Thursday, November 10, 2016

Cybils Fiction Picture Books - Batch 5

On the floor in my bedroom I have stacks of picture books - 12 books each. I thought I would be able to post about all of the Cybils nominees in 6 posts. Oh how wrong I was. It'll be more like 18, but I'm plugging away regardless. Writing a brief review will help me remember why I rated books they way I did, which will be helpful when we get to narrowing down the shortlist. 


Without further ado, 12 more Cybils nominees:

Flora and the Peacocks by Molly Idle (ages 2-4)

This beautiful, wordless picture book has many lift-a-flaps of peacock tails and Flora's fan. Flora is dancing with the peacocks. She imitates their movements, or perhaps they are imitating hers. It's cute with some tension in the middle and huge fold-out at the end. Young kids will love this book for sure. The library copy I read was ripped and taped - well loved already.

4 stars


Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie (ages 4-6)

This book is very interesting. It's about a young boy, who is named after his father, but he doesn't like his name. It's weird and different and doesn't feel like his own. He loves his dad, but he wants his own name. Only he doesn't know how to explain it. This book is great for older kids beginning to feel a sense of accomplishment and independence. It has a great ending.

4 stars


Leave Me Alone! by Vera Brosgol (ages 4-6)

OMG. I love this book! It's a perfect read for an introverted parent or grandparent. An old woman is trying to knit sweaters for winter, but she cannot get anything done in her house with all of the grandchildren around, so she goes to the forest. There the bears won't leave her alone, etc. When she finally completes her task, she returns home and doesn't say a word. Finished with her work, she doesn't mind the company. There's some funny stuff thrown in and adorable illustrations.

5 stars

Dragon Was Terrible by Kelly DiPucchio (ages 3-5)

Dragon is terrible. He burns all of the marshmallows in the kingdom, he pops balloons, he steals candy from baby unicorns, etc. The king is fed up. He puts up a sign asking any knight to come and tame the dragon, and then any person, and when everyone has failed, a little boy succeeds by telling the dragon a story. It's really fun and sweet. It's written in graphic novel style almost (without speech bubbles). I enjoyed this one.

4 stars


The Snurtch by Sean Ferrell (ages 4-6)

This book is so great. Ruthie hates school - not because of the people or the work, but because her Snurtch is always there with her. He throws pencils, he destroys George's artwork, and he makes weird noises at recess. The Snurtch is the personification of Ruthie's emotions coming out. When she's unable to control herself, it's the Snurtch. She soon realizes that others have one too.

5 stars


The Fall of General Custard or the Overthrow of a Leftover by Matt Damon, not the actor (ages 6-8)

This book is epic. I admit I skimmed a little. It was too weird for me. For once, it's super long, but all rhyming stanzas, which made it difficult and awkward to read. Then it's about rigid segregration of food inside the fridge and the uproar and fighting that occurs when there is a disagreement about where the maraschino cherries belong. Too strange for me.

2 stars


Hey, Coach! by Linda Ashman (age 5-8)

This book is the perfect gift for your child's coach. It follows a soccer team through the season showing the score of each game. It's a string of phrases the kids might say to the coach, but it makes a super cute story.

4 stars


The Typewriter by Bill Thomson (ages 4-8)

This book is very original. It's a wordless picture book about three kids who find a typewriter on a carousel that is closed. When they load in some paper and type words, they come true. They're transported to a beach and have a ball to play with, etc. It's fun.

3 stars


Faraway Fox by Jolene Thompson (ages 3-6)

In this story, a young fox has been separated from his family because of the development of the land by humans. He shows the readers all of the places he went with his family before. He talks about his brother, his mother, and his father. He sees the humans building a tunnel, and when he finally learns why, he is happy. It's a touching story about our encroachment into animal habitats.

3 stars


Shy by Deborah Freedman (ages 3-6)

This book is adorable. Shy is hiding in between the pages of the book. She reads a lot, and she loves birds. When she hears a bird in real life, she doesn't want to lose it. Slowly, she begins to leave her comfort zone and search for the bird. We finally get to see her at the end of the book. This is a story that many kids will relate to. Being shy is a common trait, but perhaps this book will help illustrate that the world isn't that scary.

4 stars


A Bike Like Sergio's by Maribeth Boelts (ages 5-9)

Ruben sees a dollar fall out of a woman's purse at the grocery store. He picks it up and takes it home thinking it's no big deal. It's only a dollar. But it's not $1. It's $100. He could use that money to buy a bike like his friend Sergio's, a bike his family cannot afford. Ruben deliberates over the money for a couple of days, but ultimately he makes the right decision and gives it back. What a great story!

5 stars


Groovy Joe Ice Cream & Dinosaurs by Eric Litwin (ages 2-4)

This book has a great moral - sharing is fun. It's rhyming, repetitive verses make it a perfect read aloud for younger kids. There's even some portions that are meant to be sung. Kiddos will love that. Groovy Joe has some ice cream that he's enjoy when dinosaur after dinosaur arrive with spoons looking to share. Luckily, Joe thinks sharing is awesome. They all enjoy the ice cream and then have an impromptu dance party. Random but fun.

3 stars



Have you read any of these books yet? Which is your favorite?


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2 comments:

  1. I was surprised when I read your review of The Fall of General Custard. My impression of the book is very different. The author of The Fall of General Custard, Matt Damon, came to our school library for an author’s visit and met with our first and second grades. The kids loved Matt's book! Since his visit two months ago, his book is always checked out and never makes it back to the shelves! When I had the students write letters to Matt after the visit, he got glowing reviews:

    “Thank you for reading that wonderful book. It was the best book I have ever heard.” - Helena

    “I like when the peas said, ‘Make peas not war’. I laughed. You are a great author!” - Kate

    “Thank you for teaching us. You made me want to make books.” Katelyn

    “I like how you rhyme in the book!” - Spencer

    I highly recommend taking time to read the complete story (ideally, aloud with some children) and I think you may have a whole different experience of the book!

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    1. Amy, thank you for your response. It is quite a different experience to read books alone and with children. I had so many Cybils nominations to read that I couldn't possibly read them all with my 6 year-old son. I agree that he probably would have enjoyed this book more than I did. Perhaps I will try it again with him someday. Thanks for stopping by.

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