Archives

Argyle Fox by Marie Letourneau

by
Argyle Fox by Marie Letourneau Argyle Fox by Marie Letourneau
Published by Tanglewood on March 14, 2017
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Picture Book
Pages: 32
Buy on Amazon
Add on Goodreads

Argyle Fox, with his signature style, wants to play outside on a springtime day, but the wind is wreaking havoc with his fun and games. As soon as he builds a card tower, climbs into a giant spider web, or takes up his pirate sword, here comes the wind: Woosh!

Mama Fox tells grumpy Argyle that if he thinks long enough, he will come up with something to do. Following his mother’s suggestion and inspired by her knitting, he works all the pieces of his day together and creates the perfect solution.

The story of Argyle teaches that failure is often a path to success and celebrates perseverance, creative thinking, and an old-fashioned springtime activity.

We woke up this morning to more snow and cold temperatures. Ohio’s weather has been crazy lately. I swear it was almost 60 yesterday. I needed some spring and Argyle Fox provides just that. It’s a windy spring day and Argyle Fox wants to play outside, but the wind ruins everything he tries to do, until he comes up with a solution.

It’s a fun cute book. I like the ingenuity it encourages. On the other hand, I don’t think wind should really ruin playing pirate or knight and I don’t think it was nice for the other woodland creatures to discourage his imaginative play. You don’t need a cardboard castle to pretend to fight a dragon. Or a paper hat to be a pirate. And I’m pretty sure building a tower of cards outside is never a good idea.

But, if the wind hadn’t made him grumpy during his other games, he wouldn’t have been able to figure out the perfect thing to play with or have been able to share his idea with his friends.

I like the illustrations.  The colors are nice, not overly bright, but not dull either. The cover gives a good example of the style. I also like how the pictures show us what happens when the wind blows, the text doesn’t have to.

It’s a good spring book and I think kids will be able to relate to Argyle Fox. He plays games they’re familiar with and I can even see using his “project” as a start for one of your own.

 

About Marie Letourneau

Marie Letourneau lives with her family on Long Island, NY. Marie studied fine arts at Hoftsra University’s New College where she earned her BFA. In 2006, her first book as both author and illustrator entitled, “The Mice of Bistrot des Sept Freres” (Tanglewood Books) won ForeWord Magazine’s Book of the Year Award, Bronze Medal. She has done design work for (and appeared on) The Nate Berkus Show, and The Revolution with fashion icon Tim Gunn. In 2014, Marie was a finalist in the Martha Stewart American Made Awards for her stationery shop Le French Circus, on Etsy. She loves animals, beets, roller skating and plays roller derby. Marie is married with two children, they have two dogs and a cat.

Thursday’s Tale: The Little Mermaid by Metaphrog

by
Thursday’s Tale: The Little Mermaid by Metaphrog The Little Mermaid by Metaphrog
Published by Papercutz on April 4, 2017
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Graphic novel, Fairy tale
Pages: 80
Format: eARC
Buy on Amazon
Add on Goodreads

The Little Mermaid is Hans Christian Andersen's most celebrated tale and is beautifully adapted here as a graphic novel by the Eisner award nominated duo Metaphrog (Sandra Marrs and John Chalmers).

The Little Mermaid lives deep under the ocean and longs to see the world above. When at last she is allowed to rise to the surface at age fifteen, she falls in love with a young prince. In order to become a human and to be with him, she makes a dangerous pact with the Sea Witch.

I’m always a little worried about re-workings of The Little Mermaid. So many of us have seen the Disney version and expect the happy ending for the prince and the mermaid. Metaphrog isn’t giving us a happy ending, they are sticking closer to the original by Hans Christian Andersen.

Our Little Mermaid does fall in love with a human prince and does make a deal with a witch, but the witch is not scary. The Witch is helping and warning our mermaid, but the mermaid still wants to have legs and the witch obliges at the cost of the mermaid’s voice. The mermaid does get to live in the prince’s palace, but the prince marries someone else. In the end, the little mermaid jumps into the sea, dissolves into foam and will live forever in the water. It’s a sad story really.

Metaphrog does cut out the more religious aspects of the original, which should make it appeal to a larger audience. The concept of souls that was so important in the original is left out here.

I loved the illustrations. They are gorgeous and full of detail. The underwater scenes are in shades of blue and green while the land scenes are warm oranges and reds. The mermaid’s feelings can be seen in her expressions. I found the panels easy to follow, which is not always the case, probably because I don’t read many graphic novels/comics.

I think this would be a good book to read with kids, but only if they are going to be okay with a the ending not being the happy wedding. My daughter would have been; I don’t know that my niece would enjoy it. It is beautiful though.

This spread is from early in the story, when the Little Mermaid is dreaming of the time she’ll be old enough to see what’s above the water.

Thursday’s Tales is a weekly event here at Carol’s Notebook. Fairy tales, folktales, tall tales, even re-tellings, I love them all. Feel free to join in.

About Metaphrog

Metaphrog are Franco-Scottish duo Sandra Marrs and John Chalmers, award-winning graphic novelists.

Their Louis series has received several prestigious award nominations including three for the Eisner Awards (the Oscars of comics), and critical acclaim worldwide.

They tirelessly promote the medium of comics and their own work, travelling to deliver talks and workshops, They are Patrons of Reading at Northfield Academy from 2013 until 2017, the first graphic novelists to fill such a role, and were Writers in Residence at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in 2015.

They are winners of The Sunday Herald Scottish Culture Awards 2016 for Best Visual Artist.

Good Morning, Superman! by Michael Dahl

by
Good Morning, Superman! by Michael Dahl Good Morning, Superman! by Michael Dahl
Illustrator: Omar Lozano
Published by Capstone on March 1, 2017
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Picture Book
Pages: 32
Format: eARC
Buy on Amazon
Add on Goodreads

Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s the . . . SUN!

When morning comes, a young boy must prepare for his day, faster than a speeding bullet. Follow along as he leaps tall buildings (jumps out of bed) in a single bound, dons his heroic uniform (his clothes), and faces his greatest weakness (Kryptonite-colored toothpaste). Then it’s up, up, and away to daycare! Includes a morning routine checklist.

Good Morning, Superman! is a really cute book. A little boy is getting ready for the day and everything he does is mirrored by something Superman does. For example, as the little boy gets dressed, Superman reveals his costume. The boy eats his breakfast, gathering his strength, as Superman flies above the buildings, getting ready to fight the bad guys. Even the boy’s sister gets in on the act in her Supergirl costume, handing him his lunchbox, because helpers are super heroes too.

The illustrations are bright and fun, just like the cover. It’s a perfect book for any superhero loving pre-schooler. It may even help with the morning routine.

About Michael Dahl

Michael Dahl is the prolific author of the bestselling Goodnight Baseball picture book and more than 200 other books for children and young adults. He has won the AEP Distinguished Achievement Award three times for his nonfiction, a Teacher’s Choice award from Learning magazine, and a Seal of Excellence from the Creative Child Awards. And he has won awards for his board books for the earliest learners, Duck Goes Potty and Bear Says “Thank You!” Dahl has written and edited numerous graphic novels for younger readers, authored the Library of Doom adventure series, the Dragonblood books, Trollhunters, and the Hocus Pocus Hotel mystery/comedy series. Dahl has spoken at schools, libraries, and conferences across the US and the UK, including ALA, AASL, IRA, and Renaissance Learning. He currently lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota in a haunted house.
He also writes under aliases Chris Carey, Rick Thomas, and Mark Ziegler.

%d bloggers like this: