Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Little Wolf Goes to School, Little Raccoon Learns to Share, Little Chipmunk's Wiggly, Wobbly Tooth and Little Bear's Baby brother by M. Packard and L. McCue

Little Wolf Goes to School, Little Raccoon Learns to Share, Little Chipmunk's Wiggly,Wobbly Tooth and Little Bear's Baby Brother are all from the "Watch Me Grow" series written by Mary Packard and illustrated by one of my favorite children's book illustrators, Lisa McCue. 

Brief note:  I've opted to skip the "Children's Day" concept, since I have quite a few to review, and just spread out the rest of my children's book reviews.  I've photographed one page spread from each of the "Watch Me Grow" books and you should be able to click on each photo to enlarge.

Little Wolf Goes to School tells the story of a little wolf who is a little nervous about his first day of school and asks his friends what they know about school.  He's not certain he wants to go, but his mother reassures him that he'll be fine.  He'll learn new things and he doesn't immediately have to be the best at every activity.  The day arrives and he has a lot of fun learning. When Bunny goes missing, Little Wolf uses his special ability at following scents to track the missing student, who has fallen asleep in a patch of tall grass.  Little Wolf is surprised the day has already ended when his mother shows up and "can hardly wait for the second day of school".

Little Chipmunk's Wiggly Wobbly Tooth, Little Chipmunk notices one of his teeth is wiggly and then finds that he can't bite into an acorn or other hard foods.  He goes to the dentist, who tells him all is normal.  Soon he will lose his baby teeth and new ones will grow in.  Relieved, he becomes excited about losing his tooth and runs to share the news when his first baby tooth falls out, only to find that all of his friends have also lost at least one tooth.  He snaps a picture of all of his friends to remind them of the time when they were waiting for their grown-up teeth to grow in.

In Little Bear's Baby Brother, Little Bear comes from a big family with lots of cubs. It's not unusual for new babies to arrive but when Mama says it's time to get the crib down from the attic, Little Bear's excited and wants to know how soon the baby will arrive.  "When all the snow has melted and the ground is soft and green," is the reply. "Until then, we will be very, very busy.  Everyone will need to help get ready."  They hang up new curtains and paint the crib.

But, Little Bear wants to do something very special, so she collects pretty things from the forest and her father helps her make a mobile.  When it's left out to dry, a mole wonders "Who would throw away something so fine?  A door knocker like this will surely come in handy!" Each time someone sets down the mobile, another creature finds a new use for it and carries it off.  Little Bear finds the missing mobile in a tree and retrieves her creation just in time for her new baby brother to enjoy it.

Little Raccoon Learns to Share is about a raccoon whose favorite word is "Mine!" She doesn't like sharing and she likes being first.  She's so nervous about sharing that she hides with her basket of berries when friends come along.  But, as she watches them play, she feels a little sad not to join them and to be left out of the party she hasn't been invited to attend because she wasn't there when the other animals came up with the idea.  Her mother makes muffins using the berries she's collected and Little Raccoon shows up at the party.  She's welcomed and Little Beaver thanks her for bringing muffins.  Soon, she's having so much fun playing that she realizes it's much more fun to share than to be alone.

Little Bear's Baby Brother is my absolute favorite of the four books because I love the creativity of the mobile she makes for her unborn sibling and the unique ways each animal imagines the mobile might be used and I like the fact that Little Chipmunk's Wiggly Wobbly Tooth makes going to the dentist sound so innocuous by making it Little Chipmunk's idea.  But, honestly, I love anything that Lisa McCue illustrates.  All four are nice little hardback books with everyday themes that most parents have to discuss/explain to their children, at some point.  Lively, cheerful illustrations and sweet storytelling make all four books lovely choices to help prepare children for a new sibling, first day of school, losing a tooth or teach them about sharing. They're also very reasonably priced.  

I received all four from Sterling Children's Books for review.  I liked them all and recommend them especially to adults who are looking for books with a simple storyline and theme that includes delightful illustrations and a lesson. They would make nice little gifts for special occasions or no reason whatsoever ("happies" as they're known in the South).

In other news:

It doesn't seem right to post without saying something about yesterday's Boston explosions.  My thoughts and prayers are with all who are injured, grieving, or worrying about a friend, relative or loved one.

©2013 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery  or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email bookfoolery@gmail.com for written permission to reproduce text or photos.

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