Warm Up These Wintry Days of December With Books!
PICTURE BOOKS: AGES 5 THRU
Guji Guji by Chih-Yuan Chen. (Kane/Miller, 32pp., $15.95), is
a charming spin on the ugly duckling theme. An enormous egg
rolls into Mother Duck's nest. Her hatchlings eventually
include spotted and striped ducklings and a rather unusual
crocodile-shaped youngster named after his first words. Illustrations
are rich in colors and dramatic down to the silhouette end
FICTION: AGES 8 THRU 12
Adventures in Wonderland by
Lewis Carroll, (Sterling, 176 pp., $12.95), illustrated by
Michael Foreman, is based on photographs taken by Carroll
of the “real Alice Liddell.” This popular illustrator
of classic stories packs his depictions with whimsical humor
and shimmering colors.
The Reluctant Dragon by Kenneth Grahame. (Candlewick, unpaged, $17.99),
illustrated by Inga Moore. Colored pencil and ink illustrations
capture the atmosphere of this classic dragon tale involving
the loyalty of a child friend. A lovely picture book rendering
that pars down Graham's clever dialog but nevertheless makes
this story accessible to the youngest readers.
POETRY: AGES 8 THRU 12
Nonsense! by Edward Lear (Atheneum, 32 pp., $16.95), illustrated
by Valori Fisher has 15 limericks accompanied by remarkable
visuals that mirror their surprise. Photographic artwork
made from an assemblage of old toys, print cut-outs, patterned
paper—simulating a look of veritable depth. Elegant
Victorianism and modern goofiness set these poems apart
as a treat.#
Selene S. Vasquez is
a media specialist at Orange Brook Elementary School in Hollywood,
Florida. She is formerly a children's librarian for the New
York Public Library.