Tag Archives: Children’s book reviews
Post by Mark T. Locker.
Perhaps you heard about this: in 1992, over 28,000 rubber ducks, beavers, and other bath toys were washed off a freighter at sea. For years to follow, these toys were washing up on beaches around the world. I am a huge fan of flotsam and jetsam; whenever I take a beach trip I spend half the time (at the very least!) with my head down hunting for treasures. These two books discuss, in very different ways, the lives of these little rubber toys which washed to sea.
You know Eric Carle. Even if you think you don’t, you do. His distinctive style has brought such classics at the Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Very Grumpy Ladybug. Ten Little Rubber Ducks is, according to the book jacket, inspired by the news of the wayward duckies, lost at sea. Eric Carle’s assessment of their fate is that they wandered far, and at least one is adopted by a family of real flesh-and-feather ducks. I find this highly implausible. Hands down, all kids’ favorite feature is the squeaky button on the back which sounds like—you guessed it—a rubber ducky.
Well, the title pretty much tells it all, doesn’t it? I first read this as an article in Harper’s magazine a number of years ago. Now journalist Donovan Hohn has fleshed out his fascinating story into a full-length book. If you have never thought about the secret lives of beachcombers, or the role of the ocean’s currents, or little rubber toys, it’s time you did. Donovan will tell you why.
Post by Mark T. Locker.
As a librarian, is my solemn duty to supply and recommend books with little regard to my own personal feelings towards them. Although this is a safe space where I am free to discuss, or avoid, any books I so please, sometimes I feel a nagging obligation to bring up books that others may like, even if I hate them.
I for one do not care for trucks. Or backhoes, or steamrollers, cranes, diggers, or cement mixers. I am glad that my son, by and large, does not care for these things either. Nevertheless, we find ourselves reading the odd truck book from time to time and although they are very popular, we always walk away nonplussed. Anyway, here are two selections.
This book has been the talk of all the picture book and children’s book magazines and sites. Basically night has come and all the trucks, diggers, mixers are…going to…bed. Each animal is wished good night. That’s about it. If you or your child enjoys reading about all the different construction vehicles, this is a great choice for bedtime.
This book is sillier and funnier than the construction site book. Jon Scieszka has taken many popular nursery rhymes and rewritten them to be about characters from his popular Trucktown series. “Pop Goes the Weasel” is rewritten as “Pop Blows the Diesel” and “Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater” is now “Peter Peter Payload Eater”. Again, if you like trucks, this will definitely be fun to read. If not, it will become quickly tiresome. But hey, it’s not for me! It’s for the children!