Newtons Book News

Childrens Book Reviews

Books that Stretch your Imagination

Wordless books help to bolster communication and actively engage the reader to imagine more to a story.  All of these books are wordless stories, except for the last three.  Those books are “search and find” books.  All are good for all ages, unless otherwise indicated.

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Where’s Walrus? And Penguin?, by Stephen Savage, displays such great fun as you watch Walrus and Penguin escape from the zoo.  As they navigate through different scenes, they attempt to fit in.  This is where your youngster will chuckle as they see a lady, as she holds her baby, sit on a bus.  Not far away, Walrus mimics the lady as he holds Penguin in a baby blanket.  The digitally constructed pictures are colorful and are made with little obstruction. You’ll be happy to know this is the second book in a series.  The first one is “Where’s Walrus?” with similar wordless fun and a humorous adventure.

 

Float, by Daniel Miyares, begins with the front end pages demonstrating how to fold a paper boat.  A young boy takes this boat outside to float it when rain begins to pour down.  The boat gets away from him and floats down the street and into a rain gutter.  But all is not lost, even though his rescued boat is saturated.  His mom helps him create a different paper apparatus.  The colors used in the story are appropriately muted in grays and whites.

 

The White Book, by Silvia Borando, is actually filled with color.  A boy paints on a white background with pink.  To his utter delight, suddenly pink birds appear.  However, these birds end up flying away.  He begins painting another blank wall with blue.  Fish appear but then they swim away.  Each time he paints with a different color, different animals appear and leave until he paints with orange.  The simplicity of the illustrations of the boy and the animals creates more imagination as youngsters begin to predict the surprising and delightful outcomes.

 

The Farmer and the Clown, by Marla Frazee, is a study in contrasts.  A farmer is working in his fields of browns, grays and dampened wheat when he notices someone falling off the end of a circus train.  A small colorful circus clown has just been left behind as the train leaves him.  But the farmer brings him back to his house where he attempts to help the little fellow feel at home.  All works out for the little clown and just as you begin to feel for the lonely farmer, a surprise at the very end awaits.  The colors of dull and bright are as striking as the differences of the clown and farmer. A brilliant book!

 

Draw!, by Raul Colon, explores the depths of imagination as a young boy begins to draw while he is possibly sick in bed.  He imagines being on a safari and each page shows him drawing an animal and beyond the animal lays the most vivid landscape and more of the animal he is drawing.  There he is drawing a giraffe and beyond his easel are several giraffes as they strain their long necks upward to the high trees.  The colors seem to jump off the pages as Colon used bright watercolors and colored pencils.

 

Before After, by Mathias Aregui and Anne-Margot Ramstein, truly makes you think about the many concepts being explored.  In just a turn of a page, you see the before and after.  There’s a picture of birds on a telephone wire.  On the opposite page, there are no birds on the wire and leaves blowing in wind.  The supposition is summer, then fall.  Many of these nice matte paintings will likely make you attempt to figure out the concepts being presented.

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The Only Child, by Guojing, has the layout of a black and white palette with many pictures found on each page.  A young girl gets on a bus to visit her grandmother but falls asleep and rides to the last stop. When she gets off, magical and amazing things happen to her.  The story is very involved with a loving and beautiful ending.  Now let’s use the same sight skills to locate specific items in the following picture books.

 

Where’s the Pair? A Spotting Book, by Britta Techentrup, is similar to “Where’s Waldo” but much simpler and easier to locate the various animals being sought.  Each open-page spread has a specific type of animal and you are to locate two that are alike.  The lay-out is much easier for younger children (ages four to seven) as there are fewer animals on each page.  The illustrations are bright with each animal placed apart from the others.

 

Search and Spot:  Animals, by Laura Ljungkvist, is geared more for a bit older eyes (ages six to eight) to locate designated and specific animals on each open spread. For instance, on the page with many different sized owls you are to locate a specific number of owls that are sleeping and yawning and also find the baby owls. This takes some concentration as well as being able to read independently.  The colorful illustrations were made digitally.

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Hey Seymour! (A Search and Find Fold Out Adventure), by Walter Wick, is another terrific search and find book in an outstanding series of “Can You See What I See?” books.  The detail Wick uses is rich with vibrantly photographed items for his brilliantly visual open-page spreads.  You’ll find a fold-out extension on every visually stunning page to help you locate the many items hiding.  Some pages fold out sideways and others fold out upwards.  But beware!  Anyone opening this book will likely not be closing it for some time.

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