Wandering Whale Sharks – Susumu Shingu, translated by Ann B. Cary and Yasuko Shingu
Meet the world’s largest living fish: the whale shark. With a back like a mountain range and a body that creates an enormous, looming shadow in the ocean below him, the whale shark is an exceptionally gentle giant—and yet it is relatively unknown. This informational picture book introduces readers to these stunning creatures in spare, poetic text. It’s a lyrical meditation that gives a sense of the whale shark’s slow, grand journey through the Earth’s oceans while creating an opportunity for inquiry and awe. Deep blue sketch illustrations play with perspective and seem to move with the natural energy of wind and water. The book ends with a factual page about whale sharks, which can be found in all tropical seas, and have been spotted off the coast of several countries around the world, including South Africa, Australia, India, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Mexico. Readers will come away with a well-formed sense of wonder and respect as they leave the whale shark to continue his leisurely journey.
The text is simple and poetic, often just a sentence to each page. And the illustrations are stunning, with its palate of blues, whites and blacks. An absolutely gorgeous book.
Shingu has another book available in English, Traveling Butterflies. Sadly my library doesn’t seem to have it.
Mr. Postmouse has loaded up his wagon and is ready to deliver the mail. From the lofty heights of the Birds’ tree houses to the inky depths of Mrs. Octopus’s ship, the intrepid letter carrier lets nothing stand in the way of his deliveries. Each spread features whimsically detailed interiors of creatures’ homes, which readers will pore over for delightful surprises. This is a charming introduction to the postal system and an imaginative survey of different types of homes.
As an adult, I love these kinds of books with little details to pore over. And so do my kids. They had fun pointing out all the little details that made each house different. Colourful, vibrant, lots of fun.
The Gingerbread Man loose on the fire truck – Laura Murray ; illustrated by Mike Lowery
Guess who gets to go along on a field trip to the firehouse? The Gingerbread Man! But when he falls out of his classmate’s pocket, Spot the Dalmatian comes sniffing around. Luckily, this Gingerbread Man is one smart cookie, and he races into the fire truck, up the pole, and all through the station, staying one step ahead of the hungry dog the whole time.Then an emergency call comes in and the Gingerbread Man knows just what to do:
“I’ll ride to the rescue, as fast as I can.
I want to help, too! I’m the Gingerbread Man!”
With snappy rhymes and fresh illustrations, the Gingerbread Man makes a sweet return in his second school adventure. Includes a poster with fire safety tips and activities.
Children’s books are all about reading out loud – at least to my kids’ age group of 2 and 4. So I really appreciate a good rhyme. And this one was just that. I’ve had to read some rather awkward rhymes in books (I’m looking at you, Sam, Sebbi and Di-di-di), so it was a true delight to read the Gingerbread man. Good news! The Gingerbread Man is also loose in school and at Christmas, so there’s plenty more to read.