Wednesday, December 23, 2009

All the World

Submitted by Tess from Lexington Park!
And here is my second favorite picture book of 2009: All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon, illustrated by Caldecott Honor medalist Marla Frazee. The words of All the World are a poem about the earth which everyone shares. The illustrations are those of multi-cultural faces, in multi-cultural places, experiencing universal emotions and activities. Witness the beauty of nature, and the comfort of things we all do: eat, grow, travel, relax. "Hope and peace and love and trust. All the world is all of us." I find this book to be a soothing meditation, well suited to the child curious as to how they figure into this big, whirling, planet that countless people call home. See this book listed in our catalog

The Lion and the Mouse

Submitted by Tess from Lexington Park!
Okay. I'm going to come right out and say it: The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkey is my favorite children's picture book of 2009. This (mostly) wordless, beautifully illustrated, re-imagining of Aesop's fable has a special place in my heart. A mouse dares hide from an owl in the mane of a jungle king. The lion spares the mouse's life, and it scurries home to its large family. In the meantime, the majestic cat is trapped by hunters! When he ROARS for help, who shows up? His fated mouse friend, who chews him free, enabling him to return to his pride. It pays to be charitable, in the case of the lion, and corageous, in the case of the mouse. The art in this book is spectacular, and the lesson it provides will hopefully ring true with your child. It may also inspire you to learn more about the wildlife depicted in the story! I will gush no further, except to say I truly love this book and encourage you to check it out post haste! See this book listed in our catalog

Bedtime in the Jungle

Submitted by Tammy, driver of the WoW van!
Bedtime in the Jungle by John Butler. The sun is starting to set in the jungle as bedtime approaches for the baby animals. The daylight in the background gradually disappears on each page as the moon gently rises and the stars appear in the night sky. Children will be delighted as the animal mothers gather their babies close to settle them for the night. Using soft words of comfort inspired by the song “Over in the Meadow” each mother encourages her little one(s) to go to sleep. All of the animals are depicted in their natural settings, in soothing shades that are sure to calm young children and encourage them to sleep. See this book listed in our catalog

When Vera Was Sick

Submitted by Jill from Leonardtown!
When Vera Was Sick by Vera Rosenberry. Poor Vera! She doesn’t feel good. She has spots all over her body, even between her toes. She has to stay in bed, but the spare room where Mother tucks her in, away from everybody, is strange and lonely, and a little scary. At first, poor Vera is too sick to enjoy anything--not looking at books, not coloring (even though she has new crayons)--all she can do is scratch her spots. Vera is miserable. But Vera’s family loves her very much. Mother brings out the special silky pillow for her to cuddle. Daddy brings her flowers. When Vera starts to feel a little better, big sister June comes in to play Chinese checkers, and the whole family finds ways for the little girl to amuse herself in bed. Before long, Vera is feeling all better! When Vera Was Sick is a quiet, comforting story about a familiar childhood experience. The ink-and-watercolor pictures are perfect for portraying Vera’s almost comical misery, and also show the warmth and loving care of her family. Vera returns for more childhood stories in Vera’s First Day of School, Vera Rides a Bike, Vera’s Baby Sister, Vera Runs Away, Vera Goes to the Dentist, and Vera’s Halloween. See this book listed in our catalog

The Book That Eats People

Submitted by Jill from Leonardtown!
Many picture books are sweet, fun to read, and good for you. But some books are not like that at all. Some books are just… dangerous. Like The Book that Eats People by John Perry. With cover art wrapped in caution tape and stamped “beware,” this book looks bright and interesting, appealing even, but don’t be fooled. This book EATS PEOPLE! So far, The Book That Eats People has eaten 5 kids, 1 criminal, a shelf full of books, 1 library security guard, and 1 zookeeper’s shoe (that we know of). So you’ve been warned: read it with caution, and never, ever turn your back on it. Because The Book That Eats People is always hungry. See this book listed in our catalog

The Longest Christmas List Ever

Submitted by Tess from Lexington Park!
If there's one thing our library never seems to run out of, it's books about the Christmas holiday! Ask your librarians to suggest some titles if you're feeling overwhelmed. One of my favorites is The Longest Christmas List Ever by Gregg and Evan Spiridellis. Meet Trevor--a precocious young boy who couldn't be more excited to open presents Christmas morning! Santa Claus got him everything he asked for! But, oh no! He forgot one important thing! A fluffy brown puppy! So Trevor decides to start his letter to Santa early. He writes it all year long. Every time he thinks of another thing he needs, he jots it down. Soon the list is 500 feet long, and to mail it will cost 6 trillion dollars! Trevor decides to downsize, but it's too late! He's missed Santa's deadline! "What was I thinking? Where was my head? I asked for too much--I'll get nothing instead!" he laments. But when he wakes up in the morning, there's a puppy there waiting for him! Mom and Dad must have gotten a letter off to Santa in the meantime, and Trevor learns "It takes love--not toys--to bring Christmas cheer." See this book listed in our catalog

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I Don't Want to Go to School!

