Wild About Books

Wild About Books

5.0 1
by Marc Brown
     
 

It started the summer of 2002, when the Springfield librarian, Molly McGrew, by mistake drove her bookmobile into the zoo.

In this rollicking rhymed story, Molly introduces birds and beasts to this new something called reading. She finds the perfect book for every animal—tall books for giraffes, tiny ones for crickets. “She even found

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Overview

It started the summer of 2002, when the Springfield librarian, Molly McGrew, by mistake drove her bookmobile into the zoo.

In this rollicking rhymed story, Molly introduces birds and beasts to this new something called reading. She finds the perfect book for every animal—tall books for giraffes, tiny ones for crickets. “She even found waterproof books for the otter, who never went swimming without Harry Potter.” In no time at all, Molly has them “forsaking their niches, their nests, and their nooks,” going “wild, simply wild, about wonderful books.” Judy Sierra’s funny animal tale coupled with Marc Brown’s lush, fanciful paintings will have the same effect on young Homo sapiens. Altogether, it’s more fun than a barrel of monkeys!

Editorial Reviews

Only the humor is a clue that these lush, folk-art-style paintings are the work of Brown, creator of the book and TV character Arthur. Sierra's text amplifies the visual shenanigans with the frisky tale of a literacy craze that ensues when a bookmobile rolls into a zoo: "Raccoons read alone and baboons read in bunches./And llamas read dramas while eating their llunches." (Ages 4 to 6)
Child magazine's Best Children's Book Awards 2004
Publishers Weekly
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.
Children's Literature
Judy Sierra, a master of rhyming story books for young children, teams up with beloved, colorful illustrator Marc Brown and dedicates Wild About to Dr. Seuss. The story starts when Bookmobile Librarian Molly McGrew drives her bus into the zoo, and "By reading aloud from the good Dr. Seuss,/ She quickly attracted a mink and a moose." A zany set-up? It's just so wacky it works! For animals of all species begin stampeding "to learn all about this new something called reading." This book is a clear reflection of Sierra's passion and knowledge about rhyming, books, reading, young children and humor! The perfectly scanned lines and bright illustrations are filled with book references that will delight young readers as well as a rollicking playfulness loaded with subtleties for all age levels. A younger child will appreciate references to The Cat in the Hat, while older readers will note the hidden humor in the misspelled line: "llamas read dramas while eating their llunches." In addition to the perfection of read aloud quality, the author honors and unites animal behaviors and characteristics with the kind treatment of books. Sierra takes an implausible situation and turns it into a possible reality, a story with sense about what books might inspire if they were put in animals' hands, er, paws and trunks. It's no surprise that this won the 2005 E.B. White Read Aloud award. 2004, Knopf, Ages 3 to 8.
—Susie Wilde
School Library Journal
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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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375925382
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
08/10/2004
Pages:
40
Product dimensions:
9.07(w) x 12.25(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Judy Sierra is the author of many critically acclaimed children’s books, including the bestselling collection of funny poems, Antarctic Antics; Silly & Sillier; and Tasty Baby Belly Buttons. She lives in Castro Valley, CA.

Marc Brown is best known as the creator of Arthur the aardvark, but you will find no aardvarks or animals wearing glasses in this book. Drawing upon his classical training at the Cleveland Institute of Art, Marc Brown’s colorful paintings for Wild About Books reflect the naïve spirit of folk art at its best. “Judy Sierra’s story gave me the opportunity to indulge myself in painting,” said Mr. Brown, adding that this is the book of which he is most proud. He lives in Hingham and Martha’s Vineyard, MA.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Hingham, Massachusetts and Martha¿s Vineyard, Massachusetts
Date of Birth:
November 25, 1946
Place of Birth:
Erie, Pennsylvania
Education:
M.F.A., Cleveland Institute of Art, 1969

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Wild About Books 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
From the first time we checked this book out from the library at age 13 months my son has loved this book. He would sit through the whole book from beginning to end. Now he likes to point at the animals. He calls the Llamas 'mamas' and knows which animals are the giraffes, zebras, bunnies etc. The plot is enjoyable for adults too. I actually have to hide this book because otherwise he won't let me do anything else. It's that good!