Monday, January 31, 2011

The Boy Who Cried Fabulous

Submitted by Ms. Tess!
The Boy Who Cried Fabulous by Leslea Newman, with illustrations by Peter Ferguson, is, as its title indicates, quite fabulous. It's about a boy named Roger, who is very enthusiastic about nearly everything he sees. "What a fabulous dog, what a fabulous cat. What a fabulous this, what a fabulous that. What a fabulous boy, what a fabulous girl. What a fabulous day, what a fabulous world!" he exclaims with delight! But sadly, noting each and every thing that he finds fabulous makes Roger late to school, and then late coming home. Roger's parents decide something must be done. No more "fabulous." Perhaps, if they ban the word, Roger can walk through town without being distracted. But, of course, Roger can't hold in his amazement at all the everyday miracles he encounters: everything is "marvelous," or "dazzling," or "glorious," or "brilliant." Luckily, Roger's parents realize that Roger is just a happy child, and "the world's most fabulous son!" If there's an eternal optimist in your home, I'm sure you'll appreciate The Boy Who Cried Fabulous too. See this book listed in our catalog

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Pig Parade Is a Terrible Idea

Submitted by Ms. Tess!
"Like most children, you have probably thought to yourself at one time or another, I bet a pig parade would be a lot of fun." Lucky for us, we have Michael Ian Black and Kevin Hawkes to teach us exactly why A Pig Parade Is a Terrible Idea. For one thing, pigs don't like to march. They prefer to snuffle, which is like walking, but with your nose. And they down right refuse to wear majorette uniforms (even though absolutely everybody looks sharp in a majorette uniform). And if you give them band instruments, do you think they'd play a spirited marching song? They wouldn't. Because pigs only listen to sad, sad country music. These are just some of the many reasons A Pig Parade Is a Terrible Idea. I suggest you check this book out today, and educate yourself, before you try organizing hundreds of pigs to march down the finest boulevard of your home town... See this book listed in our catalog

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

That's Not Funny

Submitted by Ms. Carol!
That's Not Funny! by Jeanne Willis and Adrian Reynolds is a story about a hyena who thinks it would be funny to play a joke on Giraffe. He decides to put a banana peel on Giraffe's path. Giraffe ends up slipping, and running straight into a tree. Of course, Giraffe doesn't find that funny at all. Hyena just laughs and laughs. When Giraffe ran into the tree, a coconut fell, and it hit Hippo right on the head. Hyena again finds this extremely funny, but, of course, Hippo is not amused. Because of Hyena's joke, there is a crazy chain of events that occur, and only Hyena finds them funny. There is actually a moral to the story, and in the end Hyena finds out that it is not a good idea to laugh at others' misfortunes. It's a cute story with a good message. See this book listed in our catalog

Monday, January 24, 2011

Zoopa

Submitted by Ms. Tammy!
Zoopa: An Animal Alphabet by Gianna Marino. A bowl of tomato soup becomes much more, as letters of the alphabet start to appear in the soup, along with animals that start with each letter. As you turn to the first page, the first two letters of the alphabet appear, A and B, along with an ant and a butterfly. Children will be excited as they turn each page to discover what new letters have been added to the soup and what new animals have appeared on the two page spread. What a wonderful way to learn your alphabet and discover some familiar, and perhaps unfamiliar, animals, like the quail, xenops, and even a yak! Not to worry--if you get stuck on a letter, you can turn to the final pages, where each animal appears with the first letter in bold print to help identify which of the animals goes with each letter. See this book listed in our catalog

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Good Day

Submitted by Ms. Melissa!
It’s a bad day for Bird, Dog, Fox, and Squirrel. But then... things change, and they all find happiness! Kevin Henkes, author of A Good Day, tells a quick and simple tale with bright, animated images, and easy, flowing words. Henkes has a knack for writing in a style that is easy for children to understand. In this book, he uses repetitive words that teach emotion and express “happiness” and “sadness.” The images contain the same bright colors, while the font remains bold and dark. This contrast makes the words stand out, and easy to read. This book could serve as a platform to discussing nature with your child as well. You can create your own outdoor scavenger hunt, and find Bird’s lost feather, or Squirrel’s lost nut. See this book listed in our catalog

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Pout-Pout Fish

Submitted by Ms. Melissa!
Is someone having a bad day? If so, here’s the book for them! It’s called The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen, with pictures by Dan Hanna. Mr. Fish swims through the ocean with a “pout-pout face” and spreads his “dreary-wearies all over the place” with a “blub, bluub, bluuuub.” In short, he’s not the most delightful fella’. His sea creature friends relentlessly try to improve his mood, and help him shift to a more positive ‘tude, but aren’t successful. A stranger comes to their corner of the sea, and changes things for Mr. Fish and friends. It is then that Mr. Fish realizes he is not destined to be the “pout-pout fish” he was so inclined to being. This could be quite a giggly tale to share with a child, and the recurrent “blubbing” allows for audience participation. With delightful images, and an easy rhythm, it will surely turn a frown up side down! See this book listed in our catalog

