Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Harold Find a Voice

Submitted by Ms. Sara!
Harold Finds a Voice by Courtney Dicmas. Harold is a parrot who lives in apartment 4B in Paris. He mimics all the sounds he hears in his home. Harold can sound like the television, the blender, and the vacuum cleaner. His favorite sound to make is the sound of water. He can sound like the washing machine, the shower, or the toilet flushing. But Harold is tired of making the same noises, so one morning he flies out of the window to see and hear the world. He hears big voices and small, happy voices and sad. But all of these voices leave Harold wondering about his own voice. Does he have one? Is it a good voice? Harold Finds a Voice is a story about finding your own special voice and accepting it. Because of all the great noises Harold makes, it’s an excellent book to read aloud with your child. The illustrations are bright and lively, and fit the story perfectly. See this book listed in our catalog

Monday, December 30, 2013

Hello, My Name is Ruby

Submitted by Ms. Amanda!
Hello, My Name is Ruby by Philip C. Stead is a simple story of a small bird named Ruby. Ruby is looking for friend. She introduces herself to a big bird standing in the cool water, and they go flying together. Next, Ruby meets a friend to go walking with. As she and her new friend go walking, Ruby meets a giraffe, a penguin, a hummingbird, and a turkey. When she asks the Turkey to be her friend, the turkey politely refuses, so Ruby sings a sad song. Ruby sings her sad song all through the rain, until the sun shines again and she meets a curious bird. The curious bird is named Skeepwock, just like the sound he makes. Skeepwock introduces Ruby to lots of other birds just like her! Now Ruby has lots of friends. In this cute tale about friendship, the reader meets many types of birds, and learns about different ways to make friends. The illustrations of each bird are beautiful and each adds to the story. This is a great book to share with little ones as they learn to make friends. See this book listed in our catalog

Friday, December 27, 2013

Charlie the Ranch Dog

Submitted by Ms. Janis!
Come along as Ree Drummond, "The Pioneer Woman," introduces us to her beloved short-legged friend Charlie the Ranch Dog. While Charlie, a sleepy basset hound, tells about the busy life of a ranch dog, his best friend Suzie, a Jack Russell terrier, is getting the work done. Charlie loves his breakfast, and loves living in the country. But truth be known, Suzie is the one chasing the cows out of the yard, and keeping the critters off the porch and out of the garden, all while Charlie naps! A chipmunk appears on each page--see if your child can find it! See this book listed in our catalog

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Tap the Magic Tree

Submitted by Ms. Carol!
Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson is a story about seasons, trees and magic. The story starts with a bare brown tree. Then the author instructs the reader to tap the page to see what happens. As you tap and turn the page, leaves appear on the tree, until the tree is full of bright green leaves. The reader is then instructed to rub the tree and turn the page, and then pretty pink buds appear! As you touch each bud and shake the tree, turn the page and the buds fall off. The book continues with instructions to shake the tree, pat the leaves, blow a breeze, clap your hands, and count to ten. As the reader follows the instructions he or she sees the tree change with the seasons. This is a cute story that is very interactive and fun, and teaches children about the seasons. See this book listed in our catalog

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Submitted by Ms. Sue!
A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles Schulz. It's the Christmas season. All the kids are getting ready for the festivities and enjoying the winter weather. Charlie Brown just doesn't understand what all the fuss is about. The holidays always make him sad. After getting advice from Lucy, Charlie Brown agrees to get into the spirit by directing the school play. After the first practice he decides to get everyone in the mood to be serious about their parts by getting a Christmas tree. Later, after picking out a little, plain pine, and bringing it back, the kids think the tree is poor and scraggly. “I guess I didn’t pick a good tree. Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?” Linus strides to center stage and proceeds to describe the manger scene, ending with peace on earth and goodwill toward men. Charlie Brown takes his tree home and puts an ornament on it, but the ornament makes the tree sink to the ground, and Charlie Brown sadly walks away. Find out how all the kids come together to make Charlie Brown feel better, and how they transform the little pine tree. See this book listed in our catalog

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Night Before Christmas

Submitted by Ms. Sue!
The Night Before Christmas, poem by Clement C. Moore, illustrated by Holly Hobbie. This classic child’s poem of the night before Christmas was originally titled “Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas.” It rhythmically describes what can happen when Santa Claus comes on Christmas Eve as most children and parents are sleeping. But somebody wakes up upon hearing the clatter and the prancing and pawing of each reindeer hoof. In this illustrated version by Holly Hobbie, a new character is introduced. With a little magic and holiday surprise, Santa unpacks his bag full of toys and stuffs the stockings with presents and a teddy bear. “And laying his finger aside of his nose, and giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.” This enchanting poem and story will leave children with a feeling of anticipation and hope with one last message to all when St. Nicholas says, “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!” See this book listed in our catalog

