Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Truly Terribly Horrible Sweater That Grandma Knit

Submitted by Ms. Tammy!
The Truly Terrible Horrible Sweater That Grandma Knit by Debbie Macomber and Mary Lou Carney. Cameron can’t wait to open his birthday present from his grandma Susan. She always gives him the best gifts. But, he finds himself horrified as he pulls a truly horrible sweater, with bright stripes and big buttons, from the box. He spends the next few weeks trying to dispose of the unwanted sweater. First, he pours mustard on it, hoping to get a really bad stain. Then, he puts it on the dog, and tries to send him outside after a heavy rain. Lastly, he hides the sweater in a box of things going to the thrift shop. Cameron is forced to wear the sweater when his grandma shows up for the holidays. After asking if her grandson likes the sweater, Grandma sits with him and explains why she used each one of the colors, and the memory that went with it. He starts to understand how special the sweater is, and how much it means to them both. See this book listed in our catalog

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Nothing But a Dog

Submitted by Ms. Sue!
Nothing But a Dog By Bobbi Katz and illustrated by Jane Manning is about a little girl that wants, with all her heart, a dog of her own. Not a parakeet, or cat. A dog. Because once it starts, that longing for a dog feeling, no thing can stop it. Not even when you are doing really fun things, like making perfect figure eights while you are skating. Or riding a grown up bike everywhere, or eating popcorn with your best friend during a monster movie. There is nothing, no matter how special the thing is, it can’t stop the longing for a dog. A dog can meet you when you come home from school and say “I love you!” in dog language. Going to sleep with your dog tucked in with you helps you dream happy things every night. Only a dog can stop the longing for a dog. Expressive text and soft water colors will help you remember the childhood wish of having a dog of your own to love. See this book listed in our catalog

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Animal Crackers Fly the Coop

Submitted by Ms. Melissa!
Animal Crackers Fly the Coop, by Kevin O’Malley, is a retelling of the classic fairy tale "The Bremen Town Musicians" by the Brothers Grimm. This is a witty tale of four animals--a hen, a dog, a cat, and a cow. These animals are unlike your average animals--they are comedians, with one goal: to do what they love, and make people laugh. All runaways from their respective farms, each has a story of not being able to fit in. The group meets up along their journey, and eventually encounter three robbers. After a scene of much mooing, barking, meowing, and bawking, the four finally open their own comedy club, "Cow-Dog Kit-Hen." The pictures are a delight, and the jokes are cheesy--perfect for any 6 year old comedian. "What do you call cheese that isn’t yours? Nacho Cheese." See this book listed in our catalog

Recycling Things to Make and Do

Submitted by Ms. Melissa!
If you are teaching your child about the 3 R’s (reduce, reuse and recycle), here’s a book you can use to introduce the concept. Recycling Things to Make and Do, published by Usbourne books, offers a plethora of activities, both fun and useful, that will entertain your child’s creative muse for hours. From robots to flowers;,castles to puppets, children will learn to fashion useful and decorative objects out of items such as recycled papers, buttons, and string. Colorful examples and illustrations will guide the crafter step by step, until their masterpiece is complete! See this book listed in our catalog

Monday, May 17, 2010

Let's Say Hi to Friends Who Fly

Submitted by Ms. Catherine!
Let’s Say Hi to Friends Who Fly! is the latest book from the new series featuring Cat the Cat by Mo Willems. If you attend a story time at one of the St. Mary’s County Library branches, I can almost guarantee, that at one time or another, you’ve heard a story written by Mo Willems. He is a favorite among the children’s librarians in our county! So when his new series was announced, I knew we needed to feature it on our kid’s book blog! This very simple book is great for kids just beginning to enjoy picture books. The illustrations are broadly drawn, the text is bold, and white space is used nicely, so as not to distract the reader. In the book, Cat the Cat decides to find out which of her friends can fly. As each Bee the Bee, Duck the Duck, and Bat the Bat, demonstrate how they fly, parents and children can buzz, flap, and flutter just like the characters in the book! And be ready for Rhino the Rhino’s flying surprise at the end! See this book listed in our catalog

The Quiet Book

Submitted by Ms. Carol!
The Quiet Book written by Deborah Underwood, and illustrated by Renata Liwska, is a very cute book about the many different times you need or want to be quiet. From being quiet so you don't scare a bird away, to being quiet (really trying to be invisible) to avoid a shot at the doctor's office. There is even a time to be quiet during story time! The book will make parents chuckle as you remember what is was like to be a kid. It will also remind children about places and times where it is good to be quiet. See this book listed in our catalog

