Two Short Scholastic Press Picture Book Reviews

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A Friend Like you by Tanja Askani
Stars: ****

Scholastic Press (December 2009)

This is a beautiful photo book with real photographs of unlikely animal friends (Like dogs and birds, cats and rats, rabbit and coati, hedgehog and rabbit…) Accompanying each photo is a few words about friendship, so that read together it seems like a poem (Something just tells me we are going to get along, we’ll share adventures….)

Also at the end of the book is a short paragraph of facts about the friends. e.g. names, how they met, where they live, their owners etc….)

My favourite photo is the small rabbit and hedgehog because the rabbit has it’s tongue sticking out at the hedgehog, it’s so funny. This is a great picture book for any animal lover, young or old. It’s a children’s picture book but could easily be a coffee-table book as well.

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Crow Call by Lois Lowry
Stars: *****

Scholastic Press (2009)
Ages 4-8

This is Newbery Award winner (and author of my favourite book) Lois Lowry’s first picture book. She couldn’t have done a better job.

Lois Lowry is the author of The Giver along with many other young adult and children’s books. I’d like to share what Lois Lowry says on her website about the book:

“This is my first-ever picture book, a true story about a day I spent with my father after he returned from World War II. The illustrations were beautifully done by artist Bagram Ibatoulline. He had a photograph of me at age 9, wearing the too-large plaid shirt that is described in the story. Looking at his pictures is like looking into a magic telescope and seeing myself as a child.”

The story is absolutely beautiful. Daddy buys her a special gift to remember him by before he goes to the war. When he returns, the two of them go out on a autumn morning, share some pie and they continue to Pennsylvania farmlands to hunt crows together. Liz (the girl) is unsure about hurting the birds but doesn’t want to disappoint her father. She learns to call the crows and about how they wreck the crops but she’s still not sure. I won’t spoil the ending but I do want to say no crows are harmed in this book.

Now I was worried about this book as I don’t like the idea of hunting so I was glad of the ending. I don’t think I’ll be reading it to my children personally but it was a very sweet story and is deserving of 5 stars. I must say though that I’d put the ages at 6-9 instead of 4-8.

You can see what the middle spread of the book looks like at Lois Lowry’s blog.

A month after this book was published it was named Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year for 2009.

Other Reviews: PussReboots, A Garden of Books, Kiss the Book,

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.