Llama Llama, Mad at Mama is wonderful. The illustrations are wonderful; the storyline is wonderful; little llama and his mama are wonderful. What’s that? You want real proof, you say? Okay. Here’s but a snippet of this to-be-read-aloud and to-be-loved-a-lot new book:
Llama llama/out with Mama/shopping at the Shop-O-Rama. Yucky music/great big feet/Ladies smelling way too sweet. Look at knees and stand in line/Llama llama starts to whine.
Been there, done that! say my kids. I think that’s why they liked this book. Plus Llama llama’s really cute.
The Boy on Fairfield Street: How Ted Geisel Grew up to Become… With beautiful illustrations done is muted pastels that are just perfect for the pre-World War II era it depicts, The Boy on Fairfield Street tells the story of—Did you recognize the name? Did ya? Did ya?—the little boy that would grow up to become…well, Dr. Seuss, of course.
From the book:
“Then one day a classmate he had a crush on looked over his shoulder. She whispered for his ears alone, “That’s a very good flying cow.” Oddly enough, this one remark suddenly put the world into focus for Ted. This was him—a guy who loved to draw animals and loved to write verse.”
When I read this to the kids at bedtime last night, I tried to stop midway. (At 37 pages, it’s fairly longish.) Every last one of them begged me to finish, including the 5-year-old.
On the same library shelf I found Oh, the Places He Went, which may be a good follow-up for the older kids. I haven’t read it yet, but it looks to be quite a bit heavier in some of its themes. For example, it discusses Ted’s sister Marnie’s agoraphobia and early death at 43. Still, it seems a great biography of a wonderfully unique soul. (Read it first before you share it with your kids, though.)
Do you remember A Toad for Tuesday? I loved this story when it appeared in three installments in the Cricket magazines I received as a child (all of which I still have, or so I thought). Imagine my dismay when I began reading this exciting adventure to my children and discovered that the Cricket book with the 2nd installment had gone missing! What the heck? I remembered then how I had lent that particular issue to two middle-school-aged brothers who lived in my apartment building when I was in college. And there you have it. When I asked for it back they just shrugged (the little stinkers).
Fortunately I was able to find a copy of the book version in a library across town. It had become that important that I share this story with my children. Can you say OCD? Well, it was worth it. The writing gets a teensy bit tedious at times but the plot is great and the line drawings are just delightful.
There you go, then. Three reviews and they’re free of charge! Off with you, now. The library is waiting…
Ad Jesum per Mariam,