Bookscoops

The Scoop on Children & Adolescent Literature

Archive for August, 2010

Book Giveaway! Otto Grows Down by Michael Sussman illustrated by Scott Magoon

Posted by hollybookscoops on August 18, 2010

Otto Grows Down has wiggled its way right in to my heart. I have been loving on this book ever since I opened the front cover. I can’t keep it to myself any longer (big sigh) I think I will have to buy my own copy because this one has always been destined for a giveaway. Yeah for everyone else (see below for details on how to enter)! Children will love this humorous tale and beg for more. I can hardly wait to see what Sussman writes next!

How did Otto wiggle his way right into my heart? Well, first off, the mesmerizing illustrations remind me in a way of some of David Shannon’s work! (and I love David Shannon). Also, Otto Grows Down is a captivating tale of the consequences of our innermost selfish wishes. Otto’s childish innocence speaks right to that part inside me (and probably you too) that sometimes threatens to get in the way of peaceful family relationships. As many of you know, we at Bookscoops have added two (in Jen Robinson’s words) little ‘bookworms’ to our family this year. Which puts me in the perfect position to love Otto, having observed some of his characteristics in my very own children recently. I am happy to highly recommend Otto Grows Down as a great book to help with the new baby blues transition for older siblings. My four year old now emphatically says, “I do NOT want to take our baby back to the hospital!”

So, enough with the commentary, you want details, right?

Otto is a sweet little boy who has a new baby sister and on his 6th birthday, when he blows out the candles, he wishes that his sister had never been born. When he opens his eyes, his wish begins to come true, with unexpected consequences. Time begins to go backwards and Otto relives his life in reverse as he takes his baby sister back to the hospital, spits out his food at the dinner table, and slides up and climbs down all the playground equipment at school. Day after day, year after year, until Otto almost isn’t Otto anymore.

Hands down, my favorite line, and illustration?

“And going to the bathroom was downright disgusting.”

We laughed and laughed over this one at our house. Then we shared this book with everyone who visited and laughed and laughed some more. Otto Grows down will appeal to kids and adults of all ages. If you would like a chance to win this book, please enter the giveaway below. If you would like a chance to buy this book, it is available pretty much everywhere now, and is the perfect gift for a new older sibling. If I could go back in time, I would have given it to my older sister when I was born. No offense Cari, but maybe it would have saved me a special haircut or two.

Book Giveaway Details:

Bookscoops is giving away one hardback copy of Otto Grows Down, courtesy of Joanna Stampfel-Volpe at  Nancy Coffey Literary & Media Representation, to one lucky winner. You may enter the giveaway by linking  to this post, commenting on this post, sharing a tip of how to help kids adjust to new siblings, or a funny anecdote about new baby growing pains. Comments will close for the giveaway at midnight MST on August 26, 2010. I will be happy to ship the book to any winner within the continental United States. Thanks and happy commenting!

Check out Michael Sussman’s website and Scott Magoon’s for more information on their fantastic contributions to children’s literature.

Posted in Books for Boys, Books for Girls, Giveaways, Picture Books | 14 Comments »

The Doll Shop Downstairs by Yona Zeldis McDonough and Heather Maione

Posted by hollybookscoops on August 13, 2010

This was a fun, easy and educational read about a sweet family that lives above the doll-repair shop that they own. As immigrants, the family has adapted china repair skills they learned in their native country to fixing china dolls in America. The 3 Jewish sisters, enjoy playing with the ‘unfixable’ abandoned dolls who have not been claimed by their owners. When WWI begins, things become tense and difficult as doll parts are no longer available from Germany. Anna, the middle daughter decides she must find a way to help her family, and proposes the idea to make their own dolls. Nurse Nora, ’born’ after some trial and error is a big success and allows the Breittlemanns to survive the difficult economic times.

I really liked that this book is loosely based on the advent of Madame Alexander dolls, which I loved to play with and look at as a child. Any lover or former lover of dolls will find this story a fun addition to the fascinating world of dolls.

Posted in Books for Girls, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

 
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