This book is a great read and its emphasis on friendship and enjoyment will resonate will dog lovers of all ages.
Yolen, Jane. Chronicle Books. Illustrated by Rilla Alexander. Next, a squirrel joins the bear on the porch.
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Again, the child is wary of the animal, but allows it to stay. A skunk, a possum with her babies, a raccoon, a moose, and a blue jay all join the bear and squirrel until the porch finally breaks.
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The animals and the child work as a team to rebuild the porch. In the end, all the animals are welcomed on the porch by the child to relax. The illustrations bring attention to the animals and the child by coloring them and keeping the background bare. Curvy lines and the use of crayon-like artwork bring a whimsical and amusing vibe. Yolen, Jane reteller. Atalanta the Huntress. Illustrated by Susan Guevara.
After desperately wishing to be bore a son, King Iasus receives his daughter, Atalanta, instead. Disappointed, he takes the infant into the Calydonian forest and leaves her to die. A mother bear happens upon the abandoned baby and takes Atalanta into her care. After three years with the bear, a hunter discovers Atalanta and adopts her. At the age of 13, her step-parents die, leaving her alone in the forest to face a destructive red-eyed boar. Atalanta goes to King Oeneus for help, who sends warriors into the woods to help fight off the beast in response.
After receiving word about the boar hunt, King Iasus invites Atalanta back to the kingdom and asks for forgiveness. Atalanta forgives him and eventually finds the love of her life, Melanion, with his assistance. Themes prevalent in the plot include empowerment and strength, both of which are illustrated by her battle with the boar and her resilience in the face of abandonment and tragedy. A Parade of Elephants. In this appealing book for young readers, five big, colorful elephants parade around the pages in a whimsical manner.
The style of the text offers repetition and flow in bold letters, keeping the reader engaged as they learn basic numbers, shapes, and adjectives. Bright and bold pastel colors such as pink, blue, green and yellow are used to depict the elephants behind a basic white background. Because the elephants eventually go to bed at the end of the story, this is a perfect book to read at bedtime.
Diehl, J. Tiny Infinities. Alice races to the girl and pulls her out of the way just in time.
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Alice quickly learns that the girl, Piper, is mute. This charming story relates what it is like to feel alone in an ever-changing, uncontrollable world. The characters are simple, yet relatable for many junior high girls who may feel like they are constantly misunderstood by the adults in their lives. While it is may not interest those looking for a more challenging narrative, this book is appropriate for middle school readers in search of an enjoyable story interested in reading for entertainment.
Polacco, Patricia. Remembering Vera. Coast Guard mascot and hero, Vera the dog. The author does an impressive job of telling the story and contributing illustrations to bring the characters to life and grant them a general sense of motion. The story always seems to be moving forward as the illustrations give motion to the boats, humans, and animals depicted.
A fascinating story for young children, this book shares a commonly forgotten piece of history in new, vivid detail. Beebe, Katy. Eerdmans Publishing Co. Illustrated by Valeri Gorbachev.
By Russ Crossley
In this story, a young boy named Henry lives with his mother, his Gran, his baby brother, and his father, who works nights as a train conductor. The boy spends most of his time with Gran and his mother. His emotional bond with them is displayed by a white glow that surrounds these characters on each page of the book. The soft pastel colors of orange, yellow, and gold give a feeling of safety and warmth Harry feels even when his dad is at work.
These colors are in contrast with the dark blues, greys, and greens on the pages depicting the father at work as the train rides through woods, mountains, and valleys. These colors give the impression that he is in a much less desirable place than the rest of his family.
Many whimsical shapes help the reader identify the relaxed atmosphere of the story while the father is at work and when the rest of the family is at home. The story has a simple plot with very little character development, but its soothing illustrations and lack of intense conflict make this an appropriate bedtime story for young children.
Joyce, William. From the beginning, it is abundantly clear this is a story intends to take the reader on an adventure. It opens with an old woman and two children in her garden as she tries to recall the details of a childhood story. Soon, she falls ill and can no longer care for her beautiful garden and the reader is transported to another world where vibrant bug characters are attempting to save the dying greenery.
The Doodlebug Guild bravely volunteers to climb to the top of the tallest tree to call for the Leaf Men to come save the garden. On their way up, the doodlebugs must endure a storm and an attack by the evil Spider Queen. Thankfully, one doodlebug escapes and makes it to the top of the tallest tree to call for the Leaf Men.
They arrive quickly to save the rest of the Doodlebug Guild and defeat the Spider Queen, saving the garden in the process. The plot of this story is heavily supported by the captivating illustrations. The realistic drawings bring life to the characters and the vividness of the setting in the garden. The greens of the plants pull the reader into the world of the bugs in the story.
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The lack of hard or harsh lines and organic shapes add to the realistic feelings of the illustrations. The plot weaves together multiple conflicts at a time seamlessly. Wright, Kenneth. Lola Dutch.
Illustrated by Sarah Jane Wright. Like many people, Lola Dutch begins her day with breakfast and ends it with bedtime.
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However, Lola also starts her day by greeting her whimsical friends, Gator, Pig, Crane, and Bear before heading to the kitchen to make something special for breakfast. The lack of hard lines or edges add to the light-heartedness of the illustrations throughout the book.
As the plot builds, the reader gets a sense for the different personalities of the several characters. Lola is leader of the group who decides where they will go and what they will do, while Gator, Pig, and Crane happily follow along. However, Bear seems to be a parental figure who helps Lola carry out her ideas while keeping the rest of group together and safe. Agee, Jon. The wall in the middle of the book. At the beginning of this tale, a young knight explains the wall in the middle of the book is for protection from the wild animals and the ogre on the other side.
While there are not many solid lines in the illustrations, the wall itself is a clear divide between the knight and what he believes to be the evil lurking on the other side. Children building their confidence as independent readers may enjoy reading this for pleasure or before bedtime. Dobner, Rory. The ink house. Laurence King Publishing. Illustrated by Rory Dobner.
This enchanting tale centers on Ink House, a mansion that houses a reservoir of ink in the basement for artists and writers to use for their work. When its owner floats away his annual hot air balloon trip, woodland creatures arrive for a celebration. All animals create works of art, poems, songs, and other literary forms with the ink. Despite the minimal use of color, the illustrations feature many different patterns and textures readers will find visually appealing.
Each page is different and effectively uses simple lines to create intriguing images. Different artistic techniques such as cross-hatching create layers, shadows, contrast and emotional depth.