Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Happiness is...a good book. (Summer Reading edition #9)

Itsy Mitsy Runs Away
Author and Illustrator: Elanna Allen
Pages: 32
Age Range: 3+
Published: 2011
Genre: Picture Book
Cover Score: ****
Overall Grade: ****
Rating: G

Itsy Mitsy is a feisty little tyke who hates bedtime. She rides up and down the halls of her house on her big wheel in her green dinosaur suit and big orange goggles in an effort to escape her father and his evil night time machinations. One day she decides she's had enough and declares her intent to run away (in fancy curlicue speech bubbles.)

Dad sniffs a little at the prospect but offers to help her pack for her journey. First she needs a friend (the trusty Mr. Roar). Then she needs food for her friend to eat (all the contents of the refrigerator), and something to shoo away the Bedtime Beasties and a light to help her dog see the Beasties in order to shoo them away. When dad points out she has nothing to plug her lamp into she tries and tries to take the socket but when that doesn't work she decides just to take the whole house. Dad tells her to have a great time and reminds her to mow the lawn. But kids don't mow lawns!  So, it looks like dad will have to come too. And it's a good thing ‘cause with all that running away...(snore!)

This is a cute little anti-bedtime story perfect for anyone who has ever threatened to run away from home. And who hasn’t? (I also had a parent who helped me pack and sent me on my way with a wagon full of blankets, stuffed animals and pickles!) Kids will get a kick out of her antics and her determination and recognize her efforts to assert her independence.

The illustrations are bright and cartoon-like in bold pencil sketches with bursts of digital color in twilight shades of gold, blue and green. They kind of reminded me of Monster’s Inc., sort of a Victorian/retro world inhabited by cheerful imaginary creatures. The playfulness carries over to the end pages that show the invisible-ish Bedtime Beasties (again looking like the Monsters Inc. or Muppet characters) hiding out in the floorboards and behind the wallpaper.  The text has a 'this is the house that jack built' sort of progression with each item she packs getting added to the never-ending list with hints of rhymes that contribute to the overall rhythm lending itself perfectly to a group or lap time read aloud.
My dearest faithful readers (I think we're up to a whopping 6 of you now!)...how is your summer 'to do' list coming along? What has been your favorite event so far? Any amazing sights you've seen? Fantastic books you've read? Foods you've tasted or created? Bands you've discovered? Moments you'd love to repeat? I'd love to hear from you!

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