Monday, December 23, 2013

Bear Noel

Submitted by Ms Amy!
Bear Noel by Olivier Dunrea. Bear Noel is coming! The animals in the forest are full of excitement. It is Christmas Eve, and they know that Bear Noel is on his way. How do they know? Each animal notices a different sign of Bear Noel’s approach. Fox hears jingling bells, Hedgehog hears singing, and Wolf hears someone tramping through the snow. The animals repeat each sign of Bear Noel’s coming as they meet more friends in the forest, until at last – they see him! It’s Bear Noel, and he has brought gifts for all the animals, and magic! The beautiful illustrations of snowy forest scenes bring this simple story to life. You and your little one can have fun reading each animal’s part in a different “voice,” with cues from the text: Dunrea tells us that Boar grunts, Hare whispers, and Possum purrs. Bear Noel is sweet and joyful book, perfect for sharing during the holiday season. See this book listed in our catalog

Friday, December 20, 2013

Winter Is For Snow

Submitted by Ms. Amy!
Winter Is For Snow by Robert Neubecker. Beginning in a New York City apartment, a big brother and his little sister argue about whether it is more fun to play outdoors in the winter snow, or stay inside where it’s warm, watching TV or playing video games. Big brother continues to try to prove to his reluctant little sister that being outdoors in winter is fun, by helping her get bundled up and taking her on a tour of all the great things to do outside in winter time. The pictures are engaging and funny, with a style that reminds me of a glossier version of some of my childhood favorite Sunday morning comic strips. Cozy up with your little one and read about all the fun things you can do in the winter. You may find yourselves inspired to go out and have some winter fun of your own! See this book listed in our catalog

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Snow Angels, Snow Puppy, and My Little Polar Bear

Submitted by Ms. Allana!
Three cute books for the winter/holiday season:
Snow Angels by Angel Randall, illustrated by Brandon Dorman. This story begins with one friend helping another. With the assistance of little helpers that only these two young girls can see, the two set out to help others in their neighborhood! At each location they are joined by a band of angels who help and encourage the girls to carry out all their good will. It feels so good to help other people at this festive time of year, so much so that they decide to continue their good work all year long! With a play on the words “snow angel” the author has taken the meaning to a higher level, and in this delightful picture book, shows how two friends can become like real angels, not only in winter, but during every season. See this book listed in our catalog
Snow Puppy by Marcus Pfister. Rascal is normally a contented happy pup, but today he is feeling a little out of sorts. His friend Sophie is off to town shopping with her parents, and Rascal is left behind. When he notices the white fluffy stuff floating around outside the window, his loneliness becomes excitement and intrigue. He remembers seeing white fluffy stuff once before, when he playfully tore open a pillow, but this stuff is somehow different. Once outside, he realizes how different, and how much fun it is to play in. When Rascal becomes lost after chasing a bunny through the woods, his joy and excitement turn to fear. A kind stranger is nearby however, and we soon discover how he saves the day! This is a sweet story about an adorable puppy who will steal the hearts of readers of every age. See this book listed in our catalog
My Little Polar Bear by Claudia Rueda. “Don’t worry little one, I will stay with you, and I will teach you what polar bears need to know.” A young cub is learning how to be a polar bear from his mother.  He has no confidence at first, and doesn’t believe he can swim well enough, or smell seals from a distance, or even walk on snow and melting ice. With the guidance, reassurance, and love of his mother, he begins to realize that he will be able to grow up and be an independent polar bear. The frosty white and pale blue illustrations in this book are created by digital media, and really represent and recreate an arctic world. Young readers and listeners will enjoy following the polar bear’s progress in this charming story. See this book listed in our catalog

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear

Submitted by Ms. Jill!
The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood. Outside Little Mouse’s house, a strawberry is growing. A red, ripe strawberry. Mmm! Mouse is just about to go and pick it. But wait - the narrator warns him - what about the Big Hungry Bear? The bear, we learn, just LOVES strawberries, and can smell them from miles away, especially when they have just been picked. Oh no! Little Mouse has JUST PICKED our strawberry! Now, how can we keep it safe from that Big Hungry Bear? Mouse frantically tries hiding it, locking it up and guarding it, even dressing it up in a disguise… but it turns out that there’s really only one method to save a red, ripe strawberry from the Big Hungry Bear (Hint: that method is delicious). See this book listed in our catalog and look for Merry Christmas, Big Hungry Bear

Monday, December 2, 2013

Rabbityness

Submitted by Ms. Tess!
Rabbityness by Jo Empson is a book about being special and being remembered. It's about Rabbit, who likes to do ordinary rabbity things. Rabbit likes jumping, and washing himself, and burrowing. But, he also likes to do a few... unrabbity things. Rabbit loves to paint! And Rabbit loves to make music! He fills the forest with color and sound and, most importantly, happiness. Doing things Rabbit loves makes him happy, and his happiness is contagious! He makes all the other rabbits in the woods happy too. But one day Rabbit is gone. The other rabbits can't find him anywhere, and they are sad. Rabbit leaves behind a dark hole. But he's also left behind his gifts of art and music. The other rabbits are inspired to do their own "unrabbity" things, and the woods are filled with happiness again. We should always strive to do good, and work hard, and be someone worth remembering, just like Rabbit. Embracing our special talents and interests makes us happy, and as Rabbit teaches us, happiness is contagious. Teach your child that they can make the world a better place just by being themselves, like Rabbit! See this book listed in our catalog

