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Mocking Birdies
Oct 7th, 2012 by Noodlenuts

What a hoot. You said it.

Two little birds sit up on a power line in Annette Simon’s Mocking Birdies, alternately chatting companionably and driving each other nuts with teasing mockery. Sound like any siblings you know? Read the rest of this entry »

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Bad Cat
May 22nd, 2010 by Noodlenuts

“Hey, you, bad cat! How dare you do that?”

Bad Cat–evil feline genius, or just a well-intentioned but misunderstood kitty?  Either way, Bad Cat (the book) is a wildly entertaining tale of mischief and misunderstanding that I highly recommend. The story of a grinning cat with a twinkle in his eye, who is constantly stirring up excitement, Bad Cat is a fun book that teaches both kids and parents a great lesson—that misbehaving occasionally doesn’t make you “bad”, and getting into scrapes isn’t the end of the world, as long as your intentions are good and your heart is in the right place. Read the rest of this entry »

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I Like the Music
May 22nd, 2010 by Noodlenuts

I do not like this concert hall.
This concert hall’s no fun at all. . . .
But I like the music in the street . . .

Don’t be fooled by that first line!  This fabulous book is a wonderful introduction to the joys of both “street” music and symphonies, to the irresistible music of various ethnic communities and the rousing strains of orchestral music. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Kettles Get New Clothes
May 22nd, 2010 by Noodlenuts

“Follow me!” said Monsieur Pip, heading for the dressing rooms. “I have exactly what you need!”

SO THE KETTLES WENT IN . . .

 

When it comes to concepts taught in early childhood, we all know the drill:  alphabet, numbers, shapes, colours, opposites.  These are the basics, obvious to everyone, the building blocks that prepare children to understand more complex ideas.

But there are also concepts that we take for granted as adults, but which do not simply become apparent to youngsters one day out of the blue, like magic.  One of the most ubiquitous of these is the idea of patterns.  How DO toddlers and preschoolers learn what stripes, polka dots, checks or paisley are?

One answer is: they learn them from Dayle Ann Dodds’ The Kettles Get New Clothes. Read the rest of this entry »

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Pish, Posh, Said Hieronymus Bosch
May 22nd, 2010 by Noodlenuts


A woman once worked for Hieronymus Bosch—

she handled his cooking, his cleaning, his wash.

She baked and she swept

while his paintings, she feared,

grew increasingly wild and decidedly weird.

In Pish, Posh, Said Hieronymus Bosch we are presented with the disconcerting notion of what life would have been like in the household of this painter of notoriously peculiar works of art, if the bizarre creatures in his paintings were quite real—and living in his home—rather than just figments of his slightly skewed imagination.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Donna O’Neeshuck Was Chased By Some Cows
May 22nd, 2010 by Noodlenuts

Donna O’Neeshuck was chased by some cows,
And also by mooses and gooses and sows.
It happened one day
When Donna at play
Patted a cow on the head.

Anyone who has ever read anything by Bill Grossman, such as My Little Sister Hugged An Ape, knows that they are in for a good dose of laughter and a great deal of cleverness when they open one of his books.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Barney Bipple’s Magic Dandelions
May 22nd, 2010 by Noodlenuts

When Miss Minerva Merkle gives Barney three magic dandelions as a reward for a good deed, he knows just what to ask for. But Barney ignores Miss Merkle’s warning not to wish for anything too complicated—and magic soon turns into trouble!

I was going to start this review by saying that Barney Bipple’s Magic Dandelions is a classic that reminded me of the books I grew up with 30 years ago, until I realized that the book itself is in fact almost 30 years old.  That will teach me. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Elephantom
May 22nd, 2010 by Noodlenuts

We have an Elephantom.
He turned up on Tuesday, just after tea-time.
To be honest, he’s starting to bug me.

Sometimes all you want or need in a story is just a straightforward entertaining narrative.  The Elephantom is perfect for those times.  Ross Collins’ story of a little girl with a pesky, mischievous, phantom elephant who won’t stop following her around is a merry and lighthearted book, a real storytime treasure for sharing. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Wicked Wizard and the Wicked Witch
May 21st, 2010 by Noodlenuts

Once a wicked wizard
met a wicked witch,
and they wanted to know
which was wickeder.

The highest praise I can think to give to The Wicked Wizard & the Wicked Witch is to say that it reminds me a great deal of some of the favourite books of my own childhood. Read the rest of this entry »

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Benjamin Budge and Barnaby Ball
May 21st, 2010 by Noodlenuts

Benjamin Budge was a great big man,
A great big huge TREMENDOUS man,
But his tiny house was so very small,
There wasn’t room for him at all!

Now Barnaby Ball was a wee small man,
A tiny, tiny, tiny man.
But his house was as big as a house can be
Too big for Barnaby Ball, you see.

Neighbours Benjamin Budge and Barnaby Ball have a couple of very serious, very similar problems. Benjamin Budge is a very big man in a very little house, and Barnaby Ball is a very small man in a very large house, and they are both rather miserable. Read the rest of this entry »

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