Sunday, February 06, 2011


Fortune CookiesFORTUNE COOKIES by Albert Bitterman, illustrated by Chris Raschka (Beach Lane, 2011)

On Monday my fortune said: Money is like the wind.
And guess what?
I found a dollar under my pillow!
On Tuesday my fortune said: Try to find the good with the bad.
And guess what?
I lost my kite, but...I found a cat.

A week's worth of fortune cookies tell a homey story with a happily every after and a twist at the end.  Pull tabs add interest to the concept, allowing each fortune to be tugged from it's fold, and the Caldecott-winning illustrator is in top form, with tight, boxy packaging nicely framing Raschka's wide-brush flourishes.  Children's lit enthusiasts may recognize the name Al Bitterman as the author of the snarky and insightful reviews coming out of Reading Reptile, pretty much the greatest children's bookstore in the country.  Bitterman is the pseudonym of the mighty Pete Cowdin, one of the store's owners, a guy who really knows what children like to read.  He proved it by his inventory, and now, he proves it in his own book.  Of course, there are tons of teacher-ly extensions: Chinese New Year, DIY fortune cookies where children write their own forecasts (haiku fortune cookies work nicely for National Poetry Month), or just a fun storytime with a treat at the end.  Not since a cootie-catcher has telling the future been so much fun.  Your fortune:  Good books lead to good readers.  You take it from there. (4 and up)

Also of interest:
I see a storytime in your future.
Fortune Cookie FortunesFORTUNE COOKIE FORTUNES by Grace Lin (Knopf)  Isn't it funny how fortunes always seem to come true?  After dinner at a Chinese restaurant, an observant little girl notices how the slip in each relative's cookie matches their circumstance.  Lest we forget that this award-winning author (WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON, THE YEAR OF THE DOG, LING AND TING, NOT EXACTLY THE SAME!) is also a proficient illustrator, the pictures are particularly eye-catching,  brilliant in color and featuring double-paged spreads with fetching patterned backgrounds.  The story ends with some real history of the fortune cookie with its Asian inspiration and American birth, and an illustration of one split apart in the reader's honor:  "you have just read a good book."  Yummy! (5 and up)

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1 comment:

Adelene Smith said...

Looking forward to reading your book.


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