Quick Review: Theodore Seuss Geisel Award 2010

September 11, 2011

  • Arnold, T.  (2009).  I spy fly guy!. New York, NY: Cartwheel Books.  32 p.  978-0545110280.  $5.99.  Gr. PreK-2.
  • Hayes, G.  (2009).  Benny and penny in the big no-no!: a toon book.  New York, NY: Toon Books.  32 p.  978-0979923890.  $12.95.  Gr. Pre-K-2.
  • McMullan, K.  (2009).  Pearl and wagner: one funny day.  New York, NY: Dial.  40 p.  978-0803730854.  $14.99.  Gr. 1-3.
  • Smith, J.  (2009).  Little mouse gets ready.  New York, NY: Toon Books.  32 p.  978-1935179016.  $12.95.  Gr. Pre-K-1.
  • Yee, W.H.  (2009).  Mouse and mole: fine feathered friends.  New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.  48 p.  978-0547152226.  $15.00.  Gr. 1-3.

While it’s called the Geisel Award, most of these titles share more in common with Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad books. Peal and Wagner is about two friends, one of whom keeps getting tricked on April Fool’s Day. Mouse and Mole tells the story of two bird lovers and their attempts to get nearer to their avian subjects. Both are very straightforward and not very imaginative. There are better books, like Lobel’s. The illustrations in Mouse and Mole even echo the Frog and Toad style. I Spy Fly Guy! is more inventive with its bright drawings and the quirky friendship at its center. Readers will be on the edge of their seats as Buzz tries to locate best friend Fly Guy . . . at the dump. The last two books from the Toon Books imprint seem to be capitalizing on the graphic novel explosion, but the vintage style and quaint storytelling will attract readers of all ages. Benny and Penny is a classic case of whodunit as the title characters try to solve the mystery of who stole their pail. It has a classic feel, but it builds on the shoulders of giants. The standout title is Little Mouse, which surely will be worn out after thousands of reads. It captivates readers with a cute mouse’s struggles getting ready for the day. His troubles with getting his pants on, velcroing his shoes, and buttoning his shirt will be felt by children and adults alike. The punchline ending is also charming.
Additional Thoughts:
Skip all but Little Mouse Gets Ready. That one is phenomenal. Although the Toon Books imprint is quite interesting and I want to read more from them.

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