Saturday, January 26, 2008

Art's Supplies by Chris Tougas

This book opens with "It's not my fault! My art supplies have a mind of their own!" as Art begins his explanation of how his room got to be a disaster zone.

It all started with an invitation to a party, but it is B.Y.O.S. (bring your own supplies), and did the supplies come! Pencils, inks, paints, pastels, brushes, glue, scissors, and more --they all came out and joined the fun of creating a wonderful work of art.

What I Thought:
This is a great book a wonderful story to teach kids about the various art supplies and how they can be used to create wonderful works of art. Many different tools come out to help Art create his masterpiece.

The story is enhanced by a separate dialog on each page by the art supplies. They crack jokes, use lots of puns and have conversations within themselves. So while this book is a wonderful read-aloud for the main story, it is also a fun book to explore individually or with small groups to take in all the art supply fun.

The illustrations are attractive and colorful. The supplies are animated, given facial features and made able to talk. It is delightful to see Art's final drawing seeing all the different mediums used.

Overall a great book, and a must have for elementary art teachers and children who are budding artists.

Want to see more? Check it out on Amazon: Art's Supplies by Chris Tougas .

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Moon Shines Down by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Linda Bleck

In this bedtime rhyme, readers travel the globe and see where the moon shines, and ask for God's blessings for children all over the world.

What I Thought:
This is such a sweet bedtime rhyme! Readers travel the world and visit children sleeping and dreaming, along with some of the animals found in these far lands, even around the world and animals living under the sea.

The text consists of a repetitive rhyme: "I see the moon and the moon sees me....God bless the moon and God bless me." There are a couple of stanzas that the rhyme is slightly off, but for the most part the rhythm is very soothing and easy to read aloud.

The illustrations are bold and colorful, but as the story is set at night there is a lot of dark blues. I think it is aligned perfectly with other Brown books, especially the infamous Goodnight Moon.

An interesting fact about this book (and is described in detail at the beginning of the book) is that it is being published 56 years after Brown's death. The manuscript was discovered in a cedar trunk. Because the text was not enough for a standard picture book, Brown's long time friend Laura Minchew wrote additional text that is included in this lovely story.

Overall, this is a lovely story that will sure to be a hit at bedtimes.

Want to see more? Check it out on Amazon: The Moon Shines Down by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Linda Bleck.