Monday, November 20, 2017

The Book of Mistakes

Submitted by Ms. Karen!
Mistakes. We all make ‘em. But what if, instead of stopping with a sad “Oh no. I made a mistake,” we said “Hey look I made a mistake, and so I used it to…” The Book of Mistakes, written and illustrated by Corinna Luyken is a creative, wonderful story of what can come out of things that go wrong, when you take a closer look. An accidental ink splat on the drawing of a girl’s face? No matter, she needs a helmet so she can roller skate through the story. Tiny ink smudges across the sky? Wait, they look as if they could be leaves blowing up and away on the wind! Each mistake is not lamented but changed and adds another layer to the ever-expanding story, as the artist sees with new eyes, and what an artist she is! This is a unique and lovely book that encourages its readers to see their mistakes in a very different light, and discover how a big mistake can actually lead to a whole new idea! See this book listed in our catalog

Friday, November 17, 2017

Double Take

Submitted by Mr. Eric!
The philosopher Alan Watts once said “Reality is only a Rorschach ink-blot, you know.” By saying this, he meant that how we perceive the world around us makes up our reality. Double Take! A New Look at Opposites, by Susan Hood and illustrated by Jay Fleck, explores this fairly complex concept in a way that children can understand. Throughout the book a little boy and his friendly elephant companion show us that there are always multiple ways to see any situation and that they can all be considered “correct.” For instance, one page shows a little mouse high above the boy in a skyscraper; in this instance the boy is LOW and the mouse is HIGH. But, when it’s revealed that the Elephant is up on the tippy top floor of the building it’s clear that both the mouse and the boy can be considered LOW. If something was even higher than the elephant, perhaps up in space, them all of them would be LOW. The idea that your viewpoint influences how you see the world, and that everyone has a different viewpoint is an important lesson for adults and kiddos to keep in mind. Double Take elegantly makes this lesson clear to children and drives this point home on one page with the message “Point of view (where you are) can affect what you see. Go in close. Then back up - you’ll see differently!” See this book listed in our catalog

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Thank You Mr. Panda

Submitted by Ms. Carol!
Thank You, Mr. Panda by Steve Antony is a book about friendship and giving. Mr. Panda has brought special gifts for all his friends. He gives mouse a sweater that is too big, and goat a tie that is too long, and Octopus gets six socks even though he has eight legs. Mr. Panda's friends all seem ungrateful but thankfully Lemur reminds them all that it's the thought that counts. Will Lemur remember this when he gets his special gift from Mr. Panda? See this book listed in our catalog

Thursday, October 26, 2017

On a Beam of Light

Submitted by Ms. Tess!
On a Beam of Light by Jennifer Berne, with illustrations by Vladimir Radunsky, is a biography of Albert Einstein for children. Einstein lead a remarkable life. As a child he was intrigued by mysteries and asked so many questions his teachers told him he was a distraction to the rest of the class, and he'd never amount to anything! But he continued to learn and read and imagine. Some of his greatest contributions to the world were the discovery of atoms - tiny stuff that everything is made of - and the realization that we are all constantly moving through space and time - even when we are standing still. He was always thinking, and doing things to make himself happy so that he could think better, like eating ice cream, playing his violin, and not wearing socks. Einstein hated socks. I think it's important to encourage young people to think, and to question, and to investigate the world. Because of Einstein's dreams, and thoughts, and questions, we've accomplished amazing things, like traveling to space. What will your child's questions lead us to one day understand about the universe? See this book listed in our catalog

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

XO, Ox

Submitted by Ms. Tess!
XO, Ox by Adam Rex and Scott Campbell is an unexpected love story told through correspondence between an ox and a gazelle! It begins with a letter from Ox to Gazelle. "For some time now I have wanted to write a letter to say how much I admire you." he writes. Gazelle, being a jungle celebrity, beloved by many, sends back a form letter. Ox writes again, and receives a form letter again. He writes again to note he received two letters from Gazelle with the exact same words, meaning she must be very smart and have "such a tidy mind," and that he hopes Gazelle knows he loves her for her beauty AND her brains. Gazelle personally responds to this, not liking the thought of being repetitive, but assuring Ox, "There is no need to write me again." But that won't stop persistent Ox from writing again and again to tell her why he loves her, and Gazelle, who is initially convinced Ox is hopeless (she couldn't love anyone so stout, and smelly, and clumsy, could she?) eventually opens her mind, and heart, to the possibility of returning Ox's affections. This is a lovely story about writing letters - a lost art! - and not judging people based on preconceived notions. See this book listed in our catalog

Friday, October 20, 2017

If You Plant a Seed

Submitted by Ms. Karen!
If You Plant a Seed written and illustrated by Kadir Nelson. I love books about growing things so it is no wonder I love this book, with its simple presentation of how seeds provide us with food. However it is just as much about growing people, and communities, through even the smallest “seeds” of kindness. Mouse and Rabbit dream of a garden and plant a few seeds. When the plants are grown, the birds arrive, super-interested in eating some of their yummy veggies. Rabbit and Mouse refuse, and an argument quickly ensues, which devolves into an all-out fight, destroying the little garden in the process. Sadness, despair, and resentment all abound, until little Mouse decides to offer the last unbroken tomato to... their enemies, the birds! You’ll love how this one small act of kindness, recognized and returned, changes everything and gives Rabbit and Mouse a garden beyond their wildest dreams with lots of new friends thrown into the bargain. There are very few words here; the ground-eye view paintings of the animals and birds carry most of the story. The close-ups of plants and animals are astonishing! We can see the wonder on an animal’s face as it gazes at a new seedling, and feel the anger and tension that erupt into violence when the creatures “plant seeds of selfishness” and refuse to share. By turns sweetly funny, sad, and heartwarming, If You Plant a Seed gently encourages readers of all ages to use their power for kindness and compassion with its non-preachy, beautifully told story. This author also wrote Baby Bear and We Are the Ship. See this book listed in our catalog
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