We mark the unofficial beginning of summer with something a little different. Here are three illustrated books from GCPL's juvenile collection guaranteed to appeal to readers of all ages.
The Matchbox Diary
By Paul Fleischman, Bagram Ibatoulline (illustrator)
This sweet, endearing tale tells a story of a little girl who happens upon a box of matchboxes while visiting her great grandfather for the first time. Each matchbox holds a memento and a memory from the grandfathers past. The illustrations, in beautiful tintype color, juxtaposes each memory with its matchbox token to create crisp, vivid flashbacks of an almost forgotten past. The little girl enjoys hearing of her grandfather’s journey to the new world from Italy through various objects such as bottle caps or sunflower seeds in which he placed one for everyday his family was at sea. The enjoyability of this book comes not just from the historical aspects of the story, but also from the idea of the matchbox diary itself. Readers young and old will want to run out to gather their own memories.
Stardines Swim High Across the Sky
And Other Poems
By Jack Prelutsky, Carin Berger (illustrator)
Longtime fans of Shel Silverstein will know where to get their giggles with Jack Prelutsky's newest title, Stardines. Illustrated in a collage, science exhibit format (complete with shadowboxes, push pins, and species pronunciation labels) each poem describes a fascinating new creature that may exhibit some strange characteristics from its earthly animal counterparts. From "Jollyfish" to "Bardvarks," the wordplay alone is sure to be a hit with any reader. But add the anticipation of each new animal along with its funny personality traits and you'll have kids barking for more poetry.
United Tweets of America
50 State Birds
By Hudson Talbott
Want a fun and entertaining way to get kids to learn a little ornithology (study of birds) with some state history thrown in?! Well, in United Tweets of America each state bird is competing in the Top Tweet pageant. Readers get to enjoy the interview portion of the pageant, where each state bird tells us a little bit about itself. Did you know that Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Kansas each calls the Northern Cardinal its state bird? The exaggerated cartoon-like illustrations, with one bird per page, bring out the contestants' unique personalities. And boy are they vocal! But then again what else should we expect from birds?
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Review by Jennifer Green