Saturday, June 23, 2012

Wild About Books by Judy Sierra, illustrated by Marc Brown

 Wild About Books by Judy Sierra, illustrated by Marc Brown

Rating: 5 wild stars

This is, hands down, one of the best books we've stumbled upon in the past year.  It.  Is.  Awesome!  Sometimes you just get lucky, and the librarians chose to display a book that looks interesting AND fits in with the week's field trip.

Librarian Molly McGrew mistakenly drives her bookmobile into the zoo.  Oops!  Instead of kids coming to look at books, the animals start to peer  from their cages at the page-filled wonders. Molly decides to crack open one and holds her first-ever (we guess) storytime for animals.  Here's the delight-filled passage that tells the reader what happens:
By reading aloud from the good Dr. Seuss,She quickly attracted a mink and a moose,A wombat, an oryx, a lemur, a lynx,Eight elephant calves, and a family of skinks. 
Giraffes wanted tall books and crickets craved small books,
While geckos could only read stick-to-the-wall books
This causes a stampede of animals, all heading towards the bookmobile to get their own books.  Sierra works wonders with her words--she matches beast to book beautifully.  She draws in readers Lorelei and Ben's age by easily by referencing classics that they've already read--The Cat in the Hat and Goodnight Moon--but also makes their parents smile by referencing soon-to-be-known classics: Nancy Drew and Harry Potter, for example.  

Marc Brown's illustrations are the perfect compliment to her words.  Each page shows a different creature clutching a book of some sort (although the alligators are eating their book, something that Ben pointed out as "not a good choice," which is ironic because our board books still have his munch-marks in them).  They are silly and cute and totally captivating.

I'm having a hard time not buying this book right this moment!  I will resist.  I will resist.  I will try to resist...!

I don't use any technology while reading to my kids.  It sorta seems like an oxymoron.  I hear of these mysterious things called "apps" and I figure they are tools for people who have much cooler phones than my not-so-smartphone (a Droid and, for the record, I have one app I don't use).  But I came across this little clip from Random House showing the app for this book (or maybe an app for more children's books?) and I might check it out.  After bedtime, in case I decide it's not worth introducing.  Here it is:

I am skeptical.  Call me a luddite, but I like the whole pages-on-my-fingertips thing.  But I'm very curious if you use an iPad with your preschoolers.  How?  When?  At what age?  Do you sit with them, or let them do it themselves?  Do they still want to read the old-timey page books, or just want the ones on your iPod?  Or (it's hard for me to type this, but...) their own iPad?