Exclamation Mark by Amy Krouse Rosenthal was probably my favorite of the past couple months. We’ve enjoyed some of Rosenthal’s other picture books in the past (especially This Plus That: Life’s Little Equations). The exclamation mark in Rosenthal’s book just wants to be like all the other little periods around him. But no matter how hard he tries to bend and contort, he just isn’t like them. Then he meets another funny looking punctuation mark who asks a lot of questions, and helps the exclamation mark learn how he is truly unique and useful. All the kids enjoyed this book and thought it was really cute!
Isn’t it funny how kids just love some picture books that we as adults see as just “okay”? My 4 and 6 year old boys are really enamored with The Chickens Build A Wall by Jean-Francois Dumont. It’s one they picked out themselves at the library. In this story the barnyard chickens are afraid of a small, strange pointy animal (a hedgehog) that appears near them one day. So they build a tower of sorts (with no door) to protect themselves…only to find the hedgehog ended up in the walled fortification with them, and he really isn’t so bad after all. I thought this book was kind of silly (how were they getting food and water all this time if their fortress had no door?), but for some reason the boys asked me to read this one many, many times. :-)
Here are some quick takes on other picture books that some or all of us enjoyed recently:
The Cow that Laid an Egg: A bunch of chickens help an insecure cow to think she has a special talent — laying an egg. I like the subtle message about love and family in this book — even if the “baby” that hatches from the egg is somewhat un-cow-like, Marjorie the Cow will love her little one anyway.
The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School: A fun take on the classic Gingerbread Man story. This Gingerbread Man is running to look for a group of kids he really hopes to catch, instead of running away from various pursuers.
Zero Zilch Nada: Counting to None: This is one enjoyed by Mr. K — but not so much by me. A cute bunny is hired for a job at the balloon factory. He needs to blow up a certain number of balloons, but isn’t very good at counting or keeping track…so he pops the balloons to count them (leaving him with “zilch” at the end, of course). The bunny’s actions are a bit silly, but the thing that really bugged me is that the balloons floated up (like helium balloons) when the bunny was blowing them up with air. I’m not quite sure what was going through the illustrator’s mind here. After Mr. K requested a 2nd reading, I just couldn’t handle it any more, and this one quick;y went back to the library. ;-)
13 Words: This picture book by Lemony Snicket (author of A Series of Unfortunate Events), is bizzare, funny and a vocabulary lesson all in one. The 13 words range from simple (cake) to quite complicated (haberdashery and mezzo-soprano), and form the basis for a rather odd story about a depressed bird. Worth checking out, even for your own amusement.
A is for Musk Ox: A is for Musk ox. B is for Musk Ox. So is C, D, E…and so on. This book is very, very funny. The musk ox will tell you all the ways he is awesome, cool and more. Forget those apples and clowns…musk oxen are where it’s at! ;-) There’s a sequel (Musk Ox Counts) coming out this fall, and we will definitely be looking for that one at the library when it is published!
Clink: A sweet story about a robot who is more than a bit out of date, but would still love to make some child happy. He almost gives up hope, until the perfect boy comes into the store.
The Amazing Adventures of Bumblebee Boy: We’ve had this book a few times from the library, but I don’t think I have featured it in a picture book post before. A spinoff of the “Ladybug Girl” books by the same author, Bumblebee Boy is a typical boy who wants to save the world…without his little brother playing along. But Owen wants to be a “Soup Hero Too?” I love how Owen and Bumblebee Boy work through their differences and find a way to fight the bad guys together. My boys really relate to and enjoy this book…I probably should just buy them a copy since they have checked it out so many times!
I’m joining in with the monthly link-up for Read-Aloud Thursday @ Hope is the Word!