Tag Archives: girl

Flossie and the Fox by Patricia C. McKissack

flossie and the foxFlossie and the Fox by Patricia C. McKissack relates the story of a little girl who tricks a sly fox so that she can safely deliver eggs across a forest.  After being sent away with the load of eggs by her grandmother who warns her about the fox, Flossie encounters the wily creature.  In order to avoid his tricks, the girl says she refuses to believe that he is a fox.  As she makes her way through the woods, she insists instead that the fox must be a rabbit, a cat, and a squirrel based on the characteristics that the fox points out.  Just as he points out that he has sharp teeth and can run fast and THAT must mean he is a fox, Flossie reaches the end of her journey, and dogs chase off the befuddled animal.  On the last page, the reader learns that Flossie knows the true identity of the fox all along, but her game has allowed her to outsmart the animal and safely deliver her grandmother’s farm goods.

Pros: A fun book to teach using reasoning and sequential thinking.

Cons:  While I liked the use of African American language typical of the Southern United States, it did bother me that 
its use was not consistent.

Age Range: 3-8

4 of 5


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My Mother is the Most Beautiful Woman in the World – 1946 Caldecott Honor Book

My Mother is the Most Beautiful Woman in the WorldBy the time we are reading this, our forty-first Caldecott book, it has become clear to me that people of the 1940’s must have been very intrigued with other cultures and countries since so many award-winning books written during that period have these common themes.  My Mother is the Most Beautiful Woman in the World, written by Becky Reyher and illustrated by Ruth Gannett, is a retelling of a Russian folktale.  In this story a little girl gets lost during a harvest-time feast.  When asked about her parents all she can say is that her mother is “the most beautiful woman in the world.”  The villagers sort through all of the gorgeous women nearby for the child’s mother, but are surprised when they find that her mother is a rather homely looking lady.  In the end, the mother tells her daughter that she is happy that her daughter sees beauty not only with her eyes, but also with her heart.


Caldecott Criteria:

1. “Excellence of execution in the artistic technique employed.” – Stippling and pointillism, a painting technique in which small, distinct dots of color are applied in patterns to form an image (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pointillism), are used throughout this book.  While I did not find these illustrations particularly beautiful, they are artistically detailed, and maybe that is the point given the storyline.

2. “Excellence of pictorial interpretation of story, theme, or concept.” – While I did not find these illustrations particularly dazzling, they are artistically detailed, and maybe that is the point given the storyline.

3. “Appropriateness of style of illustration to the story, theme or concept.”-  A peasant Russian style is evident throughout the story.

4. “Delineation of plot, theme, characters, setting, mood or information through the pictures.” – Each one of these literary aspects is clearly defined through the illustrations.

5. “Excellence of presentation in recognition of a child audience.” – When I asked my oldest daughter if she liked this book she very nostalgically replied, “Yeah, the pictures are pretty.”

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The Rainbabies by Laura Krauss Melmed

The RainbabiesThe Rainbabies written by Laura Krauss Melmed and illustrated by Jim LaMarche tells the story of a couple who have a wonderful life together, but still wish they could have a baby.  One night the woman hears rain falling at night and insists they go outside in the rain since she has heard that a moonshower is good luck.  As the rain ends, they see twelve drops of water each containing a tiny baby.  The couple take the infants inside and begin to raise them.  Soon they experience several trying circumstances, such as a sudden storm while in a boat, a wildfire encircling the babies, and a weasel stealing one of the infants.  One dark, rainy night the family is visited by a youg man who asks to trade the babies for a valuable stone.  When the couple refuses, the man turns into a beautiful woman.  This Mother Moonshower insists that, even though the man and woman have been wonderful for the babies, it is time for her to take them back since they cannot grow without her.  As she is leaving she shows the couple that she has brought them an adorable infant of normal size to be their own child.  This daughter, Rayna, grows up and makes the couple truly happy.

Pros:  My girls loved this book because it provided plenty of room for imagination.  I was surprised when, hours after we read together, my oldest daughter mentioned this book,specifically reminding me that she really liked the story.

Cons:  While I didn’t have anything specific against this book I did not particularly enjoy reading this fanciful story.  It was just a bit much of a stretch for me.  My girls did not like the way the story ended.  They wanted the couple to be able to keep the Rainbabies!

Age Range: 3-9 years

3 of 5 stars

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