Picture Book Party Recap: Mr. Duck Means Business, Miss Lina’s Ballerinas & April and Esme Tooth Fairies

Mr. Duck Means BusinessMr. Duck Means Business by Tammi Sauer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mr. Duck’s schedule is precisely organized, quiet, & confined to one place. A pig cannonballs into Mr. Duck’s pond, disturbing the tranquility. As Mr. Duck struggles to express the depths of his distress to the pig, more animals loudly intrude upon his pond. When the other animals finally understand what Mr. Duck’s snapping is all about, Duck discovers quiet isn’t what he wants every hour of every day in his pond. Mr. Duck relaxes the rules and allows some chaos into his life (and some friends too).

Children could have fun pointing out the animals that come and sneak a glance at Mr. Duck’s quiet pond.

Mr. Duck and Scaredy Squirrel have much in common. I would love to have kids draw up their precise schedule and match it up with that of Mr. Duck and Scaredy Squirrel.

Miss Lina's BallerinasMiss Lina’s Ballerinas by Grace MacCarone
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The opening lines of Miss Lina’s Ballerina’s makes me think of Madeleine. “In a cozy white house, in the town of Messina, eight little girls studied dance with Miss Lina.” The illustrative style also reminds me of Madeleine, especially when the girls are dancing in two lines. Much of the artwork is tinged pink in keeping with the girls’ ballet costumes.

No matter what the girls are doing, be it math or reading, they dance at the same time. They dance at the zoo and at parks. however, all eight dancers lose the beat and their cool when a ninth girl comes to Miss Lina’s school.

I love all the synonyms in this story for how the girls feel when they all fall down while dancing. They are “abashed, baffled, befuddled, flummoxed and flustered, mixed-up and muddled.” The girls adapt to their new number and dancing patterns. Both this book and Mr. Duck Means Business involve changes in daily life.

At the back of the book are four ballet terms, their pronunciation & meaning. Some pronunciation was evidenced by rhymes.

April and Esme Tooth FairiesApril and Esme Tooth Fairies by Bob Graham
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love how the young tooth fairies are depicted as regular elementary school kids with wings. I am so delighted to not see teeny tiaras. The little dog with wings living in April and Esme’s home looks quite huggable.

At almost eight years of age, April’s off on her first job retrieving a tooth. The young tooth fairies have many of the same issues children have, especially the one about being old enough to do something. April is incredulous when her mom says she has to be magic and unseen by the boy whose tooth April must claim. Mom is very dressed up for her night of work with a white gown and flowers in her hair. Dad’s still in stay at home clothes.

As April and Esme forge onward, the wind buffets and turns them. Landing on the doorstep, they help one another under the door. When they look up the stairs, April and Esme get a sudden jolt of perspective. When the little boy wakes up for a moment, April and Esme turn to their wits and a cell phone to figure out what to do.

Charmingly illustrated, April and Esme would be great with a dental health unit or comparing world traditions about lost teeth. I like the picture of the hairdryer blowing one of the fairies around.

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