Thursday, September 30, 2010

How Rocket Learned to Read

Submitted by Ms. Tess!
How Rocket Learned to Read by Tad Hills is an adorable story about the experience of learning to read, and loving to read! Rocket is a dog who loves to play outside. One day, as he is trying to nap, he is a accosted by an enthusiastic and scholarly bird, who wants Rocket to be her student. At first Rocket is disturbed, but soon finds he is interested in the stories the bird reads, and the letters and words that make up the stories. Soon Rocket is visiting the bird every day, until the seasons change and the bird must fly away. During the cold months, Rocket continues to practice his spelling, and when spring comes again, he is reunited with his bird teacher to read, spell, and learn some more. I really love this book. The message is wonderful and the illustrations are colorful and inviting. This is an excellent story for the young dog, bird, or book lover in your life! See this book listed in our catalog

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins

Submitted by Ms. Tess!
The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins is an extraordinary book about an extraordinary figure, Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins. This Caldecott honor book (2001) by Barbara Kerley, illustrated by (the incomparable) Brian Selznick, tells the remarkable story of Mr. Hawkins, an artist who dared to dream in the 1800's. Waterhouse loved to sketch and sculpt animals, and was especially fascinated by dinosaurs. He was asked by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert to create life size dinosaurs for their Crystal Palace. Not much was known about what dinosaurs looked like back then, so Waterhouse used as much scientific data as he could find, and his imagination, to create wondrous creatures! He even invited top scientists of the day to have dinner in his cast of the Iguanodon! He then traveled to the United States and spent 2 years building dinosaurs to be displayed in New York City, but they were tragically destroyed by vandals (probably in the employ of notorious,villainous, American politician "Boss" Tweed) and buried in Central Park. Waterhouse Hawkins would be thrilled to see what we've discovered about dinosaurs since his lifetime, and his legacy lives on, through his dinosaurs, which you can still visit in England, and this book about his life. See this book listed in our catalog

Little Pink Pup

Submitted by Ms. Catherine!
Sometimes, when you are different from the rest of your family members, you can feel out of place. In Little Pink Pup by Johanna Kerby we meet Pink, a premature piglet who just didn’t fit in with his pig family. His brothers and sisters were simply too big, and Pink could never get enough food. But while Pink didn’t fit with his piglet brothers and sisters, he was the perfect size to move into the house. Tink the family dog had just had a litter of pups and welcomed a foster pig too! Pink fit right in with his new dachshund brothers and sisters. The puppies were just the right size for him to play with. And, while he didn’t look anything like his new siblings, no one minded in the least! Eventually, Pink moved back out to the barn with the other pigs, but his doggie friends still come to visit and play. Pink’s story is true, and Little Pink Pup is filled with photographs of Pink and his family as they eat, sleep, grow, and play together. This is a wonderful book for any child who loves animals and wants to see real pictures of piglets and puppies. It can also be a nice story for any child who is feeling out of place, and needs a reminder that no matter how different you are there is always a place in the family for you. See this book listed in our catlog

Monday, September 27, 2010

Manners with a Library Book

Submitted by Ms. Carol!
Manners with a Library Book written by Amanda Doering Tourville, and illustrated by Chris Lensch, is a good book for teaching children how to care for books, particularly library books. It explains that caring for library books is using good manners, and that everyone should use good manners. You should not eat or drink while reading books, and you should always have clean hands before handling library books. The book also discusses how everyone should be careful turning the pages of a book, and always use a bookmark instead of folding the pages. It is important to be responsible and return your books, or renew them on time. There is also a page in the back that has interesting facts about libraries. Manners with a Library Book is a great book to read to children who are new to the library to show them how they should take care of library books, but also as a refresher for children who need reminding every now and then. See this book listed in our catalog

Friday, September 17, 2010

Some Dogs Do

Submitted by Ms. Sue!
Some Dogs Do by Jez Alborough. Do dogs fly? They walk, they run, they jump, but dogs don’t fly. This is the story of a dog named Sid. One day, on his way to school, Sid was feeling very happy. All of a sudden, his paws just lifted off the ground, and Sid fell up, toward the sky! It was wonderful! When Sid got to school that day he couldn’t wait to tell all his friends and his teacher about what had just happened to him. The reaction to Sid’s story was not what he was expecting. They didn’t believe him. They thought he was making it up. "You’re a dog, and dogs don’t fly." "But I did," said Sid. "I did…I did." This is a fun and heartwarming tale of one dog's very own miracle, and how sometimes they really do come true! Some Dogs Do makes for a nice read aloud book, and the large, colorful, soft illustrations are done in gouache. See this book listed in our catalog

The Bus for Us

Submitted by Ms. Jill!
The Bus for Us by Suzanne Bloom. It’s Tess’s first day of school, and she is so excited to ride the bus for the very first time! She waits at the bus stop with her older friend, Gus. One at a time, many different vehicles appear around the corner. As just the very front end of each one comes into view, Tess asks, “Is this the bus for us, Gus?” Young readers can guess what kind of vehicle is coming, then chorus along as the next full-page spread reveals the entire picture: “No Tess. This is a... FIRE ENGINE!” The simple, predictable text and built-in guessing game will make this book a favorite for young vehicle enthusiasts. Bright watercolors of a taxi cab, tow truck, backhoe, and more parade across the page as Tess and her multicultural classmates wait and watch. When the “bus for us” at long last arrives, and it’s time to head off to school! See this book listed in our catalog

Bears! Bears! Bears!

