These three books were taken from this list of books I plan on reading and reviewing on here this year. I grabbed these three picture books last week before I left work for New Years and read two of them the first day of the year and saved the last one to read with my son.
- Dandy written by Ame Dyckman, illustrated by Charles Santoso: My son and I have been reading Dyckman’s books for a couple years now and love Wolfie the Bunny and this book seemed in the same vein as that, so I knew I wanted to read it. It was a very cutesy and understatedly hilarious book about what really matters in life. Sweetie, Daddy’s only child, has made a friend who just happens to be a weed named Charlotte that her dad wants to get rid of, which he tries to at every possible opportunity. When his daughter is off at swim practice, him and the other dads finally get the chance for revenge against the weed, only to have it foiled by an adorable drawing of Sweetie and her friend, and he makes a grave mistake. But he more than makes for it in the end. The illustrations by Charles Santoso are excellent and hilarious. Highly recommended for ages 5-9, 5 stars.
- Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpre written by Anika Aldamuy Denise, illustrated by Paola Escobar. I had obviously heard of Pura Belpre before as a librarian, but didn’t know anything about her. This charming biography gives you the low-down on why she came to America, how she met her husband, how she was the first Latina to publish folk stories from back home in Puerto Rico (like Martina the Beautiful Cockroach which I had first read after I finished library school though Carmen Agra Deedy’s version), and how this influenced storytelling in libraries. I loved the idea of “planting stories” and can’t wait to share this one with my book club. Highly recommended for ages 7-10, 5 stars.
- Chapter Two is Missing! written by Josh Lieb, illustrated by Kevin Cornell. I really wanted to like this one as it looked over-the-top dramatic and fun, but it was so long it dragged and lost my interest. My son loved it though. The narrator is here to tell us that “Chapter Two is Missing!” and Milo the book’s janitor needs to do something about it, and help him find the chapter. The narrator has already hired Detective McGarrigan, and helpfully provides her information several times. Will they be able to catch the culprit who did it and recover the missing chapter? It gets an extra half star because my kid liked it so much he actually read it out loud to me. Recommended for ages 6-9, 3-1/2 stars.