I love doing book review roundups. They are a way to get a couple reviews done at once and since they are short I am not writing a lot of “nonsense” to make any word quotas (selfish I know, but use the advantages I have). Recently I found two books that are not alike in any traditional way (this is important to book two) but in a special way for me, which is the question: What do Ode to a Bad Day and Odd Couples have in common? Answer: They are both books I really enjoyed.
The publisher’s description of Ode to a Bad Day says it all: Told in rhyming text, a little girl is having a day where absolutely nothing goes right, a day filled with frustration and annoyances, but even bad days end eventually. And this is really all you need to know, yet since I need to write a little bit more, I can say that Chelsea Lin Wallace’s story is terribly relatable, terribly humorous and down right clever. And of course, you cannot have a picture book without pictures and Hyewon Yum provides us with those. They are adorable, colorful, and allow you to laugh and sympathize with our young narrator. The colors are what really makes the story unique. Usually a bad day is filled with gloomy imagery, but these are light and airy, and at the same time show the bad day perfectly. While currently available I did read via an online reader copy, but it is one that I would probably get as a gift, or donate to my library. It would make a great story time book, and for a reader starting out who needs help, but one who can start reading solo as well. It is just a good book that is one that you will not mind reading multiple times.
Due soon in September 2023, Odd Couples: A Guide to Unlikely Animal Pairs by Maria Birmingham will come out. I had the pleasure of a reader copy from an online link, but will be finding finished copies. Why? Because this is not your traditional animal book and everyone should know about it. When I first saw the cover and title I was thinking of the birds that eat bugs from rhinos and giraffes, or more likely the birds that are in the mouths of crocodiles. You know, the “how can a bird be safe with a croc” parings (or traditional pairing). Instead it is a book about how a hummingbird and giraffe are similar. HOW can something the size of a hummingbird have anything in common with a 6 foot spotted (usually) giraffe? SPOILER They both hum. HUM! Okay the bird, I get. It is a hummingbird, but a giraffe? Yup. It’s true! In text that can be adapted to your reader (first simple, then more detailed), we see the “What do they have in common?” part, and then we have more description. The artwork, however, does stay on the younger side. That is not to say the art of Raz Latif was bad, far from it, but it is young, cute, simple, not overly detailed, and has drawings that are not realistic (the shark looks like Baby Shark of Baby Shark fame). Though I bet even a real life Ussurian tube-nosed bat is adorable!
Now I can’t think of a good wrap-up paragraph, so That’s All Folks!