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Cookie the Walker by Chris Monroe – Book Review
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The Three Little Pigs and the Somewhat Bad Wolf by Mark Teague – Book Review
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Book Review: It’s Monday Mrs Jolly Bones by Warren Hanson

Cookie the Walker by Chris Monroe – Book Review

We picked up Cookie the Walker in May of 2013. Before I could get home and read it to the kids our Second Grader picked it up and read it to the family. The first thing she said when she finished the book was, “Are there more Cookie books?” Sorry, no. But maybe Ms. Monroe will write more. (She hasn’t yet). This has been a favorite of my children since we brought it home. Cookie the Walker is recommended for ages 3 to 8. My three-year-old enjoys having it read to him and my eight-year-old enjoys reading it.

Cookie The Walker

The story is about a dog named Cookie who has a special skill of walking on her hind legs. In the beginning, she does it because she finds it a handy way to reach things that are high up (like treats) and because it amuses her people.  However, pretty soon she begins to gain notoriety for her talent and people (who may not have her best interests at heart) want her to do it all the time. Cookie’s close friend, Kevin, acts as the voice of reason throughout the story. At first, he is supportive; but as things begin to get out of hand, he becomes concerned for his friend.  In the end, Cookie has to choose between fame and fortune (in the form of treats and bacon!) and being true to herself.  I doubt any of this will resonate with my kids too deeply right now, but it’s a nice value to start instilling in them early.

Cookie The Walker by Chris Monroe

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This book does not really pass my read over and over and over again standards.  I prefer books that flow for reading out loud. This book is written in comic-book style and I don’t like sharing comic books.  I think comic books need to be taken as a whole. The words are part of the art, and I just want to quietly soak it in.  However, I’m probably the only person who feels this way.  Either way, this is a great book for early readers, and if you are lucky enough to have a grade-schooler that likes to read out loud, everyone will all enjoy it.

 This Review was originally written in May 2013


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The Three Little Pigs and the Somewhat Bad Wolf by Mark Teague – Book Review

Around the time Mark Teague visited the Twin Cities on his promo tour for, The Three Little Pigs and the Somewhat Bad Wolf, we checked the book out from the library. The best part of Mark Teague’s books are the illustrations. The are big, bright, and engaging. The pictures alone will draw in your younger audience. The story is a slightly goofy version of the fairy tale, with enough grown up jokes speckled throughout the pages to keep adults amused.  

 

Some people do not like modern retellings of fairy tales that smooth away the rough (scary or violent) edges of the classic tale. If that’s you, you wouldn’t like this book. The Big Bad Wolf is only Somewhat Bad in this retelling and, in an ending reminiscent of a Raggedy Ann Tale, the pigs win him over with niceness and everyone agrees to live together in harmony. I think this retelling is okay. After all, if you want to be true to the classic tale, two of the three pigs get eaten and then the wolf is eaten by the third pig.

This book definitely passes my read over and over and over again test. The story is a simple, classic favorite. There is something about tales like this that read a little like a song. The reader keeps coming back to the same refrain. It makes a more enjoyable read for the reader and for the small child. The grown up jokes that he tosses in are just enough to make it amusing but not overwhelming. The illustrations really are the cream.

Where to find The Three Little Pigs and The Somewhat Bad Wolf

If you are interested in adding this book to your permanent collection, you can pick it up at most bookstores. It is also available through Hennepin County Library — where they will store it for you for free when you are done with it. I’m a huge fan of free book storage!

*If you purchase the book through our Amazon affiliate link below, Family Fun Twin Cities receives a small commission.

The Three Little Pigs and the Somewhat Bad Wolf

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Book Review: It’s Monday Mrs Jolly Bones by Warren Hanson

It’s Monday Mrs Jolly Bones
by Warren Hanson
Illustrated by Tricia Tusa
Available at Local Bookstores and Libraries
It's Monday Mrs Jolly Bones by Warren Hanson

It’s Monday Mrs Jolly Bones by Warren Hanson is an enjoyable book — both for the story and the pictures. In this poetic story, an unconventional old woman tackles the traditional weekly chores with a funny twist at the end of each chore.  The kids particularly like her bath in the toilet after cleaning all day on Wednesday. 

This book is suggested for ages 2 – 6. My audience was 1 – 8, and none of them really got the humor. The 8-year-old said Mrs. Jolly Bones and her friends were all weird. Which is pretty accurate. Despite this, I would rank this book high on the re-read scale.  It’s amusing to me, and that is important when it comes to re-reading a book. If I’m enjoying the book, the kids will enjoy it more, too. The story has nice cadence and a flow to it that make reading out loud easier.  It rhymes which also makes reading out loud easier since the reader can anticipate and memorize the lines with ease.

The illustrations tell the story all by themselves.  They add a depth to the story that could have been missing.  For instance, the expressions on the neighborhood faces as Mrs. Jolly Bones tosses her clothes out the window is priceless.  People who are only walking through the neighborhood look bemused, confused or scared.  Her neighbors, on the other hand, look unconcerned, angry or amused — as if they see this every week.  On days I don’t really feel like reading, we could study the pictures together and make up our own stories to expand on the poem.

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