Monday Muddling– Easy Picture Books Roundup

One of my duties at the library is to go around just before we close and gather up any stray books that have been left here, there or wherever. Just before closing time Sunday afternoon I came upon a small stack of books in the Children’s area. I was about to check them in and put them on a cart to be re-shelved when I happened to take a look at them. And found that all three were really neat books that I was not already familiar with. So I decided to bring them home instead to read them and share them with you.

It is very unusual to encounter a book that does not have the title or any other writing on the front cover. Which is just one of the very striking things about Walter Was Worried, a pre-school book by Laura Vaccaro Seeger. This book illustrates the emotions different children experience in response to the weather. While the drawings are in a somewhat primitive style, Seeger deftly manges to communicate the stated emotion in each child’s facial expression as the book moves from worried (when the sky grew dark) to ecstatic (when the sun came out). If you have pre-schoolers in the house, this one is Recommended.

I was very intrigued by the title The Deaf Musicians. As someone who is severely hearing impaired but nonetheless loves music (the net result of that is that I am mostly into music that was popular when I was a teenager before I lost most of my hearing) this seemed like it would be my sort of thing. Sorry to say it wasn’t. Pete Seeger’s attempt to jump on the ‘popular musicians put out children’s books’ bandwagon falls flat. The illustrations are, well, kind of ugly and the story line of a musician who goes deaf and then begins performing “music” in sign language with other deaf people on the subway made little sense. Not Recommended.

I’ve long been a Maurice Sendak fan, particularly of his iconic Where The Wild Things Are but had some how managed to miss this delightful little gem. From Alligators All Around to Zippity Zound, Sendak presents the alphabet. With charming alligator illustrations and inventive alliterations (juggling jellybeans, making macaroni, quite quarrelsome) this is a fun way to review the ABC’s. For the pre-school set, this one too is Recommended.