Tuesday, June 22, 2010
More, More, More: Miss Brooks Loves Books! (and I don't)
The jacket flap claims, "A librarian and a contrarian face off in this tale of a very reluctant reader." That is the perfect description of Miss Brooks Loves Books! (and I don't). I was thoroughly charmed by this new picture book written by Barbara Bottner and illustrated by Michael Emberley.
Center stage is the librarian, Miss Brooks, who loves to read and dress up for reading circle. She reads her favorites, books for holidays, and asks the children to share books for Book Week. Opposite is the reluctant reader, Missy, who finds every objection possible in every book: "Too flowery....Too clickety....Too yippity." Until one book is found that connects, a book about warts.
Barbara's text is just a little edgy, and the realism makes this work come to life. When Missy is asked to write her own Halloween poem, she recites, "Eek! A Freak!" It's that consistent demeanor that makes the reader love her and finally rejoice over her book discovery. Sympathy easily swings in favor of Miss Brooks and Missy's mother, as well.
Michael scans his pencil drawings onto watercolor paper and then paints the imagery. You'll love the atypical librarian with her dreadlocks, boots, and hoop earrings. Missy in her knit hat, glasses, and overalls is perfectly rendered to carry her nonconforming attitude.
Barbara formerly wrote, produced, and designed for Sesame Street, while Michael is the son of Ed Emberley, and brother to Rebecca. All have contributed multiple books for our totz!
Miss Brooks Loves Books! (and I don't)
by Barbara Bottner
illustrated by Michael Emberley