Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Book Review - PAUL BUNYAN

Paul Bunyan by Steven Kellogg
Ages: Pre-K - 2nd grade

Oh, how I love Steven Kellogg. Well, not him personally. I've never met the man. I'm sure he's lovely. But as an author an illustrator I just think he's the bees knees. When I was a child, this book was NEW. And I loved it. Imagine, how excited I was when the Little Lady Librarian picked it out at the library. Fate, I tell you. This book is more than 20 years old and even better than I remember it as a child!

The story is Kellogg's retelling of the classic tale of Paul Bunyan and Babe the blue ox. It details Bunyan's extraordinary strength as a child growing up in Maine and follows him throughout his life as he grows into a man, saves a baby ox from the blue snow, dug the Grate Lakes, carved the Grand Canyon and so on. We've all heard the story of this larger-than-life man, but none quite like Kellogg's retelling. It's whimsical and full of fun details, like Bunyan fashioning a giant griddle for making giant pancakes; so large, in fact, that normal-sized men strapped bacon to their shoes and skated across the pan just to grease it.

I really could go on and on, but I don't want to give away too much of this story. So much of what makes this version so great is the surprises and silliness on each page.

Kellogg illustrated this book as well, and in true Steven Kellogg fashion the pictures really make the story. You have to look closely at each page because there really is soooo much to see, and so much to make you and your little librarian giggle.

We actually got this book a few days ago and the LLL has asked both the Daddy Librarian and myself both to read it to her each day. She's taken it to bed with her each night and she flips through the pages several times a day.

Curious, I asked her what it was about this book that keeps it glued to her dainty little hands.

What do you think of the Paul Bunyan book?
LLL: I like it.

What do you like about it?
LLL: It's so cute and it has Babe the Blue Ox in it. And I like the picture where Paul bites into the watermelon. Those are my favorite parts.

If we owned Paul Bunyan, would we keep it on your bookshelf or your brother's?
LLL: Mine, because I like Paul Bunyan more than [him]. And, I'm older so I'll have to read it to him so it should be in my room for safekeeping.

The Little Librarian Dude sits through most readings for us and is definitely the best picture-spyer in our family! He seems to always point out the fun little details of each page long before any of us notice them.

Love this book. I really do. If nothing else, get it for yourself. Especially if you're a child of the 80's like me. It will bring back some great memories!!!

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