Hi there... This is the first page of the Letter "Q" in an alphabetical list of children's books reviewed on ReadThatAgain.com... All these books are also listed by Author in another section of the site.
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"Queenie, One Of The Family"
Written by Bob Graham
Illustrated by Bob Graham
A typical Bob Graham alterna-family -- Dad with ponytail and earrings, Mom with spiky hair and comfy clothes -- wind up adopting a stray chicken named Queenie, who cluckily moves in and attempts to displace the poor family dog. They take Queenie back to her original home -- a rural farm on the other side of the freeway -- but the resourceful Bantam hen keeps wandering back and depositing eggs (in the dog's bed) for the family to use however they see fit. Their little girl loves Queenie, but when a new baby is born, the hen takes the hint, and moves back to the barn. It's a kooky story, but it has a nice feel. Mostly I like the ambience -- Graham has a way of depicting people who (to me) feel familiar and comfortable to be around. It's almost as if you're just a guest, casually hanging out when the chicken wanders in through the doorflap, and your friends tell you the story of how the chicken showed up one day... Anyway, I like Graham's style a lot, and this is a thoroughly enchanting, kooky little story. (B+)
"The Question Song"
Written by Kaethe Zemach
Illustrated by Kaethe Zemach
(Henry Holt & Company, 1998)
Problem-solving is the theme of this book, with a brother and sister confronted by a host of worries -- having to share the same toy, skinning your knee when you fall down, having a shoe come off while you're on the swings -- and their two patient parents offer a slew of solutions. The call-and-response song structure of the text is variable, but the changing meter and lack of consistent rhyme doesn't really get in the way of the cheerful, positive message: Every problem has a solution; you just have to step back for a moment and figure it out. Good for all ages! (B)
Written by Marilyn Singer
Illustrated by John Manders
(Clarion Books, 2002)
A fun animal noises/counting book, with some unusual onomonopoeic choices -- the eeeeeeeeeeeee of eight mosquitoes, the splash of goose wings on water and, most satisfying of all, the big baarrrrrr-rumph! of a bullfrog that ends each iteration. The artwork is highly stylized and somewhat chaotic. It may be too busy-looking for many readers to fix on and understand, but even if you can't piece apart all the details in the splashy two-page spreads, the rolling rhythm and wild momentum of the text will probably pull you in, and you'll get enough of the visual information for it to work. I had lots of fun reading this one, but after a couple of weeks and several good reads, my daughter announced that she was done with this book, and told me to take it back to the library. Go figure! Anyway, I'd definitely recommend this one. (A-)
"Quiet On Account Of Dinosaur"
Written by Jane Thayer
Illustrated by Seymour Fleishman
(William Morrow & Co., 1964)
A goofy, delightful paleontological fantasy about a little girl named Mary Ann who (like oh, so many kids) is totally koo-koo about dinosaurs. One day she actually finds a dinosaur (a hibernating brontosaurus) and brings him home to keep as a pet. Of course, that plan doesn't go over so well, and her mother tells her she'll have to take the dinosaur to stay somewhere else. Of course, her school teacher is entirely sympathetic and agrees to let the big lizard stay and become the school mascot. The story has a marvelous absurdism about it -- no one bats an eye at the idea that a dinosaur is alive, but they do wonder why he's so shy. Also, it's kind of a stealth-tomboy tale, since Mary Ann has the sort of geeky dino-love that is so often the reserve of little boys... She even grows up to be a "famous scientist," the world's greatest expert on dinosaurs, with her very own museum and everything! We really enjoyed this one. Great 'Sixties-style artwork, too. (A)
"Quiet! There's A Canary In The Library"
Written by Don Freeman
Illustrated by Don Freeman
When Cary goes to the library, she really gets into it, thinking of nothing else but the book she's reading. One day, when she picks up a book about zoo animals, she daydreams about what she would do if she were the librarian, how she would invite all the animals to a special bird-and-beast day at the library. She greets each animal as it comes in, and things go great until a flock of mice scamper in an upset the elephant... Then she has to restore order, and is helped by a little canary. A fun, fanciful story and a welcome celebration of the halls of knowledge. Another nice one from the author of Corduroy. (B+)
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