Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Bad Reviews

I don't like to give a bad review or write badly about someone's work. So you may have noticed that so far my Granddaughters and I have enjoyed every book that I have posted about.

Please let me know if you would like to see the books that my Granddaughters and I have read but they have never asked to read a second time or seldom have asked for.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Nursery Stories and Rhymes


Author: many different authors
Illustrators: many different Illustrators
Publisher: Publications International Ltd.
Pages: 160
Ages: 0 and up


I loved nursery rhymes when I was a child and I wanted to share the with my daughters. Now I want to share them with my granddaughters. 

I had to find a book of nursery rhymes. I checked out a lot of books and decided to pick this one up because it has several of my favourite rhymes.

Plus the illustrations are vivid and cheerful. There is nothing worse than looking at a child's book that is dark and dismal. We want happy. We want jovial. 

Plus I like the idea of three minute stories - good for kids when they are very young.

Excuse the poor quality of the picture - it doesn't show the true beauty of the illustrations. 

There are several Mother Goose rhymes featured in this book such as: There Was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe, Sing a Song of Sixpence, Little Bo Peep, Humpty Dumpty, Peter Pumpkin Eater and The Cat and the Fiddle.

In addition there are also some classic children's stories such as: Rooster and Fox, Why Frog and Snake Never Play Together (an african folklore), Two Ways to Count to Ten, and Hen and Frog.

Also included in this book are several original stories such as: Harmony Farm and Good Night Baby.

My Granddaughters love the nursery rhymes and short stories in this book. 

The illustrations are bright and colourful. 

The font size is large which makes it easy for us old folks to read. LOL

A whole page is dedicated to each nursery rhyme which makes reading it to youngsters easier. They aren't constantly asking you which one you are reading now. 

My Granddaughters are almost four now. They know the rhymes by heart. I just say the first part and they finish it for me. You should see their faces glow with pride as they repeat the nursery rhymes - they pretend they are reading to me!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

LET'S GO FROGGY! Written by Jonathon London

My Granddaughter, Faith and I were searching for something new to read when we came across a Little Froggy book by Jonathon London. She and her cousins have laughed at this ridiculously funny little green neon frog so many times.

"LET'S GO FROGGY!" Written by Jonathon London

& Illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz 
(Penguin/Viking, 1994)
Pages: 32
Ages: 2 to 6

This is the first Froggy book that we added to our little library. The girls love Frank Remkiewicz's cartoon illustrations of Froggy and his family but it is the sound effects that make them laugh.

Page 3
This story featuring our little hero Froggy, begins with him waking up. He looks out his window and sings, "Hurray!" "I want to go out and play!"

Froggy's father hears him from the other room and asks Froggy if he would like to go for a bike ride and picnic.

Page 4
Of course Froggy wants to go but he has to get dressed first. With a zap and a zip, Froggy pulls on his underwear and shorts. 

Frank Remkiewicz creates visual variety by placing Froggy on a white background on this page.

Whenever I look at Froggy the word silly pops in my mind. The image of him pulling up his underwear just makes me want to laugh and his big grin is contagious.
Page 7

Now that Froggy is all dressed, his father reminds him that he needs his bicycle helmet.

I'm glad Froggy wears his helmet. He is such a good role model! LOL

Page 8

Froggy tells his father that he does not know where his helmet is. His dad responds,
"It's wherever you left it!"
"I forget!"
"You have to look for it!"

Froggy looks in the most absurd places for his helmet.

The girls tell me Froggy is silly for looking in the fridge for his helmet and then they giggle. But once again it is the sound effects that make my granddaughters laugh. BONK!

Once Froggy finds his helmet, his father tells him to find his butterfly net then the ball grandpapa gave him, then the peaches Auntie Loulou gave him.

Now that they are all ready to go, Froggy's Father can't find his red backpack. Froggy gets to tell his his father that "It's wherever you left it!" Turns out it is on his back. Both Froggy and my granddaughters point and laugh. 

Now they are truly ready to go but Froggy announces that he is hungry so the pair eat their picnic on the patio.

With their tummies full, Froggy and his father "peddled into the sunset - wee!"

