Two new children’s books books have been released by Abrams Books for Young Readers, a favorite publisher of ours:

The Ugly Duckling Dinosaur by Cheryl Bardoe

About the Book…

(Book Synopsis) Once upon a time, seven tiny duck beaks pecked their way out of their eggs, but the eighth egg was a little bit different. What emerged wasn’t a duck at all–he was a dinosaur!
Everyone notices how different he is. He doesn’t waddle! His teeth are too big! Feeling ugly and outcast, the dinosaur duckling leaves his family and ventures out on his own. Again and again he tries to make friends, but everyone runs away! Over time he grows bigger and bigger but still can’t seem to find his rightful place. One day he unexpectedly comes across other dinosaurs that look just like him, and he discovers he’s really a T. rex!

Our Thoughts:

This is a favorite because it’s just so cute – a dinosaur egg hatches in a nest of duckling eggs, and boy is the family surprised when they see a giant T-Rex hatchling!  The T-Rex himself is confused and a little bit hurt when he realizes he’s so different from his would-be brothers and sisters.  It’s almost sad to see his disappointment in himself when he tries without success to swim and do the things the other ducklings can do.  The end makes up for that, though.  :)

This book is really well put-together with vivid illustrations, eye-catching fonts and colors for descriptive words (like when he’s STOMP STOMPing through the forest or ROOOOOARing), and there are some scientific illustrations and descriptions of different types of dinosaurs and flora and fauna seen in the book at the end.  Those details make this book a delight for young children, especially those who have an interest in learning further about dinosaurs.  We recommend this one!

Want it?

Find it @ Abrams Books for Young Readers or Amazon.com.

The Quite Contrary Man by Patricia Rusch Hyatt

About the Book…

(Book Synopsis) In early-nineteenth-century New England, folks considered a clean chin a sign of godliness. Born into this buttoned-up, strict society, Joseph Palmer stood out from childhood as someone who liked to do things his own way. A friend to Ralph Waldo Emerson and the Alcotts, Palmer lived by his own code and grew a belly-flowing beard that made his neighbors so crazy that they tried forcibly to shave him. He fought back and ended up in prison for a year. His cause became a local sensation, and a few short decades later a president of the United States—Abraham Lincoln—would wear a beard.

Our Thoughts…

First of all, I absolutely love the illustrations in this book!  There’s an old-fashioned feel to them, rustic, nostalgic.  Ink and watercolor is a favorite medium for me, and the details are wonderful. The difference in the times is seen in each illustration, from the woman hanging out her laundry on a clothesline and the children chasing their chickens to the old woman making popcorn over an open fire in the hearth.

Then there’s the story, which is actually the true American tale of a man who refused to conform to the accepted way of being cleanshaven.  He wore a long flowing beard, and he wore it proudly (and a bit rebelliously).  I love how the author writes, and especially her description of the beard:

“He dared to grow a beard.  Not just any wispy, wimpy beard.  Joseph Palmer’s mighty beard broke all boundaries.  It flowed from chin to belly and from elbow to elbow.  If Joseph Palmer faced the wind, his whopping whiskers swept over his shoulders and flapped down to his hip pockets.  His neighbors were shocked.”

What follows is the story of how he fought to keep his beard though everyone tried to get him to shave it – he even was put in jail over it!  This is an interesting tale, one could very well inspire children to think for themselves as they grow up (wouldn’t that be nice!?).  The book also includes a note from the author describing the reasons that no one wore beards back then.  You’re dying to know, aren’t you?  Well, you’ll just have to get this book to find out!  ;-)

Want it?

You can buy The Quite Contrary Man from Abrams Books for Young Readers and Amazon.com.

Abrams Books for Young Readers Online

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I would like to thank Abrams Books for sending me the books reviewed in this post in order to share my thoughts on them with you, my readers!

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