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

My Father the Dog

Submitted by Ms. Tammy!
In My Father the Dog by Elizabeth Bluemle two young children are convinced that their father is actually a dog not a human! They share their observations of the similarities between their father and the family pet. Both dad and pooch start the day with a good scratch before fetching the morning paper then clearing the room with a single "toot" (trying to look innocent). They make a quick pit stop by a tree, play a game, and enjoy a long afternoon nap. After a long day, they investigate a loud noise in the night, displaying loyalty to the “best family in the world.” The illustrations in this book accentuate the humor, especially in the physical similarities between the dad and the dog. See this book listed in our catalog

Monday, November 25, 2013

I Like Myself

Submitted by Ms. Brenda!
I Like Myself by Karen Beaumont will have all readers ready to shout “I like myself too” as they follow this wonderful little girl through the pages of this delightful and inspiring book. The star of the book is nameless. She could be any child or anyone who needs a good boost of self-esteem. Whatever the situation, she bounds from place to place with a faithful dog and a glad heart, celebrating the joy of being “Me!” The illustrations, by David Catrow, perfectly depict the zany, carefree antics of this precocious little girl. Even a severe case of bedhead can’t slow her down! This is an important book for all kids to read and understand. Self-esteem and self-like are taught with rhyming humor and childlike grace. It's a must read! See this book listed in our catalog

Friday, November 22, 2013

I Can See Just Fine

Submitted by Ms. Catherine!
I was 25 when I got my first pair of glasses. I knew it was time to bite the bullet and go see the eye doctor. However, in I Can See Just Fine by Eric Barclay, Paige isn't quite as ready to accept that it may be time to get glasses.  Everyone else notices that Paige is having a bit of trouble with her eyesight, but Paige will need a little help to see things clearly. Barclay has written simple text that allows his lovely and hilarious illustrations tell this adorable story of a girl who is afraid of what will happen when she gets glasses. This will be a wonderful book for any family to share, but will be particularly useful when introducing the idea of getting glasses to a child. See this book listed in our catalog

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Cinderelephant

Submitted by Ms. Catherine!
The Cinderella with whom you are probably most familiar is petite and delicate. Meet Cinderelephant – a LARGER than life version of the fairytale princess you have come to know and love. Having put up with her horrible stepsisters (the Warty Sisters – two warthogs who are incredibly rude, smelly, and have terrible table manners) for long enough, Cinderelephant is finally ready to step into the spotlight. So when Prince Trunky decides it’s time to find a girlfriend, Cinderelephant is excited to go the ball. With the help of her Fairy Godmouse, she knows she will have a glorious time. Of course when Cinderelephant loses her shoe, it isn’t the dainty slipper we all know. Instead, Prince Trunky must find the lady with some pretty amazing (and huge) shoes to fill.  Hilariously written and beautifully illustrated by Emma Dodd, Cinderelephant will be a new fairytale favorite. See this book listed in our catalog

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Wild About You

Submitted by Ms. Allana!
Wild About You by Judy Sierra is a wonderful story of family, caring, helping and adoption! “Who’s new at the zoo? Brand new babies that’s who! Some popped from their mamas, some hatched out of eggs, and some walked right away on their long wobbly legs.” But for the pandas and the tree kangaroos there are no babies on the way and this is making them sad. An egg needs a home and the tree kangaroo steps in to adopt. He hopes that the bird will live in the tree and sing sweetly; however, the baby turns out to be a penguin! Regardless, the tree kangaroo parents love him completely. The pandas are blessed with a new family member, and in the end we are reminded that to raise a family “It takes a whole ZOO.” See this book listed in our catalog

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Plant a Little Seed

Submitted by Ms. Amy!
In Plant a Little Seed Bonnie Christensen’s vibrant illustrations and lyrical, rhythmic text describe a year in the life of two friends, and their shared plot in a community garden. The book begins with the friends leaning over seed catalogs, dreaming and planning, while snow is still on the ground outside. Each page shows another step in the progression from early spring planting and waiting for seeds to sprout, to summer’s first fruits, and finally the fall harvest. The friends enjoy their delicious fruits and vegetables by working together with their families to create a holiday meal, celebrating the goodness of the earth and being together with friends. Look for hidden animals tucked away on every page. Count the tomatoes on the vine, and identify the different insects you see. The last page in the book shares details about gardening, how to tell a fruit from a vegetable, and other interesting facts. See this book listed in our catalog

