M, N, O, P is for lots of books!


I took a short trip to Catalina to celebrate my birthday and spent yesterday at the wonderful Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, so today I’m playing catch up with the A to Z blogging challenge. Much like how you smash these letters together when singing the alphabet song, I’m cramming four rhyming picture book titles into a single post. Ready for my M-N-O-P installment?


For M, I read Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now! By Dr. Seuss. I’m always delighted to find a Seuss book I haven’t yet met, and this was another one. Though we don’t know why, the narrator makes it very clear that Marvin K. Mooney has worn out his welcome, and he is encouraged to walk, ski, ride, fly, or GO AWAY by any means possible. As always, there’s no limit to Dr. Seuss’s imagination, as Marvin’s suggested vehicles for departure are zany (“you can go by camel in a bureau drawer”) and often pulled from thin air. Who wouldn’t want to make their getaway by “Zumble-Zay”?


For N, I read the Clement C. Moore’s classic The Night Before Christmas, with enchanting and kaleidoscopically colorful illustrations by Bill Bell. Christmas imagery bursts from every page, and I love the vibrant clutter. Another nice touch is the menagerie of house pets there to witness that famous visit from old Saint Nick. This one made me long for candy canes and gingerbread.


For O, I read One is a Drummer by Roseanne Thong, illustrated by Grace Lin. This book depicts multicultural experiences (Chinese and American) to illustrate numbers from 1 to 10. Chinese traditions (dragon boat races, New Year greetings, Dim Sum, mahjong, and meaningful symbols) are interspersed with other childhood activities (playing with puppies, climbing trees, merry-go-rounds, birthday parties, back yard summer games, etc) to teach counting.


And finally, P is for The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen. The musical, playful rhyming text and gang of helpful marine life stand in stark contrast to the very dour pout-pout fish who thinks he’s powerless to change his glum nature.

“I’m a pout-pout fish with a pout-pout face, so I spread the dreary-wearies all over the place.”

Unwilling to try and turn his frown upside down, it takes a fresh face to give the pout-pout fish a new perspective.



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