Tag Archives: children’s book

How to Give a Cat a Bath, and other dangerous advice

After decompressing from a semester of MLS studies, I’m finally getting back to Mr. Blog.  I’ve been reading a bit here and there, and have even been putting my VCR to good use.

Bad Kitty series by Nick Bruel

Thanks to a friend’s recommendation, I discovered this delightful little series of picture books and illustrated children’s chapter books that center around the life of a very, very bad, bad kitty.

In the original picture book, Bad Kitty, the kitty is loathe to find out that he’s been temporarily restricted to a vegetable diet.  Fortunately, his hazardous protests throughout the house won him back his omnivorous cat food.  The book, and its sequel, Poor Puppy (in which the kitty is introduced to an over-friendly new housemate), incorporate the alphabet and counting, and are devilishly funny and random in their choice of vocabulary.

Additionally, Bruel wrote illustrated chapter books about specific aspects of the kitty’s life, including Bad Kitty Gets a Bath. In this hilarious volume, the kitty’s owner explains the dangers involved in attempting to clean a cat, including injury, death, and pants-wetting.  The book even gives a detailed illustration and explanation of the escalating levels of cat anger as expressed through different hisses.  Any cat-lover (or cat-hater, even) will recognize the high-strung attitude of kitty, something common to many of our feline friends.  I highly recommend these books, to adults and childen.  The picture books are a longer read than most, so keep that in mind when reading with those with shorter attention spans (adults and children included).

Here’s a link to Nick Bruel’s Bad Kitty series: click here.


Bruno and Occupational Awareness for Kids

Bruno is a very busy beaver: he dabbles in carpentry, baking, and tailoring.  In this delightful series of picture books, author Lars Klinting introduces children to the basic tools and ideas of different skilled trades.

In Bruno the Carpenter, Bruno spends an afternoon in his workshop, using all of his hand tools to build a new wooden toolbox.

In Bruno the Tailor, he decides he needs a new apron, and goes about preparing the fabric and sewing together the pieces to make a sturdy apron.

In Bruno the Baker, his little friend Felix helps him to bake a special birthday cake, exploring all the techniques and ingredients in the kitchen.

All of these delightful books explain the creative process for children, and include illustrations of the action as well as pages highlighting the objects that are introduced.  At the end of each book is an explanation for the grown-ups (complete with wood measurements, fabric pattern, and cake recipe, respectively),  so that

they can guide the child through the activity.  I highly recommend these books for parents to introduce their children not only to fun hobbies, but to the possibility of a future career in the skilled trades.

Additionally, Lars Klinting authored at least two books about a similar character named Handy Harvey: Harvey the Painter and Harvey the Gardener.   I haven’t read them yet, but they look promising.

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A Place Where Sunflowers Grow – Book Review

Sorry I’ve been away from the blog for a week.  Things from class have been piling up.  I fully intend to keep up more during the fall semester.

A Place Where Sunflowers Grow
Written by Amy Lee-Tai
Illustrated by Felicia Hoshino

Here is a poignant telling of the author’s mother’s experience as a child living in an internment camp in Utah for Japanese-Americans during World War II. The protagonist, Mari, can’t find anything joyful to think about in the desolate barracks to which her family has been exiled. Her only solace is the hope held in the sunflower seeds she planted in the desert soil, and in her art class. This is a very sweet book, and is more about the character’s struggles with questions she can’t answer than about a sequence of events. The author’s empathetic storytelling and the illustrator’s multimedia style combine to create a commendable book to teach young children about what people went through during this time in history. Also, the book includes Japanese and English translations in parallel, really making this story a great multicultural resource.

For more information about multicultural children’s books, take a look at Children’s Book Press.

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