Saturday, June 11, 2016

Review for Putter and the Red Car by Kate K. Lund

Putter and the Red Car

  • Age Range: 6 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 2
  • Paperback: 42 pages
  • Publisher: Kate Lund (January 21, 2016)
  • ISBN-10: 0997151625
  • ISBN-13: 978-0997151626

Putter and the Red Car is the story of one family's cross country road trip narrated by a lively 7 year old Airedale terrier. The book incorporates ideas related to family, change, and geography with a backdrop of brightly colorful illustrations.

This story takes the family from Boston, Massachusetts to Seattle, Washington. With lots of attractions to see as the family travels cross country the reader learns more about the inside of hotel rooms than the amazing outdoors. Granted, the story is told by a dog but even so the author missed the opportunity to educate the reader by making the story more interesting by detailing more of the attractions and cities they had to drive through than being in the car and in various hotels. There was a few interesting pieces such as Mount Rushmore and a tipi museum, but that was quickly lost.

The illustrations weren't as adventurous either showing lots of pictures of the family and dog in the car and in hotels, but again not focusing on the great things going on around them through their travels. Instead of making the road trip exciting and fun, or even using comparisons and contrasting about of the landscapes, the author made it sound boring by focusing too much on how the dog feels on the trip instead of what he sees. The author noted more of the every day type stuff that the reader doesn't need to read this book to know more about, though it is true to its title. The book focuses on the car and the dog.

Though the story is assuredly simple, children who have dogs will enjoy reading a story told by a dogs point of view learning more about how a dog may feel on such a long and tiresome trip. Focusing on a younger age group the kids will enjoy the dogs adventure more, an older age group will need more substance.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Review for Blue & Other Colors by Henri Matisse

Blue & Other Colors by Henri Matisse
Phaidon Press
Series: First Concepts with Fine Arts
April 18th, 2016
ISBN-10: 0714871427
ISBN-13: 978-0714871424
Ages: 2-4 years old
30 Pages   

Children’s Book                 Board Books     Colors and Shapes

Brilliantly colorful cut-outs are used to teach colors and shapes in this board book designed with artwork by Henri Matisse.

Blue & Other Colors takes children through Matisse's color palette by showing his various collages.  From simple collages to more complex each page focuses on certain colors. Though the book doesn't focus on shapes, it could have. Matisse uses various abstract shapes in his cut outs where many are randomly set.  The author also focuses on the color blue, yet they do mention various other colors.

Matisse tries to use various shapes, depth, and scale to his cut outs, but many seem very elementary. Children will be able to relate to this simplicity trying to duplicate his work. The text is straightforward, easy for young children ages 1-3 years old to be able to listen to and repeat.

The information about Matisse will interest young readers that is found in the back of the book, though many will not understand his cut out technique. Using gouache paint and various sized scissors to create his affects Matisse really tried to create something different in the later part of his life when his mobility began to fail him. The cut outs in each collage are relateable to children and is something that parents might appreciate as well.