Saturday, June 28, 2008


ME HUNGRY! by Jeremy Tankard (Candlewick)
What's a caveboy to do when his parents are too busy to find him a snack? Go hunting, of course! After earnest but unsuccessful attempts with a bunny, a porcupine and a saber-tooth tiger, he finally encounters a woolly mammoth, but has our loinclothed lad bit off more than he can chew? This title does exactly what a good picture book should do: it uses a minimal amount of text paired with simple, bold and expressive illustrations tell a sweet story of friendship and cooperation. While there is not enough mammoth meat to serve for a storytime main course, this picture book "short" will be a welcome and often-requested addition to your rotation. Visit the author's promotional video on YouTube, and check out his other popular pick, GRUMPY BIRD (Scholastic), a contagious cure for the bad-mood blues. Fans of Mo Willems' brevity and wit will find a new friend in Tankard, and with any luck, this author might enjoy equal success. We hungry for more. (3 and up)

Also of interest:
All right, we have a cave-comrade for the little ones, how about a Cro-Magnon man for the older set?
STIG OF THE DUMP by Clive King, illustrated by Edward Ardizzone (Puffin Modern Classics) is about a little boy who discovers a gruff little caveman living in the quarry near his grandmother's house, and shares a series of inventive adventures, kind of British and anecdotal like Mary Poppins but with a lot more mischief and grunting. Though little Barney openly shares his excitement about his new companion, they dismiss Stig as a figment of imagination. My son's middle name is Edward after this wonderful illustrator (my husband thinks it's after Edward Gorey, but no matter, it's win-win), and Ardizzone's sketchy genius makes for perfect gritty and shadowed accents. I hear the audio read by Tony Robinson is very good, though I have not listened myself...yet! In any event, it should be read aloud in serial form, as it is perfect for funny voices and summer bedtime reading. Oh, to find a friend like Stig! (7 and up)

On a personal note:
Oooo, with this theme I can't resist the chance to share one of my favorite numbers by my all-time favorite movie star, the saucy and sensational Ann Miller!!! Here she is with Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Jules Munchin, and Betty Garrett in the film "On The Town" (1949). Why the producers felt the need to throw in that stereotypical "ooga-booga" weirdness is beyond me, but please ignore the dated stuff and instead pay attention to the timeless appeal, namely the world's greatest emerald green dress, and the eighth and ninth wonders of the world: Ann's legs like butter, topped with toesies clocked at 500 taps a minute. "I love self-expression!"

Cracks me up every time.

1 comment:

Camille said...

That is a great, great dress. Ann Miller was a great talent.


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