Tops and Bottoms

Submitted by Ms. Amanda!
Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens is a modern folktale, with a hilarious twist on the value of hard work, and a warning against laziness. This tale is about two very different characters: Bear, who is rich and owns a lot of land but is lazy, and Hare, who is clever but starving. Hare comes up with a plan to feed is hungry family--he hops down to Bear's house and wakes him up. Hare tells Bear that they can be business partners. If Bear will let Hare use his land to plant and harvest crops, they can split the profit right down the middle. Hare lets Bear pick if he wants the top half of the profits, or the bottom half, and Bear picks the top half. So while Bear sleeps, Hare and his family plant, water, and weed until finally they harvest carrots and radishes. True to his word Hare gives Bear all the tops, and he takes all the bottoms. Bear is angry, and demands that the next season he gets the bottoms! So while Bear sleeps, Hare and his family plant, water, and weed until finally they harvest lettuce, broccoli, and celery. True to his word Hare gives Bear all the bottoms, and he takes all the tops. Bear is even angrier, and demands that next season he get both the tops and the bottoms! So while Bear sleeps, Hare and his family plant, water, and weed until finally they harvest corn. True to his word Hare gives Bear all the tops and the bottoms, and he takes the middle. Bear is so angry that he says that he will plant and harvest his own crops from now on, meanwhile Hare is able to buy some land, and become neighbors with Bear, although they never become business partners again! See this book listed in our catalog

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I'm the Best Artist in the Ocean

Submitted by Ms. Jill!
The exuberant giant squid from I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean is back in I’m the Best Artist in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry! This time, he’s excited to show us what a great artist he is. In fact, he’s The Best Artist In The Ocean! He can draw all kinds of things: fish, crabs, manta rays, sharks… and he’s making his masterpiece! But not everyone is happy about Giant Squid’s art project--he’s splashing ink and paint all over the place. Not to fear--art is still art, even if it’s messy. Just wait until you see Giant Squid’s gigantic “Mess-terpeice!” Better get the crayons ready! After reading this book, your little ones will be inspired to create masterpieces of their very own. See this book listed in our catalog

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Little Mouse Gets Ready

Submitted by Ms. Tess!
Little Mouse Gets Ready by Jeff Smith (of Bone and RASL fame) is a great introduction to the comic book format for your child. Little Mouse has just been informed he's going to the barn and needs to "get ready," so he decides to put his clothes on. We're taken through the step-by-step process of putting on one's clothes, including the universal struggle with buttons, punctuated by speculation of the fun things to be done in the barn. Finally, Little Mouse is fully dressed and ready to go, when Mama Mouse reminds him that mice don't wear clothes. What a twist! The art is sweet, filled with friendly autumn pastels, and the whole book is infused with humour and charm. It's a truly memorable story about a routine that your child can relate to. See this book listed in our catalog

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Circle of Friends

Submitted by Ms. Allana!
A Circle of Friends by Giora Carmi is a very touching book. If it doesn’t stir you, check your pulse. A story in pictures, no words necessary, and a great way to introduce this art form to younger readers. Put your own words to these beautiful images, and encourage a child to do the same, and all in all this will be a wonderful experience. This is a timeless story about compassion, sharing, giving, and goodwill that will warm hearts and soothe souls. Children’s author Peter Sis had this to say: "A good picture book is like a good symphony. The art, the story, and the treatment come together in one voice. Open this book and listen..." See this book listed in our catalog

Say Hello

Submitted by Ms. Janis!
Say Hello by Rachel Isadora is a fascinating book that catches your attention immediately, with the word "hello" written in many languages all over the cover. You also see Carmelita and her dog, Manny, ready to go for a walk. This particular morning Carmelita, her mother, and their dog go to visit Abuela (Grandmother) Rose. As they walk through their diverse neighborhood, they see friends and shopkeepers. They greet them in different languages: "Buenos Días" to Señor Enrico at the bodega, "Shalom" to Mrs. Rosen and her children, "Konichiwa" to the Japanese restaurant staff, "Jambo" to Joseph and his parents, "Al salaam a’alaykum" to the butcher and his family. Manny greets everyone with a "woof." The collage-style illustrations are colorful, and the cut-paper shapes show up well against the white backgrounds. This is a great book for discussions about different languages and cultures. See this book listed in our catalog

I Can Be Anything

Submitted by Ms. Janis!
I Can Be Anything! by Jerry Spinelli takes a common theme--what will I be when I grow up--and gives it a charming twist. In rhyming phrases a little boy considers: "When I grow up, what shall I be? Of all the many, many jobs, which one will be the best for me? Pumpkin grower? Dandelion blower? Paper-plane folder? Puppy-dog holder?" Spinelli considers all of the possibilities, and the best part is all of the jobs are things a kid can do right now, without having to go through all the waiting of growing up. At the end, Spinelli provides the solution: the boy is going to choose every one of the jobs! The watercolor-and-acrylic illustrations show the imagined scenarios, and include a group of rabbits that appear on each page. See this book listed in our catalog
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