Here are Friday’s #picturebookparty reads.
Cadet 3X-245 lives at the Donut Station. His job? Monitoring the universe. The book begins much as a tv-show might. First there’s an overview of Topo’s duties as a cadet and his goal of becoming a space commander. The different bots and tools inside the space station are introduced. Action kicks in when Topo awakes to find everything frozen. Only Tinny Bot can help Topo.
Computron announces that the sun has turned off and assigns Topo four tasks. Topo must fly to the last planet, find the keeper of the Galactic Flame, haul fire to the sun and light the core. Simple.
The Guardian of the Galactic Flame sets a task before Topo before the mole can stop the galaxy from turning blue with ice. The action based cartoon style drawings will appear to kids who enjoy comics. I like the use of fonts throughout for both the robotic and computerized characters, and the scenery signs. In some ways this book reminds me of Indiana Jones.
Chicken, Pig and Cow were the best of friends, always playing together, until Horse arrives. Pig and Cow admire Horse. Chicken is less than pleased and tricks Horse into a game of hide & seek. It backfires when Chicken later cannot find Horse.
Thinking Horse is in the fish bowl, Chicken leaps in . Pig and Cow jump in to save him. Horse does too. Now they’re all sunk. Their watery predicament takes all four of them to break free. This story is a great example of simple problem solving that could start off some simple rube goldberg designs by children.
I think this book could tie in well with Read to Tiger and How Rocket Learned to Read when setting up classroom literacy routines at the start of the school year. I would use this book in addressing that there are different kinds of readers and that choice is important, such as in a Daily 5 lesson.
I love the child’s narration of what happens when reading to all sort of animals. “If you read a bedtime story to a hippopotamus, he might want to sit in your lap!” That’s an unusual reading danger. “And why can’t you read a book to owls? Because they’ll keep asking…whooo????” My favorite page is about chameleons getting lost in the story.
The illustrations remind me a lot of Stephen Kellog’s work while the words are vaguely reminiscent of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.
This work of fiction is based on life of James Banning, the first African American to complete a transcontinental flight. It is told from the viewpoint of Thomas Allen, Banning’s copilot and mechanic. Others were skeptical of Allen & Banning, naming them the Flying Hoboes. They started out on September 19, 1932. In return for supplies and food, people could write their names on Banning’s plane.
As the plane moved east, Banning and Allen ran into the bigger challenge of prejudice and were turned away from places. In Oklahoma, they were greeted by family and friends before heading off to Illinois and on through a fierce Pennsylvania storm. The two men flew over 3300 miles in their OXX6 Eagle Rock plane.
The illustrations in this book convey the moods of the book, from carefree to concerned. A rough map of the Hallelujah Flight is included near the back of the book. This would be a good recommendation to kids who like flight books. It’s nice to offer more than Amelia Earhart. Children who enjoy reading about astronauts may also like this book about an earlier time.