Friday, November 8, 2013

Frankenstein

Submitted by Ms. Jill!
Looking for a story that’s monstrously cute? “In a creepy old castle all covered with spines, lived twelve ugly monsters in two crooked lines,” begins Frainkenstein by Ludworst Bemonster. Little ghouls and boys everywhere will devour this spooky riff on the classic Madeline. Mad scientist Miss Devel (barely) manages a brood of young monsters ranging from a skeleton, a mummy, and a vampire, to a zombie and a werewolf, but the ugliest and scariest is Frankenstein, an adorable green little spook. When Frankenstein loses his head (literally), he’s whisked off by Dr. Bone to the laboratory, where chaos ensues. Fans of both Madeline and monsters will  delight in the many silly “scary” details, like the “CaldeNOT Horror Book” medal on the cover, and the spot-on old-fashioned style of the illustrations. Look for the picture of the mummy using his bandages as a swing, and the vampire’s coffin tucked into his bunk bed. On Halloween or anytime, Frankenstein kills. See this book listed in our catalog

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Tractor Saves the Day

Submitted by Ms. Amy!
Mandy Archer’s Tractor Saves the Day, with bright, colorful illustrations by Martha Lightfoot, takes us through a typical day on the farm with Tractor and Dog. Tractor has many important jobs to do around the farm, so Dog and Tractor have to get started by the time the sun rises. Tractor needs some special tools to help get all the farm work done. Dog attaches a bale fork to Tractor so they can pick up the hay and bring it to feed the cows. Dog and Tractor also use a plow, and a rope to help them complete their work. There are lots of fun action noises to say throughout the story: “Squelch! Vrrrooom! Honk, Honk!” In the back of the book, the different parts of Tractor are labeled, and there are more pictures that name other important farm equipment. See this book listed in our catalog

Monday, November 4, 2013

Will You Be My Friend?

Submitted by Ms. Tess!
Will You Be My Friend by Nancy Tafuri is a wonderful book about friendship. Bunny and Bird share an apple tree. Bird lives in the branches, and Bunny lives in a hole in the trunk. When Bird sings, Bunny comes out to listen. "Will you be my friend?" Bunny asks. But Bird is too shy to answer! One day a terrible storm comes. Bird is wet and miserable. Bunny invites Bird down to his home where it's safe and dry. The next day Bunny, and his other woodland friends, help Bird re-build her nest. She is overcome and sings Bunny a song of thanks. They are truly good friends now! This gentle story of kindness is sure to please, and Tafuri has written many other Bunny and Bird stories you may enjoy as well. See this book listed in our catalog

Friday, November 1, 2013

Pick a Circle, Gather Squares

Submitted by Ms. Carol!
Pick a Circle, Gather Squares: A Fall Harvest of Shapes by Felicia Sanzari Chernesky is a story about a wonderful visit to a pumpkin patch in the fall. Two children go with Daddy to the pumpkin patch. When they get there, they go on a hay ride. Along the way, they pick shapes, and try to match them with the objects they see. The bale of hay they are sitting on is a square. The pumpkins and apples are round and circular. They see many shapes including diamonds, stars, and hexagons. This book is beautifully illustrated with lots of shapes for the children to find on each page, and wonderful fall colors. See this book listed in our catalog

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Hustle

Submitted by Ms. Carol!
Halloween Hustle by Charlotte Gunnufson is a Halloween story about a skeleton who loves to dance. There is going to be a Halloween party hosted by Ghost on Halloween night and Skeleton is invited along with many other scary monsters. Skeleton is very excited because there will be a dance contest at the Halloween party. He begins practicing his dance moves doing the "Halloween Hustle" on his way to the party. While dancing, he trips on a crack, and his bones scatter everywhere. Luckily he is able to put himself back together with the help of some rubber bands. He continues on his way to the party with his monster friends, but along the way he falls apart again after tripping on a black cat. He finally reaches the party and does the Halloween Hustle, but he trips over Zombie's foot and his bones scatter everywhere again! This time his skeleton friend is there to help him by gluing him back together for good with super strong glue. Now he can dance the night away and not have to worry about scattering his bones everywhere. See this book listed in our catalog

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Skeleton Cat

Submitted by Ms. Sue!
Skeleton Cat by Kristyn Crow, illustrated by Dan Krall. Crash! Zap! Skeleton Cat wakes up, gives his bones a shake, stretches, and goes Rattle, Yawn. “Rattle. Rattle, Clink. Tip top. Purrrrrrrrrr. Ka-plink, ka-plink, ka-plink.” Some bats zip by, and the ghosts are moaning, when Skeleton Cat says “Where am I?” He sees that he is all bones as he jumps around. Just then a gust of wind blows a flyer by that says there's an audition for a drummer. Skeleton Cat has been dreaming all his nine lives about becoming a drummer. Well, the ghosts and the owls start laughing. A drummer in the living world? “You’re a spook! A ghoul! A phantom cat!” But Skeleton Cat is not deterred. He hurries on his way, all the while going “Rattle, clink. Tip top. Purrrrrrrrrr. Ka-plink, ka-plink, ka-plink.” Along the way, kids clap to the rhythm. Then he runs into trouble. A dog tries to bite him and a rat tries to chew him. Finally, he makes it to the audition! Find out how Skeleton Cat performs as he drums his way with rhythm and chills. See this book listed in our catalog

