Children's Book Reviews

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The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle

HarperFestival, Sept., 1999.
Board Book, 40 pages
Ages Baby through Preschool
ISBN: 069401320X.
Ordering information:

The Grouchy Ladybug
by Eric Carle The Grouchy Ladybug returns in this board book version of the popular picture book about a ladybug who challenges everyone it meets to fight, but eventually learns some manners. First the ladybug meets a yellow jacket, then a stag beetle, a praying mantis, a lobster, and an entire succession of animals who increase in size as the day wears on. Finally the ladybug meets a whale who is so huge, the ladybug talks to its flippers and its tale separately. The whale never answers the challenge to fight, so the ladybug flies home, exhausted and tired. A friendly ladybug had saved some aphids and teaches politeness to the formerly grouchy ladybug. The ladybug then eats the nasty aphids off the grateful leaf. Then, "the fireflies who had been sleeping all day, came out to dance around the moon." With pages which increase in size with each animal, and a clock showing the time of day, this board book is excellent for teaching the concepts of time and comparative sizes. Carle's wonderful illustration and zippy prose have stood the test of time -- toddlers and parents will both love this new board book edition.

Hanukkah Lights, Hanukkah Nights by Leslie Kimmelman, Illustrated by John Himmelman

HarperFestival, Oct., 1999.
Board Book, 22 pages
Ages Baby through Preschool
ISBN: 0694014370.
Ordering information:

Hanukkah Lights, Hanukkah Nights
by Leslie Kimmelman, Illustrated by John Himmelman This board book edition of the Hannukah story has pastel, cheery illustrations of a family celebrating Hanukkah day by day. With minimal text, the board book edition is most useful as the baby's first introduction to the traditions of Hannukah. The family lights the shammash candle, sip chicken soup, chant the holiday blessings, play with dreidels, and sing holiday songs, while "the nephews fight like Maccabbees." The picture of the cats playing with the chocolate gelt is also quite funny. An attractive introduction to the joys of the Festival of Lights, this board book would make a great Hannukah gift.

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