A Different Pond by Bao Phi

A Different Pond

A Different Pond by Bao Phi; illustrated by Thi Bui. 2017. Published by Capstone Young Readers.

Brief summary: A young boy gets up early with his father on a Saturday when most people sleep in. They get ready to go fishing being sure to stop by the bait store to buy minnows. It is before dawn and still a little cold as they stand by the pond fishing. The boy gathers some wood to build a fire. As they wait for a bite, the father and son eat a bologna sandwich. His father talks about how he fished at a pond like this when he was a boy in Vietnam. They catch a few fish and are happy. The sun is starting to rise as they drive back home. The fish in the white bucket will be their dinner later that night. Both of his parents get ready to go to work leaving him to take care of his siblings. After dinner, he goes to sleep dreaming of the pond his father fished from as a child.

Comments: In the back of the book, Boa Phi shares his story of what it was like for his family to come to America as refugees from the war in 1975. He is the youngest of six children. Like the parents in the story, his parents worked multiple jobs as well. Bao Phi shares how they fished for food not as a sport but for food just like the family in this picture book.

Illustrator, Thi Bui, is also born in Vietnam.

The illustrations are done in graphic novel panels at times.

Buy here.

Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall

Jabari Jumps

Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall; illustrated by Gaia Cornwall. 2017. Pencil, watercolor and collage, then colored digitally. Published by Candlewick Press.

Brief summary: Jabari finished his swimming lessons and passed his test. With confidence, Jabari excitedly tells his dad that he is going to now jump off the diving board. He goes over and stands in line allowing other children to go ahead of him as he watches how high up they go. He begins to climb and decides that he needs to do some stretching first. His father picks his son up, places him on his shoulders, and tells the boy that maybe tomorrow would be a better day. The father shares how sometimes  he is scared and what he does to overcome the fear. Jabari regains his courage and determination and goes back up that diving board, loving his new surprise.

Comments: The father is supportive of his son no matter if Jabari decides to dive or go home and try another day. The father does not push his son but stands back and lets  the boy decide what to do. The father wisely shares a little advice of how he  personally handles fear. I like that the father admits that sometimes he is afraid to do things too. I think THAT is important for children to hear. We all have fear.

Buy here.

My Daddy Rules the World: Poems About Dads by Hope Anita Smith

My Daddy Rules the World

My Daddy Rules the World: Poems About Dads by Hope Anita Smith; illustrated by Hope Anita Smith. 2017. Torn paper. Published by Henry Holt and Company.

Brief summary: Fifteen poems with full-page illustrations all in the voice and viewpoint of the son or daughter.

Comments: Illustrations are created with torn paper. The faces are without features. I liked all of the different roles that a father had in this book. Students and children will be able to relate to the subject matter. Multicultural.

Buy here.

(I may receive a small commission for purchases made with links in this post through the Amazon Affiliate Program.  Books in this picture book blog are not sent to me in exchange for a review, but instead, are checked out from a public library).

Dad and the Dinosaur by Gennifer Choldenko

Dad and the dinosaur

Dad and the Dinosaur by Gennifer Choldenko; illustated by Dan Santat. 2017. Pencil, watercolor, ink, acrylic, Photoshop. Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers.

Brief summary: Nicholas is afraid of many things while his dad is not. The boy carries around a toy dinosaur in his pocket for courage to whatever activity he does. Nick has the toy plastic dinosaur with him even when he swims, tying it to his swim shorts. That evening, Nicholas takes it to his soccer game tucking the dinosaur in his sock. He scores a goal but loses his toy. His mother asks what he is doing walking all over the grass,  but he does not tell her as they drive back home. He sleeps with the light on. His father comes home from work  and asks if Nick is having a nightmare. His father tells him it’s okay to be afraid. Nick tells his dad about losing the dinosaur. His understanding father takes him out to the soccer field that night, and they find the dinosaur. Nicholas regains his bravery and is glad his father agrees not to tell his mom.

Comments: Wow. I can’t imagine my father going out of the house at night after working all day and actually go looking in the dark  for a small toy dinosaur on a soccer field. This gesture tells the reader that the father really gets the urgency to find his son’s charm. I could see this book being shared at the beginning of the school year or when a child needs to do something a little scary or challenging. I have students show me their good luck charms a lot at the beginning of the school year. Sometimes they show me a photo of their mom all crumbled up having been hidden deep in a pocket.  I show them the photos of my family and cats on my desk. We can all learn that there are different things/events that we may need a little extra reassurance.

Buy here.

(I may receive a small commission for purchases made with links in this post through the Amazon Affiliate Program.  Books in this picture book blog are not sent to me in exchange for a review, but instead, are checked out from a public library).

Little Wolf’s First Howling by Laura McGee Kvasnocky

Little Wolf's First Howling

Little Wolf’s First Howling by Laura McGee Kvasnosky; illustrated by Kate Harvey Mcgee. 2017. “Color work in Photoshop with a digital palette and brushes.” Published by Candlewick Press.

