Thursday, February 08, 2007

Incoming Books, Junior Division: 1/8

Thing 1 gets to go to the bookfair with his class tomorrow (and The Wife will give him some money to spend then ); Thing 2 went with his class today and got a book. And, of course, last night was family night for our end of the alphabet; I've already blogged about that.

So here's what they got:
  • For Thing 1 last night, Pokemon Top 10 Handbook and Pajo's Unofficial Yu-Gi-Oh! GX Duel Academy Trainer's Guide 2007 (whew! I think I got all of the bits of that title, and in the right order). You know how people say that boys tend to read non-fiction rather than fiction, and are "information-seekers" rather than lovers of story? Well, I can't say one data-point proves anything, but it's sure true of my older son.
  • They both got to look at the flyer before we went, and Thing 2 really wanted There Was An Old Woman Who Swallowed a Shell! (by Lucille Colandro, illustrated by Jared Lee) -- and so we got it. It's a modern, "PC" retelling of you-know-what. It's funny, and the art is fun (looks like watercolor over pen-and-ink). But I have to admit I look askance at what I think is the reason for doing it -- I like the original poem, which has bite, is also quite funny, and is just fine for kids.
  • What Are You So Grumpy About? by Tom Lichtenheld. We'd borrowed this from the library, and loved it then, so we were thrilled to see it really cheap at the bookfair. This is another one of those great books with lots of little things going on around the edges, and its very very funny. (It's also a catalogue of reasons a kid might have to be grumpy, as well as being a sly way to push that kid out of grumpiness.) I recommend this one highly: unless your kids are pure Polyannas, they'll see themselves in this, and enjoy it a lot. (The image up top is from the back cover -- in case you're wondering, the "warning inside" reads: "If you're grumpy too long, a little birdie will come sit on your lip." That's on the title page, with a great close-up illustration of lip and birdie.)
  • Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel. We bought this book barely twenty-four hours ago, and The Wife or I have read it to the boys, in whole or in part, at least five times. This is partially an alphabet book (there are four separate alphabetical lists), and partially the story of a cat who doesn't get what she wants, and so goes on the rampage. If you have a crazy cat, as we do, this will resonate.
  • Hi! Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold. I think I've mentioned Arnold before; he did the great Parts/More Parts/Even More Parts books. This is a first reader about a boy and his pet fly -- we already own one other book in the series, and had read this one from the library. (In fact, we might actually have another copy of this book somewhere.)
  • Meggie Moon by Elizabeth Baguley, illustrated by Gregoire Mabire. This was Thing 1's purchase at school today -- it's pleasant but a tad didactic, in the "isn't imagination swell?" vein. A girl comes to a junk-filled vacant lot, and the two boys who hang out there at first don't like her, but, when she builds neat things, they come to look up to her. I don't have anything against socially constructive lessons in my kids' books, but this one is a bit blatant. (And wordy.) Still, it's a fun read.

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