Picture Book Roundup – The Mud Fairy & Some Dog!

Title: The Mud Fairy by Amy Young

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Emmalina is a fairy, and from the first page, you can see that her life is anything but flowers and sparkly dust.  She is working hard to earn her wings, but because she doesn’t think she has any talent, she’s getting frustrated that all of her friends have earned their wings, but she hasn’t.  The only thing that she seems to be good at is playing in the swamp with the frogs, but that’s not going to get her a pretty set of wings!

I liked Emmalina right away because she stays so true to herself.  Fairies are supposed to be delicate and dainty, but she loves playing leapfrog in the mud and running around in the swamp.  It’s so hard for her to fit in, and she despairs at ever earning her wings.  The harder she tries, the more spectacularly she fails, until the fairy queen tells her that maybe she is trying too hard.  Patience will reveal her talent, but Emmalina is fearful that she’s not good at anything.  This is a fun read because her talent just needed to be understood by the rest of the fairies, and when it is, it shows how important it is to be you.

The colorful art is eye-catching, but it’s the expressive characters that charmed me.  Emmalina’s feelings are very clear to see, and the frogs are super cute, too.

Title: Some Dog! by Mary Casanova and Ard Hoty

Publisher: Melanie Kroupa Books(Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

One look at the pouty basset hound on the cover of Some Dog! and I had to take it home.  This despite my resolve to NOT check out any other books from the library.  Those librarians are very, very clever – they display the picture books on top of the bookcases, and before you know it, you have an armful that you want to read.  Stop it!!

George is a happy basset hound who is living the good life with his people.  They pat his head and tell him that he’s “Some dog!”  Then a tiny interloper shows up one day, throwing George’s well ordered life into chaos.  Zippity never shuts up, he never stops running around, and he hogs George’s comfy bed at night.  Now George’s people are even patting him on the head and telling Zippity that he’s “Some dog!”

This is a wonderful book about a faithful old dog who feels threatened when a younger dog moves in.  Dog lovers will eat this one up!  George may be slow and laid back, but he is the most dependable dog on the planet!  When Zippity runs off during a scary thunderstorm, who do you think is asked to go find him?  Yup, poor, put-upon George, who wishes the annoying Zippity would just stay gone!

The illustrations are just as charming, and have just as much personality as the characters in the book.  The dogs are rendered with exaggerated details that make them memorable and demand rereads.  Moods in the story are effortlessly relayed to the reader, and the page layouts during the scary storm build up a very real sense of suspense. 

Grade: B+

One thought on “Picture Book Roundup – The Mud Fairy & Some Dog!

  • November 29, 2010 at 12:28 am

    These both look great for my daughter to enjoy – thanks for sharing :}. You might also like Jazz Fly 2 by musician Matthew Gollub, which my daughter has been reading and listening to over and over. The story comes with a Latin jazz cd performed by the author, which combines scat-singing with animal sounds. Spanish phrases are also intertwined, which has made it very easy and fun for my daughter to learn a new language. This is one of the best books we have gotten this year.

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