Pied Piper Pics
The Water Hole is a beautiful conglomeration of many different kinds of books. Combined between the covers are a counting book, a geography book, a book about seasonal water cycles, and a book with gorgeous illustrations of animals from around the world. In this story, animals gather at an ever-shrinking water hole (the water hole itself is a cut-out) to quench their thirst. The number of animals goes from one to 10, until all of the water is gone. Luckily, rain is on its way to replenish the hole and take care of the animals’ need for hydration.
Base draws water holes in Africa, India, South America, the Himalayas, North America, China, Europe, the Galapagos Islands, and Australia throughout the book. Children will love the counting, cut-out, and animal noises, while adults can appreciate the parenthetical comments following each animal sound.
“Eight Ladybuds meeting by the water hole.
(So in conclusion, ladies and gentlebugs, I propose we establish a sub-committee to report on the water level crisis before the end of the fiscal year. All in favor say bzui.)’”
Check out this book for a colorful and creative take on the animal kingdom!
Check the WRL catalog for The Water Hole.
This is a wonderful book that emphasizes a child’s desire for alone time with her father. The little girl in this story is excited to be going to the sea to spend time with her dad, but she is very disappointed that she has to share his attention and affection with many other family members.
“I’m showing Dad how I swim,
Only me and him.
Only me and him and
my brother Len,
my brother Lon,
my sister Lee.
I wish that they’d all go away
but everyone just wants to stay.”
Instead of enjoying time alone with her dad, the little girl decides to get away from it all and take a trip under the sea. In a shipwreck, the girl sees many fish and other creatures, but no other people. She soon realizes that she needs her family and returns to the surface.
The rhythm of Komaiko’s words is complemented nicely by Greene’s colorful realistic portraits and landscapes. This is a great story for a father to read with his daughter!
Check the WRL catalog for Just My Dad and Me.
In this story, Shoba and her monkey, Fuzzy, go on a quest to attend Fuzzy’s cousin’s wedding in Mumbai, India. The two fly on Shoba’s bed to India and then journey across the country meeting many colorful characters along the way. Fuzzy tries his best to discourage all of the people they meet from going to the monkey wedding, because he wants it to be a very exclusive event.
“Fuzzy approached one of the women. ‘Pardon me, have you by chance seen a large striped tent?’
‘There’s one just down the road. Is it a wedding tent?’ she asked eagerly.
‘Yes, but it will be one of the most boring weddings in the history of the universe,’ he answered, scurrying past her.’”
While Jeyaveeran’s tale is enchanting and captures the power of imagination, it is her drawings that bring the story to life. The vibrant pinks, yellows, greens, and purples help to portray a beautiful and diverse country. A map of India and glossary of terms help introduce children and parents alike to this Asian country.
Travel with Shoba and Fuzzy to find out if this Indian monkey wedding extravaganza is everything that the two are anticipating.
Check the WRL catalog for The Road to Mumbai.
Since its release as an animated film, Walt Disney’s Aristocats has been a favorite for children. This picture book adaptation of a beloved movie has the same, classic storyline with beautiful artwork to match. The story follows Duchess, a white angora cat, and her three kittens who all live together in a Parisian mansion. However, when the selfish butler, Edgar, discovers that the mansion’s owner, Madame Bonfamille, intends to leave her entire wealth to the cats, he tries to send them away once and for all. The cats, with the help of some colorful and loveable new friends, end up on the biggest adventure of their lives to find their way back home.
The artwork in this book is in keeping with the traditional Disney style, and looks just like the images from the movie have been penciled onto the pages. The colors are brilliant and truly bring to life this already vibrant tale. It is a book that children of all ages can enjoy, and it will surely be a favorite to have mommy or daddy read at bedtime. This is one Disney classic that no child should miss!
Check the WRL catalog for Walt Disney Productions presents The Aristocats.
Meg Wiviott’s very first picture book is a powerful, true story. The setting is Rosenstrasse, a street in Berlin, Germany with quite a rich and tragic history during the Second World War. In this book, we follow Benno, a street cat who lives at Number 5 Rosenstrasse. This moving story tells about the events of Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass, through the eyes of this cat, as his life, as well as the lives of many others, is completely changed. When the men in heavy boots march through Rosenstrasse, burning books and destroying buildings, Benno realizes that nothing will ever be the same.
Josee Bisaillon’s collage, drawings, and digital montage techniques have blended perfectly in the illustrations. They provide a very unique look, while still making some attractive pictures. The colors are particularly arresting. One page can seamlessly blend happy, upbeat tones with darker, gloomier shades to create an interesting effect. The style really captures the emotions of this time period.
Perhaps the best aspect of this extraordinary book is the way it educates children about a very terrible, yet important time in history. At the very end of the story, Wiviott devotes a couple of pages to giving an accurate account of Kristallnacht, its effects, and how other nations reacted to the event at the time. This amazing picture book makes the history accessible to even the youngest of children. This is a book that children and parents alike absolutely must pick up.
Check the WRL catalog for Benno and the Night of Broken Glass.
Originally published in 1957, Eve Titus’ and Paul Galdone’s Anatole and the Cat, which is the second story about mouse magnifique Anatole, has remained a well-loved book for children. This story follows Anatole, Paris’ most popular mouse, who is the most important and most secret worker at Duval’s cheese factory. He is the Vice-President in Charge of Cheese Tasting, so it is his job to provide reviews of every cheese produced by the factory, as well as suggestions on how to improve bad cheeses. One day, however, M’sieu Duval’s cat sneaks into the factory while Anatole is working! Anatole must then figure out a way to continue his work, overcoming the threat of the fearsome cat, or he won’t be able to accurately review the cheeses, and Duval’s cheese factory might be finished! It will take a lot of courage from this mouse extraordinaire.
Paul Galdone’s illustrations add a classic air to this book. Most of the pictures are drawn in grayscale, and the only colors added are blue, white, and red, which just so happen to be the colors of the French flag. If that’s not French enough for you yet, Eve Titus adds to the authenticity by mixing in French words with the English sentences. Not only is this a great story, but it is also a fun and wonderful way to get your child started with learning French, or at least a few words. After reading this book, children will doubtless agree that Anatole is truly a mouse magnifique!
Check the WRL catalog for Anatole and the Cat.
There is a saying that every boy should have two things: a dog, and a mother willing to let him have one. In Dogfish, a young boy already has a pet goldfish but still wants a dog more than anything. Unfortunately, his mother is less interested in getting another pet. The boy tries his most convincing arguments, uses his hypnotizing eyes, and gives her his best sad look but she will not be swayed. “After a bit my mom says, ‘Well, if you can’t have what you want, you could try to want what you have.’ She ALWAYS says things like that.”
So, the boy decides to do all the things with his fish that he’d planned to do with a dog. They play fetch, go for walks, and soon the boy realizes that he doesn’t just have a fish, he has a dogfish. Children will identify with the boy and his desire to have a dog. They will possibly also recognize the mother’s refusal to entertain the idea. Shields takes a very humorous, yet sympathetic approach to the boy’s situation and finds a way to give the story a happy ending even though he doesn’t get the dog he’s been pining for. Taylor’s illustrations are colorful and add to the humor of the story.
Check the WRL catalog for Dogfish.