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Me and My Dragon

Submitted by Ms. Janis!
In Me and My Dragon by Daniel Biedrzycki a boy lists all the reasons he wants a pet dragon, and describes how he would take care of it. The boy includes tips for selection (like why you shouldn't choose a three-headed dragon), discipline (like what to do if your dragon misbehaves), and diet (like why you should never give a dragon broccoli). It is a wonderful story for children and parents to enjoy. Why have a cat, dog, or guinea pig, when you can have a dragon instead? A dragon that is funny, can fly, and, best of all, helps you make perfect s'mores. Biedrzycki's illustrations are so vivid and alive, you feel as if you are part of the story itself. Oh, and if you look really closely, Biedrzycki has another little friend who makes an appearance on almost every page. Hint: It is not a dragon! See this book listed in our catalog

Monday, October 28, 2013

Tiptoe Joe

Submitted by Ms. Janis!
Tiptoe Joe by Ginger Foglesong Gibson. Tiptoe Joe, a large bear in red sneakers, tiptoes through the countryside. Kids will love watching Tiptoe Joe lead a group of his animal friends on an adventure. Joe instructs his buddies to be as quiet as possible. They tiptoe—as well as they can on their hooves, claws, and furry feet—through a field, across a fallen log leading over a stream, through the woods, and up a hill. When they arrive at Joe’s, he shows them something very special. It’s his brand-new baby bear cubs, fast asleep in their mother’s arms! See this book listed in our catalog

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Noni the Pony

Submitted by Ms. Sue!
Noni the Pony by Alison Lester is a delightful story book in rhyme with full page illustrations of Noni and the farm she lives on in Waratah Bay. Noni is friendly and funny. Her mane and tail are the color of honey. She likes eating apples, and carrots, and hay. Noni likes to play all day long. She trots and prances, gallops and spins, canters and bucks. Her favorite animals to play with are her two best friends: Dave the Dog and Coco the Cat. Noni tells them stories and is gentle and kind. She never lets anyone get left behind. She might get a little spooked at night with the rustle in the trees from the breeze. Could it be monsters? But Noni and her friends snuggle down for a song, then they sleep all night long. See this book listed in our catalog

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Zebra who was Sad

Submitted by Ms. Melissa!
The Zebra who was Sad by Rachel Elliot and John Bendall-Brunello. Zebra is sad. His best friend, Giraffe, is moving away! His other jungle friends try to cheer him up and play games with him. Even though he’s having fun, he feels sad that he’s having it without his friend Giraffe. It doesn’t take long for him to realize it’s okay to have fun and still miss your friend. Eventually he receives a letter from Giraffe who says he misses Zebra and all their other jungle friends. This gives Zebra the opportunity to cheer his friend Giraffe up, because that’s what friends do. They make you feel happy. The back of the book offers suggestions on what to discuss next with your child and how to go from sad to happy. This is a perfect teaching book for those who are moving away, or have someone close to them that is moving away. You can also discuss emotions and what causes them. See this book listed in our catalog

Friday, October 25, 2013

Cat Dreams

Submitted by Ms. Melissa!
If you were a cat, what would you dream? In the book Cat Dreams by Ursula K. Le Guin you’ll find out. Raining mice, runaway dogs, catnip trees?!? Enjoy dreamland with this cuddly calico with cute and clever illustrations by S.D. Schindler. Where’s the best place to nap? You’ll have to read to find out... Reading simple books such as this can be expanded upon by discussing the images in the book. You can count how many cats are in the catnip tree, or how many blue jays are singing. You can even ask your child: if they were a cat, what would they dream. This would be a great opportunity for children to use their imagination and share their amazing thoughts with you. See this book listed in our catalog

Thursday, October 24, 2013

My Big Dog

Submitted by Ms. Melissa!
My Big Dog by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel. Merl is a cat. A typical cat, who owns his home and everything and everyone in it. Until one day, when his people bring home a golden retriever puppy. Suddenly, Merl’s world is turned upside down. He can’t hide from the puppy and can’t figure out a way to get rid of him either. So there’s only one thing left for Merl to do: run away from home. Running away turns out to be not so great after all. True, he may be rid of his new foe, the puppy, but now he has to put up with painted claws and froofy bows and being left out in the cold and rain. It doesn’t seem like a very happy life for a cat who once owned everything! Merl is unaware that he’s missed and loved by a certain dog that eventually finds Merl and returns him home. Maybe they can be friends after all!?! This book has adorable illustrations and can be enjoyed by families who are getting new pets or experiencing issues involving running away. See this book listed in our catalog

