‘A Gator Took My Toothbrush’ Is Among The Most Notable Of This Year’s New Children’s Books

Courtesy: Sweetwater Books

Seeing the world through the eyes of a child is one of the greatest rewards of being a parent.  It reminds a parent of the wonder of the world even as the world seems to do all that it can to bring us down on a daily basis.  Keeping that knowledge in mind, it makes the story in the new children’s book A Gator Took My Toothbrush such an enjoyable tale.  The book in question is the debut offering from independent author Brandy Frisby.  Scheduled for release Sept. 22 through Sweetwater Books, the book presents a story that in fact is presented from the imagination of a boy.  It makes for its own share of success and will be discussed shortly.  The book’s illustrations add to the book’s appeal in their own way.  They will be addressed a little later.  The book’s price puts the finishing touch to its presentation and will also be addressed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of A Gator Took My Toothbrush.  All things considered, they make this new children’s book a work that will appeal to readers of all ages.

Independent author Brandy Frisby’s debut children’s book A Gator Took My Toothbrush is a welcome addition to the home library of any family.  It is such a fun read that the whole family will enjoy.  This is due in part to the book’s central story.  The story in question is told from the imagination of a young boy who does not want to get ready for bed.  More specifically, he explains to his mom why he has not taken a bath and brushed his teeth – necessary nightly steps for every child.  The boy tells his mom that, as the book’s title states, an alligator took his toothbrush so as to brush its own teeth.  He adds in his story, that a beaver took up the bathtub and that he even had to deal with a lion whose mane had itself gone wild.   The ultimate reveal will be left for families to discover on their own.  The manner in which the story is told adds to the appeal.  It is presented in a specific rhyme scheme, which keeps it flowing smoothly from page to page.  This approach to the storytelling is a familiar tactic for children’s books across the board.  Frisby clearly took that into account in crafting the boy’s tale.  He succeeded in the process.  The result of that catchy rhythm and the boy’s imaginative excuse for not getting ready for bed makes for more than enough reason for families to enjoy this book.  It is just one of the most notable of the book’s elements.  The illustrations that accompany the story add even more appeal to the book’s presentation.

The illustrations for A Gator Took My Toothbrush – created by Wes Wheeler – add even more enjoyment for families as they read this unique new children’s book.  The artistic style here is important to note because it boasts its own identity apart from that of other children’s books out there past and present.  The colors are so rich from page to page, from the blues to the greens to the browns and more.  Even the subtlety of something like little drawing on the walls of the boy’s bedroom works so well.  What is really interesting here is Wheeler’s balance of smooth angles and more defined angles in each picture.  The use of the different styles together gives the book’s art a bit of a comic book style presentation more so than that of a storybook.  Case in point is a comparison to the artistic presentations in more well-known children’s books, such as If You Give A Mouse A Cookie, Where The Wild Things Are and even the more modern Niccolini’s Song.  The stylistic approach here is decidedly more modern.  That is not a bad thing, either.  It shows that Wheeler, just as much as Frisby, is in touch with the current generation of young readers, and uses that knowledge to keep those young readers engaged and entertained in his own way.

Younger readers are not the only one who will be entertained through Wheeler’s work.  Grown-ups will enjoy the art, too.  That is thanks to the pop culture references that Wheeler threw in for them.  On one page, Wheeler has added in a subtle reference to the classic television/movie/toy Masters of the Universe/He-Man franchise through a poster that is hanging on one of the walls in the boy’s room.  The boy even has the castle in which Skeletor lived as one of his toys.  The boy’s excuse about a lion spoofs the Head & Shoulders shampoo brand, which will get a laugh from grown-ups in its own right.  The same can be said of the bear holding a book of “dad jokes” and the Kraggle Rock poster on another of the walls in the boy’s room.  The poster in question is a spoof of Jim Henson’s beloved Fraggle Rock property.  The noted subtle inclusion of the boy’s “wall art” will put a smile on older readers’ faces just as much, as will the dirt all over the boy’s shirt and the trash all over his floor.  All things considered here, the illustrations that are featured in A Gator Took My Toothbrush does just as much to make the book appealing for the whole family as its actual story.  As much as the noted elements do to make this book enjoyable, they are not its only positives.  Its price is its own positive.

