Thursday, December 22, 2011

Jingle Bells: How the Holiday Classic Came to Be

Submitted by Ms. Sue!
Jingle Bells: How the Holiday Classic Came to Be by John Harris and illustrated by Adam Gustavson. In 1857, John Lord Pierpont was inspired to write a new Christmas song during an unusually hot Savannah, Georgia day for the Thanksgiving concert at his church. He was telling is daughter Lillie about the cold and snowy winters in Boston when he was younger, and realized she had never seen or felt snow. "What’s snow like exactly?" asked Lillie. He started describing the crisp, cold air, and a sleigh with sleigh bells. Later, while at the keyboard of the church's pipe organ, he tapped the keys three times plink-plink-plink, then did it again. Jingling bells, that’s what they sound like. He sang along, and before you know it he wrote a song originally called "One Horse Open Sleigh" for the children of the congregation to sing. As they finished the song, complete with strands of bells, and feathers thrown like snow, the audience burst into applause. See this book listed in our catalog

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Storm Is Coming

Submitted by Ms. Brenda!
Storm Is Coming by Heather Tekavec, and illustrated by Margaret Spengler, is a fun, colorful lap book, with plenty of humor, drama, and even a bit of suspense. When the farmer and his dog start rounding up the farm animals because a storm is coming, they all run wildly, warning one another to hurry, and get to the barn! Once huddled in the barn, they wonder who this “Storm” could be. He must be mean. He must be scary. He must be very big! All of a sudden, the sky gets dark, the wind starts blowing, heavy rains come, lightning flashes, and thunder booms! The animals cheer their good luck. Hurray! Storm can’t possibly get them when the sky is hiding them in the dark, the rain is washing away all of their tracks, and the flashing lights and booming thunder will surely scare him away. All day long, they waited for Storm to come, then all of a sudden everything stops. The sky is silent, then there is a thump, thump, thump, and a click, click, clang, and a creeeeeak of the door. Someone is coming, and the animals are really scared. To their great relief, it is only the farmer coming to let them out. They all run happily into the sunshine, grateful that Storm had not found them. See this book listed in our catalog

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Dinosaur vs. the Library

Submitted by Ms. Catherine!
When last we met our friend the Dinosaur, he was out defeating bowls of spaghetti, giant slides, and talking grown-ups. And, while bedtime did indeed defeat the Dinosaur in the end, we all knew he would be back to “Roar!” another day. In Bob Shea’s Dinosaur Vs. The Library, our friend the Dinosaur meets many new friends, and teaches them how to “Roar!” Soon cows, baby chicks, and even shy turtles and sad owls are roaring away with the awesome Dinosaur! But what will happen when the Dinosaur goes to the library? Will he be able to use his inside roar? When it’s story time, will he be able to keep his roars to himself altogether? Bob Shea’s illustrations are funny and adorable. Anyone who has a little dinosaur at home will recognize just how hard it can be to use inside roars sometimes. However, as the Dinosaur learns, when you stay quiet to hear a book at story time at the library, everybody wins. See this book listed in our catalog

Monday, December 19, 2011

Grandpa Green

Submitted by Ms. Carol!
Grandpa Green by Lane Smith is a heartwarming story about a boy and his memories of his grandpa. His memories are all very vivid, and seen in a garden of topiary trees. His grandpa was, of course, born a long time ago, before there were any cell phones, or computers, or even television. His grandpa was an average boy who lived on a farm, and who had chicken pox which he didn't get from chickens. His grandpa wished to study horticulture, but he went to war instead. He was a soldier, a husband, a grandfather, and a great artist. His grandpa doesn't remember everything anymore like he used to, but what he doesn't remember, the garden remembers for him. A great story about love, aging, and family. See this book listed in our catalog

Friday, December 16, 2011

That Pup!

Submitted by Ms. Janis!
That Pup! by Lindsay Barrett George is a great story about an adorable golden retriever having a good time digging in the yard. She smells an acorn and decides to dig for more acorns in various places around the yard. This lovable pup finds 10 acorns in all. The puppy happens to see a squirrel that is very sad. The squirrel wants to know why the pup has dug up all of the acorns that she buried for the winter. The pup immediately decides they can play a new game called "Put Back the Acorns." The next page shows the puppy and the squirrel returning the acorns to their original spots. This is a perfect book for toddlers! See this book listed in our catalog

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Gulliver Snip

Submitted by Ms. Jill!
Gulliver Snip by Julia Kay. It’s bath time for young Gulliver Snip, but, in this little boy’s vivid imagination, the ordinary tub becomes a mighty clipper ship, with Gulliver for a captain! In rollicking nautical rhyme, Captain Snip’s adventures grow wilder with every passing page: A storm rages, the mast crashes, the ship is swamped and sunk! Brave Captain Snip leaps overboard in a suitcase, washes up on a tropical island, and climbs tall trees to escape a marauding tiger… but the young sailor’s fantasy comes crashing down when Mom discovers a soggy reality: someone has overflowed the bathtub, flooded the hall, and broken a lamp. The mess is mopped up, and Gulliver is dried, dressed in pajamas, and sent to bed, where he dreams of tomorrow’s journey. Throughout the book, wildly colorful full-page paintings show Gulliver’s imagined adventure, contrasted on the facing page with a much smaller image of the little boy’s real-world mischief. Read this book aloud to feel the rhythm and rhyme, and let your little sailors chime in on the refrain: “the clipper ship, that his mother called the bathtub!” See this book listed in our catalog

