Picture Book Party: No T.Rex in the Library, Don’t Read This Book, Small Saul & Wolf Wanted

No T. Rex in the LibraryNo T. Rex in the Library by Toni Buzzeo
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When Tess comes into the library, she is definitely not on her best behavior. Set on time out by her mom for her “beastie” behavior, Tess manages to knock over a pile of books and release a T. Rex from the bounds of a book. Now the dinosaur is tearing around the library, knocking over more books. Squid, knights and pirates join the chaos. When the dinosaur finally goes further on his rampage than even Tess can condone, she sets the huge reptile on a time out before putting him back inside a book.

This picture book could have a role in a book care lesson or introduction at the end of the school year. It could also be used in a discussion of writing ideas.

Don't Read This Book!Don’t Read This Book! by Jill Lewis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This title joins a small flock of books where the story isn’t done or gets out of control. Similar themed books include Chester’s Masterpiece, The Plot Chickens, and An Undone Fairy Tale. In this volume, the king is determined to keep the reader away from the book because the royal story writer is not done with his work yet. The furious monarch threatens the reader with prison before he and the story writer set out for Beanstalk Crossroads to hunt down the missing story notes.

Different fairy tales are mentioned throughout the book. For students who are familiar with those tales, it will be a good draw to the book. It may encourage others to explore those stories, especially if they are on display when this book is read to a group. I’d like to try pairing this book with Interrupting Chicken.

Small SaulSmall Saul by Ashley Spires
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When the navy won’t take Small Saul, he turns to piracy to fill his need for the sea. While he could navigate, sing and swab the deck, Saul had trouble with looting and fighting. When it came time to find a real job, Small Saul knew he had to convince the other pirates he cared about the same things they did – the ship, being tough and treasure. His ways of doing so are completely different than how the other pirates do them. He decorates the inside of the ship and gets a rabbit tattoo. It is when Small Saul’s thoughts about treasure separate him from the ship that the other pirates realize his value.

Ashley Spires created illustrations that make Saul’s personality even clearer. When he tries to find a pirate crew, he’s carrying a suitcase and a plant. The wording on the signs and pirate diploma add to the playful nature of this book.

Small Saul is recommended for pirate-loving children. I’d be interested in seeing someone use this book in a discussion of careers or in a lesson teaching contrasting.

Wolf WantedWolf Wanted by Ana Maria Machado
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Elisa Amado translated this picture book from its original publication in Brazil. In this story, Manny sees a job advertisement for the wolf. He wants the job, and thinks he’s well qualified for it because he knows all about CVs and job expectations. There’s only one problem–Manny is human. The only thing about him that is a wolf is his last name. Even though Manny Wolf does not get the job that he wanted because he lacked fur, he does end up getting a job helping the company write letters to all the wolf applicants.

By reading the letters that the wolves sent, Manny can figure out what types of storybook wolves they are, from Little Red Riding Hood to The Three Little Pigs. I was unfamiliar with one story Manny mentioned – the Wolf and the Seven Little Kids. Some of the wolves try to trick Manny with repeat letters, but they can’t pull the wool over his eyes. Other appearances are from The Jungle Book and Roman mythology. Applicant after applicant is dismissed. Finally, Manny writes a new advertisement that is more clear on what kind of applicant is needed and the job specifications.

This book provides definitions for CV and other job-related terms in words that kids can understand. The book also introduces the concept of writing cover letters for jobs. I’m looking forward to recommending this book to the guidance counselor at school who has been discussing jobs with kids. Another use of this book would be on teaching clarity in writing.

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2 thoughts on “Picture Book Party: No T.Rex in the Library, Don’t Read This Book, Small Saul & Wolf Wanted

  1. Thanks so much for including “Dont’ Read This Book!” in your post. It’s one of our favorites! (Then again, all of our books are favorites…). We are posting a link to your blog on our facebook page. Are you a fan yet? http://www.facebook.com/tigertales
    Happy Reading,
    Elizabeth Bennett
    tiger tales

  2. No, not yet. I’ll head over that way though.

    Thanks for reading!

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