According to its listing on Amazon.com, A Gator Took My Toothbrush is priced at $16.99.  That is on par with the prices for other children’s books.  Amazon lists the hardcover copies of the timeless book Where The Wild Things Are at $16.15, right along the lines of this book’s price.  The book’s listing at Books-A-Million is $17.55 and $17.95 at Barnes & Noble Booksellers.  The Caldecott Award-winning children’s book Locomotive, written by author Brian Floca, by comparison is listed through Amazon at $14.89.  Barnes & Noble Booksellers lists the book at $17.99 while Walmart lists the book at $15.93.  Books-A-Million meanwhile lists the book at $1759.  Simply put, the price for A Gator Took My Toothbrush is proven to be right along the same price lines as other more well-known children’s books that are out there.  Given, some other books may be less expensive than Frisby’s debut book, but that does not apply for all of them.  To that end, the book succeeds in its price point just as much as it does in its overall content.  Together with that noted content, all three elements make the book overall a notable new children’s book that every family will enjoy.

A Gator Took My Toothbrush is a strong start for up-and-coming author Brandon Frisby.  It is a book that holds its own against other new books in the children’s realm.  That is due in part to the book’s central story, which is told from the vantage point of a young boy who does not want to get ready for bed.  The book’s illustrations add to its appeal, giving it a modern look that will appeal to the current generation of children.  The book’s price is on par with other, more well-known books past and present.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the book’s presentation.  All things considered, they make the book a wonderful start for Frisby that every family will enjoy whether before bed or during the day.  More information on A Gator Took My Toothbrush is available along with all of Brandon Frisby’s latest news at http://www.brandonfrisby.com.

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Miss Nina’s New LP Entertaining And Educational

Courtesy:  Little Monster Records

Courtesy: Little Monster Records

Brooklyn, NY based children’s entertainment Miss Nina has crafted in her new album an opus that is everything that audiences think of when they think of children’s music.  Rather than take the more mainstream route that many of today’s children’s artists have taken with their releases, Miss Nina (A.K.A. Nina Stone) has take the road seemingly less traveled on She doo be doop.  This album is directly aimed more at her young intended audiences both musically and lyrically, rather than their parents.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, either.  If it were used on television, the music on this album is what one might expect to hear on programming from the likes of Nick, Jr. and in some cases, even Disney, Jr.

Parents may not be one of the intended audiences with Miss Nina’s new album.  But with the kid friendly lyrics and equally fun music, they’ll be glad to play these songs for their kids.  They will especially appreciate Miss Nina’s dedication to children’s literacy.  Believe it or not, she openly pays tribute to classic children’s stories the likes of Where The Wild Things Are, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See and How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? On her new LP with her own take on the stories.  Perhaps the best of those adaptations is her take on Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, ‘Brown Bear Rap.’  Yes, she makes it into a kid friendly rap.  No doubt it’ll have any young listener moving and dancing as will her musical take on Where The Wild Things Are.  Miss Nina was actually pretty smart in taking these children’s stories and putting them to music.  By doing so, not only is she entertaining young listeners, but is also promoting childhood literacy through an original and fun avenue.  For that, parents will especially appreciate the inclusion of the aforementioned songs.

As entertaining as her musical literary adaptations are, they aren’t the only songs on Miss Nina’s new LP.  The album’s opener, ‘My Hula Hoop’ is just as certain to get kids moving and dancing.  It’s a simple song about kids having fun with a hula hoop.  The subtle guitar riff and electronics will definitely get kids dancing.  And it may even get parents tapping their toes and clapping their hands a little bit, too.

For all the fun that Miss Nina offers her young listeners, there is at least one track that stands out more than others on this record.  That song is ‘Angry Song.’  The song’s kid friendly punk rock sound mixed with its lyrical side tackle what is for kids a serious issue.  It validates their more emotional moments, as Miss Nina sings, “This is my angry song/When everything is going wrong/I’m mad and sad and full of steam/And all I want to do is yell and scream.”  That combination of music and lyrics makes this a relatable song for its audiences.  Along with the album’s other songs, it’s one more than kids and parents alike will appreciate albeit for their own reasons.  But that’s still a good thing.  It means that whether at home, in the car, or in the classroom, this is a record that parents and teachers can enjoy together with their children and students any time of day, any day of the week. 

For more information on Miss Nina’s new release any upcoming shows and more, parents can log on to http://www.MyMissNina.com and http://www.facebook.com/MyMissNina

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.