From School Library Journal

Preschool - Grade 2-A fun-for-all, tongue-tangling, giggle-getting, "flap," "bonk," "slam" of a rousing read-aloud. Froggy and his father prepare for a bike outing and picnic. Froggy says, "'I don't know where it is!'" about each item, and his father replies, "'It's wherever you left it!'" After much searching, complete with sound effects, the pair are too hungry to proceed, so they have their picnic on the patio, and then set off on their bicycles. Spirited, bright watercolor illustrations drip with Froggy greenness and the background is awash with wonderfully intense, saturated tones and accent colors that have a neon brightness. Cartoon frogs in flipper-shaped sneakers pedal off into the sunset with their helmets securely in place. Rich with opportunities for audience participation, Let's Go, Froggy! should be a story-time favorite with innumerable theme possibilities.
Jody McCoy, Casady School, Oklahoma City
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

The reader "will surely laugh out loud," commented a critic for Publishers Weekly in a review of Froggy Gets Dressed. A versatile and engaging writer for children, London blends bouncy, alliterative verse rhythms and clear, understated prose to create books for young children that make a difference.

Read more:

From School Library Journal

It's now summertime for the hero of Froggy Gets Dressed (Viking, 1992). When an overzealous swing ride tosses him into a pond, his patient mother assures her terrified son that all frogs are great swimmers, and she teaches him how. He is still reluctant until he puts on his flippers, mask, and snorkel. Then he won't get out of the water?all night! Vivid watercolor cartoons add to the humor, showing the comical facial expressions and hilarious beachwear. Froggy's childlike dialogue and the sound words?"zook! zik!"; "flop flop...splash!"?make this story a wonderful read-aloud. Pair it with Marc Brown's D.W. All Wet (Little, 1988) to promote discussion about overcoming fears.?Betty Teague, Blythe Academy of Languages, Greenville, SC
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Story About A Boy's Messy Room


Written & Illustrated by Mark Teague

Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 32

Ages: Preschool to Grade 2

At first I couldn't remember where we got this book then it came back to me in a flash. It was part of a book order that one of my daughters had way back when they were in grade school. 

I chose this book because I could relate to Wendall Fultz's Mom. I use to refer to my daughter's bedroom as a pigsty and I was hoping my messy little girls would learn the same lesson as Wendall.

The story begins when Wendall Fultz arrives home from school on Monday afternoon. 

His mother tells him that his room is turning into a pigsty and he has to clean it up.

Once in his room, Wendall finds a real pig sitting on his bed, reading a magazine and munching on chips. 

Wendall starts to tidy up his room but decides to take a break. 

When Wendall's mother returns to inspect his work the pig hides but the mess is still there. (Try to find the pig's feet under the bed.) 

She says, "if you want to live in a pigsty, that's up to you."

Wendall doesn’t mind the pig and the pig doesn’t mind the mess so he decides to just leave it.

Then Tuesday when he returns home from school, he finds a second pig and an even bigger mess. 

But that is okay. Wendell has loads of fun with his new friends the pigs. 

They play monopoly and leave the pieces on the floor, have pillow fights and use his bed as a trampoline.

Before long, more pigs move in and the mess keeps growing. 

That night Wendell finds that "The pigs ....rolled up in his blankets and hogged his pillows, too."

On the following day, Wendall finds hoofprints on his comic books, bites taken out of his baseball cards, and his basketball squished.

Wendall has had enough. 

He goes downstairs and begs his mother for help but she says, "Sorry, but your room is your responsibility" and she hands him a broom.

Wendall finds the mess overwhelming but then decides to organize a cleaning crew. 

The pigs help him clean and scrub until Wendell pronounces his room clean.

The pigs find the room too clean and decide to move back to the farm.

Happily, Wendall has learned his lesson. He keeps his room clean, except for those evenings when his "friends" visit to play Monopoly. 


Pigsty is beautifully illustrated in acrylic paint with vibrant colours, clean lines and full of detail. The pigs are just so silly and cute.

This isn’t an original theme but Mark Teague has executed it in his unique style. It reminds me of a time before video games and DVDs - a time when we jumped on the bed and played board games.


Born 1963, in La Mesa, CA; Education: University of California, Santa Cruz, B.A., 1985. 

Mark Teague and his family live in upstate New York. He worked in a bookstore after college. His job was to set up the books for display. The children's books made him remember his childhood. As a boy, he had written his own stories and drawn pictures for them. Working in the bookstore inspired Mark Teague. He soon began his grown-up career as a writer and illustrator of children's books. Today, he illustrates his own and other authors' books.

We have not read any of the other books by Mark Teague. I know that if I see one I will pick it up.

Mark Teague has delighted young readers with more than 20 picture books, and he has written many of them himself, including the popular Pigsty, Baby Tamer,and One Halloween Night. He is also the illustrator of Cynthia Rylant's beloved Poppleton series for beginning readers. Mark and his wife live in Coxsackie, New York, with their young daughter Lily, who had a great time watching her dad paint the dinosaurs in How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night?

