Friday, December 28, 2012

Except If

Submitted by Ms. Amanda!
Except If by Jim Averbeck is a simple yet whimsical tale told in one long run on sentence. It is the story of an egg that challenges what a preschooler knows to be true and questions what might be instead. The story begins with an egg that you think could hatch a baby bird EXCEPT IF it is a baby snake EXCEPT IF it is a lizard EXCEPT IF it is a dinosaur and on the tale goes till we end up back with an egg. It is a great chance to talk with little ones about how what they think might be certain can also be so much more or something else altogether. This story can come off the page and into the reader’s everyday life when you ponder... EXCEPT IF. See this book listed in our catalog

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Lizzy's Do's and Don'ts

Submitted by Ms. Brenda!
The word "don't" has become an awfully tiresome word to hear for Lizzy and her mom lately. Lizzy enjoys bringing sand home from the beach, and cutting her hair, and really is there anything wrong with occasionally licking the dog? Her mom's "don'ts" have gotten out of control, and Lizzy decides to take a turn with some "don'ts" of her own for Mom. In Lizzy’s Do's and Don'ts by Jessica Harper and illustrated by Lindsay Harper DuPont, after dishing out long lists of "don'ts" to each other, Lizzy and her mom decide to give each other a list of "do's." Do hold me close. Do tell me when life seems unfair. Do tell me you love me. This delightful book teaches compromise and understanding in a non-threatening way. Parents and children alike will certainly recognize themselves in some, if not most, of these "Do" and "Don't" examples. See this book listed in our catalog

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

More Bears!

Submitted by Ms. Catherine!
What does every story need? Why, MORE BEARS! Of course!  In Kenn Nesbitt’s More Bears! an unassuming author simply wants to write a simple story with absolutely no bears at all. But somewhere beyond the pages children keep calling for “More Bears!” Wanting to make the children who will read his story happy, the author adds a bear. But this is simply not enough. The children want more and more bears. As the story goes, the bears begin to take over the book until there are so many bears, it seems that they will pop off the page. This book would be a fantastic choice for a read-aloud. The story moves quickly and children will love shouting “More Bears!” throughout the story. Just be ready for the end when the author bans all bears from his book. But don’t worry.  This simply will leave room for MORE CHICKENS! See this book listed in our catalog

My Heart Is Like a Zoo

Submitted by Ms. Jill!
My Heart Is Like a Zoo by Michael Hall. In this unique and special picture book, twenty zoo animals are illustrated in a boldly colorful graphic style, with each illustration made up almost entirely of heart shapes. Strange as it may sound, the result is charming. Brief white-on-color lines of text use the attributes of each creature to describe the unseen narrator’s heart: “Eager as a beaver, steady as a yak…” Young readers will enjoy identifying the familiar animals in these unusual and appealing illustrations, and chuckle at the sillier images, which include hippos drinking apple juice through straws and a caterpillar wearing several pairs of knitted socks. The final 2-page spread closes the book on a comfortably sleepy note, making for an ideal bedtime read-aloud. See this book listed in our catalog

Friday, December 21, 2012

Not a Box and Not a Stick

Submitted by Ms. Amanda!
It is that time of year, when kids of all ages will be getting amazing, carefully planned, long sought after gifts from their parents, grandparents and even Santa Claus... only to play with the BOX it comes in! Not a Box by Antoinette Portis is about a bunny who, through simple line drawings, insists that his box is Not a Box. When asked what it is, he reveals it is a race car, a mountain, a burning building, a robot, and many other imaginings of a child! It is a great lap sit book to be read and enjoyed, and to spark the imagination of its readers! Not a Stick by the same author follows the same simple pattern of Not a Box. This time Pig pretends that his “Not a Stick” is a fishing pole, a paintbrush, a dumbbell, and so much more. Antoinette Portis captures the pure brilliance of a child's imagination in these simple yet creative interactive books. See these books listed in our catalog

