Blog Archives

Polar Bolero (Debi Gliori)

Recommended, Not Repeatable

This is a cute rhyming book that is all about the daydreaming adventures of a young bear, who’s unable to go to sleep. It’s sweetly imaginative, and the pictures feature owls, bears, children, and foxes flying and adventuring. It’s bright and well-illustrated, and definitely something you and your toddler will enjoy… I read through it a couple of times back-to-back with my child, but then he lost interest and we moved on. In terms of Debi Gliori books that are very repeatable and worth owning, I would suggest No Matter What.

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Penguin Post (Debi Gliori)

Recommended, Not Repeatable

I pretty much just have to see Debi Gliori’s name on a book now to make me at least check it out — the art is always vibrant, and the stories almost always feature a cute, usually adorable and fluffy, cast of animals. And that’s what this is: a cute story about a penguin delivering various objects to other animals (a sling for a baby moose, feathers for a baby bear’s quilt, and so on), all while awaiting the delivery of his own baby sibling. It’s got nice pictures, and it’s a cute story, but ultimately, it’s also fairly forgettable. Definitely something to check out from the library, read once, and then probably forget. She’s got much better work out there (like No Matter What).

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No Matter What (Debi Gliori)

Recommended, Repeatable

This is a wonderfully illustrated book with a universal message — that there is no limit to a parent’s love for their child.  Here, Small (a young fox) anxiously asks his/her parent (Large) a string of questions — all intended to test the limits of Large’s love for Small.  (No gender is assigned to either the parent or the child, so that it’s suitable for either parent to read to their children).  The young fox asks what would happen if he/she were stinky, grumpy, or somehow became a grizzly bear or a stinky bug.  Large, the older fox, continuously reassures that he/she would love Small, no matter what.  It’s nicely rhymed, full of colorful pictures as Small transforms into a variety of imagined animals and moods, and though a bit saccharine, still a wonderful addition to the nighttime library, probably most suitable for older toddlers through preschool-aged children.

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The Trouble with Dragons (Debi Gliori)

Recommended, Repeatable

This is a wonderfully illustrated book with catchy rhymes and a hidden agenda: teaching kids about environmental responsibility (which definitely means it’s not for everyone).  Probably most suitable for parents who are environmentally conscientious and kids who are at least 3 or 4 and older, this is the “save the environment” version of Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree.  It’s all about how these wasteful dragons (yes, yes, humans to the parents) are making more and more dragons, polluting, taking up space so that no other creatures have space to live, and basically being completely selfish and destructive.  If you believe that humans are polluting and that events like Earth Day are valuable, then this is a wonderful book to help illustrate some of what we, as humans, are causing, to your young children.  If not, you’ll find this to be too political a book for your kid — there’s probably no middle ground here in a book that is clearly aimed at teaching a lesson (though nicely illustrated regardless of your beliefs).

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Posted in Children's/Young Adult