Monday, January 31, 2011

Minerva Louise (Review, Part I) by Janet Morgan Stoeke

Minerva Louise (Review, Part I) by Janet Morgan Stoeke

Rating: 5 funny stars!

You know Amelia Bedilia, right?  Well, this is the toddler/preschooler version to take-it-at-face-value literalist Amelia Bedilia.  Amelia Bedilia books require a bit of cultural literacy, or sometimes just a broader range of experience, than most 3 or 4 year olds possess.  Minerva Louise, on the other hand, takes things just as literally, but the situations are a whole lot more obvious, and therefore a whole lot funnier, to little ones like Lorelei.  And Ben, too, but I'm not sure if he laughs along just because his beloved big sister is nearly snorting her milk next to him.

Here are the ones we've checked out, read, and loved so far:
Minerva Louise (Picture Puffins)Minerva Louise.  The first, the original.  Minerva, a simple-minded hen, can't help but explore the sweet home next to her coop.  She thinks a cat is a cow and is looking for more friends to play with while absentmindedly walking past the man and woman of the house.  She finds a rubber duck and tries to convince him to play outside.  It's a good warm-up to the chicken, but the other books are better.

Minerva Louise and the Red TruckMinerva Louise and the Red Truck.  Guess who loves this one best?  That's right, Ben.  Minerva Louise goes to play in her favorite red truck.  She finds lots of "toys" (tools!) and a table and chairs (flower pots!), which she uses to have a tea party (the hammer "sitting" in the flower pot is chuckle-worthy).  Then the red truck zooms off, and she sees a lake (no, a pool!), farmers working (no, golfers playing!), and a barn with a hat (no, a church with a steeple!).  She likes the ride but is happy to be home.

Minerva Louise and the Colorful EggsMinerva Louise and the Colorful Eggs.  Pretty cute Easter book, though it's more of a Springtime book than anything religious.  Minerva Louise loves the colors of Spring (I type as there is still a thick blanket of snow outside...oh how I wish the colors of Spring were here!), and watches as the farmers play outside.  Minerva Louise starts to find strange colored eggs all around, and tries to sit on them to warm them up.  She gathers her friends to help because there are too many for her to sit on by herself, and some "are so cold they're turning blue!"

Minerva Louise at the Fair Minerva Louise at the Fair.  Minerva Louise trots down to the local fair after seeing the fireworks from afar.  She checks out the house of mirrors, wondering why the chickens she sees (her reflection) don't want to come over and play.  She thinks that the barn (the carousel) is magnificent and, when she's tired at the end of the night, she hopes that the hen house hotel is just as beautiful.  She's too sleepy to notice that that hen house is actually housed with bunnies, but she snores next to them till her little farmer finds her in the morning and takes her home.

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