Loss, Laughs and Loony-Proof Love: My Dad’s A Birdman

Wednesday, June 18, 2008.

My Dad's A BirdmanAuthor: David Almond (on JOMB)
Illustrator: Polly Dunbar (on JOMB)
Published: 2007 Candlewick Press (on JOMB)
ISBN: 0763636673

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Airy illustrations, playful, British dialogue and sprightly dipping, gliding narrative give flight to a zany father-daughter adventure that dances delicately between tenderness, tomfoolery, hope and despair landing lightly in the comfort of allied abandon.

You can read the first three chapters of this book here.

More dreams of flying on JOMB:

Looking For Me: Ruby the Copycat

Friday, June 13, 2008.

Ruby The CopycatAuthor: Peggy Rathmann
Illustrator: Peggy Rathmann
Published: 1991 Scholastic (on JOMB)
ISBN: 0590474235

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Spare, natural dialogue, carefully chosen details and keenly expressive illustrations keep us alternately giggling and cringing at the delicate shifts of sentiment from uncertainty and admiration through flattery, imitation, loss of self and then frustration in this celebration of selfhood found.

Other books mentioned:

Truth, Tyranny and Teamwork: The Mysterious Benedict Society

Wednesday, June 11, 2008.

The Mysterious Benedict SocietyAuthor: Trenton Lee Stewart
Illustrator: Carson Ellis
Published: 2006 Little, Brown and Co. (on JOMB)
ISBN: 0316003956

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Creativity, dexterity, integrity and retentivity are raised to the rank of super-power as four stray eleven year olds battle mind-numbing media, personal misgivings and the elaborate scheming of a mind-sweeping megalomaniac in this puzzle-filled, cleverly hilarious page-turner.

You can watch a great little documentary about Carson Ellis’s album art fame here.

Of Tantrums and Turn-Taking: Pumpkin Soup

Wednesday, May 14, 2008.

Pumpkin SoupAuthor: Helen Cooper
Illustrator: Helen Cooper
Published: 1998 Farrar, Straus & Giroux (on JOMB)
ISBN: 0374460310

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Warmly glowing orange and gold coziness and the hilariously familiar fluctuation from harmony to hysteria and back make this story of friendship, fits and flexibility an irresistible treat — even in the midst of our gorgeous, long awaited spring.

Emulating Spaces: McFig & McFly (A Tale of Jealousy, Revenge, and Death — with a Happy Ending)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008.

McFig & McFly (A Tale of Jealousy, Revenge, and Death -- with a Happy Ending)Author: Henrik Drescher
Illustrator: Henrik Drescher
Published: 2008 Candlewick Press (on JOMB)
ISBN: 0763633860

A veneer of feigned pleasantries can’t conceal the ceaseless, senseless competition that corrupts then consumes former friends in this deliciously absurd yet apt demonstration of misguided attention and life misspent.

Chapters.ca Amazon.com

Reading Frenzy: Fire Up With Reading!

Saturday, May 3, 2008.

Fire Up With ReadingAuthor: Toni Buzzeo
Illustrator: Sachiko Yoshikawa
Published: 2007 Upstart Books
ISBN: 1602130191

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Arm-waving exuberance and ear-to-ear grins explode from every page of this energizing literary extravaganza.

Other books mentioned:

Sun, Snubs and Striving: My Best Friend

Wednesday, April 16, 2008.

My Best FriendAuthor: Mary Ann Rodman
Illustrator: E. B. Lewis (on JOMB)
Published: 2005 Puffin (on JOMB)
ISBN: 0142408069

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Sunshine bounces from dancing water on every page of this gorgeously captured exploration of poolside politics and the prevalent pain of unrequited attentions.

Slime, Crime and Greediness: The Three Fishing Brothers Gruff

Wednesday, March 26, 2008.

The Three Fishing Brothers GruffAuthor: Ben Galbraith
Illustrator: Ben Galbraith
Published: 2007 Hodder & Stoughton (on JOMB)
ISBN: 0340893427

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Stubble, nastiness, dead fish and debris transform foul fishing tactics into a riveting affair in this gloriously disagreeable cautionary tale.

You can learn more about the real Poverty Bay (home of author/illustrator, Ben Galbraith) and Bay of Plenty here and here.

The Sting of the Sidelined Sibling: Chloë’s Birthday. . . and Me

Friday, March 21, 2008.

Chloë's Birthday . . . and MeAuthor: Giselle Potter (on JOMB)
Illustrator: Giselle Potter
Published: 2004 Atheneum/Anne Schwartz (on JOMB)
ISBN: 068986230X

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In minty blues, greens and creams stirred with rich reds and chocolates, like childhood drawings brought magically to life, fabulous folk-art illustrations combine with perfectly picked childhood details to relay a true tale of envy, endurance and a sibling’s special day.

Other books mentioned:

  • The Year I Didn’t Go to School

You can learn more about Chloe and Giselle’s father and the family puppet troupe that brought them to Europe in the 1970’s here.

Plotting a Perfect Parent: Mama Robot

Wednesday, March 19, 2008.

Mama RobotAuthor: Davide Cali
Translator: Marcel Danesi
Illustrator: Anna Laura Cantone
Published: 2008 Tundra Books (on JOMB)
ISBN: 0887768733

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The cheeky mother-replacement schemings of a disgruntled son and a crackerjack combination of collage, paint and cleverly carefree scrawling make this hilarious showdown between the delights of imagined control and the irreplaceable affection of a loving mom a pore-over-each-page favourite.

Books and Resources mentioned:

Plundering Unplugged: Pirate Bob

Wednesday, February 27, 2008.

Pirate BobAuthor: Kathryn Lasky (on JOMB)
Illustrator: David Clark (on JOMB)
Published: 2006 Charlesbridge (on JOMB)
ISBN: 1570915954

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Surprisingly descriptive, thought-provoking text and a cast of goofy, grinning hooligans provide a peek into a career in nautical crime as a reflective rogue ponders pillaging — its logistical details, dangers and doldrums — and grapples with issues of greed, freedom, friendship and distrust.

Other books mentioned:

  • Tough Boris

Skill, Suspense and Standing Tall: Louis Sockalexis: Native American Baseball Pioneer

Saturday, February 23, 2008.

Louis Sockalexis: Native American Baseball PioneerAuthor: Bill Wise
Illustrator: Bill Farnsworth
Published: 2007 Lee & Low Books (on JOMB)
ISBN: 1584302690

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This riveting roller coaster of taunts, talent and tenterhooks relays a true story of suffering and success and invites us to examine the troubling shadow of racism and the resiliency of those who rise above it.

Check out the full list of non-fiction picture books nominated for the 2007 Cybils Awards here.

 
 

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