Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children 2nd Ed: A Lively, Opinionated Guide (Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children: A Lively,)

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9780060524678: Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children 2nd Ed: A Lively, Opinionated Guide (Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children: A Lively,)

With wit, candor, and boundless enthusiasm, Valerie V. Lewis and Walter M. Mayes have selected more than 2,000 wonderful books for children from birth to age 12. Here is the most useful, candid, and convenient guide to children's literature ever published, featuring in-depth reviews, concise ratings, tips for finding the perfect book for your child, and mountains of essential hints and sound advice to help you pass along the gift of reading to the next generation. This fully revised and updated edition includes:

  • Reviews of the best new books for children
  • More of Valerie and Walter's patented back-and-forth dialogue
  • Handy cross-references by theme and interest
  • And much, much more
  • From stories that babies can literally chew on, to the very best choices for bridging the gap between listening and reading, to the right books to tempt an adamant nonreader, this truly is the last word on children's reading and the first book a parent should buy.

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    About the Author:

    Valerie and Walter have been in the children's book industry for a combined thirty-five years and have worked with publishers, schools, libraries, medical professionals, corporations, parents, and children. they are lively, knowledgeable, motivational, and entertaining spokespersons for the joy of reading.

    Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

    Listening/Interest Level:All.
    Reading Level: Early Elementary

    Here is a collection of books that we feel will interest listeners across the divide of, say, a three year old, a six year old and a nine year old. The best part is that early readers can join in by reading aloud with older readers in the family.

    17 Kings & 42 Elephants Picture Book
    Author: Margaret Mahy * Illustrator: Patricia MacCarthy
    HC: Dial * PB: Puffin
    Themes: elephants; journeys; kings; jungles; math; rhythm

    A magical collaboration and an example of the best kind of picture-book storytelling. Mahy's evocative poetry, telling of a journey full of mystery, is complimented by MacCarthy's beautiful batik paintings; together they make a masterpiece. This story raises more questions than it answers. Where are the kings going? Where are they from? What do 17 kings need with 42 elephants, anyway? There is plenty of opportunity for discussion long after the reading ends.

    Annie Bananie Picture Book
    Author: Leah Komaiko * Illustrator: Laura Cornell
    HC/PB: HarperCollins
    Themes: friendship; moving; loss

    Anyone who has had a best friend move away will understand Annie Bananie. Komaiko, who has a talent for rhythm and for understanding true friendship, has captured the feelings in her words. Cornell has echoed the feelings in her art. Check out the beginning readers featuring Annie's further adventures: Annie Bananie Moves to Barry Avenue, Annie Bananie: Best Friends to the End, and Annie Bananie and the People's Court. Her hilarious adventures continue, with the reading level just right to help her fans make the transition to reading chapter books!

    Anno's Journey Picture Book
    Author/Illustrator: Mitsumasa Anno
    HC: Putnam * PB: Paperstar
    Themes: wordless; Europe; geography; social studies; journeys

    Float invisibly from one perspective to another in this wordless journey through northern Europe. Anno's stunning watercolors offer details as an antidote to geography-shy readers. Anno puts this device to terrific use in many books. The geographic and historical richness makes Anno's Britain, Anno's USA, and Anno's Italy not only fascinating but great introductions to these places. Don't miss these other titles by this inventive artist: Anno's Alphabet: An Adventure in Imagination and Anno's Counting Book (HC/PB: HarperCollins).

    The Christmas Alphabet Pop-Up
    Author/Illustrator: Robert Sabuda
    HC: Orchard
    Themes: Christmas; guessing

    Each letter of the alphabet is placed on its own door, concealing a popup prize. Perfect for the entire family, this Christmas alphabet is both a guessing game and an engineering feat. Guess what is behind each door, and marvel at all twenty-six dazzling paper creations. A Christmas treasure. Also look for Sabuda's Twelve Days of Christmas, another three dimensional gem.

    The Cinder-Eyed Cats Picture Book
    Author/Illustrator: Eric Rohmarm
    HC: Crown
    Themes: cats; imagination; magic; sea animals; fish; dance; night; rhyme; boats; journeys; mystery

    Imaginations soar with a boy and a flying boat to a faraway land where "cats like velvet shadows move, their coal-fire eyes ablaze . . ." A wondrous achievement in visual storytelling, this book's breathtaking art will take the reader on a moonlit dance and home again.

    Dawn Picture Book
    Author/ILLUSTRArOR: Uri Shulevitz
    HC/PB: Farrar Straus & Giroux
    Themes: night; daylight; grandfathers and grandsons; boats; morning; comparisons

    Simple and exquisite. From deep darkness to stunning color, here is the beginning of day as seen by a grandfather and grandson on a fishing trip. Art and text match perfectly. A treasure.

    The Dead Bird Picture Book
    Author: Margaret Wise Brown 0 Illustrator: Remy Charlip
    HC/PB: HarperCollins
    Themes: death; rituals; birds; problem-solving

    A look at a child's first encounter with death. Children find a dead bird, examine it, bury it, sing a song for it, honor it, and finally forget about it. Simple text on white pages alternates with Charlip's unaffected art, making this a profoundly moving book and one that will serve as a snapshot of a nearly universal moment of childhood.

    Everett Anderson's Goodbye Picture Book
    Author: Lucille Clifton 0 Illustrator: Ann Grifalconi
    PB: Holt
    Themes: death; loss; fathers; anger; denial; African American

    Everett Anderson's father has died. This quiet, sensitive story shows the stages of grief he experiences before being able to say, "I knew my daddy loved me through and through, and whatever happens when people die, love doesn't stop, and neither will I" Although Everett is a very young boy, any age child will understand the emotions experienced in this treasure. other stories about Everett Anderson, dealing with less traumatic topics, include: Everett Anderson's 1 2 3, Everett Anderson's Friend and Everett Anderson's Year.

    Free Fall Picture Book
    Author/Illustrator: David Wiesner
    HC: Lothrop * PB: Mulberry
    Themes: wordless; dreams; adventure; connections

    No words are necessary. Wiesner's adventure comes to life as the pages of a sleeping boy's book break loose and sweep away into new forms connecting and changing from page to page. Let your child enjoy this one at his own pace.

    George and Martha Picture Book
    Author/Illustrator: James Marshall
    HC/PB: Houghton Mifflin
    Themes: friendship; humor; relationships

    The perfect expression of friendship in Picture Book form. Two hippos, lovingly but hilariously rendered in Marshall's droll, minimalist style (both pictures and words), star in a series of adventures that will have everyone laughing. The limits of being a friend are tested time and again in these books, but nothing can keep George and Martha apart for long. Underneath all the fun, there are some valuable lessons about trust, loyalty, and maintaining a sense of humor. There are seven George and Martha titles in all including a one-volume omnibus edition.

    Though Marshall never comes right out and says it it seems clear to the adult eye that G & M are more than just friends. I have always felt that these books should be given as a set to any couple about to embark upon a longterm relationship. George and Martha are role models for us all!

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