Picture Book Review: 5 Minute Stories

Margaret Wise Brown 5-Minute Stories by Margaret Wise Brown
Margaret Wise Brown 5-Minute Stories 
by Margaret Wise Brown

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

This collection of picture books for children includes: Count to 10 with a Mouse, A Song for All Seasons, Sleep Little Angel, Away in my Airplane, Wish Upon a Dream, Sleep Tight Sleepy Bears, All the Families, and The Tickly Spider.

There are eight adorable stories with the same author, but different illustrators and artists. Each story is unique with artwork to match the style and mood of the writing.
Count to 10 with a Mouse: A cute mouse is struggling to count up his fingers and toes, so he goes on an adventure through a hole in the pages of a book, and he finds wondrous things on every page that help him count. He meets fish, butterflies, cats, and crows, and counts them all.
The soft illustrations have beautiful detailed lines that show every little whisker and pawprint. The gorgeous colors will appeal to little children as they count up items on each page!

A Song for All Seasons: Two children play in the summer sun, make snowballs in winter, rake leaves in the fall, and chase butterflies in the spring. The writing is simple, pointing out the beauty of each season. The illustrations show the children fishing, playing, watching the rain and lightning of a storm, building snowmen, or doing chores, as forest animals hide in the background of each scene. I love the sweet illustrations with many imaginative details and a beautiful layout.

Sleep Little Angel: This is probably my least favorite story in this book, for two reasons: The repetitive and uninspired poetry, and the misty/foggy art style. Many of the rhyming words were obviously used simply because they rhyme with something else, and not because the phrase actually adds anything relevant to the story.

For instance,
“I will sing of tall black trees that fret,
Lest you forget,
Lest you forget,
The ice and snow are not melted yet.”

I never heard of a tree “fretting”. What does a tree have to “fret” about? The only reason that was added is because it rhymed with “yet.” It doesn’t make any sense with the story. I find this frustrating.

Away in My Airplane: A child goes flying up into the sky in their own little red airplane, with goggles, flight jacket, and a long red scarf trailing behind them. The child soars through clouds, sun, and rain, before coming to rest in the arms of their parents for a safe landing.
I liked the colorful cartoon art style for this book, but I did not like the script font for the writing. It made the words difficult to read, and the writing is scrawled all across the page in long loops, which made it hard to keep track of where a line began or ended. For a child just learning to read that could be difficult. The story is also repetitive, mentioning sun and rain and sun and rain and sun and rain many times. But most children enjoy repetition, so that can be a good thing.

Wish Upon a Dream: This book follows the dreams of many different creatures including girls and boys. Squirrels dream about nuts, rabbits dream about carrots, horses dream about clover, and little girls dream about horses. And then a random fish is having a dream about…. other fish? Not sure. The fish’s dream is never explained. He’s just there because “fish” rhymes with “wish.” The fish serves no other purpose in the story.
Bees dream of making honey, boys dream of sailboats, birds dream of singing, and another fish dreams about… “a dolphin’s niece and a turtle’s daughter.”? Their only purpose is for “daughter” to provide a rhyme for “water”. Random fish and his weird dreams that don’t fit with the rest of the story. The writing could have been more polished. It’s a little incoherent. Then again, aren’t all dreams at least a little incoherent?
I LOVED the art style for this one! So beautiful, with really delicate lines and graceful colors. The illustrations feel dreamy and gentle, perfect for the soft mood.

Sleep Tight, Sleepy Bears: This is the perfect bedtime reading to lull children into sleep. With its repetitive prose and soft illustrations, it’s sure to have you yawning and ready for a good night’s sleep. As a sleepy big bear and a sleepy little bear prepare for bed, they snuggle under the covers, sing a gentle lullaby, and drift off to dreamland.
The soft and warm illustrations are delightful, with light colors and fuzzy brush strokes that invite the reader to give a little stretch and yawn a big yawn before crawling into bed. I think this one might be my favorite story in the entire book!

All the Families: Every one has a family. The elephants with their one baby elephant, the dogs with their five puppies, and the rabbits with their nine bunnies. Each family finds food, plays together, and finds a cozy place to sleep at night.
I couldn’t help stopping to count each bunny and puppy to make doubly sure that there really are nine bunnies and five puppies. And if I couldn’t resist counting them, you know a child would delight in counting them on every page! The calming illustrations use simple lines and mellow colors, and I loved how gentle the art style feels.

The Tickly Spider: A little boy lays down in the grass to watch all the bugs crawling around. He attracts the attention of a friendly spider who creeps over to the boy to investigate. The spider comes quite close and crawls along the boys face, tickling him, before peacefully going home.
The bugs in the illustrations are so cute and funny-looking! Every snail, beetle, caterpillar, grasshopper, ant, and ladybug has a goofy smile and big buggy eyes.
The prose is engaging and playful, and I was cheering for the brave spider all through the story!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.

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