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

One Drowsy Dragon

Submitted by Ms. Janis!
One Drowsy Dragon by Ethan Long. As an adult dragon tries to sleep, a growing crowd of little dragons make all kinds of noise to keep the tired dragon awake. Each page shows a new scene with increased chaos, progressing from ONE marching dragon clanging on a cup, to NINE rockin' dragons jamming in a loud band! Finally, TEN tuckered dragons think it's time for bed, but the big dragon, with its deep snores, wakes up the little dragons! This is a fun counting book, that includes rhymes. This book is also a good story time choice, as it covers several popular picture book topics like counting, colors, dragons, and bedtime. The fun sound effects are also great for sharing with a group of children. See this book listed in our catalog

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ruth and the Green Book

Submitted by Ms. Sue!
Ruth and the Green Book by Calvin Alexander, illustrated by Floyd Cooper. Ruth and her parents are taking Ruth’s first road trip, in their first car, from Chicago to Alabama. During the 1950’s, most African Americans couldn’t afford to own a car, so this will be an adventure for Ruth and her parents! It feels funny to Ruth, to see her neighborhood disappear as they drive out of Chicago. Unfortunately, Ruth and her family find out that black travelers are not welcome in many service stations, hotels, or towns, and that they can be turned away due to the “Jim Crow” laws. They have a few bad experiences in places where they are not welcome, and have to spend the night sleeping in their car. Eventually, Ruth and her family are lucky enough to meet a friendly attendant at an Esso station, who shows them a book called "The Negro Motorist Green Book." It provides a list of places that black travelers can go that will welcome them, and their business. Ruth and her parents are very relieved to have a guide book to help them make a safe journey to Grandma’s house. This story contains factual information about "The Green Book" and how it helped African Americans travel more safely. See this book listed in our catalog

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Nico & Lola

Submitted by Ms. Tess!
You may have noticed I am partial to dog stories, particularly stories about dogs that are "so ugly they're cute." Perhaps that's why I'm so smitten with Nico & Lola: Kindness Shared Between a Boy and a Dog by Meggan Hill with photography by Susan M. Graunke. This is a book about being nice, doing the right thing, and having good manners, told through the story of a little boy named Nico who must figure out how to care for his aunt's pug Lola, whom he is responsible for, for the weekend. From looking after Lola, Nico learns that being kind is, among other things, showing concern for others, taking turns, helping others in need, giving from the heart, and, ultimately, treating others the way you want to be treated. These lessons are taught with thoughtful, kid-friendly text, and adorable color photographs. This book would be wonderful for the young dog-lover in your life, or anyone who needs a refresher on appropriate ways to show loving kindness. See this book listed in our catalog

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I Remember Miss Perry

Submitted by Ms. Jill!
I Remember Miss Perry by Pat Brisson. Miss Perry is a wonderful teacher. When Stevie was new in school, and so nervous that he had a stomachache, Miss Perry made him feel better by telling him that her “fondest wish” was that he join her for lunch. In fact, Miss Perry has a different “fondest wish” every day - that the class quiet down quickly so that they can read aloud together; that they serenade the principal on her birthday; that they plant flowers to beautify the school. Miss Perry’s entire class adores their teacher, and looks forward each day to hearing her “fondest wish.” Then, one awful day, Miss Perry is not at school. The principal teaches their class in the morning, and after lunch the children find their parents waiting in the classroom. The principal has very sad news to share, and she wants the children to have their parents nearby when they hear it: Miss Perry has died in an accident. The principal and the school counselor help everyone to deal with their grief by talking about their favorite memories of Miss Perry, and they each share a story about a different “fondest wish.” This sensitive book about loss and grief is exceptionally well done, and just right for elementary-aged kids who have lost someone special to them. Sad without being melodramatic, I Remember Miss Perry shows readers that “it’s okay to cry when someone you like very much has died,” and that sharing memories is a good way to find comfort when mourning. See this book listed in our catalog

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Pink!

Submitted by Ms. Tess!
I am completely charmed by Pink! a story by Lynne Rickards, with pictures by Margaret Chamberlain. It's the tale of Patrick, a penguin, who wakes up one morning to discover he's turned pink. Of course, he's quite alarmed by this. Whoever heard of a pink penguin? His mother sends him to the doctor, but the doctor can't explain why Patrick is pink. You could be green if you were feeling sick. Or blue if you were very cold. But pink? He'll just have to get used to it. But "boys can't be pink" Patrick insists. Patrick's dad shows him a book of birds including flamingos, and informs him boys can be pink! Patrick is slightly re-assured, but when he goes to school the next day he is mercilessly teased for being pink! He decides to pack it up and move to Africa to be with the flamingos. He swims all the way there! When he arrives, the flamingos are friendly enough, but Patrick still doesn't quite fit it in. He realizes he belongs with the other penguins at the south pole, so he swims all the way home. When he gets there, his parents and schoolmates are so happy to see him! They ask him about his travels and rejoice in his homecoming. Eventually everyone gets used to Patrick being pink, and no one teases him anymore. This is a wonderful book to teach children that being different is OK, and to not be ashamed of anything that makes them stand out in a crowd. See this book listed in our catalog

