Recently I spent an enjoyable session in my local International School looking at picture books and talking about writing book reviews. The Grade 3 and 4 children had brought favourite books with them and first I asked them what they thought should be included in a book review. After they had given me their ideas we read a review of ‘Dangerous‘ by Tim Warnes (a book that they were already familiar with) before they made notes about their favourite picture books using a template.
The school librarian sent me the reviews that the children had written and I chose a winner and three runners up to have their reviews published on Story Snug. When I was judging the work I asked two questions. My first question, based on how the child had summarised the book (not whether the book interested me but how they summarised the story), was ‘Would I want to read the book after reading your summary?’. My next question was ‘Have you told the reader what you like about the book?’.
The winner was Alina who recommended Shoe Shoe Baby by author Bernard Lodge and illustrator Katherine Lodge
Shoe Shoe Baby is crazy about shoes. Her whole family made shoes. She opened a shoe store that is called Shoe Shoe Baby and it is open 7 days a week. Each day of the week different customers like a Mexican girl, a detective, a Ballerina, a boy with his older brother, a clown and a racer bought his shoes. But on Sunday a girl does not know which shoe she wants and that night Shoe Shoe Baby had a shoe dream.
This book is hilarious and it is full of shoes. The illustrations are very colorful and Shoe Shoe’s cat is on almost every page. My favorite picture is when Shoe Shoe Baby gives the Mexican girl her funny shoes. I like this story because it is about shoes.
Story Snug: ‘We like the fact that Alina has told us quite a lot about the story without telling us what Shoe Shoe Baby’s dream was about. We really want to read the book to find out what she dreamt and how it affects the girl who came to the shop on Sunday. We’re also curious to see the picture of the Mexican girl’s funny shoes!’
The three runners up (in alphabetical order):
Alex recommended Mr. Tickle and the Dragon by author / illustrator Roger Hargreaves
In this funny Mr. men book Mr. Tickle finds his house burned up. And he sees smoke coming from other burned up houses near by. He finds a trail of burned up houses that lead him in the mountains to a dragon. And Mr. Tickle tries to tickle the bad dragon. What will happen next?
First the story is mysterious but then it gets really funny. My favorite illustration is on the front cover of the book because it describes the whole book. Mr. Tickle is always crazy and has very good ideas. I would recommend this book to everybody that enjoys funny stories.
Story Snug: ‘Alex has summarised the story without telling us what happens when Mr Tickle tries to tickle the dragon. Now we want to read the book to find out whether he manages to tickle it and what happens at the end of the story! We also like the sound of a mysterious story that will make us laugh.’
Connor recommended Penguins, Penguins Everywhere by author / illustrator Bob Barner
This a colorful poetry book with rhymes and facts about penguins. My favorite picture is when the penguins hide from a whale using their colors. This book tells you that a penguin’s daily life is interesting and that they are prey to seals and whales. I like this book because it had some facts I didn’t know. I’d recommend this book for children learning about penguins.
Story Snug: ‘It’s great that Connor has chosen a poetry book and that Penguins, Penguins Everywhere has taught him facts about penguins that he didn’t know. We’re now intrigued to read the book to find out how penguins use camouflage to hide from a whale.’
One day a turtle made some seaweed soup. A crab passed by and he invited the crab to eat the soup with him. Then came along a seagull, a sandpiper, and a clam and he invited them all. They all thought the soup looked disgusting and may be tasted bad too. The turtle gave them all a bowl or jar but then he had no more bowl for himself. So he went to look for one and when he was gone something happened. You have to read the book to know what happened.
This story made me hungry for the seaweed soup the turtle made. It is a funny story. The illustrations are easy drawing and look like cartoons. My favorite picture is when the table is set for all turtle’s friends. The message of the story is if it is looking bad it does not have to be bad tasting.
Story Snug: ‘Lucas has summarised the story without revealing what happens while the turtle went to look for a bowl. Now we want to read the book to see what happened while the turtle was away. We also like the sound of the cartoon like illustrations and want to know what was on the turtle’s table.’
The winners received a book and the chance to have their review published on Story Snug. Thank you to all the children in Grades 3 and 4 who wrote book reviews. You all did a great job and it was very difficult to choose winners!