Monday, February 04, 2008

Children's Book Monday

by Marc Rosenthal

If your little ones are restless today, take a trip to the library and check out this book! Actually, just going to the library should be enough to cure the restless blues- but this book sure adds a layer of fun!

Sound effects? Check. Colorful pictures? Check. A lesson to be learned? Double check.

I don't know about you, but the declaration of "I'm bored!" doesn't cut it at my house. In fact, it causes me to look closer at myself, for I know that I'm not doing a good enough job of leading my children through their day. Sometimes, it gets downright tight in this apartment, and when the snow turns wet and the sky is gray and the snow clothes are still hanging over the shower curtain from yesterday's excursion, we need some help.

Enter Phooey.

A red-headed boy kicks a can and declares, "Phooey! Nothing ever happens around here!" and that one can sets off a fantastic chain of events all around him. The trouble is, he doesn't even notice!

We had such fun following him on his dejected walk through town. We laughed at the pirates crossing the street, cheered on the zookeeper as he chased a runaway elephant down the road, and clapped our hands over our mouths as the baker, with a tray full of pies, headed straight for some spilled paint. All while our bored little friend yawned and slumped and whispered, "Boring." as he sat on the curb and held his head in his hands.

My boys, of course, wondered what was wrong with him. "Fun stuff is happening all around him, Mama- what's his problem?" I stayed off my soapbox, cause it was comfy on the couch, and yet still managed to lead them in a two-fold lesson: how our actions affect everyone around us, and how sometimes we're so busy feeling sorry for ourselves that we don't look up and see, right in front of us, someone to help and therefore, something to do.

Your children will love to join you as you read- there are few words besides the boy's "Boring!" declarations, but the sound effects are really fun! As navel oranges are spilled by a bouncy ball hitting their crate (Poit!) they boing, boing, boing all over the streets. Bike tires "Skree!" and airborne pies "Zip!" and "Plop!"

The illustrations are wonderful- a bit like a full page comic strip. Marc Rosenthal, who has illustrated other children's books, brings a 1940's feel to the pages, and the opera house, cafe's and bakeries evoke that small town life perfectly.

Sometimes, you need a little slapstick. A few sound effects! There's nothing quite like it. It was all we needed to get those creative juices flowing again! What did we do with the rediscovered joy in our surroundings? Well, I made dinner, Eliana dumped out my cupboards, and the boys drew pictures for their auntie. Just right.

Happy Reading!

7 fellow travelers shared:

Jessica said...

I've so enjoyed reading your recommended books that I had to start posting myself.
Thanks for the great book ideas.

Liberty said...

I definitely want to get that book. It sounds great!

Joyful Days said...

That sounds like a really fun book!

Anonymous said...

I agree that sometimes it's appropriate to read a book that's not meant to be educational, but that's just plain FUN! It sounds great - thanks!

Kim said...

You had me at the title! There is something about the word Phooey that just rolls off the tongue so nicely!

Beka said...

Sounds like a fun book!

could you send some of that snow out here? I *so* wanted at least one big blizzard this year, but it's been a pretty mild winter so far here.

Oh well. We know Who controls the weather.

Hope you're having a peaceful, joyful day, dear friend.

Kelly said...

What a great title!

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