Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Goodnight Songs by Margaret Wise Brown

From Margaret Wise Brown, author of the beloved Goodnight Moon, comes a previously unpublished collection of charming lullabies, gorgeously illustrated by 12 award-winning artists. The roster of celebrated names includes Carin Berger, whose The Little Yellow Leaf was a New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book; Eric Puybaret, who brought the bestselling Puff, the Magic Dragon to life on the page; Coretta Scott King Honor Award winner Sean Qualls; and Caldecott Honor medalist Melissa Sweet. An accompanying CD, with lilting songs beautifully composed and sung by Emily Gary and Tom Proutt, makes this the perfect gift to wish children a sweet goodnight.
The illustrators are:
Jonathan Bean * Carin Berger * Sophie Blackall * Linda Bleck * Renata Liwska * Christopher Silas Neal  * Zachariah OHora * Eric Puybaret * Sean Qualls *  Isabel Roxas * Melissa Sweet * Dan Yaccarino 

Goodnight Songs has twelve nighttime songs each with it's own story illustration. The pictures are each very different, fun, whimsical. I can picture children spending hours absorbed in the illustrations with the young children, animals, flowers and fantastic landscapes. The songs with the guitar accompaniment are relaxing, sort of like folk songs in their way. I particularly enjoyed Sleep like a Rabbit and with its catchy tune and lovely picture of a young girl, and rabbit hanging out with a polar bear. Highly recommended!

  • Age Range: 3 - 6 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - Kindergarten
  • ISBN-10: 1454904461 - Hardcover $17.95
  • Publisher: Sterling Children's Books; Har/Com edition (March 4, 2014), 28 pages.
  • Review copy courtesy of the publisher and the Amazon Prime Reviewers Program.

About the Author:
Margaret Wise Brown is one of the most popular children's authors of all time; her classic Goodnight Moon (HarperFestival), illustrated by Clement Hurd, has sold more than twenty-four million copies and her books—including Big Red Barn (Harper Festival), The Runaway Bunny(HarperCollins), and The Golden Egg Book (Simon & Schuster)—have never been out of print. Several generations have grown up with her timeless stories and her influence has been felt around the world.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Ms. Wiz Spells Trouble by Terence Blacker

The blurb:
Ms Wiz Spells Trouble is the first book in a best-selling series that was originally published in the United Kingdom.  

Describing herself as a paranormal operative, the quirky and delightful Ms. Wiz uses her magic to rescue the students at St. Barnabas School from one disaster after another-often with outrageous results!

I ordered Ms. Wiz Spells Trouble because I do enjoy fun middle school books and because I'm always looking out for a good book for my 5 year old niece Sofie.  

The books comes in large, easy to read font and with fun illustrations every few pages.   It's the sort of book that's fun to read to a child and that I imagine Sofie would be able to read on her own.  The voice is fun, reads well, and is easy to understand.  I can see how the book became a best-seller in the UK.  

"Most teachers are strange and the teachers at St. Barnabas School were no exception.  
Yet it's almost certain that none of them - not Mr. Gilbert, the head teacher who liked to pick his nose during Assembly, not Mrs. Hicks who talked to her teddies in class, not Miss Gomez who smoked cigarettes in the lavatory -- none of them was quite as odd as Class Three's new teacher. "
Tall with long black hair and bright green eyes, a purple shirt and jeans, black nail polish and large rings, Ms. Wiz looked like she was heading to a disco not about to teach at a school.  She faced Class Three, known throughout the school for their disruptive element and with a history of making teachers cry.  

Ms. Wiz has magical powers and friends that reminded me of P.L. Travers' Mary Poppins and of Betty MacDonald's Miss Piggle-Wiggle.   Strange soccer plays, a magical cat called Hecate and a mathematical owl named Archimedes turn things around for the difficult Class Three.  I'm excited about Ms. Wiz Spells Trouble and Terence Blacker's new series.  Looking forward to reading the next books in the series.  Am certain that Sofie will enjoy them!

  • Age Range: 6 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: 1st - 3rd
  • Series: Ms. Wiz (Book 1)
  • ISBN-10: 0761455485 Hardcover $12.99
  • Publisher: Two Lions (September 1, 2008), 60 pages.
  • Review copy courtesy of the publisher and the Amazon Vine Reviewers Program.

About the Author:
Terence Blacker, a British citizen, started writing full-time in 1983, and has since had a distinguished career authoring both adult and children’s books. His Ms. Wiz series includes more than 20 titles, and it has received many glowing reviews championing its zany humor and irresistibly witty characters. Mr. Blacker lives in Suffolk, England, and has two children.
Tony Ross was born in London and trained at the Liverpool School of Art. He has worked as a cartoonist, graphic designer, and art director of an advertising agency. He has illustrated hundreds of books that are adored by children, including the Horrid Harry series by Francesca Simon and the Amber Brown series by Paula Danziger. He has also written some of the books he has illustrated, such as the popular title, I Want Two Birthdays.