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Twelve Days of Christmas and One Christmas Night

Submitted by Ms. Allana!
The Twelve Days of Christmas by Laurel Long is the traditional Christmas song with nothing added or adapted, however it is set in the most beautiful full page illustrations. From cover to cover it looks like one spectacular holiday or post card after another, with blended tones of gold, silver, red, blue, and green. It is a delightful book for the season. See this book listed in our catalog
One Christmas Night by M. Christina Butler and Tina Mcnaughton is a very simple and heartwarming tale of how a hedgehog begins to appreciate the importance of having friends around his house at Christmas time, and how special they are. His tree has no sparkle, and his house does not look very “Christmasy,” but with the help of his rabbit and mice friends, and even the fox, it all comes together for a glittery, sparkly, happy ending. See this book listed in our catalog

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What Animals Really Like

Submitted by Ms. Tess!
What Animals Really Like is a book by Fiona Robinson, and a song by Mr. Herbert Timberteeth *wink wink* the beaver. This ambitious beaver has composed an operetta about what animals like most, starring all his friends. Lions like to prowl, wolves like to howl, pigeons like to coo, cows like to dig. Wait, what? Cows don't like to dig! But apparently they do! The animals begin informing their frustrated conductor of the things they actually like to do, which aren't in line with what the beaver, and the rest of us, might assume. For instance, the warthogs like to blow enormous bubbles! (They're going for a world record!) And the shrimp like to ski! (Really! They just got back from Switzerland and had amazing weather.) Mr. Timberteeth finds out you can't judge a book by its cover as he learns his song is all wrong and his friends have diverse hobbies and interests he'd never dreamed of! (Except the mice. They really do like cheese!) The book features fun fold out illustrations, and will hopefully inspire you and your little one to laugh and sing along to one of the silliest musical productions ever staged in children's literature! See this book listed in our catalog

Monday, December 5, 2011

Elliot's Christmas Surprise

Submitted by Ms. Jill!
Elliot’s Christmas Surprise by Andrea Beck. Elliot (a stuffed moose) wakes up on Christmas Eve morning to discover a giant red box waiting at the foot of his bed. What could it be?! Elliot, who has been extra-good this year, guesses that it must be a Special Delivery from Santa - an early present just for him! Elliot is so excited! But wait… none of the other stuffed animals in the nursery have Special Deliveries. What if Elliot’s friends feel left out and sad? Elliot gets out his craft supplies and makes an extra gift for each of his friends, so that everyone will have a Special Delivery to open. But when the little moose finally opens his own Special Delivery, he finds the box is empty! Poor Elliot! Now he’s the only one without an extra gift. At first Elliot is terribly disappointed, but then something magical happens: each of Elliot’s delighted friends comes running to say “thank you” for their thoughtful gifts, and with each friend’s arrival Elliot feels better and better. Together the animals discover that the empty big red box is a present after all - Lionel gave it to Elliot to use for crafts. Now completely recovered from his disappointment, Elliot shows everyone how to make the box into a pretend sleigh, and they all spend the day happily playing Santa and Reindeer. This delightful holiday story is just right for preschoolers - Elliot’s feelings of excitement, concern for his friends, and disappointment are very realistic for a young child, and the gentle message about the joy of giving and the importance of gratitude makes a great antidote to the holiday “gimmes.” You can read more about Elliot in the other “Elliot Moose Stories.” See these books listed in our catalog

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Can We Save the Tiger?

Submitted by Ms. Tess!
Some kids don't like to get books for a holiday gift. Like, this kid, for instance. But if the elementary school aged child in your life loves books, and loves animals, might I suggest checking out Can We Save the Tiger by Martin Jenkins, with illustrations by Vicky White. This is a beautiful book about endangered animals, featuring words that are accessible and kid-friendly, with sketches that are life-like, and gorgeous. Can We Save the Tiger is informative for folks of all ages, explaining simply how some species become threatened, and what we can do to help. It is somewhat ludicrous to me that the tiger could become extinct, but it is sadly a very real possibility. There may be a generation in the not-so-distant future that will never see one alive. Or a polar bear. Or even vultures and iguanas. You can see this book listed in our catalog, or you could consider giving it at a gift during this year's festive season. You might pair it with a symbolic species adoption through the World Wildlife Fund. When you make a donation, you can receive a plush toy of your chosen animal, as well as a certificate. What a terrific way to make the little one (or grown ups) in your life more aware of conservation efforts! And for more ideas of fun ways to give good books for the holidays, check out my friend Pam Coughlan's blog!

Snowmen At Night

Submitted by Ms. Carol!
Snowmen At Night by Caralyn Buehner is a cute story that tries to solve the mystery of what snowmen do at night. Have you ever wondered, when your snowman looks a little droopy, what snowmen do at night? This book has lots of interesting suggestions. Maybe snowmen wait until dark, then they slide onto the street, and into the park. Maybe they stand around with other snowmen drinking ice-cold cocoa. Maybe they have snowman races, and go ice skating. Maybe they play baseball, and have a snowball fight. Maybe they go sledding with all their snowman friends. After all that excitement they get sleepy, and return home. So if your snowman has lost his height, and his grin is crooked, read this book to find out what snowmen do at night! See this book listed in our catalog
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