Check out this site to learn more about this author,

I have created links, shown in blue to Amazon where you can see the cover of the book, preview a few pages and see other reader reviews. I use to avoid clicking on links thinking I was going to be taken to a site which would charge me or give my computer a virus. For newbies, don't be afraid to click on the links.

Writings Self Illustrated

·       TheTrouble with the Johnsons, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1989.
·       Mark Teague (Photograph by Laura Teague. Reproduced by permission of Mark Teague.)
·       Moog-Moog,Space Barber, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1990.
·       FrogMedicine, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1991.
·       TheField beyond the Outfield, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1991.
·       Pigsty, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1994.
·       HowI Spent My Summer Vacation, Crown (New York, NY), 1995.
·       TheSecret Shortcut, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1996.
·       BabyTamer, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1997.
·       TheLost and Found, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1998.
·       OneHalloween Night, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1999.
·       Dear Mrs. LaRue: Letters from Obedience School, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2002.
·       DetectiveLaRue: Letters from the Investigation, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2004.


·       What Are Scientists, What Do They Do?, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1991.
·       Adventures in Lego Land, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1991.
·       Chris Babcock, No Moon, No Milk!, Crown (New York, NY), 1993.
·       Dick King-Smith, Three TerribleTrins, Crown (New York, NY), 1994.
·       Tony Johnston, The Iguana Brothers,A Perfect Day, Blue Sky Press (New York, NY), 1995.
·       Audrey Wood, The Flying Dragon Room, Blue Sky Press (New York, NY), 1996.
·       Dick King-Smith, Mr. Potter's Pet, Hyperion (New York, NY), 1996.
·       Cynthia Rylant, Poppleton, Blue Sky Press (New York, NY), 1997.
·       Cynthia Rylant, Poppleton and Friends:Book Two, Blue Sky Press (New York, NY), 1997.
·       Cynthia Rylant, Poppleton Forever, Blue Sky Press (New York, NY), 1998.
·       Audrey Wood, Sweet Dream Pie, Blue Sky Press (New York, NY), 1998.
·       Cynthia Rylant, Poppleton Everyday, Blue Sky Press (New York, NY), 1998.
·       Cynthia Rylant, Poppleton in Fall, Blue Sky Press (New York, NY), 1999.
·       Cynthia Rylant, Poppleton in Spring, Blue Sky Press (New York, NY), 1999.
·       Cynthia Rylant, Poppleton Has Fun, Blue Sky Press (New York, NY), 2000.
·       Cynthia Rylant, Poppleton in Winter, Blue Sky Press (New York, NY), 2001.
·       Cynthia Rylant, The Great Gracie Chace, Blue Sky Press (New York, NY), 2001.
·       Shana Corey, First Graders fromMars: Episode One, Horus's Horrible Day, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2001.
·       Shana Corey, First Graders fromMars: Episode Two, The Problem with Pelly, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2002.
·       Shana Corey, First Graders fromMars: Episode Three, Nergal and the Great Space Race, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2002.
·       Shana Corey, First Graders fromMars: Episode Four, Tera, Star Student, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2003.
·       Anne Isaacs, Pancakes for Supper!, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2006.


·       Jane Yolen, How Do Dinosaurs SayGoodnight?, Blue Sky Press (New York, NY), 2000.
·       Jane Yolen, How Do Dinosaurs GetWell Soon?, Blue Sky Press (New York, NY), 2003.
·       Jane Yolen, How Do Dinosaurs CleanTheir Rooms?, Blue Sky Press (New York, NY), 2004.
·       Jane Yolen, How Do Dinosaurs Countto Ten?, Blue Sky Press (New York, NY), 2004.
·       Jane Yolen, How Do Dinosaurs EatTheir Food?, Blue Sky Press (New York, NY), 2005.
·       Jane Yolen, How Do Dinosaurs LearnTheir Colors?, Blue Sky Press (New York, NY), 2006.
·       Jane Yolen, How Do Dinosaurs Playwith Their Friends?, Blue Sky Press (New York, NY), 2006.
FUNNY FARM Written and Illustrated by Mark Teague

Scholastic Inc.ISBN 978-0-439-91499-4 HC
32 Pages
Ages 4-8

While researching other books by Mark Teague, I came across this one and thought I would share it with you. It looks pretty funny to me and I am sure my granddaughters would giggle at the pictures. There is nothing more endearing and infectious than hearing a small child giggle.

