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That is NOT a Good Idea!
Jul 23rd, 2014 by Noodlenuts

“That is
REALLY
NOT
a good idea!

 It’s pretty well known at this point that picture book author/illustrator Mo Willems rarely hits a wrong note with his stories. His characters, from Knuffle Bunny to Pigeon, have become childhood favourites, and he never seems to run out of unique but incredibly reader-friendly ideas. That is NOT a Good Idea! is no exception.

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I Dare You Not to Yawn
Jun 5th, 2014 by Noodlenuts

Before you know it, you’re tucked into bed, snug as a bug, and wondering . . .
“How did I get here?”

As a little girl, one of my absolute favourite bedtime stories was Frances Face-Maker by William Cole and Tomi Ungerer. No matter how many times my parents read it to me, I never stopped laughing at the nonsensical glee of the little girl whose parents made bedtime more appealing by playing at silly faces with her, and I never tired of making faces along with the story (and my own parents).

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Little Owl Lost
Jun 3rd, 2014 by Noodlenuts

Uh-oh!
Bump . . .
   Bump . . .
      BUMP!

While I certainly understand the rationale behind those board books with a single word or repetitive phrase per page (they are, after all, for babies, and it is important both to introduce vocabulary and to reinforce new concepts), I’m always thrilled to find a board book with an actual story in it, if only because it keeps things a little more interesting for parents.

 

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How Do You Wokka-Wokka?
Mar 3rd, 2013 by Noodlenuts

Do your funky wokka,
get your dance on.

Some picture books are about stories—fantastic tales you can get lost in. Other picture books are about concepts—new ideas for kids to wrap their hungry minds around. But some of my favourite picture books, like Elizabeth Bluemle’s How Do you Wokka-Wokka?, are really just all about the sound effects.

Sound effects? Really?

Yup. Sound effects. Read the rest of this entry »

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Wag!
Mar 3rd, 2013 by Noodlenuts

‘Fwip-fwip-fwip’

Okay, so the line above isn’t so much an introduction to this story as it is the sound at the heart of it—the sound of Earl the dog’s tail wagging.

In Wag!, cartoonist Patrick McDonnell has taken the beloved characters of his comic strip, Mutts, and used them to create a sweet, uncomplicated picture book about love and what makes us happy, framed by the simple question, “What make’s Earl’s tail wag?” Read the rest of this entry »

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No Bears
Oct 21st, 2012 by Noodlenuts

I’m tired of bears. Every time you read a book, it’s just BEARS BEARS BEARS . . .
You don’t need BEARS for a book.

There are few things I love more in a picture book than a premise that makes me laugh right off the bat. And the funny thing about No Bears is that the protagonist, Ella, is right. After all the recent bear books I’ve come across—from Big Bear Hug to I Want My Hat Back, and with apologies to my dear friend Karma Wilson, who writes wonderful books about a beloved bear—it made me giggle that much more to encounter a picture book specifically about NOT having bears in picture books. Read the rest of this entry »

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What Animals Really Like
Oct 21st, 2012 by Noodlenuts

“We are frogs, and we like tennis and most martial arts. Our favourite food is pizza with extra mushrooms, but with absolutely no tomatoes whatsoever.”

The legendary conductor Mr. Herbert Timberteeth is thrilled to present his latest song, in concert: “What Animals Like Most.”  The problem, as presented in the story of What Animals Like Most, is that Herbert hasn’t actually bothered to ask any of the animals what they really like most. And he’s about to find out at the most inopportune time . . . . Read the rest of this entry »

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Press Here
Oct 21st, 2012 by Noodlenuts

Best. Baby. Book. Ever.

Ok, that might be a bit of an exaggeration. But not by much. So let’s just put it this way: if I was trying to help new parents build an essential library for their babies of the most spectacular children’s books out there (which I sort of am), Press Here would be at the top of the list. Read the rest of this entry »

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My Name Is Elizabeth
Oct 7th, 2012 by Noodlenuts

“My NAME is ELIZABETH Alfreda Roxanne Carmelita Bluebell Jones!!”

As much as I love picture books (and I do LOVE picture books), every once in a while I start to worry that there aren’t any truly original ideas out there anymore—lots of lovely stories, beautifully illustrated, written in unique ways and from new perspectives, but nothing really fundamentally different. Then I’ll find a book like My Name Is Elizabeth and my faith will be restored. Read the rest of this entry »

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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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