Submitted by Catherine from Charlotte Hall!
Remember when the scariest thing in the world was going to school for the first time? Who knew what was behind those big scary doors! In I Don’t Want to Go to School by Stephanie Blake, Simon the Rabbit is less than thrilled at the prospect of going to school for the first time. Despite all his parents' reassurances, Simon says “No Way!” to going to school. Kids will identify with Simon’s apprehension about school. And they will love being able to yell “No Way!” along with Simon. Will Simon’s parents get him to school? Will Simon be brave enough to make it through the school day? Will Simon even want to leave school at the end of the day? Tune in to find out! See this book listed in our catalog

Peeny Butter Fudge

Submitted by Catherine from Charlotte Hall!
Anyone who has ever had a Nana (or Grandma) knows how awesome they are. There is nothing better in the world than spending a day with Nana when Mom and Dad go out to take care of boring grown up stuff. In Peeny Butter Fudge by Toni and Slade Morrison, with illustrations by Joe Cepeda, the reader gets to spend the day with three kids and Nana. Nana is the awesome kind of Grandma who does everything from story telling, to potato sack races. She can even make nap time fun! But the best thing of all is her “Peeny Butter Fudge,” a recipe that’s been past down through the family. And now you can make it too from the recipe in the back! This rhythmic and rhyming story will have parents and kids smiling together as they think about fun times with their Nana. See this book listed in our catalog

The Twelve Days of Christmas

Submitted by Sue from Leonardtown!
The Twelve Days of Christmas illustrated by Gennady Spirin. "The Twelve Days of Christmas" is best known as a folk song written between 1558 and 1829. It is sung or caroled during the Christmas season, usually taking turns with the different verses. In this version, illustrations are done in colored pencil and watercolor. They are beautiful renditions with soft detail, giving the reader a clear vision of each verse. For each of the twelve days of Christmas, lively gifts are presented to “my true love,” along with a partridge in a pear tree. Turtle doves, French hens, calling birds, golden rings, and laying geese provide the first six verses. The early period pictures give young readers a visual treat as they read along, providing thought provoking illustrations, and counting opportunities. The last six verses, containing swans, maids, ladies, lords, pipers, and drummers, will collectively have you singing along as you read! See this book listed in our catalog

Friday, December 11, 2009

Do Unto Otters

Submitted by Allana from Leonardtown!
Do Unto Otters: A Book About Manners by Laurie Keller. A great way for preschoolers to learn about manners, being friendly, and a good neighbor, is by reading this really fun book. Mr. Rabbit comes skipping along, minding his own business, and singing his “Doo de doo” song. Suddenly he is FACE TO FACE with his new neighbors, three otters, and the look on his face is priceless. DONK! Mr. Rabbit certainly seems worried about the new neighbors, but when his wise friend explains about treating “otters” the way you would want them to treat you, he begins to understand how being a good neighbor works. In a very amusing way, we learn how Mr. Rabbit would like to be treated, for example, politeness, co-operation, (or co-otteration) and kindness. “Everyone appreciates a kind act, no matter how bad it smells,” (the otters may present him with some stinky fish). Mr. Rabbit can say “please,” “thank-you,” and “excuse me,” in 5 different languages! He talks about sharing, forgiveness, and teasing. We get the impression that the Otters and Mr. Rabbit will get along well, and Mr. Rabbit can sing his “doo de doo” song with no complaints, and the Otters won’t laugh at his bad “hare” days, or his extra large swim fins. See this book listed in our catalog

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Chief Rhino to the Rescue

Submitted by county youth coordinator Janis!
Chief Rhino to the Rescue by Sam Lloyd. Chief Rhino is determined to save the day when he spots flames coming from a window! The Fire crew--a moose, giraffe, zebra, and lion--quickly put on their gear, and rush to the house of Great-Granny Wrinkle in their fire truck. Chief Rhino climbs up to Great-Granny Wrinkle's second-floor home with his hose ready... and puts out the candles on her birthday cake, all 100 of them! They then all share one soggy cake! This is a fun rescue story, especially suited for little boys. See this book listed in our catalog

Miss Fox's Class Goes Green

Submitted by county youth coordinator Janis!
Miss Fox’s Class Goes Green by Eileen Spinelli. Miss Fox rides her bicycle to school, and the kids think her car is broken. She explains to them that she is going green to help the environment. One by one, the kids in her class begin to take steps to make the world a better place. Mouse took shorter showers, Bunny took a cloth bag to the supermarket, and Possum turned the lights off when he went out. The end pages include “Tips for Going Green.” Ms. Spinelli makes a serious subject both fun and inspiring. See this book listed in our catalog

