Some Bugs by Angela DiTerlizzi and Brendon Wenzel
Meet Snugglepot and Cuddlepie by May Gibbs
This week I remembered that finding Picture Books to read to children is fun!
I have been struggling to find inspiration for a picture book review for a while, so this week when I was in the library looking for books for myself I did what I used to do when Sam was little. I looked around the picture book section and found two I would have taken home for him.
How did I choose these two books? Well I spotted Meet Snugglepot and Cuddlepie first. I have always loved the May Gibbs illustrations but had never read any of her books. So this one was pure indulgence for me. And I realised that yes, I sometimes did choose books I wanted to read to Sam just for me. Sometimes they were a hit, like The Tiger Who Came to Tea and Ping, and sometimes they were a miss, like Barbar.
I then looked around and spied the beautiful cover illustration of Some Bugs, done by Brendon Wenzel. I flicked through and the illustrations made me smile, so I took this one home also. Funnily, Sam saw this in my pile of books and immediately honed in on it and picked it up to read. So he still loves picture books with bright interesting illustrations!
I made a coffee and sat down to read my haul, and my opinion? The illustrations on both were beautiful in different ways. May Gibbs pictures are timeless, Brendon Wenzel’s are vibrant and detailed. I could see Sam studying them and marvelling at each bug when he read the book.
The text supporting these illustrations were very differnt. I really enjoyed Angela Diterlizzi’s poem about bugs. The repetition of the words ‘Some Bugs’, combined with action words wrapped up in rhyme makes the book easy to read out loud and easy for children to follow. I also love that the book encourages children to look at the bugs in their own back yard, linking reading to action and learning. And it is fun to read!
Meet Snugglepot and Cuddlepie is a very different kind of book. In essence it is an adventure story where two gumnut babies go off in search of humans. On their adventure they meet other bush animals, and finally come across a possum caught in a human trap. They worry that maybe humans are bad? But then a human comes along and frees the possum, and they hope that all humans are like this one and want to take care of the animals in the bush. It is a gentle introduction to adventure stories with beautiful illustrations that have become iconic, and I love that it encourages children to take care of the bush creatures because now they have a faces and feelings they can identify with.
I enjoyed reading both books. If I were buying them and was being child led I would only have bought Some Bugs because I know Sam would have read it again and again, and it would become a firm family favourite. However, I personally would have bought both. While Some Bugs would be great to read out loud, great for language development and would engage children with the detailed illustrations, Meet Snugglepot and Cuddlepie tells a story and develops characters in a way that leads children into more advanced reading and comprehension skills. And, well, I just like it and sometime reading picture books was about me!
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