This is the description for the book. Join Edward as he pitches in with the chores on his first visit to Hawthorne Farm – where the pigs play practical jokes, the sheep brush their teeth before heading out to graze, and the mice churn their own butter. 

It is a day that Edward will never forget – a funny day on a funny farm.

Monday, May 21, 2012

FROGS Written by Andrea Wayne von Königslöw

FROGS Written by Andrea Wayne-von Konigslow and Illustrated by Michael Marchenko
Book Cover

Publisher: Harper Collins Canada Ltd. 
Pages: 32 
Ages: 3-8

Page 2
You know, I don't remember how this book ended up in our collection but we are glad it did. We have enjoyed this book many times and I am sure we will enjoy it many more times.
Page 22 (Can you find Lucy?) My Granddaughter thinks the prince's
 tongue rolls up to fit back in his mouth

The story begins with Lucy sitting by the pond, a big grin on her face staring down at some very silly looking frogs which are are all looking back up at her.

Lucy loved frogs. She loved penguins, anteaters and hippos too, but frogs were special. Besides, she could find them in the pond behind her  house. Hippos were much harder to come by.

Page 24 (Awww! Why are the prince's so sad?)

Lucy and her little sister, Lenore like to collect frogs and bring them home to play with then send back to the pond. 

Sometimes the frogs are allowed to have a sleepover because they have that kind of Mom.  On one such night, Lucy decides to give a frog a kiss goodnight on top of his head. Magically, the frog turns into a prince. Mom calls everyone she knows plus the police and the fire department.

Page 26 (Just look at that silly frog. Big round eyes and grin. Toes
spread wide. No wonder the prince wanted to kiss it.)
Soon all the towns people are picking up frogs from the pond and kissing them.  Lucy and her sister take a few frogs home for safe keeping but soon the town is overrun with princes. Lucy notices the princes acting like frogs and gathering back at the pond. She realizes the princes want to be frogs again but how is that going to happen?

Lucy gets an ideal. Lucy and her little sister go home and get the frogs which they kept for safe keeping. One of the princes, kisses a frog on top of the head and he magically turns back into a frog. Before long, all the princes pick up a frog to kiss and the pond is full of frogs once again.

Lucy did find a hippo a few years later, which her Mom after a lot of begging, let her keep for a few weeks . . .
. . . but she never, ever kissed him.

I don't know about you but I have always had trouble getting my daughters to release the little critters that they have captured. They always wanted to keep it as pet whether it was a butterfly, a june bug or a frog. My granddaughters like to collect little critters too but they are easily convinced to release them so they can go back to their homes, back to their families. I wonder if this book has anything to do with that?


Michael Martchenko's vibrant, action filled illustrations are just as visually silly as the story itself.

 Andrea Wayne-von Konigslow Biography

 Born: Toronto, Ontario, 1958.
Married. Three children.
As a child Andrea lived n Mexico, where she learned to speak Spanish and eat raw chili peppers. She went to an arts high school in Toronto, Thornton Hall, received a B.A. in psychology from Queen’s University, and cartooned for the Whig Standard in Kingston. After marrying Rainer von Königslöw in 1978, she moved to Montreal where she taught art to children at the Centre d’Education par la Musique et les Artes. She has always written and painted and has had exhibits in Montreal and Toronto. When she was pregnant for the first time she found her new figure so comical that she began to draw herself and started a line of greeting cards that sold all across Canada at Shirley K. Maternity stores. Andrea has three children, two girls and a boy who are her pride and joy – Alexis, Tai, and Keir. She also has three cats – Grizabella, Whoopi Goldberg, and Nebbish.



Publisher: Annick Press (February 1, 1985)
Ages: 1 and up
Pages: 24

This is toilet humor in the most literal sense--a lighthearted, encouraging book that takes the anxiety out of the business of toilet training.
 Product Description
Silly animals, toilets are for kids!

With its lively cast of critters and gentle humor, Toilet Tales has been helping youngsters feel at ease in the bathroom for more than 20 years. Now this giggle-inducing favorite returns with vibrant new watercolor illustrations and a few new creatures, too.

Page by page, young readers will delight at the antics of animals on the commode. Of course, a giraffe could never even fit through the bathroom door. A seal would slip right off the seat. And a sitting elephant would simply crush the potty to pieces. After many such comical bestial blunders, the story concludes that animals can never use toilets because toilets are meant for "big kids like you."

Featuring more than a dozen animals -- including kangaroos, an octopus, and even an orca whale and written with child-friendly wit, Toilet Tales is guaranteed fun for any toilet-ready toddler.


To learn more about Michael Marchenko go to his site: