Kitten’s Autumn by Eugenie Fernandes (Kids Can Press; 22 pages; $14.95)
Leaves tumble, Kitten mews. Porcupine snacks, Chipmunk chews. Hummingbird sips, Caterpillar munches. Rabbit nibbles, Squirrel crunches. Fish gulps, Bear licks. Deer grazes, Raccoon picks. Beaver chomps, Frog zaps. Skunk slurps, Turtle snaps. Supper waits, Fireside greets. Door opens, Kitten eats.
This would make a perfect first reader for just about any child. In Kitten’s Autumn, we accompany a Calico kitten on her very first trip through nature’s wonders during the season known as Autumn. She discovers other animals, both friendly and fearsome, all of whom are feasting on whatever it is they eat. This kitten observes them all before returning to her home for warmth and a good meal.
Each double page is meant to illustrate a single sentence in a poem, and children will come to absorb the lesson that there’s a difference between being outside with nature and being inside one’s own home-sweet-home. The text and illustrations by Eugenie Fernandes (author of Kitten’s Spring) are both cute and charming. This one’s a winner, by all accounts – especially for curious cats and kids!
This review was written by Joseph Arellano. Reprinted courtesy of Sacramento Book Review. This book is recommended for children between the ages of 4 and 8.
How Rocket Learned to Read by Tad Hills (Schwartz & Wade; $17.99; 40 pages)
Rocket is the doggie version of a busy child. He’s eager and energetic with a good amount of curiosity when it comes to a story about Buster the dog and the mystery of where a tasty bone was buried. Rocket is gently enticed into learning how to read by a very chipper little yellow bird, whose attitude is very much like this reviewer’s first grade teacher, Miss Thom. The little bird sets up an outdoor classroom for Rocket and he begins with learning the alphabet.
This delightful children’s book demonstrates the value of building knowledge and practicing spelling. Rocket endures a cold, snowy winter by practicing his letters in the snow when the little bird instructor migrates south. Come spring they are back together in the outdoor classroom. Rocket proves himself to be an excellent student and he’ s rewarded with the great joy of reading book after book. His favorite about Buster is read again and again and again. (Joy, joy.)
Well recommended. Woof!
This review was written by Ruta Arellano. A copy of the book was purchased for her grandchild. How Rocket Learned to Read is primarily targeted for children between the ages of 3 and 8. (Consider it as a special Christmas present for a little one!)
Ginger and the Mystery Visitor by Charlotte Voake (Candlewick Press, $15.99, 40 pages)
Readers who are familiar with Ginger the cat will be happy that Charlotte Voake’s latest book is the perfect – or purr-fect – companion to Ginger. They are the same size with very similar covers, which makes them a lovely set. The cast of characters has expanded with the introduction of the mystery visitor. The storyline involves a cat who sneaks into Ginger’s house to eat. The tale is short and sweet with a built-in message or two. It offers opportunities for the reader and listener to discuss what can happen when we feed other people’s pets.
The illustrations are charming and full of expression. Clearly, this is a book to be read aloud to young children. Later, it will be a good one for practicing reading skills. Lastly, a grandma or grandpa who is creating a library for the grandchildren can count on Ginger and the Mystery Visitor as a welcome addition.
If we’re lucky, Charlotte Voake will create more books about Ginger. Highly recommended.
This review was written by Ruta Arellano. Reprinted courtesy of Sacramento Book Review.