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Inside Outside

Submitted by Ms. Melissa!
Inside Outside is a wordless picture book by Lizi Boyd  In this book, you will journey with a boy, his dog, and occasionally his cat, inside their home and then outside. Each page features a cut out displaying something from the next scene. A bird on a snowman’s arm becomes a piece of art work hung on the refrigerator. This creative method helps children infer and predict facts about the story. Each detailed page tells many stories so that each time you open the book a different adventure awaits you. Wordless picture books are an important early literacy tool. Reading is more than just decoding the words on the page; it’s also about understanding the pictures and comprehending the relationship between the two. Those who struggle with letter recognition often feel defeated when seeing words on a page, but with a wordless picture book they will be drawn into an imaginative world where they can successfully read the story. This book gives the guardian many opportunities to ask questions. This may be a fun way to discover your child’s imagination; you never know how they might answer. See this book listed in our catalog

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

To the Beach

Submitted by Ms. Melissa!
Rain. It’s no fun when you plan on going to the beach. But, if you have an imagination, a little rain won’t get you down. In To the Beach by Thomas Docherty, you’ll follow a young boy on his beach adventure. True, it might not be a “real” beach he’s traveling to, but it sure beats staring out the window wishing he were on a real one… in the rain. This imaginative little dude even hitches a ride on the back of a camel to reach his destination. This silly, quirky, beautifully illustrated book will surely get a giggle or two of out of your preschooler. So, read on, and check it out. His next adventure? How about a trip to a beach…on the moon. Anyone?!? See this book listed in our catalog

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Snatchabook

Submitted by Ms. Sara!
In The Snatchabook by Helen Docherty and Thomas Docherty a rabbit named Eliza Brown reads a book each night before bed, like all the other residents of Burrow Down. But lately all the books have been disappearing, so Eliza devises a plan to stay up late and catch the book thief, using a pile of books as bait. Imagine her surprise when meets the Snatchabook, the small creature who has been taking all the books! When Eliza learns why the Snatchabook has been stealing books, she comes up with an idea to help him make amends. With beautiful illustrations and rhyming text, the Dochertys have created a bedtime story that is sure to make both parents and children smile as they read together. See this book listed in our catalog

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Little Bit Scary People

Submitted by Ms. Brenda!
The Little Bit Scary People by Emily Jenkins is about a little girl who uses her imagination to help herself feel better about the scary looking people she sees each day. Maybe the scary looking boy with the spiked hair likes to curl up on his bed with his cat. Maybe the mean, scary bus driver makes deliciously wonderful breakfasts for her family. And maybe the principal, with her scary fingernails, is lovely as she twirls during the dance class she takes each night. She knows for sure that the scary looking teenage girl wearing the leather jacket actually plays football with her brothers and always lets them win. She knows this because that scary looking teenage girl is her very own sister. Maybe, just maybe, some people aren't as scary as they seem. The illustrations, by Alexandra Boiger, are delightful. Each page expresses just what this little girl is feeling and thinking. This story is a modern lesson in not judging a book by its cover, and it’s a great way to help a child feel better about people who may look a little bit scary to them. See this book listed in our catalog

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Who's on First?

Submitted by Ms. Tess!
Who's on first. What's on second. I don't know's on third. The famous comedy routine by Abbott and Costello comes to life for a new generation in Who's on First the picture book! Abbott, the rabbit, is the newest player on Costello, the bear's, baseball team, and he's about to be introduced to some players with very interesting, and confusing, names! This hilarious story, with fun, colorful illustrations by John Martz, is sure to be a hit with kids who love to laugh, love animals, or love baseball (or all three)! See this book listed in our catalog

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Dig, Dogs, Dig: A Construction Tail

Submitted by Ms. Janis!
In Dig, Dogs, Dig: A Construction Tail by James Horvath a crew of dogs working on a construction site makes for a delightful picture book. Duke heads up a pack of construction worker dogs as they suit up in boots, gloves, goggles, and dirt-digging suits to build a park! The dogs get to use all kinds of cool equipment - a crane, dump truck, loader, bulldozer, and cement truck. Most fun of all, they get to dig. Like all dogs, they love digging. I love this book! It is a great book for the young boy crowd. The illustrations are so fun and well done, and the text is great for young kids who are learning to read. Grandparents (like me) should definitely have one of these around! The illustrations alone will inspire hours of interesting conversation with your young ones! See this book listed in our catalog

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Extra Yarn

Submitted by Ms. Amanda!
Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett is a sweet tale of a little girl named Annabelle and her magical box of yarn. Annabelle lives in a dull grey town. One day she finds a box of every colored yarn so she decides to knit herself a sweater. When she is finished there is extra yarn so she knits a sweater for her dog too. There is still extra yarn. Annabelle knits sweaters for her friends, classmates, teachers, and doctors but somehow there is always still extra yarn. Next, Annabelle knits sweaters for all the animals and for things that usually don’t wear sweaters. There is always plenty of yarn. The dull grey town is transformed. The word spreads all over and people came from far and wide to meet Annabelle. One day an Archduke arrives in the town and offers Annabelle ten million dollars for her magic box of yarn but she won’t sell. The Archduke steals the box of yard only to find the box is empty for him. When the box finds it’s way back to Annabelle it is again full of extra yarn. Beautiful pictures and a magical theme make this a great read for little ones to enjoy as they guess when the supply of yarn may end and what will happen next. See this book listed in our catalog

