Monday, April 27, 2009

Read Aloud Winner 2005 Wild About Books Ages 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

2005 Winner

Wild About Books
By Judy Sierra and illustrated by Marc Brown

Wild About Books is a rollicking rhymed story of Molly the librarian who accidentally drives her bookmobile to the zoo and introduces the birds and beasts to a new something called reading. Molly finds the perfect book for each animal --- tall books for giraffes, small books for crickets, joke books for hyenas - and has them going "wild, simply wild, about wonderful books." Author Judy Sierra combines clever prose with laugh-out-loud book selections for the animals:

"She even found waterproof books for the otter,
who never went swimming without Harry Potter."

Judy Sierra is renowned for her funny and brief retellings of folktales, most recently in the delightful collection of Silly and Sillier. Equally adept at rhyme, she wrote a collection of amusing poems about penguins, Antarctic Antics, which was a bestseller. Ms. Sierra devotes considerable time to storytelling and reading to children at schools and libraries, endeavors that help her know exactly what makes children laugh. Judy lives in Castro Valley, California. Click here to visit Judy Sierra's web site.

A rollicking, loving tribute to Dr ...
.... Seuss (to whose memory this is dedicated) and to books and libraries. Here's a rhyme that works, without clunking but with inspired silliness in the best Seussian meter. Librarian Molly McGrew, resplendent in hot-pink trousers and a tropical striped jacket, drives the bookmobile into the zoo, with delightful results. The animals become fascinated by reading, and by words, and she strives to satisfy them: tall books for the giraffes—titled Skyscrapers, Redwoods, and Basketball in Brown's clever take—books in Chinese for the pandas, "And llamas read dramas while eating their llunches." The insects write haiku, critiqued by the scorpion—not only a lesson in verse, but quite hilarious: the Dung Beetle writes: "Roll a ball of dung— / Any kind of poo will do— / Baby beetle bed." The scorpion sniffs, "Stinks." Brown's paintings, rich in pattern and detail and wonderful color, show graceful, cheery animals. A storytime spectacular. (Picture book. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
Kirkus Reviews Copyright (c) VNU Business Media, Inc.
PreS-Gr 2-In a rhyming text that is both ...
... homage to and reminiscent of Dr. Seuss's epic rhyming sagas, Sierra spins the tale of librarian Molly McGrew who mistakenly drives the bookmobile to the zoo. The various denizens are attracted to her read-alouds and soon are reading, writing, rhyming, and going wild about those wonderful books. With Molly's encouragement, the animals start their own Zoobrary so they can read to their hearts' content. Sierra's text has a wacky verve and enough clever asides and allusions to familiar characters to satisfy bibliophiles of all ages. The author's sense of playfulness in plot and language ("llamas read while eating their llunches"; a hippo wins the "Zoolitzer Prize") creates a lavish literary stew. Comic moments abound, including bugs writing haiku and unruly bears licking illustrations right off the page (until Molly gently teaches them how to treat books properly). Brown's cheerful, full-color illustrations stretch his trademark art with ever-so-slightly stylized spreads that are rich in pattern, texture, and nuance. On each spread, he plays with perspective and layout to create an electric sense of excitement as the animals discover what kids have known for a long time-reading is fun!-Marge Loch-Wouters, Menasha's Public Library, WI

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