Monday, August 25, 2014

Picks of the Week

My husband, son, and I have recently moved to Champaign, Illinois where my husband is pursuing his Ph.D in economics.  One thing I absolutely love about this city already is their public library!  I am certain I have never seen so many picture books in one place my entire life.  I was in heaven.  Starting with the "R" section I brought home 16 picture books for this week's reading.

I decided to do a weekly picture book review of gems I find at the library every Monday.  Each week I will feature my favorite and Sam's favorite.  I hope you'll enjoy.

 My Pick of the Week

Title:  Michael Rosen's Sad Book
Author: Michael Rosen
Illustrator: Quentin Blake (the same guy who illustrates Roald Dahl's books)
Review:  I would say this is more of a picture book for adults rather than a children's book.  The book is about the author's struggle after the death of his son.  It is so beautiful, so simple, and so incredibly sad.  I actually started crying right there in the library.  I have never known a picture book to affect me so powerfully.  When I am not the poor person I am now I will certainly be buying this book to add permanently to my collection.

Sam's Pick of the Week

Title:  Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site
Author: Sherri Duskey Rinker
Illustrator: Tom Litchenheld
Review:  This is a story about trucks going to bed.  What little boy wouldn't love this book!  The illustrations are adorable and it is written in perfect rhyme.  I can certainly see why it was a #1 New York Times Bestseller. 

Thanks for reading!  I would love to form some kind of community where every Monday we share reviews of terrific picture books.  Come share your favorite picture books with me.  The more people on board the merrier!   

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Football Practice

As I waited to pick my sister Shelly up from soccer today I watched the high school football team practice, and was inspired to write this poem.

Dirt smeared jerseys the color of piss
stretch over bowling ball deltoids.
Chunky legs are packed tight into grass-stained leggings.
Let the putrid mass of sweat 
and physical colliding of bodies begin!

Photo courtesy of the Colorado Springs Gazette

Friday, August 1, 2014

Classics Picture Books: the ones I love, the one's my son loves, and the ones I could do without.

As many of you have probably noticed, I love to make lists.  I also love to read picture books.  This post is the result.  Today I will be focusing on the classics, but stay tuned because tomorrow I will be posting lists of hidden gems.

Classics I Love

  1. Chrysanthemum - Kevin Henkes
  2. The Stinky Cheese Man - Lane Smith 
  3. Bedtime for Frances - Russel Hoban
  4. Strega Nona - Tomie dePoala
  5. The Velveteen Rabbit - Margery Williams
  6. The Grinch Who Stole Christmas - Dr. Suess
  7. Blueberries for Sal - Robert McCloskey
  8. On the Night You were Born - Nancy Tillman
  9. The Giving Tree - Shel Silverstein
  10. The Mitten - Jan Brett

(More Importantly) Classics My Son Loves

  1. No David - David Shannon
  2. Ferdinand - Munro Leaf
  3. Go Dogs Go! - P. D. Eastman
  4. Where the Wild Things Are - Maurice Sendak
  5. The Big Red Barn - Margaret Wise Brown
  6. The Napping House - Audrey Wood
  7. Love You Forever - Robert Munsch
  8. Freight Train - Donald Crews
  9. Are You My Mother - P. D. Eastman
  10. Brown Bear, Brown Bear - Eric Carle

Before you read this next list I feel like I should apologize if you have a favorite book on here.  I realize these books have been made classics for reason, but I'm just not crazy about them.  My son doesn't seem too eager to pull them off the shelf either.

Classic I Could do Without

  1. Goodnight Moon - Margaret Wise Brown
  2. The Very Hungry Catepillar - Eric Carle
  3. The Cat in the Hat - Dr. Seuss
  4. Curious George - Margaret Rey
  5.  Jumangi - Chris Van Allsburg
  6. Caps for Sale - Esphyr Slobodkina
  7. Harold and the Purple Crayon - Crockett Johnson
  8. Corduroy - Don Freeman
  9. The Little Engine that Could - George and Doris Hauman
  10. Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel - Virginia Lee Burton