Monday, August 31, 2009

August Book Reviews- just under the wire


I came back from Los Angeles so enamored with Dan Yaccarino and Sherman Alexie. I did read "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian " last week and really loved it. The main character's use of cartooning to cope with his feelings- it hit so close to home. Fabulous book- saving it for Mags when she's a little older.

Dan Yaccarino's aesthetic - well it rocks. It's retro and contemporary - it's simple and elegant and really juicy. Only an artist with a maniacally advanced brain could design this well. His colors are bold- and his shapes so well defined- so well designed.. Oh I miss Oswald the octopus. We used to watch that show everyday when Mags was a baby- it was my favorite. I can still sing the ice cream song and the hear Henry say "2 Marshmallows- no more- no less."

It's a Yaccarino 2-pack this month.

"Go-Go America!" -Scholastic

My 9 year old poured over this book. It's thick - 78 pages long! and the pages are numbered as if to say "HA!""I am Dan Yaccarino and I laugh at 32 pages!" The book is chock full of knowledge and fun facts about this crazy country. Giant balls of twine to State birds. It's for the geography starved children of today! - It's a great gift book too. Back to school gift hmmm??? I LOVE to see picture books for older kids. I can't SCREAM it loud enough- older kids still crave the visual!-Don't turn it off as soon as The Magic Tree-house hits- keep the picture books around til they put them away.

"The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau" - Alfred A. Knopf

I used to watch Jaques Cousteau laying down- head in hands staring up at the TV on the brown cart in the living room. He was a small- elegant man who exposed the world to the wonders of the sea and the importance of maintaining it's life and beauty.

This book is like the man. Spare - elegant - wondrous. So stunning. It let me teach my kid about someone who came long before there was Animal Planet - when our window into the wild world was only open by a few brave, courageous, passionate adventurers. I imagine Cousteau's son and his foundation must love this gorgeous tribute to Jaques Cousteau. - Dan - is the man.

My guest book reviewer is holding out on me. Maybe next month - K


Anonymous said...

Oooh, love the style. The cover to "Go Go America" strongly appeals to the inner magpie in me - "Oooooh, sparkly!"

Vanessa Brantley Newton said...

i was that beautiful book just the other day. I love the illustrations. It's wonderful. Oh I so feel you about your baby going back to school too. I need to talk to another parent like you!!! He he he he! I so agree with you! he he he!!!! Have a good week girly!

Anonymous said...

I bought "The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau" at the SCBWI conference. I think I love the cover most of all and I have no idea why, but it really catches my eye. He has such a great style and attitude and he makes it all seem possible for the rest of us.