Submitted by Ms. Catherine!
I’m going on a bear hunt! I want to catch some bears! But since there aren’t any bears in St. Mary’s County, I will hunt for bears at my library! Bears! Bears! Bears! by Bob Barner is a great book for any kids who think that bears are the bees’ knees. Each page features a different type of bear with beautifully textured illustrations. You can dive with the polar bears, climb with the moon bears, and doze with the black bears. The end of the book features true facts about the eight different species of bear pictured in the book. There is also a map of the world showing you all the places you can go looking for bears! So check out Bears! Bears Bears! today and learn about your favorite kind of bear! See this book listed in our catalog

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Llama Llama Misses Mama

Submitted by Ms. Amanda!
Llama Llama Misses Mama by Anna Dewdney is a great story for little ones who are nervous about going to school, or having some separation anxiety when school begins. Llama Llama wakes up and gets ready for school with his Mama Llama, and then she drives him to school. When Mama Llama leaves, Llama Llama is nervous about all the new toys, new kids, and his new teacher. Llama Llama doesn’t want to play blocks, or train, or look at a book, and he doesn’t want to eat either. Llama Llama feels alone, and misses Mama! Then Llama Llama makes friends, and he plays outside--hide and seek, tag, and jump rope. When he and his friends come inside to play, Llama Llama sees Mama Llama! Llama Llama is so glad she came back, and he shows her all of the things he did with his new friends at school. Llama Llama loves his Mama, and school too! See this book listed in our catalog

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Luna and the Big Blur: A Story for Children Who Wear Glasses

Submitted by Ms. Tess!
I recently found out that I need to wear glasses. When I went to what I hoped would be a routine vision test (the first I'd had in 10 years, but still, routine) and found out I have "abnormal eye muscle tension" and need prescription lenses to help me focus, I kind of had a mini-panic-attack. Visiting an optician, being told there's something wrong with your eyes, and choosing frames that will be on your face EVERY DAY can be surprisingly overwhelming! And I am a grown up! One can only imagine what the experience is like for a child. If you have a little one who is having trouble adjusting to their new glasses, I suggest reading them the story of Luna and the Big Blur by Shirley Day, illustrated by Don Morris. Luna HATES her glasses. She doesn't understand why she needs to wear them, if mom, dad, and baby sister all have perfect eyesight. When she looks in the mirror, glasses are all that she sees. Even when she wears her favorite matching shirt, they just don't look right! One night, Luna has a dream she can see without them, and tries not wearing them the next day, with disastrous results. Finally, a pep talk from dad makes Luna see how special she is, and that glasses aren't so bad after all. The book includes a note to parents about common vision problems among children, and advice on how to help your youngster transition into wearing glasses! See this book listed in our catalog

While the World Is Sleeping and McGillycuddy Could

Submitted by Ms. Allana!
The following are two books by prolific children's author (and one of St. Mary's County librarians' favorites) Pamela Duncan Edwards:
I don’t know how many times I said “WOW!” while looking through the gorgeous While The World Is Sleeping, illustrated by Daniel Kirk. I probably said “wow” at least once for every page before I even read it. What child wouldn’t love this book? It is spectacular! While the poetry is rhythmic and meaningful, the artwork places the book in a superior class. This is the type of book a child will experience, not just be entertained by, or appeased with. Since it is a perfect bedtime story anyway, the child who reads it, or has it read to her or him, will be guaranteed sweet dreams filled with beautiful creatures and wondrous landscapes. See this book listed in our catalog
McGillycuddy Could, illustrated by Sue Porter, is a clever, humorous tale about a creature who comes to a farmyard and simply does not fit in. He can’t lay eggs, and he can’t give wool or milk, but before he limps off defeated, rejected and alone, an opportunity arises, and affords him the chance to show what he CAN do! You can read this aloud to smaller children, and really become animated, acting out the various traits of each animal as they taunt and try McGillycuddy. See this book listed in our catalog

Meeow and the Pots and Pans

Submitted by Ms. Janis!
Bang a pot, hit a lid, beat the mixing bowls! Meeow and his friends are cooking up a musical treat in Meeow and the Pots and Pans by Sebastien Braun. Meeow and his four animal friends look through all the cupboards for pots, pans, and cooking utensils, to form a band. Each animal removes an item from the cabinet. With a wooden spoon, frying pan, fork, mixing bowls, lids, and measuring cups, the playmates begin to play their instruments. The last page portrays Meeow and friends in band uniforms playing regular instruments, rather than homemade ones. Young readers will feel inspired to grab a spoon and a dish and join right in! See this book listed in our catalog
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