Welcome to our new feature: Picture Book Reviews with Emily and Shannon. I am Shannon, a grown-up, and Emily is my five-year-old daughter. I ask Emily questions about the new books we read from the library then present her point of view and mine.
Redlocks and the Three Bears by Claudia Rueda
In the book, the Big Bad Wolf frightens Little Red Riding Hood out of her story into the neighboring book, Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Baby Bear takes Little Red Riding Hood under his wing and empathetic hilarity ensues.
Emily: I like Red Riding Hood and Goldilocks and Baby Bear and Mama and the story. I like the way it’s drawn in crayon and pencils and markers [Emily pronounces markers like “maahkahs” because she spends a lot of time with her grandparents and father, who are originally from Massachusetts].
Shannon: Adorable colored pencil illustrations on a white background give the characters texture and life. The characters are fully aware they exist within books and it’s fun to imagine that they can hop between pages at will. Baby Bear embodies kindness by protecting Goldilocks and finding a solution for the Wolf. Children will love the idea of turning an oft-told fairy tale on its head and the unexpected ending will leave them feeling a little more satisfied than the usual “And Goldilocks never went there again.”
Born to Sparkle by Megan Bomgaars, illustrated by Pete Olczyk
This book is based on a speech made by Down Syndrome advocate Megan Bomgaars, “Don’t Limit Me”, and features a lion cub encouraging readers to not limit themselves but to let their true light and potential shine and to never be afraid to light up the world with their sparkle.
Emily: Super glittery. The message was good. The baby chef was my favorite part.
Shannon: Inspirationally written by a young woman with Down Syndrome, this book has a message that every child should hear: You are special, you have gifts, you sparkle. Don’t limit yourself—let your light shine! The story is motivational and heartwarming and the softly drawn illustrations literally sparkle with a glittery sheen. This book should be read and repeated.
There’s a Ghost in This House by Oliver Jeffers
The story of a girl who has lived in a house for a long time and who longs to see ghosts there.
Emily: Spectacular [at least I’m pretty sure she was trying to say spectacular]. I want to read it again. I would buy this book. I liked turning the pages and counting the ghosts. I like the part where she’s in the library grabbing a ghost book.
Shannon: This book has clever transparent overlays revealing ghosts after the page is turned. Oliver Jeffers uses interior photos of an old house from an antique book and overlays them with his own illustrations. It sounds like a gloomy premise but the little ghosts are whimsical and sweet, giggling as they play hide and seek with the girl, and the book is so creatively constructed that you will want to open it again and again to relive the joy of seeing the ghosts come to life on the pages as if by magic.