Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Princess and the Pony, Black Cat White Cat, and Traveling with Your Octopus

Submitted by Ms. Tess!
On Tuesday I shared some of my favorite non-fiction picture books of the year so far. Today I want to share some of my favorite fiction picture books of the year so far! Here they are:
Meet Princess Pinecone in The Princess and the Pony by Kate Beaton. She lives in a kingdom of warriors! And for her birthday she always gets... cozy sweaters... which are... not very warrior like... So this year she’s made it very clear she wants a cool warrior horse. But what she gets instead is this pony. And as you can probably guess, this pony is kind of slow and dumpy (and gassy as it turns out), and just not what she wanted, BUT she takes him to “The Great Battle” anyway and... they end up being voted Most Valuable Warriors of the Day! I’ll let YOU find out how Pony saves the day, and how it celebrates, but needless to say it’s adorable! See this book listed in our catalog
Black Cat, White Cat by Silvia Borando has got the best twist ending of the year hands down. It’ll be hard to beat anyway. This book totally lulls you into thinking it is just a story about a black cat and a white cat. The black cat only comes out during the day, and the white cat only comes out at night. Black, white, day, night. But then it has this amazing ending I’m obsessed with! I’ve been comparing it to the picture book equivalent of a Rickroll. I won’t spoil it for you, but kids who love “silly” books will eat it up. See this book listed in our catalog
International travel can of course be a mind opening and life enhancing experience. And who wouldn’t want to bring their beloved pet octopus along for the trip? But traveling with your octopus can be tricky! Luckily there’s this practical guide book, Traveling with Your Octopus by Brian Kesinger, with great tips and suggestions. For example, “Octopuses are known to be voracious readers, so it is recommended that one piece of luggage be devoted entirely to literary cargo.” What great advice! See the amazing places you can go with your octopus in this amazing book! See this book listed in our catalog

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Trombone Shorty, Trapped, and Rad American Women

Submitted by Ms. Tess!
I wanted to share some of my favorite non-fiction picture books of the year so far with you! Here they are:
In Trombone Shorty Troy Andrews a.k.a. Trombone Shorty, a famous jazz musician, tells the story of his childhood in New Orleans, where music is everywhere. He wanted to make music, so he and his friends formed a band (the "5:00 Band" because that's when they finished their homework). He played a busted trombone, and everyone called him “Trombone Shorty” because the instrument was twice his size. He was even called up on stage at the New Orleans Jazz Fest when he was just a little tyke, and played a song with Bo Diddley. It’s a sweet story about a person who followed his passion and is living his dream, and I think that’s important for kids to see. See this book listed in our catalog
I love Trapped: A Whale’s Rescue by Robert Burleigh about a humpback whale who gets trapped in a fishing net, and the humans who come to her rescue. I think it does a great job of educating children about whales. I thought the illustrations were really awesome, particularly at showing to scale how big the whale is compared to humans, and the book has interesting back matter. See this book listed in our catalog
Rad American Women A-Z by Kate Schatz is a book about women who have changed American history in different ways, for every letter of the alphabet! They come from different backgrounds, and historical periods. They accomplished different things. They are activists, athletes, and artists. Women like Kate Bornstein, the Grimke Sisters, Patti Smith, and Ursula LeGuin. There’s even a letter for the “women whose names we don’t know” – women who history has forgotten, women in our personal lives (like mothers and teachers), and women who will change the future. It’s an inspirational book for anyone. See this book listed in our catalog

Friday, October 23, 2015

Rita's Rhino

Submitted by Ms. Sam!
Rita’s Rhino by Tony Ross is a story about pet ownership and knowing when you are ready. Rita wants a pet very badly but her mom isn’t allowing it. That is, until she finally agrees to small pet, and Rita isn’t happy with a small pet. She wants something just right... a Rhino! Rita sneaks a rhino out of the zoo and into her tiny city apartment. Rita didn’t realize hiding a humongous rhino in a tiny apartment would be so difficult. Having the responsibility of taking care of her pet rhino proves to be too much for Rita and Rhino. Rhino misses his comfy bed and doesn’t like riding in elevators, and Rita doesn’t like hiding Rhino’s huge poop and feeding him his special and expensive African grass. Rhino returns to his zoo home and Rita and Rhino sneak away for small vacations to still spend time together. See this book listed in our catalog

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Not This Bear

Submitted by Ms. Jill!
Not This Bear: A First Day of School Story by Alyssa Satin Capucilli, illustrated by Lorna Hussey. It’s Bear’s very first day at Bear School! Mama assures him that all the little bears love school, but Bear says “Not this bear,” because he loves staying home with Mama. When it’s time for art, Mr. Brown the teacher encourages Bear to put on a smock like all the other bears, but Bear says “Not this bear,” because he’s not quite ready to let go of his own familiar jacket. At circle time, everyone likes to sit on a mat and hear a story, but “not this bear,” because Bear always sits on Mama’s lap for stories. Things go a little better  until it’s time for recess, when all the little bears want to run and play and swing and slide, but “not this bear,” because it’s all just a little too noisy and wild for Bear on his first day. But when someone else says, “Not this bear, either,” Bear finds a friend who’s feeling a bit shy and quiet just like him. By the end of the day, when Mr. Brown asks if everyone is ready to go home, “not this bear!” comes the answer, because school is too much fun! Not This Bear is a sweet and reassuring story about first-day nerves that won’t scare little ones with terrible disasters or mean bullies. Mr. Brown is a gentle, understanding teacher who doesn’t push, and Bear finds his own ways to join in the classroom fun despite feeling unsure. See this book listed in our catalog

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Where's Walrus? And Penguin?

Submitted by Ms. Carol!
Where's Walrus? And Penguin? by Stephen Savage is a wordless book with fun illustrations and a cute story. Walrus and Penguin leave the zoo one rainy day for a day out on the town. The zookeeper looks everywhere for them. Help your child look for Walrus and Penguin throughout the book and see if your child can pick them out. Walrus and Penguin try to disguise themselves to avoid getting caught by the zookeeper. Their disguises are pretty obvious and very comical. They hide from the zookeeper throughout the whole book until the end when Walrus gets injured playing baseball and has to go to the hospital where he meets the Walrus nurse and they all end up back at the zoo for the Walrus wedding in this very cute, entertaining book. See this book listed in our catalog

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

I'm Trying to Love Spiders

Submitted by Mr. Eric!
Spiders have never really bothered me. I’ve always thought of them as our tiny, little, fly-eating friends, but my wife doesn’t exactly see them as our pals. She simply can’t stand them.  Every time she sees one creeping across our floor she puts me on “smashing duty” and I am tasked with smashing our little eight legged friends into tiny squishy bits. Exactly where am I going with this meandering thought? Well, I’m Trying to Love Spiders by Bethany Barton, made me instantly think of my wife. Every time I am tasked with smooshing a spider I tell her “but Amanda, without spiders there would be flies swarming all over the place, all over our heads, all of the time! Forever!” Does it work? No way. I’m Trying to Love Spiders is a fun story about how the author of the book tries to talk herself into not hating spiders. She describes some of the cool things that many of them can do, from cartwheeling to building trap doors, but it never really works. One of my favorite parts of the book is when the author exclaims “did you know that spiders produce web from proteins made from their own bodies? That would be like if we built our homes out of our own hair… and then used that hair house to catch our food!” This, of course, is accompanied by an adorable picture of a hair house with slices of pizza stuck in it. Anyone who has ever been afraid of spiders can relate to I’m Trying to Love Spiders. Along the way many spiders are smooshed, but we end up learning some cool things along the way. See this book listed in our catalog
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