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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

April A to Z Challenge Letter "U" #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z

Welcome to day twenty-one of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.
Today's letter is "U" and my topic is = Children's Books that begin with the letter U.

"Under The Sun", "Under The Table", "Up Above, Down Below" and "Up on Daddy's Shoulders". 
I hope you enjoy this little display.

"Under The Sun"
Written by Ellen Kandoian
Illustrated by Ellen Kandoian
(Dodd Mead & Co., 1987)

A mini geography lesson, in which a girl going to sleep on the East Coast of the USA asks her mom where the sun goes after it goes down. So, we track the sun (and sunsets!) across the Great Plains, the Rockies, the West Coast, Hawaii, Japan, China... and then, mysteriously, Europe is skipped altogether! Um, what's the deal? Just ran out of room? Didn't want to be too Euro-centric? Well, for what it is, this is a pretty nice book, but the omission of an entire continent (and kind of an important one, at that!) does make it a little flawed.

"Under The Table"
Written by Marisabina Russo
Illustrated by Marisabina Russo
(Greenwillow, 1997)  

Remember when you were little and could play underneath tables and chairs? And how you could hide things down there, or even draw little pictures on the undersides of furniture, and none of the grownups would ever even see it? Ah, yes... I see the smiles of recognition. Well, that's the story here, and everything goes fine until the day when Mom and Dad turn the table over while moving some stuff around and realize just what their little girl has been up to...! They don't flip out, though, and simply direct the girl towards more appropriate artistic outlets, such as pads of paper and the like. Another nice book by Russo that deals with real-life childrearing problems, but with a knowing nod and a wink of compassion and understanding. An ideal text to read if this sort of off-road artmaking becomes an issue in your house.

"Up Above, Down Below"
Written by Sue Redding
Illustrated by Sue Redding
(Chronicle Books, 2007)

A cool, visually-oriented book for kids to trip out on. Each two-page spread is split in half, with some action on the surface (a picnic, a stage play, people rush to work) being mirrored below with what happens underfoot (ant hives, stagehands, the subway, etc.) The manga-ish artwork features people and creatures with big, round eyes, jam-packed with lots and lots of detail, with a hefty dose of humor: rabbits tap into watermains to fill a pool, the ants play poker and watch TV on a pilfered iPod (with giant-sized Cheetos on the hive floor, no less...) and so on. The text is somewhat peripheral - one pass through this with an adult and most kids will just grab it for themselves and space out on it for hours. Very nice!

"Up On Daddy's Shoulders"
Written by Matt Berry
Illustrated by Lucy Corvino
(Scholastic Books, 2006)

Not much to the story, but a nice "daddy book" with all the action taking place from the viewpoint of a young boy riding on Daddy's shoulders all day long, from the moment they leave the house 'til nighttime, when the boy gets plunked down into the top bunk of his bed. A very simple story that takes in nature, shooting hoops and a trip to the zoo -- definitely geared towards the littlest readers.

Can you think of books that begin with the letter "U"? If so, please share them with us!

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