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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Carrot Review

Carrot written by Vanita Oelschlager and illustrated by Kristin Blackwood is a beautifully illustrated book that follows an orange cat as she makes a truly wonderful discovery.

Carrot is a city cat who has a wonderful family, a nice house, and a fun life of exploration.  One day Carrot spies a beautiful white cat aboard a yacht and begins to imagine how much better her life would be if she lived in luxury.  Fortunately she soon realizes that in order to live that life, which may look good on the surface, it would require her to sacrifice the things she loves.  That life may not be so great after all and she decided to just be who she is. 

What a great message to share with our children who are surrounded by the idea that bigger, richer, newer is always better!  Be happy with what you have because that better life quite often comes with its own set of sacrifices. 

My daughter enjoyed both the illustrations and the story, especially seeing the world for a cat's point of view.  I enjoyed the message the book imparted.  All in all a win-win for us!

Birthday Suit Review

Birthday Suit by Olive Senior is a fun look at a 4 year old boy who lives in a tropical area.  This young man has an adversion to clothes and prefers to romp around on the beach and at home in his birthday suit.  His mother tries a variety of clothes only to discover her son can wiggle and squirm his way out of all of them.  It takes some man to man conversing with dad before this young man finally agrees to remain clothed, at which point he discovers just how much fun clothes can be!

I have to say that I enjoyed this book, as well as my daughter who prefers to dress in the minimalist fashion (not quite the birthday suit but very close to it!).  The illustrations are colorful and busy which easily lends itself to some games of I spy on each page.  And while this is the story of a boy who spends most of the time naked, the illustrations are done in such a way that while you know he is naked, he is modest and it is natural. 

The only drawback for my family is that we don't live in a tropical location so some of the things struck my daughter as odd.  (He gets to play in the water every day?  why is that woman carrying a basket on her head?!?)  That did open the door for conversation about different cultures and places to live so it easily becaming a learning experience.

All in all a good book for preschoolers.