Slither Slide What's Outside

Submitted by Ms. Janis!
I really love this happy picture book and the way it inspires playful creativity. Slither Slide, What’s Outside? by Sheryl Shapiro is meant for preschoolers, but I think any child willing to move to his or her right-brain will find the freedom of thought and movement each page challenges its readers to enjoy. The poetry is fast, fun, and conveys excitement and joy. This book is one that adults will not get tired of reading to their little ones. Some poems are punchy and some use alliteration. I see parents playing right alongside their child, laughing, smiling, and creating. The bright, cheerfully colored illustrations add to the imaginative flow of the book, and it could be used in a STEM program for the library! See this book listed in our catalog

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Michael Hague's Treasury of Christmas Carols and Christmas Is Here

Submitted by Ms. Allana!
Michael Hague’s Treasury of Christmas Carols. Bound in red velvet, this book has a festive look and feel before you even open it! Inside are the lyrics to classic carols such as "O Christmas Tree," "Deck the Halls," and of course "Jingle Bells." The cutest little animal characters are portrayed in seasonal images worthy of any greeting card. Michael Hague has also illustrated The Wind in the Willows and The Velveteen Rabbit. See this book listed in our catalog
Christmas Is Here illustrated by Lauren Castillo. With words from the King James bible, this beautifully illustrated book is a perfect addition to Christmas reading for families who enjoy the nativity story. "And the angel said to them 'Fear not! For behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.'" See this book listed in our catalog

Monday, December 17, 2012

I Like Old Clothes

Submitted by Ms. Catherine!
As a child I was constantly playing pretend. One of my favorite ways to play was to dress up in old clothing that had once belonged to my mother and her sister, or my grandparents. I Like Old Clothes written by Mary Ann Hoberman and illustrated by Patrice Barton reminded me of all the fun I had playing dress up as a child. A young girl explains that old clothes aren’t something to throw away, but instead can tell stories, become toys, and just be fun and lovely. Barton’s watercolor illustrations give the book a soft, warm look that captures the feel and memory of dress up clothes perfectly. These, along with Hoberman’s rhyming and repetitive text, are a perfect mix. This book will be good to share with any child who loves to play pretend and has a wonderful imagination. See this book listed in our catalog

Friday, December 14, 2012

Henry's Freedom Box

Submitted by Ms. Jill!
Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine, illustrated by Kadir Nelson, is the true story of Henry “Box” Brown, a slave who mailed himself to freedom in a wooden box. Though short and simply told, the story is powerful; even young readers will understand the emotions Henry felt when he watched his wife and children, who were owned by a different master, being sold like animals and sent away. Losing his family made Henry determined to escape slavery forever, and he hatched his dangerous plan: friends would nail him inside a wooden crate and ship him to abolitionists in the free city of Philadelphia. If Henry were caught, he would have faced severe punishment, and so would the friends who helped him. The journey itself was difficult and dangerous too, since Henry was trapped inside the box for days and could have been smothered, crushed, or bashed along the way! Kadir Nelson’s beautiful illustrations add a great deal to the story, especially by showing cutaway views of Henry inside his box as it is bumped, thrown, and dropped upside down on the long trip to freedom! See this book listed in our catalog

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I Don't Want to Be a Pea!

Submitted by Ms. Carol!
I Don't Want to Be a Pea by Ann Bonwill is a story about friendship. It is about Hippo and Bird. They are both very excited about the fairy-tale fancy dress party. They have to go in costume and, of course, they have very different ideas about what their costume should be. Hippo thinks they should go as the Princess and the Pea and, of course, Hippo should be the princess and Bird should be the pea. Bird has other ideas. She does not want to be a pea. A pea is just too green and small. She thinks she should be a mermaid and Hippo should be her rock. Hippo does not want to be a rock. After all a rock is just too gray and blobby. How about Cinderella and her pumpkin? Bird would be Cinderella and Hippo would be the pumpkin, but Hippo does not appreciate being painted orange, even though he does look rather nice in orange. The two argue until they decide they don't want to go to the party anymore. After they think it over they decide they don't want to go to the party without each other, so they both show up at the party dressed as the pea, and they are both happy. See this book listed in our catalog