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Paul Thurlby's Alphabet

Submitted by Ms. Allana!
Paul Thurlby’s Alphabet is a concept alphabet book for young pre-school aged children, which has more unusual elements than most alphabet books. Each page contains an image of an object or animal forming the letter and the results are very creative and unique. For example the letter F is for FIERCE and is formed in the shape of a lion roaring. M is for MOUNTAIN, so the letter is drawn as a mountain against a scene of sky, trees, and animals. The reader will no doubt have to be equally as creative while describing the artwork to the child, but this adds fun and variety to the experience. See this book listed in our catalog

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

This is the Rope

Submitted by Ms. Brenda!
This Is the Rope by Jacqueline Woodson is a beautifully written story about the journey a piece of rope takes with three generations of girls. The rope is found under the branches of a sweet-smelling pine tree and used as a jump rope by a little girl many, many years ago. Later, when the little girl has grown up, the rope secures her belongings as she and her family move from the deep south to New York City. Throughout the story, the rope ties the past with the present by wending its way from this little girl to her daughter and eventually to her granddaughter. While it becomes a line for drying flowers, a clothesline, a leash for a toy duck, and a skipping rope for making new friends, it remains an attachment to the past with its building memories. The illustrator, James Ransome, has made each page a work of art. Each scene is quietly beautiful and full of details that will capture the attention of both children and their parents. This is a delightful lap book sure to inspire talk of traditions and family unity. See this book listed in our catalog

Monday, September 23, 2013

Blackout

Submitted by Ms. Allana!
Blackout by John Rocco. It was a normal, hot, and noisy night in the city, and inside everyone was busy. Then the lights went out. ALL of them! At first, it’s a scramble to find candles and flashlights, but then a family comes to realize that there are things they can do together while they wait for the power to be restored. They even go up to the roof to look at the stars, and find that their neighbors are doing the same thing! Then, down to the street they go, where all the activity has changed, and now has to do with the blackout. Street vendors are giving away free treats, like ice cream. Kids are playing in the water from the fire hydrant to stay cool, and some are sitting on the steps playing a guitar and singing. When the lights finally come back on, the children in the story are disappointed because they were having such a good time, and no-one was “busy.” The illustrations are half panel, full page, and strip panel, and really interpret the story very well. See this book listed in our catalog

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Everywhere Babies

Submitted by (our newest blogger) Ms. Amy! (Everyone say "Hi Ms. Amy!")
Everywhere Babies is a beautiful celebration of the loving bond shared by babies and families everywhere. Susan Meyers’s gentle, rhyming text, and Marla Frazee’s charming watercolor illustrations depict babies interacting with family, friends, and the world around them. Each page delightfully portrays the many ways that babies eat, sleep, play games, make friends, and have families that love them “just as they are!” One of my favorite things about this book is the inclusive illustrations. Every child will see families that look like their own, with pictures featuring many ethnicities, family sizes, and ages of caregivers. Grown-ups will smile in recognition at the expressions of the babies’ adult companions, which range from adoring to exhausted. This is a sweet lap book that grown-ups will love to share with their favorite little person. See this book listed in our catalog

Friday, September 13, 2013

Farmer John's Tractor

Submitted by Ms. Janis!

Farmer John’s Tractor by Sally Sutton. The winter rains are so persistent that the river has swollen and is now starting to flood. A mother, father, and two children are caught by surprise and stranded in a car at the edge of the river. A few people try to help but find themselves stuck as well. Even the fire engine can't free them from the muck. Farmer John sees all the trouble and goes to get his old tractor that has been locked up in the barn for years. The stranded family is worried that this rusty tractor can't get the job done. The refrain "Farmer John's tractor lies locked in the shed, rusty yet trusty and orangey red" is great for children to "help" read the story, and gives them a hint of what is going to happen next. The rhyming text flows nicely and is easy to read. The artwork tells the story beautifully and fills the pages with soft, delicate, watercolor paintings. This picture book is great as a read-alone or read-aloud story book. See this book listed in our catalog

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Ten Rules You Absolutely Must Not Break if You Want to Survive the School Bus, Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match, and Each Kindess

