Skip to main content

Patrick in A Teddy Bear's Picnic, written and illustrated by Geoffrey Hayes, 32 pp, RL 1

Geoffrey Hayes is the author of the wonderful Benny & Penny series of books that are part of the superb new publisher of easy-to-read comics, TOON BOOKS. For my thoughts on the first batch of books from TOON and why I love them so much, read my review from 2009. The history behind this company is really fascinating, especially founder Fraçoise Mouly's impetus for creating beginning readers that are more than the bland, boring books that usually serve as primers for emerging readers. As I have said here before, in my house TOON BOOKS are high quality picture books that will serve as primers when my son is ready to read them.

If you read my review of Hayes' Benny & Penny series, then you know how completely enchanted I am by his illustrations. Hayes' bright, colorful palette, his soft shading and his adorable characters are very visually appealing. He also has a way with expressing action and movement in his characters that is heightened but the graphic novel format of his books. Hayes is also a master of character development and has a wonderful understanding of the nature of small children. 

Just like Benny and Penny, Patrick is a curious creature who loves to play but also likes to have things his way. Patrick is impulsive and imaginative and I especially like his angry face (see Patrick Has Another Nap below).

But Patrick isn't all about play and having his way. He also has a nemesis, Big Bear, who bullies him from time to time. Patrick struggles with his fear and his sense of determination and, after a few run-ins and inspiration from his dragon mask, Patrick stands up to Big Bear and makes it home with almost all of his cookies.

Pre-readers and readers alike will love the escapades of Patrick, guaranteed.


LitLass said…
I hadn't heard of this one yet. Thanks for bringing it to my attention--my 5-year-old loves Benny & Penny.
Tanya said…
I love Benny & Penny too! There is something about the tone of his colors and the kid friendly world Hayes creates. You should check out he author JOHN LECHNER on my blog. He has written great picture books as well as an the excellent and very fun STICKY BURR comic books. My six year old loves them and wants to read them over and over.

Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!


POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…

The Seeing Stick, written by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Daniela J Terrazini

The Seeing Stick is an original Chinese fairy tale written by the prolific (and prolifically award winning) Jane Yolen. First published in 1977 with illustrations by Remy Charlip (author and illustrator of the brilliantly fun picture book Fortunately and friend and muse to Brian Selznick, who asked him to pose as George Méliès while he was working on the Caldecott winning The Invention of Hugo CabretThe Seeing Stick was reissued with new illustrations by Daniela J. Terrazini in 2009. I have not seen Charlip's version, but Terrazini's is a beautiful work of art and the book itself is yet another magnificently packaged book published by Running Press, the house that brought us Steven Arntson's The Wikkeling, yet another superbly and uniquely packaged children's book with artwork by Terrazini. Interestingly, both The Wikkeling and The Seeing Stick were designed by Frances J Soo Ping Chow.

The Seeing Stick begins, "Once in the ancient walled citadel of Peking there l…