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Review: Ten Birds by Cybele Young


Ten Birds   A clever counting book and fable unlike any other and winner of the 2011 Governor General’s Award for Illustration. Ten birds are trying to figure out how to get to the other side of the river. The bird they call “Brilliant” devises a pair of stilts. The bird they call “Highly Satisfactory” engineers a raft. One by one, nine resourceful birds make the crossing until a single bird is left behind ? the one they call “Needs Improvement.” This bird’s solution proves surprising ? and absurdly simple.

Aside from the stunning pen and ink illustrations, this book has so many wonderful aspects. Numeracy (Math Literacy) as it is a counting book. Problem solving, critical thinking as using the resources around them each bird creates a way across the river until only one is left. I can see this inspiring many “build & construct” activities and contraption building at home and in the classroom.  I think one of the more outstanding parts of the story is the message within it. Each bird is given a label “Brilliant, Excellent, Highly Satisfactory” as they design their way across the river. It is the last bird that has been labelled “Needs Improvement” that seems to uncover the most obvious way to cross. I love the subtlety to that message. It’s done in a way that isn’t preachy, as some children’s books can be… it reminds us that labels don’t mean anything.  When I’ve shared with families, they children often shout out but birds can fly!! They’ve found a way across too! I’ll be presenting a special program for families in November based on the book.

Ten Birds is my communities “Let’s Read” selection for 2012. Each year a book is selected for families around the region to share together. There are special events, contests and author events planned. For more information about the program visits here : Let’s Read.

Published: March 2011-Kids Can Press

 





Book Review: Baby Lit Classics -Board Books by Jennifer Adams


Baby Lit Classics - by Jennifer Adams, illustrated by Alison Oliver
Published by Gibbs Smith Publishers 2011-2012
Books provided by publisher for review.
Summary
With the perennial popularity of classic writers like Jane Austen and William Shakespeare, Baby Lit™ is a fashionable way to introduce your toddler to the world of classic literature. With clever, simple counting text by Jennifer Adams, paired with stylish design and illustrations by Sugar’s Alison Oliver, Little Miss Austen and Little Master Shakespeare are a must for every savvy parent’s nursery library.
My Thoughts:
  I am thrilled at the opportunity to share these little gems on the blog.  Bright bold illustrations, and concise text make these a great choice for sharing with little ones. Whether it be the early concepts of colours or counting, the Baby Lit series introduces them in a clever and unique way by presenting them alongside beloved and very simplified classics. We have the first two from the series in my library and we can’t seem to keep them on the shelves, they are always checked out. Though not ideal for a story time read aloud they are perfect for sharing one on one, and would make a wonderful baby gift. As a fan of  classics I can also see these being adored and appreciated by any book lover.  I’ll definitely be collecting the series.
from  Little Master Stoker: Dracula
from Little Master Carroll:  Alice in Wonderland
Others in the series:
Little Miss Austen: Pride & Prejudice
Little Miss Bronte: Jane Eyre
Little Master Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet
Little Master Dickens: A Christmas Carol