Tag Archives: picture books

Picture Book Friday

The Red Lemon by Bob Staake

Farmer McPhee loves lemons.  He loves them in sherbert and pies, in drinks, in cookies and cakes, in muffins and shakes!  That tart, yellow fruit is the farmer’s pride and joy, so imagine when one day he finds a red lemon growing on one of his trees.  Farmer McPhee is appalled by the crimson-hued imposter and hurls it to a deserted island.  After some time has passed (two hundred years, to be exact), McPhee’s farm has disappeared, while a hoppin’ city has grown up around a grove of red lemon trees on that tiny island. 

This story was a surprise hit when I read it at storytime.  I just happened to see it sitting on our shelves and the bright pictures and silly story caught my attention.  I wasn’t sure how it would go over in a group, but the kids loved it!

The Red Lemon by Bob Staake
Picture Book | 40 pages | September 2006 | Golden Books | 0375835938 | Library copy


For Just One Day by Laura Leuck, illustrated by Marc Boutavant

“For just one day, I’d like to be a busy, buzzing bumble…bee!”  This whimsical story follows a little boy as he imagines what it would be like to be different animals.  There’s the bee, a crocodile, a chimpanzee, a butterfly and several others.  In the end he realizes that as much fun as it would be live a different way for just one day, all of the other days it’s great to be yourself. 

I loved the rhyming text and how each page leaves you hanging so you can guess what animal will be on the next one.  The line drawings and brilliant colors make For Just One Day just as much fun to look at as it is to read.

For Just One Day by Laura Leuck
Picture Book | 32 pages | August 2009 | Chronicle Books | 9780811856102 | Library copy

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A picture is worth a thousand words…

I’m always disheartened when a parent comes in and tells me they’re looking for a ‘real’ book for their child to read.  Real books?  I ask.  You know, they say, a chapter book – one without pictures. 

A few months ago the NY Times published an article regarding this very subject.  It stated that picture books were languishing on the shelves because parents are pushing their children at ever younger ages to read more ‘complex’ books, not understanding that picture books can present complex language and themes that would be appropriate even for older children.  Children learn to not only read the words, but also to read the images and to fill in the gaps by using their imaginations and cognitive thinking skills. 

I only started reading picture books again when I became a librarian, and I have to tell you, there are A LOT of really wonderful titles out there. Next week, I will begin sharing some of these books with you in what I hope will become a regular weekly post.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Children's Literature