Reviews for Wild About Books


Booklist Reviews 2004 September #1
PreS-Gr. 2. In this rollicking story, librarian Molly McGrew accidentally drives her bookmobile into the zoo, and then the fun begins! The animals draw close to listen to a Dr. Seuss story, and soon they begin stampeding "to learn all about this new something called reading." Many picture-book authors who try their hands at rhyme have less-than-stellar results. Here, the best part of the book is Sierra's handy way with a rhyming text that not only scans properly but also is both clever and full of images that will amuse children ("Tasmanian devils found books so exciting / That soon they had given up fighting for writing"). The wild animal goings-on offer illustrator Brown an opportunity to get away from his vaguely aardvarklike Arthur and create some real animals--in fact, about every animal one can think of. All the slaphappy art fits nicely into double-page spreads that allow the energetic action room to breathe. That's good because there are tons of things to look at, all in sunny colors. Not only are the animals reading books but they are also hugging them, licking the pictures off the pages, and trying their "hands" at writing. A wonderful advertisement for the joys of a literary life. ((Reviewed September 1, 2004)) Copyright 2004 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2005 Spring
Librarian Molly McGrew drives the bookmobile to the zoo where the enthusiastic animals literally and figuratively devour the books. After instilling some book etiquette, Molly helps the critters build a "Zoobrary." Brown's colorful illustrations show animals crawling all over the pages to get to the books. Sierra's rhyming text is just as lively as the art. Copyright 2005 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2004 July #1
A rollicking, loving tribute to Dr. Seuss (to whose memory this is dedicated) and to books and libraries. Here's a rhyme that works, without clunking but with inspired silliness in the best Seussian meter. Librarian Molly McGrew, resplendent in hot-pink trousers and a tropical striped jacket, drives the bookmobile into the zoo, with delightful results. The animals become fascinated by reading, and by words, and she strives to satisfy them: tall books for the giraffes--titled Skyscrapers, Redwoods, and Basketball in Brown's clever take--books in Chinese for the pandas, "And llamas read dramas while eating their llunches." The insects write haiku, critiqued by the scorpion--not only a lesson in verse, but quite hilarious: the Dung Beetle writes: "Roll a ball of dung-- / Any kind of poo will do-- / Baby beetle bed." The scorpion sniffs, "Stinks." Brown's paintings, rich in pattern and detail and wonderful color, show graceful, cheery animals. A storytime spectacular. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus 2004 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Library Media Connection Reviews 2005 January
This is a terrific book! The author and illustrator dedicated their unique creation to Theodor Seuss Geisel (Doctor Seuss), which certainly seems appropriate. Clever (almost Seuss-like) rhyming couplets tell the story of librarian Molly McGrew, who by accident drives her bookmobile into the zoo. By reading well-known children's books and finding appropriate books for each species, Molly gets all the animals interested in reading. There are textual or pictorial references to everything from Dr. Seuss to Nancy Drew and on to Harry Potter. Children should love this book as they watch all the different animals begin to appreciate reading their own favorite books. Also, many animals begin writing their own books, even if "the gazelle couldn't spell very well, (but) like everyone else, had stories to tell . . . ." What a great message and a truly enjoyable book! Wonderfully fresh paintings in a folk-art style illustrate this tale and display Marc Brown's artistic skill and versatility. Each page is bright and chock-full of amusing animals and all sorts of interesting details of the zoo environment. End papers are adorned with a Curious George-like monkey design. Highly Recommended. Barbara B. Feehrer, Educational Reviewer, Bedford, Massachusetts © 2005 Linworth Publishing, Inc.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2004 June #2
Sierra (Silly and Sillier) and Brown dedicate this spirited volume to Theodor Seuss Geisel, to whom they give several affectionate nods (including a meter akin to And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street). After the Springfield (Dr. Seuss's hometown) librarian one day drives her bookmobile into the zoo, she settles into a chair with a book: "By reading aloud from the good Dr. Seuss,/ She quickly attracted a mink and a moose,/ A wombat, an oryx, a lemur, a lynx,/ Eight elephant calves, and a family of skinks." As the zoo's residents eagerly descend on the bookmobile, their species-appropriate selections will elicit chuckles from kids: a monkey grabs for a banana cookbook, two crocodiles open Peter Pan to the page featuring the croc that swallows a clock, giraffes pore over "tall books" (devoted to basketball, redwood trees, skyscrapers) and hyenas read joke books. Sierra's cleverly rhymed verse includes many playful embellishments, such as "Raccoons read alone and baboons read in bunches./ And llamas read dramas while eating their llunches." The critters then become wild about writing as well and pen so many new books that the librarian enlists their help to build a library branch at the zoo. Packed with funny flourishes, Brown's atwork reflects a loose, free style; his bustling paintings capture this endearing menagerie's antics. A winning paean to reading and writing. Ages 4-8. (Aug.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2004 August
PreS-Gr 2-In a rhyming text that is both homage to and reminiscent of Dr. Seuss's epic rhyming sagas, Sierra spins the tale of librarian Molly McGrew who mistakenly drives the bookmobile to the zoo. The various denizens are attracted to her read-alouds and soon are reading, writing, rhyming, and going wild about those wonderful books. With Molly's encouragement, the animals start their own Zoobrary so they can read to their hearts' content. Sierra's text has a wacky verve and enough clever asides and allusions to familiar characters to satisfy bibliophiles of all ages. The author's sense of playfulness in plot and language ("llamas read while eating their llunches"; a hippo wins the "Zoolitzer Prize") creates a lavish literary stew. Comic moments abound, including bugs writing haiku and unruly bears licking illustrations right off the page (until Molly gently teaches them how to treat books properly). Brown's cheerful, full-color illustrations stretch his trademark art with ever-so-slightly stylized spreads that are rich in pattern, texture, and nuance. On each spread, he plays with perspective and layout to create an electric sense of excitement as the animals discover what kids have known for a long time-reading is fun!-Marge Loch-Wouters, Menasha's Public Library, WI Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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