Friday, December 23, 2016

Cybils Fiction Picture Books: Batch 15

This is it. Finally! The last of the Cybils nominees for the Fiction Picture Book category. Wow. That was a lot of reading. I got through 211 of 212 books.


Here are the final 12 mini-reviews.

The Prideful Papillon by Heather Phillips (ages 5-8)

This book teaches a valuable lesson - don't be too prideful, there's nothing wrong with asking for help. It's a cute story although a bit preachy, and I could have done with the Bible quote at the end.

3 stars

I received a copy of this book from the publisher to judge for Cybils.



Time for Bed, Sleepyhead by Daniel G. Amen, M.D. (ages 3-5)

This book is actually a visualization game and kind of hypnosis meant to help kids fall asleep. It has the child imagine a day at the beach with some animal friends. Everything is meant to make the feel sleepy, including some well placed yawns by the reader. I especially liked the explanation on why sleep is important.

4 stars


The Wish Tree by Kyo Maclear (ages 3-5)

This book follows the standard explore-and-find-many-animals type story method. A boy and his sled (Boggan) set off to find a wish tree, whatever that is, and on the way the encounter and help several animals. When they do find the wish tree, the boy ties a hand written wish to the tree, and then there is a feast with the animals. I was left with many unanswered questions.

3 stars


Rainbow Weaver/Tejedora Del Arcoiris by Linda Elovitz Marshall
(ages 5-8)

Young Ixchel wants to be able to weave like her mother and grandmother. She knows her family needs money, and she wants to help. There is no thread to spare, so she tries weaving with grass and bits of wool she finds stuck to plants. Neither is very pretty. Then she has an idea to make plastic thread from the colorful bags littering the town. She makes a beautiful rainbow to sell at the market. Great story.

4 stars

Cat on the Bus by Aram Kim (ages 2-4)

This story is cute and almost wordless. A cat gets on a bus after being kicked out of several earlier places, and he makes a friend. It's simple but fun with great illustrations. It's a good first paper page book for young readers.

3 stars




Hattie Peck by Emma Levey (ages 3-5)

Hattie is obsessed with eggs. Since she can't lay her own, she searches the world to find all of the abandoned eggs she can, and then she raises the animals herself. Kind of strange, but cute.

3 stars

I received a copy of this ebook from the publisher to judge for Cybils.


My Big Tree by Maria Ashworth (ages 3-5)

An adorable counting book, this story shows all of the animals that can fit into one tree - 1 blue bird, 2 black bears, etc. all the way up to 10. There's an additional story line about the bird thinking it's his tree and getting annoyed, but it ends with counting backward and a friendship statement.

3 stars

I received a copy of this ebook from the publisher to judge for Cybils.


Happy Mamas by Kathleen T. Pelley (ages 3-5)

This book is cute, but I didn't love the limiting message it told of what makes mothers happy. The animal and human mamas in the story are happy when their babies are fed and cared for and ready for sleep. But what about other interests outside of mothering? A little too anti-feminist for my taste.

3 stars

I received a copy of this ebook from the publisher to judge for Cybils.

Step One, Step Two, Step Three and Four by Maria Ashworth (ages 4-8)

I enjoyed the sentiment of this book - a story about merging families and changing from an only child to the only girl with 4 stepbrothers, but I didn't love the negative tone at the beginning and the overly simplistic rhyming stanzas.

3 stars

I received a copy of this ebook from the publisher to judge for Cybils.


Wolfy and a Toothache by Dr. MC (ages 3-5)

This story attempts to illustrate why kids shouldn't be afraid of the dentist. The story is too preachy and too quickly resolved with no explanations beyond you should tell your parents if you have a toothache. Wolfy fears getting in trouble for eating too many sweets at his birthday party, and that isn't even addressed at the end. I was not impressed with this book.

1 star

I received a copy of this ebook from the publisher to judge for Cybils.

The Three Lucys by Hayan Charara (ages 6-10)

This story is about bombings and war, but it's also about the worry and loss of losing a pet.

3 stars

I received a copy of this ebook from the publisher to judge for Cybils.


Who What Where? by Olivier Tallec (ages 3-6)

Fun! You have to guess the right character for each page. My son and I had a fun time reading this book together. We got all but 3 pages right.

4 stars

I received a copy of this book from the publisher to judge for Cybils.



On the blog last year...

Best Books of 2015

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