About SamiK

I'm a Library Director for a small(ish) Texas town with a desire to share my love of books and the library with my community.

Currently, I am working towards my MLS (Master of Library Science) from Texas Woman's University (my alma mater!).

When I'm not treading through a pile a school work and work work, I make precious memories with both my handsome men at home. Whether we are playing with the sand between our toes, making a campfire, or just taking in a movie at home, every moment is unique.

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September 10, 2015

LS5603 - Genre 1 - Picture Books

For the next few genres I may post these separately, but for the first genre, I wanted to post these together. I read each of these to my 18 month old this evening. The only book we made it through completely was Leonardo the Terrible Monster

The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend

1. Bibliography

Santat, Dan. 2014. The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend. New York: Little Brown & Co. ISBN 978-0-316-19998-8

2. Plot Summary

Our protagonist becomes tired of waiting to be picked by is destined friend, so he sets out on the journey to meet his real world companion. He faces many obstacles only to find himself in a strange world until he catches sight of something familiar. After finding himself waiting just as before, our imaginary friends finally meets Alice and give him his name -- Beekle. 

3. Critical Analysis

Beekle, like many of the readers, is curious and impatient. Santat's unique voice is seen in the imagery and illustrations that capture the importance of imagination. Readers learn about courage, friendship, and finding one's self through the brave quest that Beekle embarks on. 

Santat uses the illustrations to show the contrast of the imaginary world and the real world that lacks imagination. The island of imaginary friends is vibrant, full of texture, and moves the story along. The real world is broken into two parts - adults and children. The adult real world lacks imagination, thus it is shown through neutral colors, flat surfaces, and straight lines. Once Beekle finds children using their imagination, the illustrations become colorful again. 

4. Review Excerpts

  • ALA Notable Books for Children - 2015
  • Caldecott Medal Winner - 2015
  • NYT and Booksense Bestseller
  • Reviews in Booklist, SLJ, Horn Book Guide, and Publisher's Weekly. 

5. Connections

  • Read other stories written and/or illustrated by Dan Santat.
  • Include in a friendship display. 
  • Have children draw their own imaginary friend after reading. 
  • Pair with Bedtime Stories movie screening. 

Leonardo the Terrible Monster

1. Bibliography

Willems, Mo. 2005. Leonardo the Terrible Monster. New York: Hyperion Books for Children. ISBN 0-7868-5294-1

2. Plot Summary

Leonardo is not scary, and a monster must be scary. So, he sets out on a mission to find just the right person that he can scare the "tuna salad" out of. But when he succeeds, he discovers that maybe there is more important things than being scary, like being a friend. 

3. Critical Analysis

This simple yet impactful tale teaches readers of all ages about friendship through its humor and engaging main character.  Willems emphasizes words by highlighting them in a different color. This unique technique is less distracting and allows for a continuous flow of the story. 

Leonardo and Sam are both easy to identify with. Both characters are smaller in proportion to the other characters, relating them to the audience. Much of the humor comes from the illustrations that visually complement the story. Mo Willems doesn't disappoint his fans with this guaranteed classic. 

4. Review Excerpts

  • ALA Notable Books for Children - 2006
  • SLJ Best Books of the Year - 2005
  • NYT Bestseller 
  • Reviews in Booklist, SLJ, Horn Book Guide, and Publisher's Weekly. 

5. Connections

  • Read other stories written and/or illustrated by Mo Willems.
  • Highlight during National Bullying Prevention Month for display, book talk, or discussion. 
  • Use for storytime for themes such as monsters, friends, Halloween, etc.
  • Pair with Monsters Inc movie screening. 
  • Personal connection: Used during summer teen outreach to local Boys & Girls Club third grade class. Discussions covered bullying, friends, self-esteem, and more. Great book for all ages and one of my favorites!

Are You My Mother?

1. Bibliography

Eastman, P.D.. 1960. Are You My Mother?. New York: Beginners' Books. ISBN 0-394-90018-9

2. Plot Summary

Baby bird hatches to find himself alone and unsure who is his mother. He leaves the nest to find her, to only find who she is not through humorous mistakes. The journey has a happy ending once he returns to find his mother waiting for him. 

3. Critical Analysis

Dr. Seuss fans will find similarities in the illustrations and style of the story. From the moment Baby Bird leaves the nest, readers will relate to his longing for his mother. Although longer than most picture books, Eastman's use of dialogue moves the story along with excitement. 

The illustrations date the story as they are limited to three colors --brown, red, and yellow -- and simple sketches. However, the story is made more clear by the complementing drawings.  

4. Review Excerpts

  • Bestsellers list
    • Criticas
    • Publisher's Weekly
    • NYT

5. Connections

  • Read other stories written and/or illustrated by P.D. Eastman or Dr. Seuss. 
  • Use for a Mother's Day storytime. 
  • Show Are You My Mother? film. 
  • Create and decorate a birds' nest. 
  • Pair with other books about featuring animals on a journey. 


Rating System

IT WAS AMAZING!!!! You should be at the book store right now buying it! :)
I really liked it. You should def check it out and give it a shot
It was ok. At least read the synopsis on the back.
Eh....It was alright. It's borrow from a friend material.
Leave it on the shelf!!


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Samantha has read 6 books toward her goal of 24 books.