February Books: Love & Friendship Go Together

By on March 8, 2014

Valentines Day supplies another grand opportunity to spend time together. Snuggle and try out any of these tales of friendship and love

by Meribeth Shank

The Ring Went Zing: A story that ends with a kiss

BOOKzingby Sean Taylor, illustrated by Jill Barton.

Interest Level: Kindergarten–Grade 2

“Once upon a time, once and never again, a frog fell in love with a chicken, and bought her a golden ring.” But when he drops the ring, the fun begins. Neither the swan in her pink sneakers, a skateboarding rabbit, a goat on wheels, nor a sausage dog playing guitar can get a grip on the ring. It zings and pings, merrily, rolling away from the loving pair. Large amounts of white space feature the acrobatic antics of the animals. Pencil and watercolor paintings show animals’ expressive faces. Rhythmic and rhyming text combined with comic illustrations, demonstrate the active teamwork involved. Finally, the frog recovers the ring, resulting in a surprise at the end. Dial, $16.99 (hardcover). (This book is available to purchase from Books & Books online: www.booksandbooks.com)

Farfallina & Marcel

BOOKfarfallinaby Holly Keller.

Interest Level: Pre-Kindergarten–Grade 1

         A caterpillar named Farfallina and her best friend, a baby goose named Marcel, do everything together. Until one day. Things begin to change.  Farfallina climbs a tree to rest. She is gone for such a long time that Marcel, although worried and lonely, stops coming to the tree.  And when Marcel sees his reflection in the water of the nearby pond, he notices how much he has grown and changed. Farfallina is also changing. When she comes out, she opens her beautiful wings and sits on a flower to wait for Marcel. But Marcel doesn’t come and Farfallina is tired and confused. Farfallina goes to the pond where the two friends used to play. Each has changed so much they do not recognize the other. When they finally realize who they are, delight is immediate and powerful. This strong and loving story of friendship is one even the youngest of listeners understand. Bright watercolors in mostly greens and blues match with spare but lively text. The warmth of a strong friendship glows in the gentle illustrations.

          An author’s note is included about the change from caterpillar to butterfly. HarperColllins, $6.99 (paperback) (This book is available to borrow at the Miami Dade Library; Main Branch. Also may be purchased from Books & Books online: www.booksandbooks.com)

Friends

BOOKfriendsby Eric Carle.

Interest Level: Pre-Kindergarten–Grade 1

         Boy and girl are friends until she moves away. Alone and lonely, he decides to cross a river, climb a mountain, travel through a meadow and forest to find her. In a garden he collects flowers. The book features Carle’s trademark artwork. He creates colorful images, using layers of tissue paper with acrylic paint.  When they meet up together again, the ending is a playful fantasy with the two wearing dress-up wedding clothes. Back matter includes a photo of the author with a friend when they were both three years old. Penguin, $17.99 (hardcover) (This book is available to purchase from Books & Books online: www.booksandbooks.com)

Fox Forgets

BOOKfoxby Suzanne Bloom.

Interest Level:  Pre-Kindergarten – Grade 1

         This wonderful book is fifth in a series about bear and duck. Less than one hundred words show a story of leaving and returning.  Author-illustrator Bloom once again immerses her audience in a tale of friendship. Using her characteristic mix of deep colored and lighter pastels, she seamlessly fuses illustration with spare text.  Goose tells Fox she’s leaving, but she’ll “be right back.” And please, “tell Bear.” But in Fox’s distraction with wanting to play with Bear, he neglects to give the message. Bear, preoccupied with wondering where Goose is, can’t concentrate on the games. Then Fox sheepishly remembers and tells Bear, at the same time that Goose returns. The ending is a group hug so hearty that young readers can almost feel it.  Brief sentences and simple language make this perfect as an EZ reader. It is so much fun, early readers will scarcely realize they are reading. Boyds Mills Press, $16.95 (hardcover)(This book is available to purchase from Books & Books online: www.booksandbooks.com)

More great books to choose from:

BOOKeachotherWe Love Each Other

by Yusuke Yonezu. Minedition, $9.95 (Board book)
Interest Level: Age 1–3 years (This book is available to purchase from Books & Books online: www.booksandbooks.com)

BOOKheartsHearts

by Thereza Rowe. Toon Books, $12.95 (hardcover) Interest Level: Pre- Kindergarten–Grade 2 (This book is available to purchase from Books & Books online: www.booksandbooks.com)

BOOKmessageMax & Milo: The Mixed-up Message

by Heather & Ethan Long. Aladdin, $14.99 (hardcover) Interest Level: Junior Kindergarten–Grade 2 (This book is available to purchase from Books & Books online: www.booksandbooks.com)
Meribeth Shank works in the Media Center at Miami Country Day School, an independent school in Miami Shores, Florida, teaches classes on Writing Books for Children, and earned her MFA in Writing for children from Vermont College. You can also find her on the web: www.meribeths.blogspot.com
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