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  • 2012 Wanda Gág Read Aloud Honor Books

    Fuddles written and illustrated by Frans Vischer, and published by Aladdin, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, 2011.

    FuddlesFuddles is a fat, pampered cat. His family spoils him, but Fuddles decides that his life needs adventure. After preparing hard for his grand quest (but not too hard), Fuddles finally gets a chance to escape when Mom isn't looking! Will Fuddles be able to fight the ferocious beasts he dreamed about? Even more importantly, will he ever find his way home?

    Vischer's digital illustrations complete this hilarious book. Fuddles's face and body express a multitude of emotions, such as pride, ambition, anger, cleverness, and surprise. Using perspective and continuous narrative, Vischer depicts the movement of Fuddles's adventures, causing the action to truly come alive on the page. Vischer also makes effective use of color to show nightfall in the later spreads of the book, causing a stark contrast in mood and tone from the onset of Fuddles's quest.

    Children ages three to eight loved this book. They laughed at Fuddles's actions, particularly when he rides a vicious dog like a bull. Students understood the messages of running away and getting lost, and they expressed sympathy for Fuddles. Readers also enjoyed this book, saying that they had fun reading it aloud, and that the text flowed well.

    FransVischer, originally from Holland, lives in Glendale, CA, with his family and their pampered cat. BRITTANY LAZUR 

    Me and My Dragon written and illustrated by David Biedrzycki and published by Charlesbridge, 2011.

    Me and My Dragon"Some kids want a dog. Others would like a cat. I want . . . a dragon!" A young narrator makes his case for owning a dragon, emphasizing how responsible of a pet owner he would be. He would take his dragon to get his shots; he would teach his dragon how to fly, and if he was a naughty dragon, he'd take him to obedience school. The narrator makes his case for how great a pet a dragon would be; you don't have to worry about bullies when you have a pet dragon! Biedrzycki's colorful illustrations, done in Adobe Photoshop, compliment the text perfectly, depicting the humor that the text only hints at.

    Children, ages three to nine, responded favorably to the illustrations in the book, wanting to take a great deal of time to look at every page for the added details and clues. One group noticed that the endpapers told prequel and sequel events of the main story. Other children noticed the burning letters on the jacket cover and the burning barcode on the back! Students were engrossed in the read aloud, and teachers reported it being a favorite amongst the children.

    David Biedrzycki lives in Medfield, Massachusetts. BRITTANY LAZUR