Monday, January 10, 2011

Shadow

Submitted by Ms. Catherine!
When I was growing up, I was constantly finding new ways to play pretend. I was always imagining that I could travel to a new place, and that I had some sort of magical ability. In Suzy Lee’s beautiful new wordless book, Shadow, we meet a girl with a delightfully vivid imagination. Playing in her attic, where the light makes lots of shadows on the wall, the girl’s imagination creates an entirely new world. The left side pages show the attic in its original form, while the right side pages show how the girl’s imagination changes her surroundings. Eventually, the magic of her imagination invades the real world in the form of a darker creature. But taking charge of her own make-believe, the little girl is able to conquer her fears, and play with the creature, who turns out to be a friend. The ending is reminiscent of Where the Wild Things Are, when the call of “Dinner!” brings the make-believe to an end. This is a great book to look at with your child and talk about what you see. You can pick out the animals the girl imagines, and identify what real objects create the shadows. You can also discuss what imagination is, and why make-believe can’t hurt anyone. See this book listed in our catalog

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Monkey with a Bright Blue Bottom

Submitted by Ms. Tammy!
In The Monkey with a Bright Blue Bottom by Steve Smallman, a young monkey sits watching the birds, as they fly past, with their beautiful feathers that look like a rainbow in the sky. He thinks it's not fair that all the animals around him look dull, with no color like the birds. After finding a paintbox with some brushes, he decides to brighten up the animals with the paints as they take an afternoon nap. Children will be delighted as they see the leopard get his spots, Giraffe get his brown squares, and Zebra get his black stripes! Just as Monkey is finishing up, Bear wakes up and starts yelling. Monkey finds himself surrounded by all the creatures he has painted with his new paintbox. The story ends with Bear painting the monkey’s face red, white, and blue. He also paints the monkey’s bottom a bright blue! See this book listed in our catalog

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Laurie

Submitted by Ms. Amanda!
Laurie by Elfi Nijssen and Eline van Lindenhuizen is a great story to help kids adjust to hearing aids, or to understand why someone they know uses hearing aids. Laurie doesn’t hear well, and that makes it hard for her to have friends, because she often has to ask them to repeat themselves, and look at her when they speak, so that she can read their lips. Kids often make fun of her, because they do not understand, and she often has to play alone on the playground. That makes her feel like she doesn’t belong. Laurie has a dog who is her friend. He doesn’t care that she doesn’t hear well. They understand each other just fine. One day, Laurie gets "hearing computers" to help her hear well. Now Laurie can hear kids on the playground, she doesn’t have to ask them to repeat themselves, and can hear everything around her just fine. Laurie is lucky, because now she can hear well, thanks to her hearing aids. Now she has friends, and feels like she belongs! See this book listed in our catalog

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Stanley's Little Sister

Submitted by Ms. Amanda!
Have you ever wondered what your pets are thinking? In Stanley’s Little Sister by Linda Bailey you get to see how the dog Stanley feels about a new cat that his people bring home. Stanley really wants to be friends with the new cat, but they just don’t speak the same language. Literally! Stanley speaks dog to the cat, and she just doesn’t understand, and neither do Stanley’s people. He tries to say "Hi" to the cat, and she bats him in the nose. He tries to give the cat some of his toys, and she runs away. He knows he isn’t supposed to chase her, but for some reason he just can’t help it! He tries to lie on the couch with his people, and the new cat, but he gets in trouble, and is put out on the porch. Stanley even meets up with his doggy friends at the dog park to get their advice on how to make friends with the cat. In the end, making friends with her turns out to be very simple, and Stanley finds he likes having a new little sister! See this book listed in our catalog

Monday, January 3, 2011

Feivel's Flying Horses

Submitted by Ms. Allana!
Feivel’s Flying Horses by Heidi Smith Hyde. For many children who love the wonder, pleasure, and excitement of riding a carousel, a book about "flying" horses is indeed a treasure. I am partial to carousels, and the beautifully crafted horses that adorn them, so I instantly took to this book. This is a story about a man’s love for his family, and his desire to make a better life for them. With wonderful ink line and water color illustrations by Johanna Van Der Sterre, the story of Feivel and his new life in America captures the heart, as the woodcarver strives to make enough money to send for his loved ones. He carves a special feature into each horse, to remind him of every member of his family. It’s a very touching and uplifting story, suitable for Kindergarten age and up. See this book listed in our catalog
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