Thursday, February 3, 2011

Book Fair - Book Review

I volunteered to help the PTA at the Book Fair (it's the buy one get one free--my favorite) yesterday. Between my wrapped feet and head cold, I'm not sure I was much help but I got pretty good at crowd control during lunch. Observing hundreds of kids make a rush on the library with their baggies full of change is definitely an eye opening experience. Hot items--silly bands and fancy pens.

During the quieter times, I perused the book selections. Amberly spent her own money. She got two books about magic kittens--hmmm, fabulous literature, I'm sure (eye roll). At least I was able to steer her clear of the junky do-dads and overpriced pencils. Neal wants a book that they didn't have at the Book Fair. So, I chose two books for my younger children.

The first one is Now & Ben : The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin by Gene Barretta. It incorporates many of the things I love best about picture books (with the exception of goofy talking farm animals). So often, Franklin is remembered only for his political contributions, yet he was a fascinating character with a brilliant mind who was always developing new products and ideas to benefit society. This book is a little history lesson that tells with succinct factual text how the inventions of Benjamin Franklin back in the late eighteenth century are still in use now.

There is so much going on within the illustrations. My children enjoyed looking at the pictures that show the differences and similarities between Ben Franklin's world and ours. The artwork is colorful, humorous and contributes to the story with interesting and curious images. Even Neal took the book with him to bed last night.

The second book I purchased is Man on the Moon (a day in the life of Bob) by Simon Bartram. It is a beautifully illustrated, imaginative book that answers the question--what if there was a man who worked on the moon? It's Bob's job to commute every day to the moon, where he cleans up the trash, answers tourist's questions, and makes sure he turns on the light. It's funny and light hearted. My kids laughed and enjoyed the futuristic pictures.

The only thing I don't like about this story is the stickers included in the back of the book. They're cute but every mother knows that the stickers in the hands of children will eventually end up on something inappropriate. I might encourage Thomas to make some space-themed artwork today so that he can use them all up.

We've already enjoyed both books several times since yesterday. I am pleased with my purchase and rather impressed that I could limit myself to just two books. Of course, the books I picked from the book order should come home with Amberly by the end of the week (smile).

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