Friday, July 9, 2010

Book Review - Pickle-Ciffon Pie

By: Jolly Roger Bradfield
Published By: Purple House Press
Originally Released: 1967
Source: Library
Age: 4-8
Rating: 4.5 Stars

2 cups imagination
2 teaspoons humor
Exciting illustrations, one per page
At least one dragon
2 tablespoons silliness
Combine: 1 beautiful princess with 1 hero, well seasoned
A pinch of moral value
Mix together in a lively plot

Pickle-Chiffon Pie is a story without a villain. No fighting, no bloodshed, but still exciting and fast-moving. It is a tale that stretches the imagination: the reader must accept a juggling lion (six cans of root beer at once!) and a sixteen-foot Gazoo. Not a hard assignment for a child, but perhaps a bit more difficult for a wordly grown-up.

Take heart, you staid elders. The story has elements running throughout that should appeal to adults as well as children (how 'bout mice that paint in the fashion of Picasso, Matisse, Grant Wood and even Toulouse Lautrec?) because the author knew that if a story IS A REALLY GOOD ONE, parents everywhere would be commanded by their children to read it aloud again and again. And maybe even once more...

How could I have missed reading this enchanting book? Filled with unique colorful illustrations and a delightful tale this book is sure to please young children and their parents.

Originally released in 1967, by the end of the 1990s copies of this out of print book were selling for $80 to $100 on ebay. Purple House Press re-released this book in 2004.

Pickle-Chiffon Pie was a little longer than many of the read-alouds I read to my 4 year old but she sat, listened to and enjoyed this book. If you've never read this classic book do yourself a favor and go pick up a copy.

Book Review - Pop!: The Invention of Bubble Gum

By Meghan McCarthy
Publisher - Simon and Schuster
Released May 4, 2010
Ages 4 to 8 (classroom use Grades 2nd to 4th)
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 5 Stars

Gum has been around for centuries. The ancient Greeks chewed sap from mastic trees. The American Indians chewed spruce resin. Men in top hats and women in puffy dresses chewed gum to cure things like stomachaches. Gum wasn't that exciting. But what if gum chewers could blow bubbles while chewing it?
In the late 1920s a factory in Philadelphia was working on a top secret project. Month after month the workers experimented with different ingredients and formulas. And month after month all they had to show for their hard work was a big sticky mess. Would there be no bubble gum? Sometimes the best inventions come from the most unexpected places...

Full of fun historical facts, Pop! is the true story of how bubble gum was invented. (taken from GoodReads)

Over the past year, I have been working to expand my knowledge of non-fiction picture books and I have been excited about what I have discovered. Non-fiction picture books with engaging text, outstanding illustrations, and solid facts. Pop! The Invention of Bubble Gum by Meghan McCarthy fulfills all my requirements for a top-notch book and one that I can't wait to share with my students.

McCarthy starts off with a brief history of chewing gum but quickly moves into how bubble gum was invented. She shares with her readers about Walter Diemer's repeated attempts to create a gum that not only you could chew but also create bubbles. McCarthy shares about Diemer's mistakes and near misses leading up to when he finally discovered just the right formula that would make the perfect bubble. The illustrations are bright, colorful and with just enough animation to keep the book fun but not go over the top. The two pages of detailed facts provided at the end of the book allow teachers to supplement the story.

This is a book that is not only fun to read, but great to have in both your personal collection and in your classroom collection.
I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. ~ Anna Quindlen

Good children's literature appeals not only to
the child in the adult, but to the adult in the child.
~ Anonymous ~