Brief summary: Little Wolf is excited as he and his father climb up the hill. It will be his first howling when the full moon rises. His father calmly demonstrates the “proper howling form.” Little Wolf has his turn but does not quite sound like his father’s howl. Big Wolf praises but also gives some constructive criticism to his son. Little Wolf tries again adding his own special touches. His father kindly tells his son all of the things he is proud of about him but ends with that he does not have “proper howling form.”  He demonstrates for his son again. Little Wolf listens and howls again knowing it was not the form but really wants to howl with his heart. His father joins now in his son’s howling form.

Comments: Big Wolf realizes that this form of howling was something that Little Wolf wanted to be creative with and make  his own style. The father wolf does not yell at him or tell him he is not listening. He does not berate him. His father lets him howl in the way that is unique to his son and stops demonstrating the proper technique.

This would be a good book for the art teacher to read   that would encourage students to do art with their hearts and not always with the “proper form.” It is important for children to know how to do something properly, but is also good to let them do some things their own way.

Buy here.

(I may get a commission for purchases made through links in this post through the Amazon Affiliate Program.  Books reviewed were checked out of the public library and not sent to me free for review).

The Runaway Egg and Tiger Tiger: Two New Babysitting Picture Book Reviews by Angela Ferraris

Do you remember your first babysitting job? Were you paid? Did you take a babysitting course to prepare you for any mishaps? These two picture books have inexperienced babysitters who  do not want to babysit at all  and  really would prefer taking a nap but instead are forced to watch younger ones.  Both sitters have adventures that wake them right up.

The Runaway Egg

  1. The Runaway Egg by Katy Hudson; illustrated by Katy Hudson. 2017. Published by Random House.

Brief summary: Chick is told to watch his little brother while his mom goes out. He seems bored as he takes a nap on the egg.  His little brother begins to hatch. “Crack” and off he ran!” Chick runs after his half hatched brother who now has his two skinny chicken legs sticking out of his white egg. Chick goes through one near miss after another. The little brother runs into the pigs’ sty, then into the sheeps’ pin, and finally into the field where the big bull sleeps. All the while Chick is frantically chasing his little brother all around the farmyard. The adventures end when little brother wakes the bull. Chick quickly grabs his sibling and runs down the hill to the chicken coop in time for his mother’s return and at the same moment his little brother fully hatches out of all of the egg. His mother asks if Chick is ready to be a big brother unaware that he has being doing just that.

Comments: Older brothers and sisters can relate to just how much attention and energy is needed for a younger sibling.  “Have you ever had to do any babysitting for your younger sibling(s)?” This book would be a good talk about what it is like to have a younger sibling. “Are you the big brother/sister to anyone? Are you the little brother/sister? Turn and share with the person next to you.”

Buy The Runaway Egg here. *

tigertiger

2) Tiger Tiger by Johnny Lambert; illustrated by Jonny Lambert. 2017. Published by Tiger Tales.

Brief summary: Tiger has to babysit Cub and is not sure how to take care of the full-of-energy feline.  He tries to go back to sleep but is wakened by the little ball of orange fur. Cub’s energetic curiosity has him excitedly going through the rain forest discovering all of the jungle animals while Tiger slowly strolls close behind. Cub’s enthusiastic and wonderment of the world around him is just what Tiger needs, and the father starts to become more energetic the longer they play and explore. Both become closer through this outing, as Tiger is reminded of the jungle’s beauty seen through the eyes of his cub.

Comments: The eye pleasing illustrations in this picture book are with bright colors and shades of greens throughout.

Buy Tiger Tiger here.

*(I may get a commission for purchases made through links in this post through the Amazon Affiliate Program.  Books reviewed were checked out of the public library and not sent to me free for review).

I Don’t Want to Be Big by Dev Petty

I Don't Want to Be Big by Dev Petty

I Don’t Want to Be Big by Dev Petty; illustrated by Mike Boldt. 2016.

Brief summary: Frog tells his father he does not want to grow up and be big. His father talks to his son about the things he can do when he is big.

Comments:  This is a simple but humorous story that students can relate to Frog’s predicament.  Cute and humorous story. This is the sequel to I Don’t Want to Be a Frog.

idontwanttobeafrog

(I may get a commission for purchases made through links in this post through the Amazon Affiliate Program.  Books reviewed were checked out of the public library and not sent to me free for review).

Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie

If You Ever Want to Bring a Piano to the Beach, DON'T! by Elise Parsely

Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie; illustrated by Yuyi Morales. 2016. Digitally printed.

Brief summary: Thunder Boy Jr. did not want to be called Little Thunder, since his father was called Big Thunder. He wanted his own name. After examining all the possibilities, his father surprises him by saying it is time to give his son a name of his own.

Comments: Great father and son relationship.