Friday, July 10, 2015

The Blue Whale and In a Village by the Sea

The Blue Whale is a nonfiction picture book that is written and illustrated by Jenni Desmond. The book begins by talking about a child reading a book - this book. Doing this connects your child with the child in the book. The book then proceeds to give you and your child interesting facts about blue whales. For example, did you know that a blue whale can grow as long as 100 feet, but it's eyeball is only 6 inches big. Blue whales also cannot breathe underwater, and therefore the only sleep they get is short naps close to the ocean's surface. "Blue whales can never completely lose consciousness, not even in sleep, otherwise,they would drown." How fascinating, but awful! These are just some of the tidbits about blue whales that your child will learn. Most of the information is presented in ways that your child can relate to. For example, in addition to telling us that a blue whale can be 100 feet long, the author gives concrete examples of what 100 feet looks like. A lot of the children's books I read to my son are fiction, because that's what a lot of children's books are. Therefore, a book like this a treasure in that it is nonfiction, but still enthralling enough to keep even the pickiest reader's attention. In fact, I'd bet your child won't even realize they are learning as they are reading. The illustrations are nothing to sneeze at either. Done using colored pencils, one can see the labor of love Ms. Desmond put into the details of this book. Highly recommended for both the pictures and the educational value!

In a Village by the Sea is a 32 page hardcover picture book for ages 4-10. The setting of the story is inspired by an ancestral fishing village in Vietnam that is home to the author, Muon Van. The book begins by talking about the village, and then a house, and then a kitchen. In the kitchen is described a woman, a child, and a hole. In the hole is a cricket, who is an artist. This cricket is painting a picture of a fisherman at sea in a rough storm. The fisherman he is painting a picture of is husband and father of the woman and child mentioned above. Thus, the entire story is a circle. The book is simplistic in writing style which makes it an easy and quick read for little ones, but the circular story will give the older children something to chew on. The illustrations by April Chu are gorgeous pen and ink that are full of detail. They will continue to draw young and old alike back to this book, either to read again or simply look at the pictures, so be sure to pick up a copy.

These books were provided to me for free by Enchanted Lion Books and Creston Books, respectively, in exchange for honest reviews. If you found these reviews helpful, please click here and/or here and hit Yes!