Today I Read…Toot and No No Yes Yes

Today I read No No Yes Yes and Toot, written and illustrated by Leslie Patricelli. She is the same artist who illustrated the Mini Myths books by Joan Holub, which my Tiny Niece adores, so I was really interested in checking out her writing as well. These two in particular are going to be part of the Christmas present for Tiny Niece and her younger brother Giant Nephew.

Normally I summarize books in these reviews, but the titles pretty much summarize them for me. Toot is about, well, tooting. Because fart jokes are hilarious to the under 5 crowd. I fully anticipate this will be a big hit with the kids when I pull it out and read it to them on Christmas Day. Their parents may be somewhat less thrilled, but hey, isn’t the point of gifts for your nieces and nephews to annoy your siblings? I’m pretty sure that’s the purpose of noisy battery-driven toys. And while this book isn’t battery operated, it does provide the chance to make sound effects. Toot! In all seriousness, it is also good for normalizing bodily functions, and it does point out that everybody toots, even mommies and daddies and doggies. Though there is still some question about whether Fishy toots.

No No Yes Yes straddles that fine line between providing useful instruction and giving kids bad ideas. I’m sure that the scenarios in the book will all be very familiar to anyone with a toddler in their life. The language is as simple as possible, and can be used for teaching opposites as well as proper behaviour. For each double-page spread, one page is a ‘no no’ activity, like drawing on the walls, pulling kitty’s tail, and putting your toys in the potty. The opposing page has a corresponding ‘yes yes’ acceptable activity, like drawing on paper, petting kitty nicely, and pooping in the potty. Hey, toilet jokes are the next step up from fart jokes. Since Giant Nephew just hit the Terrible Twos, I’m hoping that this book might help a bit, especially the “no no” page for hitting other kids with a toy hammer. Even if it does make a funny “thunk!” sound.

I love the illustration style, simple and bright, with the same non-gendered protagonist. These two are my favourites, but Patricelli has a whole series of board books. Here’s hoping that Giant Nephew loves them as much as Tiny Niece loved Play Nice Hercules and Be Patient Pandora. Well, maybe not quite so much, reading the same book 6 times in a row is enough, right? Right? Tiny Niece, can Auntie read a different books ye–no, no she can’t. Ok sweetie.

Word on the Street Toronto 2014 review

This past Sunday was the 24th annual Word on the Street festival, and despite the dire predictions of rain all day long, it was a lovely sunny day (by the time I got there after having lunch with friends). I didn’t end up volunteering this year, since I’m currently working a full-time library job and a part-time retail job, and Sunday was my first day off since Labour Day (for the record, that was 19 days straight of work. Yes, I’m crazy).

It was a hugely busy day–I went by the HarperCollins table 3 times before I could get close enough to see the table, though I wouldn’t expect much else from a $3 and under table. The third Hobbit movie had an artist drawing you as a Hobbit, and the line for that one was very long–a friend of mine waited for close to three hours, and got cut off at the end, and then someone else butted into the line and got her drawing while my friend didn’t. 😦 The TPL library workers had a booth set up to get your picture taken with a cutout of the mayoral candidate of your choice, and information about where all three of the major candidates stand with regards to public library service. Polkaroo was back with the TVO Kids booth–I didn’t get a picture this time, but I swear I saw him!

Oh yeah, and I might have picked up just a few new books…Because when I have two shelves full of new books to read, a laptop full of ebooks, a whole new library where the kids all think I’ve already read every single book in it, and a very large backlog of reviews to write, I definitely need new books. Really, I do.

  • TD and TVO Kids were handing out Boy Soup by Loris Lesynski, with pictures by Michael Martchenko, which was the 2013 TD Grade One Book Giveaway book. It also included a cute activity book for the TVO Reading Rangers Book Club.
  • I bought Bi-Curious George by Andrew Simonian, because it’s bloody hilarious. But I don’t think that I’ll be reading the story of this curious little monkey to Tiny Niece anytime soon. ;p (The review can be found here.)
  • I bought Fan Fiction: The Comic Strip, written by Sam Noir and art by Dave Franciosa, again because it’s hilarious. This one is definitely for nerds with a lively sense of humour about their favourite characters. And Sam Noir was drawing free sketches for people! Here’s mine of Max the vampire bat from Munchsters, his new web comic, with custom rainbow vest!Sam Noir bat
  • I found a cool and (signed!) comic called The Power Within written by Charles “Zan” Christensen and illustrated by Mark Brill. You can buy a paper copy for $4.99 or download a free copy here from the publisher Northwest Press. It also includes some resources and bonus pages from Gail Simone,  Phil Jimenez, Greg Rucka, Matthew Clark, Stephen Sadowski, Dan Parent, Donna Barr, Andy Mangels, and Carla Speed McNeil.
  • I was given a free copy of Freddy and Margewich written by Adena Trevor and illustrated by Chelsea Trevor at the Author Solutions booth–they had been doing free book signings all day for various authors, and at the end of the day they gave away all their remaining books. It’s two short stories in a picture book, and the art is by the author’s granddaughter.
  • I bought Branded by the Pink Triangle by Ken Setterington because I read it earlier this year and found it a powerful read, about the experience of gay men in Nazi Germany.
  • I bought Project Superherowritten by E. Paul Zehr and illustrated by Kris Pearn because it looked cool. It’s about a girl in grade 8 who loves superheroes and starts researching them for a school project, and it includes her interviews with real-life people including athletes, police officers, comic book writers, and astronauts. (The review can be found here.)
  • I bought Pain, Porn and Complicity: Women Heroes from Pygmalion to Twilight by  Kathleen McConnell, because even though the title implies that there was a woman hero in Twishite instead of a badly-written Mary Sue, she includes an essay on Dark Angel (which was great and cancelled too soon, damn you FOX), and the essay on Catwoman is called “Flex and Stretch: The Inevitable Feminist Treatise on Catwoman” and I’d forgive a lot for that brilliant title. And academic fandom and feminism are both interests of mine, so this book looks right up my alley.
  • And finally I bought Mini Myths: Play Nice, Hercules! by Joan Holub and illustrated by Leslie Patricelli, but this one is for Tiny Niece. Hercules is proud that he’s so strong, but he has to learn to play nicely with his little sister and not make her cry.

So, this should keep me occupied for awhile. At least, until the next book fair…