Not Yet, Rose

Submitted by county youth coordinator Janis!
Not Yet, Rose by Susanna Leonard Hill. This is a great book for a young child who is waiting for a new baby to arrive in their family. Every morning, a young hamster races into her parents' bedroom and asks, "Is the baby here yet?" and each time they answer, "Not yet, Rose." Rose can't decide whether she wants a sister or a brother, and at one point she decides that she doesn't want a baby at all, but her mother encourages her by telling her what a good big sister she will be. When a brother is born, she carefully holds him, marvels at how tiny he is, and sings to him until he falls asleep in her arms. The book ends neatly with Rose's parents asking if her arms are tired and she replies, "Not yet." This book helps older siblings adjust to their new roles of big brother or sister. See this book listed in our catalog

Flying High

Submitted by county youth coordinator Janis!
Flying High by Jorgen Stamp. Walter is a giraffe who wishes he could fly. He gets a book, and begins to build an airplane for himself. Sonny, the turtle, is his friend. He asks if he can also go flying. Walter tells his friend he's too slow and cowardly, and hurts his feelings. The big day finally arrives, and Walter takes off in his airplane. He loves swooping and sweeping up in the sky with the birds. He ignores repeated warnings that a storm is approaching, and suddenly finds himself in the middle of a thunderstorm! His plane is hit by lightning and crashes into the lake. Sonny swims out and rescues him. The next day he builds another plane, only this time it has two seats, one for him and one for his best friend, Sonny. A good story about true friendship! See this book listed in our catalog

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I'm Not Santa!

Submitted by Carol from Charlotte Hall!
I'm Not Santa! by Jonathan Allen is a really cute story about an owl and a bunny rabbit. One day Owl is out playing in the snow when he runs into Rabbit. Rabbit immediately thinks Owl is Santa. Owl does have a Santa hat on but he insists he is not Santa. Rabbit keeps on and on and even breaks down crying, so Owl finally tells rabbit that he is Santa. Rabbit now realizes that Owl really is not Santa, and by the end of the story both Owl and Rabbit are upset and crying. Who will save the day? Will it be the guy in the big red suit himself? A very cute Christmas story. See this book listed in our catalog

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Duchess of Whimsy

Submitted by Tess from Lexington Park!
The Duchess of Whimsy: An Absolutely Delicious Fairy Tale by Randall de Seve and Peter de Seve has stolen my heart. The Duchess of Whimsy truly lives up to her title. She is known throughout the land for her unique fashion, fabulous parties, and versatile friends. The Earl of Norm, on the other hand, is quite ordinary. He's only invited to her soirees because he's a friend of the king, but he only attends because he's in love with her. He tries to capture her attention by composing poetry, borrowing flamboyant capes from his brother, even bringing a giraffe to court, all to no avail. One evening, the royal cook takes ill. What shall the Duchess's guests have to eat? Perhaps the Earl of Norm can finally impress her with his culinary skills! He makes the only thing he knows how: a grilled cheese sandwich. Will the Duchess finally realize that ordinary can be extraordinary? You'll have to check this fantastic book out today to find out! See this book listed in our catalog

Dog Wants to Play

Submitted by Melissa from Lexington Park!
Dog Wants to Play by Christine McDonnell is a delightful tale with adorable illustrations. Throughout the book, the optimistic little pup approaches his farm mates with a request to play. His excitement diminishes with each rejection, but finally he meets a companion who is willing to play all day! This book is written in rhyme and has a few repeating verses, making the book both pleasant to listen to, and engaging for a young listener. The clear pictures, simple story, and familiar objects in the illustrations allow readers to ask open ended questions about the images and words. Such books lend themselves to imaginative story telling and will encourage young readers and listeners to go beyond the words on the page and tell their own story! See this book listed in our catalog

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Submitted by Amanda from Lexington Park!
Raf by Anke de Vries and Charlotte Dematons. Raf is a stuffed giraffe, and he and Ben are best friends. They are always together. One day Raf is missing, and Ben has to go to bed all alone. Then Ben starts getting post cards from Raf, who has been found all the way in Africa! Raf sends Ben post cards all along his trip home. His final post card tells Ben that he will be home in time for Ben’s birthday! When Raf arrives home, Ben finds him very different from when he left. This book has great illustrations, and leaves a lot to the imagination. There is very little text, therefore much of the story is told through the illustrations. This is a great story for a kid who has a favorite stuff animal, or other comfort object. I know it warmed my heart! See this book listed in our catalog
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