Friday, November 13, 2009

Three Children's Books and a Promotion

I'm sorry I've been so absent and delayed. Here is the d00m report:
  1. My boss is in the hospital with the H1N1 flu (swine flu) and has been for the past week. Please keep her in your thoughts for a speedy recovery.
  2. The majority of my co-workers are sick. Not H1N1 but we're all, understandably, worried.
  3. I have been very sick since Sunday night. I've been suffering from a horrible cough and a congested head. I called off of work today and during the rest of the week I have been very distant with friends. Not intentionally, I've just felt sick and haven't had the energy to be on the internet.
So during the course of my being sick I've done very little reading... and the reading I have done have been short and sweet children's stories that will be great gifts for the holiday season. So let's check them out!

The Polar Express

This classic has become greatly popular in recent years due to the recent movie hit. The movie is, hands down, one of my most favorite Christmas movies. It's artfully done with beautiful music and an enjoyable point to simply believe. If you have not seen the movie, I urge you to check it out, I guarantee you'll enjoy it.

I always wondered if the movie was anything like the original story and when I picked up the book I was impressed to see that although they extended scenes and made them more creative many of the impressive points in The Polar Express movie were all featured in the book. So good job movie makers, you stuck to the story.

With beautiful large pictures and the story urging children to believe, truly believe, it's a comforting story that could be read at night before bed with the Christmas lights twinkling in the distance. A lovely book, a lovely story, lovely paintings, and a lovely movie adaptation. A must have for the bookshelves of children.

Stranger in the Woods: A Photographic Fantasy

I've seen this book sitting on bookstore shelves for years and I never knew what it was about aside from an adorable photograph on the front cover of two deers eerily peering at a snowman in the woods.

Picking up the book I discovered that it features a quick story of the different woodland animals and their curiosity towards a stranger that has been seen in the woods. Each page shows a photograph of that voiced animal in the snowy woods and when the story progresses the animals discover the stranger- a snowman with a carrot nose and seeds in it's hat. The animals are photographed eating the carrot nose and feasting on the seeds. The stranger is then discovered to have been placed their by two children who refurbish the snowmans now missing nose and the seeds that were eaten.

This book, all based around real photos, reminded me so much of my childhood. I loved to build snowmen and always made it a venture to try and make a huge one. Even now in my adulthood I still get the urge to make a snowman. But as a child I would always be excited to see the few animals and birds that were left behind in the cold weather emerge from the woods to investigate my snowman and eventually eat the carrot nose I had placed. I feel this story would be very appropriate for a young child, one who would be more satisfied with the pictures of the animals, because the story itself is generally very simple. It's appropriate for Christmas but also for any other point in the cold of winter.

Beckett and the Panda-monium

This cute story has adorable photos of fuzzy, happy little pandas all over it's brightly colored pages. It follows Beckett, the featured panda, and his hunt for bamboo. But along the way he gains a following of other pandas who want some yummy bamboo too.

Each new sets of pandas Beckett finds is a number up from the last. First two pandas join him, then three, then four. A great way to work in numbers and counting to the cute story. Quite possibly a decent book for children who are learning to count from 1-10.

And currently at Borders bookstores they are selling a TY Beckett bear for $8.99 if you spend $30 or more. (that would be the promotional part of this entry)

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