New Book Roundup
Ahhhh – there’s nothing like browsing through a New Book Roundup on a lazy Sunday, is there? So settle back with your hot cup of joe or jane or whatever, and skim away.
I can’t imagine why some people are making such a big deal out of this book. I’ve enjoyed everything else of Cushman’s that I’ve read, but this book was downright dreary. Set in
Ballerinas and graphic novels – who knew that this would be such a winning combination? The tale of
Yarrrgh. Martin’s text, published posthumously, was probably inspired by the old nursery rhyme:
Mrs. Mason bought a basin.
How much did it cost? Said Mrs. Frost.
Half a crown, said Mrs. Brown.
Did it indeed? Said Mrs. Reed.
And so on. This one’s about a bunch of mice fretting over a fire seen through die-cut keyhole, (“Water! Water! Said Mrs. Votter”) which turns out to actually be candles on a birthday cake. Yeah, it’s kind of lame, but made even lamer by Randunsky’s dark, confusing illustrations. In one scene, a mouse is talking about where the fire is while pointing in the opposite direction of the firelight. Pleh.
There’s been a spate of spunky girls in Easy Chapter Book land. Joining the ranks of Judy Moody and Junie B. comes Clementine -- whose lilting voice and goofy adventures are probably going to be devoured by most third graders I know. This book deals mainly with the ups-and-downs between our heroine and her prim best friend as they have more than one wacky adventure. Hair is cut off, foreheads are Sharpied, pigeons are hosed down, and principals are unamused. Sweet and funny, just like the fruit. (Erm, please don’t make me explain how clementine oranges are funny.) Marla Frazee’s spot illustrations are pure genius, as always. If you haven’t seen Frazee’s books before, run out and buy some right now. Her delicate lines capture the graceful, round sloppiness of children with a wit and energy that is magical.