly Postman when I was a kid! Can't wait to read your review whe you find it.

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A Pen In Neverland: Angela PeƱa Dahle said...

Oh Fun! I will have to start from the beginning just to feel a part of it.

www.a-pen-in-neverland.blogspot.com

Hedgetoad said...

The Jolly Postman also has a computer game that accompanies it - and includes the ability to create letters using similar graphics. I almost love it more than the book.

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