Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten; Pirate Cruncher; Louise the Big Cheese; Fancy Nancy Aspiring Artist Picture Book Recap

Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten?Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten? by Audrey Vernick
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is a comical look at the first day of school and all the butterfly jitters that can bring. The pictures are simple & I could see having students draw their buffalo in kindergarten. It’d be a great first library meeting between students and librarian.

“Remind your buffalo: It’s ok to get messy.” Is anyone else thinking of Ms. Frizzle?

One of my favorite lines is “Can your buffalo balance on a tightrope? Kidding! He doesn’t need to do that. Unless he’s going to clown kindergarten.” I like it because I have a character who constantly refers to an essential guide for clowns when frustrated.

You can see buffalo reading a tiny version of this book at the end.

I could see this book being a good pair with If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.

The Pirate CruncherThe Pirate Cruncher by Jonny Duddle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

On with pirates! Captain Purplebeard and his band of cutthroats are searching for treasure in this picture book/comic hybrid. The adventure begins with an older fiddler singing of treasure. This is clearly a good book for a music nerd like me.

The parrot is the one crew member with common sense. One dialogue exchange I enjoyed was “You eat treasure?” “Only small pieces.”

The color choices in Pirate Cruncher really highlight the characters’ moods. The somewhat eerie blues were a bit hard for reading. The pirates’ thoughts are shown in small black & white sketched thought bubbles, which really made them stand out.

A big beast that likes a pirate feast? “It can swallow whole ships in its whirlpool jaws (though they say it’s allergic to scarlet macaws).” I’m sensing kracken….

The boat is named Midas Touch. Huzzah for stealth mythology!

As a librarian, I’m worried about the flap at the end. It shows a marvelous surprise, but it isn’t very durable.

Louise the Big Cheese: Divine DivaLouise the Big Cheese: Divine Diva by Elise Primavera
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The cover of this book is very pink and very sparkly. The dog is very cute. My very initial reaction to the cover is that this would be a good book to foist on fans of Fancy Nancy.

Drawings about big cheeses and little cheeses in history on the end papers are pretty funny though. For example, “I was Cleopatra’s second cousin and I could train camels.”

Louise likes to dream big, but the part that makes me laugh is her dog dreaming of a giant bone. There are tryouts for the school play of Cindererlla. Louise cannot handle not getting the lead role in the school play and will not talk to the girl who did. Off topic: Tryouts make me think of beta reading What Lurks Beneath the Bleachers by Kit Campbell.

I love the illustration of the mice dancing around the pumpkin carriage on the school stage. Louise eventually discovers that she can have a big part that has nothing to do with her name in the lights. This is a tremendous relief to her, her parents, and the girl who played Cinderella.

Fancy Nancy: Aspiring ArtistFancy Nancy: Aspiring Artist by Jane O’Connor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This the first Fancy Nancy book I’ve read though I certainly helped a lot of summer reading kids find them last year. The vocabulary in this book would be great in a writing lesson on stretching student word use.

I would like to argue with Nancy that doodles do count as art. Fancy Nancy mentions different artists and some of their pictures and styles are reflected in the book.

My favorite quote in this book is “Artists are allowed to break rules!” I appreciated that Nancy also has bad art days. Creativity can be hard and elusive. I know this from writing.

The elementary school I attended once had a mass student created replica of the Jackson Pollock painting shown in Aspiring Artist. I would love to fling paint around like these kids do outside on the grass.

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