Friday, April 20, 2012

Woolbur; Leslie Helakowski ~ Odd Bird Out; Helga Bansch ~ The Busy Beaver; Nicholas Oldland

Still on my quest for the perfect young children's books,  I wanted to share some recent finds.

(Illustrations by Lee Harper)
Harper Collins - 2008
Ages 3+
A sweet book with an important message -- It is okay to be different!

Woolbur is the cutest little sheep who loves trying new and different things, His Maa and Paa worry about him, but Grandpaa tells them not to worry. He likes to run with the wild dogs; he doesn't want to have his wool sheared; he tried to card his own wool which made him look kind of funny, but he liked the way he looked all the same.  He also finds out riding on the spinning wheel instead of spinning the wool is a lot more fun.  These things along with many more funny antics cause Woolbur's Maa and Paa to become concerned.  They take him aside and have a talk, telling him,  "you must follow the flock--it's what sheep do", but Woolbur has a better idea, he taught the flock to do as he did and becomes a leader not a follower.

Knitters will love this, but even if you're like me and don't knit, it's a great book, full of colorful and imaginative illustrations and most of all an important message. RECOMMENDED

Gecko Press - 2011
Ages 3+
Another cute book about being different!

Robert the Raven was a s happy as a lark and wanted all the other ravens to be as happy as him.  He loved to dress up (not in black like the other ravens). He loved to dance, tell jokes and even sing (even though he wasn't very good at these things).

On concert night he dressed in bold colors, looking somewhat like a parrot. The other ravens asked him to leave. Robert was so sad because of this, he flew far away. When he grew tired he landed in a tree and sang himself to sleep. In the morning he found lots of colorful birds cheering him. The obviously enjoyed having Robert there.   Back home, the ravens were surprised that things seemed less happy and the world  a bit empty with Robert gone.  These birds learned an important lesson, because as new birds arrived they became more patient and tolerant to those who were a bit different.

I was reminded of Jimmy Buffet "Parrot Heads" as I read this book. The colorful illustrations are awesome. An important message as well. RECOMMENDED

 Nicholas Oldland (author/illustrator)
Kids Can Press - 2011
Ages 3+

A Book about being considerate to others and about caring for the environment.

Busy Beaver was also busy, BUT he was also, careless and messy.  His dams leaked, he left trees half-chewed, and once he even topped a tree on a bear's head, and chewed the leg of a moose, thinking it was a tree.  He made the birds leave their homes as he felled their nests to the ground, not even realizing the problems he was causing.  

One day his carelessness landed him in the hospital with some nasty injuries when he made a tree fall -- this time on top of himself.  While he was recuperating in the hospital, he had a chance to see from his window all the injuries and mess he caused for his "forest friends".  He practiced saying "I am sorry" while in the hospital.  When the other animals saw him later in the forest, frightened they ran away.  He found a way to apologize, to clean up his messes, and planted new saplings to make up for the trees he destroyed.

Such a beautifully illustrated book; the colors are so beautiful and visually pleasing.  I really loved this one a lot. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


  1. I love the looks of all three!!! that beaver cracks me up!

  2. I wish Busy Beaver was around when my son was younger as he could have used that message.

    Looks like you have some great reads lined up for the little one!

  3. These are some wonderful children's books, Diane. Of course, I especially love Odd Bird Out and Woolbur. I didn't have any books when I was child about how it's very okay to be different. I wish I had. I think it's avery important message especially today with all the differences possible between people.
    'Your' new baby is extremely fortunate :o)


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