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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Yellowbelly and Plum Go to School

Yellowbelly and Plum Go to School, written and illustrated by Nathan Hale.

Nathan Hale, you may remember, also illustrated Rapunzels Revenge (and is finishing up its sequel now). He's also the mind behind The Devil You Know, which is superfun and smart. Given this kind of record, its wonderful that ...

This book is so fantastic! The spare prose combines with the lush illustrations so well. The story is believable and fantastical at the same time.

I love that the schoolchildren are a mix of kids and monsters. Now that is some subtle social commentary a teacher can appreciate! (How cute some of those monsters are! How monstrous some of those kids can be!) But don't worry -- no scary monster situations. No, the conflict in the story will hit much closer to home for kids. Because we all have lost or misplaced something at school, and it is traumatic!

One of Jacob's favorite things about the book is that the words tell a different story than the pictures do. Or, that is to say, the pictures add a whole new dimension to the story. One of my favorite things is that there is so much to look at! You could read through this book pretty fast, if you wanted to (and that's the way that Benjamin likes it right now) but you could also spend a lot of time with it, too.

Highly Recommended. "On a scale of one to ten, you. . . are an eleven!" -- Iago imitating Jafar, Aladdin.

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