story by Lisa Wheeler and art by Ponder Goembel
A Richard Jackson Book, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2006
I have an adorable picture book for you! This is how it starts out – “On an island/in the ocean,/ near the land of Singapore,/midst a storm of great proportion,/ fifteen cats were washed ashore.” There were 7 kittens and 8 adults – a calico tom named Mittens (who has muscles and an anchor tattoo), a Persian Blue, an angora, a bobtail, a beat-up tabby, a pair of Siamese cats, and an orange marmalade. They all must band together if they are to survive on a tiny island in the ocean. At first they look for help to rescue them and then decide they’re on their own. Will they be able to survive? Will they even be able to get along with each other?
The illustrations are absolutely adorable and the story is told via rhyming poetry. The print is large enough for early readers to enjoy; there are so larger words that may be difficult at first but every reader needs their vocabulary expanded!
I loved this book – it’s got everything you could want – cats, cats and more cats – plus kittens!; an adventure at sea; a lesson on how to get along with the ones around you and that family doesn’t always mean the folks you were born to!
I pulled these images off the internet – they aren’t very good quality – but let that encourage you to check the book out at your library!!
Today as I was driving to the store and stopped the car in amazement as a young mother Mallard led her family of nine ducklings across the road to the pond. The babies were so tiny, and yet they instinctively followed their mother as she guided them to safety. I was reminded of a story by Robert McCloskey which is set in the city of Boston, Mass. In Make Way for Ducklings Mama Duck must shepherd her babies through Boston to reach the pond she and her mate have chosen for their home. How the Mallard parents select their home, make friends with the humans who will help them, and meet the lovely swans in the park is a story to share with those you love. The book is large, and ready for your lap. McCloskey’s pen and ink drawings in Make Way for Ducklings present us with a beautiful view of old Boston and plenty of details to discuss with the kids.
Blueberries for Sal
McCloskey’s Blueberries for Sal, tells the story of a young mother, who wishes to can blueberries for winter. Rather than taking her to a farm like we do today, she gives her daughter a little tin pail, and they take a walk up a nearby hill. Along the way Mother encourages her child to stay near due to bears in the woods, but of course the little girl wanders off while Mother is picking her berries. Little Sal has been eating one berry for every one that lands in her bucket, and when she sees something that interests her, moves away to discover a new friend. Blueberries for Sal is a sweet and surprising story which when shared with the Little Sals in your family, creates a lovely summer story time.
Reviewed by Leigh