Monday, December 10, 2012

Boris and the Wrong Shadow

Submitted by Ms. Janis!
Boris and the Wrong Shadow by Leigh Hodgkinson. After one of his delightful naps, Boris the cat has a feeling that things are not quite as they should be. Something is strange... Boris woke up with the wrong shadow! In fact, it's the shadow of a very tiny mouse! Not wanting to ruin his afternoon, Boris goes for a walk and all the other cats snicker at him--even the birds don't bother to look at him. He finally finds his shadow skipping by without a care in the world. Boris has to convince Vernon the mouse (who has borrowed Boris's shadow) to give him is shadow back. Eventually, Boris is able to reconnect with his shadow and show his new, small friend that you don't have to be BIG to be a superstar. See this book listed in our catalog

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Junkyard Wonders

Submitted by Ms. Sue!
The Junkyard Wonders by Patricia Polacco. Tricia stays with her dad and Grandma for the school year. In her new school she believes no one will realize that she was in a special class. But when she gets to her classroom she finds out that she is in a special class. Then she meets her new teacher, Mrs. Peterson, and all the special people in her class, known to the school as “the junkyard.” With the help of Mrs. Peterson, who reminds the class that genius is neither learned nor acquired, and that the definition of genius describes every one of them. The class goes to a real junkyard and collects items that they think they can make into something new. The class project takes them all the way to the science fair when they unveil a repaired model plane they named “the junkyard wonder.” They launch it from the roof and watch as it appears to fly all the way to the moon. Tricia and her friends in class are filled with inspiration and the confidence to believe in themselves through their experiences in “the junkyard.” This story was based on Patricia Polacco’s own experience, and the inspiration she received from her teacher and friends to believe. See this book listed in our catalog

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Otter and Odder

Submitted by Ms. Tess!
There were many wonderful picture books that came out this year that I love (like this one, this one, this one, and this one). But this one is my favorite. Otter and Odder: A Love Story by James Howe, with illustrations by Chris Raschka. "The river sparkled the day Otter found love. He was not looking for it (love, that is). He was looking for dinner." What he finds instead, or in spite of that I suppose, is a beautiful fish named Myrtle. It would seem impossible that an otter should fall in love with a fish, but when he gazes into her eyes for the first time, "he knew that he had found what he had not known he was looking for." And as for Myrtle, she is equally smitten, for when she looks in Otter's eyes she sees "the sparkling river reflected and a tender and lonely heart revealed." And so, the otter and the fish swim into a new and surprising future together. In a perfect world, "an otter could fall in love with a fish, and a fish with an otter, and that would be that." But the world is not perfect. Soon "the talking" begins. It's not right. It's not natural. It's not "the way of the otter." And in a way that's true. How can Otter love Myrtle, but still eat fish? "They're right." Otter thinks. "It is impossible." And yet, he can't stop himself from thinking about Myrtle. "Is it the way of the otter... to be alone?" he contemplates miserably. One morning he meets wise Beaver along the river bank. Beaver asks Otter if he'd like an apple. Apples are tasty. Tastier than fish. "Have you ever eaten fish?" Otter asks. "No," replies the beaver, "but I suppose I might if I ever fell in love with an apple." And thusly, all hope is restored. Many things are more delicious than fish. In fact Otter wonders what he ever saw in fish, except for Myrtle, "Except for you, dear Myrtle," he explains upon their tender reunion. And so "they lived happily ever after." This is an amazing story of conquering obstacles, knowing what's truly important, and not letting people's opinions sway you from what you love. It is poetically written, and craftily illustrated. It is piece of art I think children and adults can appreciate, and a lesson we all need to learn. To quote Catherine Ryan Hyde, “Love always looks nice. I don’t really know anyone who doesn’t enjoy it when they see it. Anyone who doesn’t, I don’t really want to know them.” See this book listed in our catalog

Monday, December 3, 2012

Making a Friend

Submitted by Ms. Melissa!
In the picture book Making a Friend a girl makes a friend out of snow and watches him fade away. She soon discovers that he exists in the rain, ocean, streams, fog, frost, and leaves. “What you love will always be with you” even when it vanishes and can no longer be seen. In her book author Alison McGhee speaks of the seasons and the changing of time. It can be interpreted in many ways: to explain the water cycle, seasons, or the passing of a loved one. Soft illustrations by Marc Rosenthal compliment the rhyming verse. See this book listed in our catalog
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