Monday, March 19, 2012

Tumtum and Nutmeg: The Rose Cottage Tales

Sometimes I find a book that is so fantastic I feel I need to shout from the rooftops, so everyone can hear, "Buy this book!"  Emily Bearn's Tumtum and Nutmeg series sits right at the top of this category of books.  In the summer, we found her first compilation of three books that I posted about here.  And a few weeks ago, we finished off her second compilation of three books that include: A Christmas Adventure, A Seaside Adventure and A Circus Adventure.  

The characters are so endearing.  Tumtum and Nutmeg, the married mice couple who live in Nutmouse Hall, love their human children - Arthur and Lucy - and will do anything to help take care of them.  They search out the perfect toys for Christmas since the children have no chimney and Santa could not get to them last year, and when Arthur and Lucy travel to the seaside to visit their uncle, Tumtum and Nutmeg stow away in their bags to watch out for them.  Trouble always ensues and General Marchmouse can usually be found in the thick of it. Whether it is finding a set of stolen teeth or rescuing General Marchmouse from the rogue circus - Tumtum and Nutmeg are always on a fun adventure.

This is one of my, and my children's, favorite stories we have read aloud.  After reading the first book, we had to take a little break due to the mice scurrying under our own floors.  Tumtum and Nutmeg are so cute dressed up in their clothing and the mice darting out from my own corner, well, were not.  But now that we are mice-free (hooray!) we dove back in and loved the second series as much as the first.  So if you are not familiar with this series - Buy it!  Get it from the library!  Hopefully you will love it as much as we do.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Princess Posey and the Next-Door Dog

My daughter saw Princess Posey and the Next Door Dog, written by Stephanie Greene, at the library and checked it out on Saturday.  By nightfall she had finished it.  This is actually the third book in a series of books about Posey.  Posey is in first grade, and she wants a dog.  There is a class assignment to write a story about a pet you own, or want to own, and Posey wishes she had her own pet to write about.  When a new neighbor moves in next door with a dog, Posey decides to investigate.

This is a fun chapter book series for the emerging chapter book reader.  After my daughter finished it she told me, "It's like this book could be about me.  I am in first grade, I am a girl and I love dogs!" I try to label all of my posts into categories - picture books, young adult, emerging readers, etc. so if you want to search my site for a certain type of book you can.  I have added a new label entitled "books my kids love" - for books I highlight due to my children's *love* of them.  It is fun to see a child get excited about reading - and this book certainly accomplished that at our house!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Ball for Daisy

This year's Caldecott medal went to Chris Raschka's A Ball for Daisy.  I just picked up a copy from my library and love it.  It is a wordless picture book that tells the story of a dog, Daisy, and her red ball.  Daisy loves her ball: she plays with it, naps with it and takes it to the park.  One day at the park Daisy and another dog are playing when the other dog pops Daisy's ball.  The illustrations depict a dejected Daisy mourning the loss of her ball.    Daisy's owner is seen dragging her back to the park and both are in for a surprise when they get there.

The illustrations are done in water color and ink with mostly neutral colors but splashes of bright mixed in. The illustrations seem simple at first glance but a lot of detail and emotion are drawn into each page.  This is a wordless picture book, but as I read the illustrations, I felt like I was reading the text right along with them.  There is a definite arc and plot to the story and I think children of all ages, but especially those who can not read yet, will love sitting down to "read" this story.  Raschka's illustrations tell of loss and friendship in a very visual way.