Monday, April 7, 2014

Jacob's New Dress

Submitted by Ms. Tess!
"There are all sorts of ways to be a boy" is the heartwarming message of Jacob's New Dress by Sarah and Ian Hoffman, illustrated by Chris Chase. Jacob loves to play dress up at school with his friend Emily. "I'm the princess." he proudly says, donning a sparkly pink dress, and a crown. Christopher says that boys shouldn't wear girl clothes though. When Jacob gets home from school he tells his mother this. She says "Of course they can," and hugs him, and reminds him on Halloween he dressed as a witch! Jacob loves his witch dress. He likes the way the black lace twirls around him. "I want to wear my dress to school!" he says. "Let me think about that," says his mom. The next day Jacob comes downstairs for school with a bath towel wrapped around his shorts and shirt. "It's not a dress," he assures everyone who asks, "It's a dress-thing." But that's not good enough for Christopher, who yanks it off while they're playing outside. Jacob cries when he comes home. "Can you help me make a real dress?" he asks his mom. "Let's get the sewing machine." she says. Jacob is excited to show it off to his dad. "I can see you worked hard on that dress," Dad says, "It's not what I would wear, but you look great." At school the next day, Christopher has had enough. "Why does Jacob wear dresses?" he asks. Their teacher says "I think Jacob wears what he's comfortable in. Just like you do." Even when kids laugh at Jacob, he doesn't care. His dress surrounds him like "soft, cottony, magic armor!" Many children are what the clinical world call "gender non-conforming." Much like little "tomboys" - girls who like traditional "boy" things - there are many boys who like traditional "girl" things. And that's okay! We don't know what a gender-nonconforming child will be like when they grow up, but we do know they need support from their families, teachers, and other people in their lives! See this book listed in our catalog

Friday, April 4, 2014

Cheers for a Dozen Ears

Submitted by Ms. Janis!
Cheers for a Dozen Ears: A Summer Crop of Counting by Felicia Sanzari Chernesky is a colorful ode to summer and fresh food recommended for young readers just learning to count or for those who enjoy all the yummy treats that summer brings. This picture perfect counting book provides us with a look at summer's freshest produce. The text describes a family visit to the produce stand at the height of summer. We count vegetables and fruits from 1 to 12 before ending with the nice statement that "farmers work hard to feed this land." The illustrations are bright, colorful, unique, and guaranteed to draw the eye of your children with effective textures and patterns. Each item is easy to count and the numbers are displayed prominently on the pages. See this book listed in our catalog

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


Submitted by Ms. Carol!
AH HA! by Jeff Mack is a story told using just two letters. Even though the story has only a few words, it is told beautifully. Frog is happy just relaxing in the pond when someone comes along and tries to catch him in a jar. Oh no! He is caught, but then the lid falls off the jar and Frog is free again. He climbs back on his rock and is safe again, or so he thinks. Then Frog discovers that he is actually sitting on Turtle. Turtle is happy and thinks he has a frog snack. Luckily Frog is able to get away. He is safe again, or so he thinks. He then discovers that he is resting on top of a hungry crocodile. He escapes just in time. He is safe again, or so he thinks. Until he realizes he is clinging to Bird's leg and about to be eaten. He hops away and jumps right into the jar again. He is caught, or so they all think, until the lid pops off the jar and Frog is free again. It's amazing how Mack is able to tell this story, and tell it so well, using just two letters! See this book listed in our catalog

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Whimsy's Heavy Things

Submitted by Ms. Amanda!
Everyone has stress in their life, or been down from time to time, even kids. Whimsy’s Heavy Things by Julie Kraulis is about just that. This book is not for everyone, not for a group, but it is a great way to show little ones how to understand the stress and sadness in their lives. Whimsy feels weighted down, and is pictured with black balls surrounding her. The reader can tell she is sad. Whimsy comes up with many ways to deal with her heavy things. She tries to sweep them under a rug, hang them in a tree, fly them in the sky,  and even float them in the sea. Every time her heavy things just came back. Finally, Whimsy decides to try to deal with one heavy thing at a time. She is able to break up her heavy things one by one, with the help of her friends, and the beauty of nature. Whimsy begins to feel lighter and lighter with each heavy thing she breaks into bits. Paired with soft, gentle artwork, this is a sweet story about changing the things that weigh us down into things that lift us up. Share this with a little one who might feel weighed down too. See this book listed in our catalog

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Build, Dogs, Build: A Tall Tail

Submitted by Ms. Janis!
Build, Dogs, Build: A Tall Tail by James Horvath is an amazing picture book about a team of working dogs who are destroying an old building to build a new one. The dogs - Roxy, Buddy, Max, Spot, and Spike, with their foreman Duke - will use cranes, bulldozers, dump trucks, and cement mixers to do perfect construction work. There is so much work to do! The only question is whether all of it will be done on time? Will all their work be finished as planned, so the dogs can take well-deserved rest before moving on to a new work adventure? Horvath has one cute black cat hiding somewhere in all the pictures. Your child will enjoy looking for the cat on each page. His book is full of humor due the rhyming text and funny pictures that show our heroes in action. Horvath’s book carries some nice lessons for young readers, such as the importance of teamwork, adherence to agreement, not giving up because of difficulties, and others, that increase the educational value of this book. See this book listed in our catalog

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Brownie Groundhog and the February Fox

Submitted by Ms. Sara!
Brownie Groundhog and the February Fox by Susan Blackaby. Are you tired of waiting for spring? So is Brownie Groundhog. But on February 2, Brownie sees her shadow, meaning there will be six more weeks of winter. As Brownie steps outside of her den, she is spotted by a scrawny fox who tries to eat her for breakfast. But hold on, Fox! Brownie declares that it is past breakfast time, so the fox will just have to wait for lunch to eat her. The fox hates waiting just as much as Brownie. The two set off for the pond, where Brownie manages to avoid becoming lunch by tricking the fox into ice skating with her to the point of exhaustion. She ties him to a tree with her scarf and begins to head home, but the fox’s cries draw her back. They’ve had such fun at the pond, so she offers him some of her snack, as long as he promises to keep his teeth to himself. As they snack, a robin stops to eat their crumbs—the first sign of spring! Brownie and the fox plan to spend the next day together, waiting for spring and skating. The book is perfectly illustrated by Carmen Segovia. The bright colors of the fox and Brownie’s scarf pop against the white and grey winter landscape. This is a great book to read while waiting for spring! See this book listed in our catalog
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