Posted in Preschool Reads, Toddler Reads

Summer Reading is Here! Refeatured kids’ reviews to get you started!

It’s that time – Summer Reading Time! My library is taking part in the Fizz, Boom, Read! Summer Reading program, and I’ve got reading logs and bulletin boards ready to go. I’m super excited, because I also have two storytimes! On Fridays in July, I’ll begin my Toddler storytime and my Picture Book storytime, so I’ve been getting my storytime plans together and taking a lot of inspiration from some great sites on the web (Storytime Katie and Hushlander are great blogs with great ideas)!


In the meantime, I noticed that a few books I’ve reviewed here have landed on the Summer Reading List, so I’ve decided to refeature those reviews, for anyone interested in learning a little about the books, starting with Leslie Patricielli’s board book, Tubby. I’m a huge fan of Leslie Patricelli and the baby featured in her board books (No No Yes Yes, Yummy Yucky, Toot, and more!); any parent would get a kick out of these.




Next up is Bill Martin Jr.’s Chicka Chicka, Boom Boom. If you haven’t read this one to your little ones yet, I urge you to pick it up! There are great toys and games that go along with the book, and with the companion book, Chicka Chicka 1,2,3, too.






Now, to the picture books. I’ve only read one on the list so far – T is for Terrible, by Peter McCarty. It’s an adorable book that features a T-Rex, musing over his T-Rex-ness. He can’t help that he’s not a vegetarian.



That’s all for the little ones this time around – stay tuned, as I read my way through the Summer Reading list this year!

Posted in Animal Fiction, Media, Preschool Reads, Toddler Reads

In Which I Explore an An Animated Book: Hondro & Fabian

Hondo & Fabian. Written and Illustrated by Peter McCarty. 6 minutes. DVD. Weston Woods. 2006. $ 59.95 ISBN 0-439-84909-8

Suggested for ages 3-6

When I saw the animated books at my local library, I have to admit I wasn’t sure what to expect. Was I just going to be staring at a static series of pictures with a voiceover laid over the whole business? I decided to give it a shot with Peter McCarty’s Caldecott Honored-story, Hondo & Fabian. I am very happy to say I was delighted by what I watched.

hondo & fabian

Hondo & Fabian is the 2003 Caldecott Award-winning story of Hondo & Fabian, a dog and cat who live in the same household and have very different experiences one day, when one goes to the beach and one stays home with the family baby. Who has the better day?

Weston Woods produced this animated version of the book for schools and libraries, and author Peter McCarty’s soft, grey pencil on watercolor paper illustrations come to life as narrator Jeff Brooks tells the tale of the two friends who spend their day in two different ways. The illustrations are animated, allowing viewers to see Hondo’s ears blowing in the breeze as he hangs out a window, and Fabian putting his claws to work, shredding toilet paper. The story is brief, and Joel Goodman and David Bramfitt’s music adds to the beauty of the artwork, bringing with it a relaxing feeling as the story’s events unfold. Readers will enjoy viewing this story about pet friends; the option to use English subtitles will allow for new readers to read along with the narration. A study guide comes with the DVD that provides pre- and post-viewing activity ideas that can be incorporated into a storytime session, such as a discussion about pets and which animals are pets versus which are not.

This would be an interesting addition to a pet-related storytime. The DVD could break up the routine of a traditional read-aloud and attract renewed attention from attendees. The Perry Public Library’s Parade of Pets storytime theme has pet-related songs and fingerplays, and having a sing-along to an animal song-related CD, like Raffi’s Animal Songs, would make for an interactive and fun time.

The Hondo & Fabian animated book has received numerous accolades, including designation as an ALA Notable Video; Honorable Mention from the Columbus International Film & Video Festival; and was an Official Selection at the Kids First Film Festival.

The Hondo & Fabian series of books by Peter McCarty also includes Fabian Escapes.