Friday, April 29, 2016

Big Cat and Hippos in the Yard...

 Big Cat
by Ethan Long
32 pages; ages 4-8
Holiday House, 2016

Meet Big Cat. He's a real member of the family. He naps, hugs... he can even fly (with help from one of his people). But mostly, Big Cat has fun.

Each spread of this book presents a single easy-to-read sentence that begins, "Big Cat can...." The story comes in the various activities that Big Cat gets caught up in - some not by his choice. Illustrations are large cartoons that don't distract from the text.

Not only is is a great book for early readers, it's a good model for budding young authors who want to write a story about their own pets.

A Hippo in Our Yard
by Liza Donnelly
32 pages; ages 4-7
Holiday House, 2016

Mom, we have a hippo in our yard. 

I love the way this book begins - with a simple statement of observation. Of course, mom doesn't believe Sally, who takes lettuce out to feed the hippo. Sally returns a moment later to pester her father.

Dad, we have a tiger in our tree!

I also like that the story is told entirely through dialog, with Sally's voice in red type and other family members in black. Even though it's not an "easy reader", this is a book that young readers could pick up on. There's lots of repetition, with Sally saying "Come see!", the sentences are short, and the illustrations show what is happening in the text. And while her family members don't believe her, Sally has reason to say there are wild animals in the back yard.

This is a great book to read before, after, or while driving in the car to the zoo.

Review copies provided by the publisher.

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