Friday, March 18, 2016

Easy Reader Review: The Oscar Series and The Sloppy Tiger Series by Joy Cowley (plus Joy Cowley Classroom Giveaway 2016!)

Joy Cowley is the creator of one of my favorite characters from childhood, Mrs. Wishy-Washy. There are several titles about Mrs. Wishy-Washy available from Hameray Publishing, but these are not the only books Joy has written. I recently received review copies of six titles from two of her other series, which I want to share with you today, to help promote the 2016 Joy Cowley Classroom Giveaway. (Details on the contest will be given at the end of this post!)

The Oscar books focus on a family of six - Mother, Father, Tom, Lucy, Beth, and Oscar. Oscar is the youngest child, and he often has a hard time keeping up with his siblings, who see him as too little to participate in most things. In Oscar Did It! the three older children blame Oscar for every accident that occurs around the house, but Oscar has the last word when he is first to the table for lunch. In Well Done, Oscar! the family goes to the beach and Oscar just can't figure out how to do things correctly, but he saves the day when his parents need help with something only small hands can do. Finally, in Go to Bed, Oscar! Oscar doesn't want to stay in his own bed, so after getting up several times to find his parents, he seeks out new sleeping arrangements. These books are appealing because they use relatable scenarios and they answer the call for more diverse books. (Indeed, illustrator Don Tate is a member of We Need Diverse Books.) They also share the sense of humor that makes Mrs. Wishy-Washy so appealing, where a surprise occurs just at the end of the story.

The Sloppy Tiger series is about a young girl named Poppy and her stuffed tiger, who can't help but make sloppy messes everywhere he goes. In Sloppy Tiger Washes the Floor, Poppy allows Tiger to do some mopping, but warns him not to make a mess. Unfortunately, Sloppy Tiger can't resist adding more and more bubbles to his bucket, resulting in a slippery disaster. In Sloppy Tiger on the Bus, Poppy takes Sloppy Tiger with her for a bus ride, but he annoys a fellow passenger that she gets off the bus! Finally, in Sloppy Tiger's Picnic, Poppy tells Tiger he can have a picnic if he cleans his room. Tiger hides all his clutter only to have it reappear later on. The illustrations are really engaging in these books. Tiger looks like a floppy, cuddly stuffed animal kids would want to snuggle, and responsible, conscientious kids will relate to Poppy's exasperation with his sloppy behavior. The word sloppy is a bit overused in the books, but that's probably only annoying to me because I'm not a beginning reader. 

These books - and many others - are among the prizes you can win in the fourth annual Joy Cowley Classroom Giveaway! Click the image below for the entry form. 

The Grand Prize ($1000 value) includes: 
  • Joy Cowley Collection (60 titles, including the Oscar and Sloppy Tiger titles)
  • Joy Cowley Early Birds (30 titles)
  • Joy Cowley Big Books (19 titles)
  • Mrs. Wishy-Washy & Friends Finger Puppets (my two-year-old loves these!)
This contest ends on April 13, 2016, and the winners will be announced by the publisher on April 14, 2016. Full contest guidelines can be found on Hameray's website.

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