Posts Tagged ‘read-aloud books’

Brave Charlotte

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

Here is a new favorite among the ladies in the Children’s Department: Brave Charlotte!  The illustrations are just wonderful! 
A fun fact: this book was originally written in German!

Horn Book Magazine Reviews
Prone to climbing trees and mountains, and standing at the side of a busy road for the simple pleasure of staring at traffic, Charlotte is different from the other sheep, and not even the stalwart — but aging — sheepdog Jack knows what to do about her. One darkening autumn afternoon, the shepherd breaks his leg, and with Jack now too old to go the distance, it’s up to Charlotte to get help. It’s not a new story, but the telling is attractively economical: while the other sheep are given to choruses of disapproval (“tut, tut, tut”), Charlotte herself never says a word, allowing her actions to speak all the louder. The whimsy of the premise is given considerable dignity by the almost majestic acrylic paintings, which place the bold and simple shapes of the characters against richly atmospheric land- and skyscapes, never more dramatic than in the sequence of pages showing Charlotte’s rescue mission, “over fields, through the fast-running stream, and over the mountain tops, until it got dark.” The sturdy story, brief text, and large scale of the pictures make this a great choice for a story hour looking for a hero. Copyright 2006 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews
Not so much a black sheep as one who just doesn’t buy into the herd thing, Charlotte is forever causing the older woolly heads to tut-tut at her un-sheep-like behavior. Her predilection for wandering off to hang out in trees, take a swim or clamber up mountains stands her in good stead, though, when the old sheepherder breaks his leg, and someone has to undertake a long trip to fetch the farmer. Wilson follows the errant ovine’s escapades in big, outdoorsy, soft-focus scenes well populated by woolly onlookers with comically astonished expressions. In the end, her successful mission leaves the older sheep nodding to themselves that, even though the shepherd and his dog might be getting on, “as long as Charlotte is here to watch over us, we should be okay.” An appealing suggestion that independence in young human mavericks is worth nurturing, however worrisome it may sometimes be. (Picture book. 6-8) Copyright Kirkus 2005 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.
Library Media Connection
This book is a celebration of those brave, boisterous, and adventuresome personalities in our classrooms, libraries, and living rooms. They are the ones who are not afraid to take a risk and who want to try something new! Charlotte, the sheep, climbs to the highest hill, swims in the deepest waters, runs out at night, and climbs tall trees. The other sheep are constantly appalled, but when the shepherd breaks his leg one day and someone is needed to go to the valley for help, who is brave enough to go? Only Charlotte. Her trip to get help does require bravery, but Charlotte is definitely up to the challenge. The full-page illustrations are simple yet enticing, and colorful yet muted. Recommended. Roxanne Welch Mills, Supervisor of Media Services, Chesapeake (Virginia) Public Schools © 2006 Linworth Publishing, Inc.
Publishers Weekly Reviews
The creators of Santa’s Littlest Helper offer a snippet of a tale about an intrepid little lamb who “had been different right from the start.” While all the other lambs “just stood shyly by their mothers,” feisty Charlotte snoozes on a high tree branch, climbs to the top of a precipitous peak and roams the countryside at night. When the elderly shepherd falls and breaks his leg, the sheep decide that Jack, the aging sheepdog, isn’t up to the job of going for help. Youngsters won’t be surprised when Charlotte volunteers for the task, despite the protests of her peers (“The little rascal?”; “Out of the question!”), and succeeds with flying colors. Wilson’s deadpan humor comes through in acrylics that brim with diverting images of Charlotte’s spontaneous bravura (which takes her to some humorously precarious perches) as well as droll depictions of her fellow sheep’s incredulous gazes. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)[Page 47]. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.


Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

I have finally read Betsy-Tacy by Maude Hart Lovelace!  What a charming book of friendship that is set years ago when pennies bought chocolate men, piano boxes became play houses, and people left calling cards.  I can’t wait to continue the series!  This would make a wonderful read-aloud!

Cool Daddy Rat

Friday, August 7th, 2009

“Cool Daddy Rat/ shooby dooby doo dat/ grabbed his hat in his rat flat/ zowie zowie zoo zat” are the opening lines of Cool Daddy Rat by Kristyn Crow and illustrated by Mike Lester.  The story is told using scat and is a wonderful read-aloud book for children.  The lines have great rhythm and the illustrations are colorful scenes of the city and jazz spots.  Cool Daddy Rat is the story of a young rat who follows his daddy, a jazz musician, to his gigs and discovers his own scat skills.  We’ve all read it with a smile on our faces here at the library!