Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Children's Book Reviews: Llama Llama Mad at Mama and Library Mouse

book coverAnna Dewdney’s new book Llama Llama Mad at Mama is about compromise between a mother and child (or cria in this case). It’s playtime for Llama Llama, who is having fun with his blocks and puzzles. But Mama Llama needs to run some errands and plops Llama Llama into his car seat to head for the Shop-O-Rama. But Llama Llama’s just not in the mood for standing in lines and trying on clothes, so he starts to whine and knock items off the shelves.

Flying pasta, spraying juice.
Paper towels rolling loose.
Coffee, bread, and chips galore.
Shoes and sweaters hit the floor.

Mama Llama yells “enough!” and reasons with Llama Llama.

Please stop fussing, little llama.
No more of this llama drama.
I think shopping’s boring, too—
But at least I’m here with you.

It’s a sweet book that teaches empathy, patience, and working as a team. The rhymes are fun to read aloud and the bright illustrations fill up the pages.

book coverLibrary Mouse by Daniel Kirk is a wonderful early introduction to the library. Sam lives behind the wall in the children’s reference books. He sleeps during the day when the library is busy with folks studying, using the computers, and checking out books, but at night the library belongs to Sam. Sam makes the most of his nights, reading book after book on every subject.

One night he decides to write his own book. He takes the advice of “write what you know” that he found in a how-to book on writing, and writes his life story on little pieces of scrap paper he takes from the librarian’s desk. When he shelves it in the biography section (correctly, I might add), a child finds it and shows it to the librarian. Sam soon becomes a celebrity when his books are snatched off the shelves by eager children. But no one knows who Sam is.

Librarians are always full of bright ideas, so they decide to have a Meet the Author Day. But Sam is a shy mouse and wants to remain anonymous. Mice are full of bright ideas, too, and Sam comes up with an ingenious way to stay hidden and still make sure the program is successful.

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