Sunday, February 25, 2018

Author Spotlight: Jan Thomas (Part 2)

One of my favorite picture book author-illustrators is Jan Thomas.  I first discovered her work when I came across The Doghouse.  I loved it so much, I sought out her other available titles at my local library. Afterwards, I did an Author Spotlight covering some of her books, such as Rhyming Dust Bunnies, Can You Make a Scary Face?, and Let’s Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy.

Thomas’ books are ideal for emerging and early readers. Suspense and questions encourage reader and listener interaction. Unexpected reversals and ironic situations bring humor and liveliness to the reading experience.

She appeals to children’s proclivity toward cute animals. Her reoccurring characters include Duck, Cow, Dog, Mouse, Chicken and Pig.  Bunnies and other animals also have  made appearances.  Her energetic characters are endearing. 

One of the most remarkable aspects of her writing is its simplicity.  She uses sight words and simple vocabulary, often repetitively, which allows for early readers to master the reading experience and to gain confidence.

Every book is a delight!  For anyone who interacts with children ages 0-8, I recommend having some (or all) of her books on your shelf. 

Here are the books I read since her last Author Spotlight…

Mouse and Pig want to make Cow’s birthday special.  They work together to make a cake for him.  Duck tries to help out with a special ingredient!  Mouse and Pig do not agree with Duck.  Which friend knows Cow best?

Some unexpected guests show up at Chicken’s house.  They are ready for some fun, but Chicken isn’t so enthused about their rambunctious behavior—jumping, dancing, and wiggling—on his tiny couch. 

Something is chasing Duck.  What is wild, hairy, and big-toothed?  Duck and his friends are afraid to find out.  Who will protect them?  What exactly is chasing Duck?

When a pest begins eating up all the vegetables in the garden, Duck figures out a way to get rid of him.  Unfortunately, it does not turn out the way he expects. 

Cow and Pig help Mouse make some soup.  They each bring items, such as one onion, two cabbages, and so forth.  When Pig tries to add some of his items (like three umbrellas), the others question if it is a good idea for the soup.  In an unexpected and hilarious reversal, Pig ends up being wise after all.  This selection is one of my favorites! 

Duck is excited to carve a jack-o-lantern.  A little mishap, though, sets off a series of silly misunderstandings.  This fun fall read aloud can be enjoyed all year long, just beware of the pumpkin monster!   

Jan Thomas has two additional books that debuted in January 2018…

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