You will never look at your hands the same way again, after grasping Aliki's perspective on their amazing features, versatility and utility.
My Hands proves that no-nonsense facts can be entertaining, even to small children. Each page reveals a new feature or a new use for hands. In simple, interesting drawings we see children displaying or using their hands as the text describes. Even the obvious becomes more real when clearly stated: "I put my hands together. The fingers of my right hand touch the same fingers of my left hand!
Henry anticipates trouble in his jobs as a baby sitter, and comes up with honest, thoughtful solutions for unexpected events and mistakes.
Hoping to make some money during his holiday visit to Grover's Corner, N.J., Henry devises a household poll. Okayyy, if babysitters really are wanted... Even a boy ;-) can make a success of the most troublesome Baby-Sitting jobs. Henry’s challenges include a boy out to hurt him; a fiendish, disappearing girl; apparent fires; trailer thefts; and escaped animals! Worse, the obnoxious, older Sebastian twins add splatters, floods, ghosts and job theft to his troubles. Changing events keep the reader's interest and reiterate the theme: thoughtful, honest work brings success and can be fun!
In Guatemala, specially made kites are flown to celebrate the lives of deceased love ones.
"Barrilete" is the Guatemalan word for kite. In an unusually positive celebration of the lives of the now dead, kites are gaily flown over the local cemetery. The author uses photographs to show the making of a Barrilete, and its launch. Amado also provides select Guatemalan terms.
Jenny's hospital visit gently introduces young readers to the hospital environment and its procedures.
Jenny has injured her arm and head in the playground. We are told how Jenny was nervous of the X-ray machine, but then "didn't feel a thing". Her arm is casted and she is kept overnight for observation. Mum and Dad provide the proper support. The important experience the story conveys, and the complementary pictures, make this book useful to read to a child before they ever need a hospital.
Without being too sentimental, Glassman presents the idea that a woman's family life and career (as a witch) combine to form her overall, good character.
My Working Mom is helpful for, well... working moms. It works for kids too. A little girl reasons through her Mom's job as a real witch. Mom always flies off to meetings, she has bad days, but she makes it to school events, albeit at the last minute. So, Mom's pretty good. In spite of a serious lack of plot, Tedd Arnold's illustrations infuse the story with his brand of fun.
A boy seeks rain puddles to splash in, but Nature has her own agenda.
A boy anxiously awaits the rain to try out his new boots. His father understands his passion for playing in puddles, and encourages him to seek out existing puddles. Soon, the un-named boy finds the most biggest puddle of all. In his enjoyment the little boy gets wet almost everywhere (including inside his boots). He is happy, though rain for his boots had not yet come... and that's all.
The story shows that the nasty symptoms of Chicken Pox, and some treatments, are a temporary nuisance.
Itchy, Itchy Chicken Pox presents the progression of Chicken Pox clearly, at a child's level. The disease is shown as having some nasty traits and marginally effective treatments, but that it passes. This book might be useful to pass around a neighborhood with young children, as it will help them deal with the illness, should they be infected. Arthur's Chicken Pox is more entertaining but less informative. Neither are 'keepers'.
A narration of how non-English Maranthe uses her art to 'speak' to her class.
Marianthe speaks no English. At her new school she experiences the expected isolation, but discovers she can communicate through her artwork. Eventually she tells the story of her coming to America in English. That story is Marianthe's Story Two : Spoken Memories. It is part of the same book, upside down on the flip side. Save for flipping the book, the presentation and dull narrative are so unimaginative they largely ruin the idea.
A young girl commits three disparate errors described as sins and then in guilt finds absolution in the church, in her apology and in her family.
At her cousin’s First Communion rehearsal the narrator's shawl slips off her head, which is deemed a sin. Worse, the narrator is jealous of her cousin, and pointlessly takes a rosary from that cousin's home. Fearing Hell, and of being found out by her grandmother, she runs alone (another sin) to the church to confess. After she apologizes to family, all is deemed right. Thus, the author treats harmless accident, real theft, pointless envy & possible danger as equivalent transgressions requiring forgiveness by authority rather, without regard for rational judgment.
Robert's friend recently moved away, and he gains comfort by writing.
A narrative of a boy who's friend moves away. Sad and grumpy at first, Robert writes to Peter, and eventually makes a new friend. Though it shows Robert's growth it is much too unimaginative, and has poor illustrations. A similar, higher scoring, story is Franklin's Bad Day by Paulette Bourgeois.