Title: Big Bouffant
Author: Kate Hosford
Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
Pub Date: 04/01/2011 - APRIL FOOLS DAY!
Reviewed from: Galley from Netgalley
Title: ABC is for Circus
Author: Patrick Hruby
Publisher: Ammo Books
Pub Date: on sale now!
Reviewed from: Galley from Netgalley
Sidenotes: I put all the info at the top because I want to do more of a story dual review than a more regular review - because for me these two books will always be intertwined with tonight. Also I can't find either of these books on Indiebound so I'm linking to Amazon instead of to Indiebound. I'm still a huge fan of the little guy and fully encourage everyone to buy local. But whatever. Also? I'm typing this on my sister's laptop - a MacBook. OMG. There is no home key. And if I press ctrl + shift + arrow to highlight lots of text at once it doesn't let me. Not only does it not let me but it BEEPS at me and makes me all sorts of upset. Also it'll underline words it thinks are spelled wrong but there is no right click button! How am I supposed to right click without the ability to right click? That sounds like some sort of Zen meditation but it is actually a dire problem. And I'm sorry - I'm not even going to try to put pictures on here. I'm super fail with a Mac. I'll get better. But anyway - the books.
I used to talk a lot about my neurosis on this blog but then I found somewhere else to ramble incessantly so they haven't been on here recently and this blog can be a hair more professional. Tonight? The neuroses. What on earth does this have to do with books? Wait - I'll get there.
Pippa is a pretty easy sleeper but Kaylee has always been hard to get to bed. Tonight I'm taking care of my brother's girlfriend's son as well as both of my girls while my whole family is at the Notre Dame game. I only enjoy football in big groups of people I love which this game would have been but since someone had to stay home with the teeny tinys, I would much rather do that. And we all had a lovely night. And Pippa went to bed beautifully. And Aaron went to bed beautifully. And Kaylee lay in bed and whined and cried and called for me. I've learned to give her 15 minutes between goings in to see her. I hate it, it's hard, but the other option is lying in her bed for an hour or so until we both drift off to sleep and I wake up with a crick in my neck and a foot in my nostril. So tough love it is. And tonight it was hard. And I was sitting in my bed feeling sorry for myself and, "oh woe is me my brother's girlfriend is better at raising kids than I am, look her baby went right to sleep even though mine is 10 feet from him making enough noise to wake the dead." You know those nights, right?
And then I hear the pitter patter of little feet and there was Kaylee looking up at me with tear filled eyes, "Mom - the only thing that will ever make me happy ever is one book. One really good book."
We're on vacation and I thought I was being so smart by going to the second hand store (kid's books 15 for $1!) and buying a slew of paperbacks and only packing those. Light, small, and if they get lost or ripped on the journey it isn't such a big deal. The problem? While some of the books I brought are good (Tarzanna is my favorite), none are that perfect book, ya know? And I pulled Kaylee up onto my sister's amazingly tall guest bed and thought about how I would fix this conundrum. And then I remembered that the good folks at NetGalley had given me 2 picture books to review! So I pulled them out and they are both absolute winners, folks. I will be buying both of these for real. My favorite was Big Bouffant. Kaylee's favorite was ABC is for Circus but I think for both of us it was a pretty close tie. And the best part? After I read the books I carried Kaylee back to bed and she went right to sleep. MAGIC BOOKS!
The beginning of Big Bouffant reminds me of The Hair of Zoe Fleefenbacher Goes to School. On Anabelle's first day of school she notices how everyone has one of just a few hair styles so she resolves to do something different and falls in love with her grandmother's bouffant. Her mother is skeptical of doing such an involved and strange hairdo on the girl so she tries to do it herself with ... severely weird results. And then her mother relents and she becomes an absolute hit at school with everyone (including the boys) joining in to see just how high they can get their hair. Holly Clifton-Brown's artwork is gorgeous and fun and made me want to join Anabelle's class. Their teacher was wearing plaid pants with an orange star-filled shirt on the first day - how can you not want to learn from a lady like that? And Kate Hosford's rhyming text was just fun to read to Kaylee. I love it when a book makes her giggle throughout - and with any luck she'll get over her hatred of having her hair brushed (which doesn't go so well with her fear of getting her hair cut) and let me give her a bouffant!
ABC is for Circus is just gorgeous. (Sidenote: since I had to look this book up on Amazon I discovered that the artist has also made this gorgeous puzzle. Kaylee is currently obsessed with both puzzles and princesses so a puzzle of a princess castle done by the artist of one of her favorite new books? I think I know what she's getting for Christmas.) It was full of words that Kaylee didn't know (calliope and kerchief) but now she does. I've found that ABC books are so much more fun now that Kaylee has a pretty firm grasp of not only what the ABCs are but how they work and finding unusual ABC books is always a good vocabulary builder. Also I feel I need to give major props to Patrick Hruby for really only having one word that isn't exactly perfect. Y is for Yellow. Usually a themed ABC book has a handful of letters that you can tell made the author really stretch for a word - but ever word in here is perfect. My favorite was the t for tiger - that was one gorgeous tiger.
Overall four enthusiastic thumbs up from both Kaylee and I and many thanks to everyone involved in these books at all for turning my terrible blues into a happy memory.