Submitted by Ms. Tess!
As kids are heading back to school, or heading to school for the first time, it may be appropriate to have conversations about appreciating people's differences, and the value of being kind to one another. It's never too early to learn lessons about independent thinking, problem solving, and self reflection. All of these skills are vital to life success. Start a healthy discussion about these topics with your child with the help of these books:
In Ten Rules You Absolutely Must Not Break if You Want to Survive the School Bus by John Grandits, illustrated by Michael Allen Austin, our hero, Kyle, is riding the bus to school for the very first time. His older brother, James, is a school bus pro, and has helpfully provided Kyle a list of things to definitely NOT do if he doesn't want to get "pounded" by bullies on the bus. But OH NO, within the first 5 minutes of the ride, he's already broken 3 rules! And it just gets worse from there! Or does it? Maybe James doesn't know as much as he thinks he knows about riding the bus. Maybe Kyle doesn't need rule #7: "Never talk to girls." The girl he met on the bus is really nice! And she's the captain of the kick ball team! Maybe Kyle doesn't need any of his brother's rules! Maybe he can survive to school bus all on his own. See this book listed in our catalog
Meet Marisol, the star of Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match by Monica Brown, illustrated by Sara Palacios. People tell her she doesn't match. She has brown skin, but red hair! She eats peanut butter and jelly burritos! She wears polka dots with stripes! She doesn't see why anything has to be one way or another. What's wrong with writing your name in cursive and print? Where's the harm in playing "soccer pirates" when you can't decide if you want to play soccer or pirates? Her friend Ollie says "Marisol, you couldn't match if you wanted to!" Sounds like a challenge to Marisol. The next day at school, she tries very hard to "match," and finds she doesn't like it much. Marisol learns that it's okay to be different. Being different makes her a very special person. See this book listed in our catalog
Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by E.B. Lewis, takes a more serious approach to the theme of independent thinking. It's a very deep and contemplative book about a girl named Chloe, and a girl named Maya. Maya is the new girl at school. Right away everyone notices that Maya's clothes are tattered, her coat doesn't zip, and she's wearing spring shoes in winter. When she sits in her seat next to Chloe, she smiles at Chloe. Chloe does not smile back. When Maya asks if Chloe and her friends want to play with her, they say no. They call her "Never New" because her clothes and toys are all obviously second hand. This continues throughout the year. One day Maya doesn't come to school. That's the day their teacher, Ms. Albert, gives a lesson on kindness. She brings a big bowl of water to class. She drops one stone in the water. The children see how one small pebble makes a ripple effect across the whole bowl of water. Kindness is like that. One simple act of kindness can have a ripple effect that could change the world! Ms. Albert gives all the children a stone and asks them to drop it in the water while saying a nice thing that they have done recently. Chloe can't think of a single thing. She immediately feels terrible for not showing kindness to Maya when she had the chance, plenty of chances at that. She vows that the next time she sees Maya, she will smile back. But what if Maya doesn't come back to school? See this book listed in our catalog
All of these books are great conversation starters for your school aged child. Reading books like these reinforces values of thinking for yourself, solving problems on your own, being nice to everyone, and reflecting on things you've already done. Nurturing these skills will help prepare our children for a life time of tolerance, resilience, and, most importantly, happiness.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Unicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great

Submitted by Ms. Jill!
Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great by Bob Shea. From the author of the Dinosaur Vs books and I’m a Shark comes this story of a magical, sparkly, talented Unicorn, and one very jealous Goat. Goat just can’t STAND Unicorn! Unicorn seems to be better at everything: when Goat feels cool riding his bike to school… Unicorn flies to school. When Goat makes crispy treats… Unicorn makes it rain cupcakes! Unicorn’s better at magic tricks and dancing, too. Poor Goat! But wait… can Goat do some special things of his own? And is Unicorn really as stuck-up as Goat thinks? Maybe, just maybe, Unicorn actually wishes he could be more like Goat. Maybe, just maybe, Goat and Unicorn could turn out to be pretty great friends. See this book listed in our catalog

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Ribbit!

Submitted by Ms. Carol!
Ribbit! by Rodrigo Folgueira is a story about a family of frogs and a little pink pig. One day the frogs discover a little pig sitting on a rock in their pond. They try to talk to the pig, and ask him what they can do for him, and the little pig just answers "Ribbit!" The frogs don't know what to do. They think that maybe the pig thinks he is a frog. The little pig just sits there saying "Ribbit!" The news spreads, and soon all the animals are rushing to the pond to see the little pig who thinks he is a frog. They are all trying to figure out just why the pig is here and why he would want to be a frog. They have no luck, so they decide to go ask the wise old beetle. The wise old beetle goes to the pond, but when he arrives, the little pig is gone. They all wonder where he went and what he wanted. The wise old beetle suggests that maybe he just wanted to make new friends. The animals hadn't thought of that. They all feet bad and go looking for the little pig. They find him high up in a tree with lots of birds, saying "Tweet!" All the other animals join the birds and the little pig up in the tree, and they all say "Tweet!" and little pig is surrounded by new friends! See this book listed in our catalog

Friday, August 30, 2013

Sophie's Squash

Submitted by Ms. Catherine!
When I was little, I rarely left the house without a doll in hand. It didn't matter which doll I brought with me – they were all fun to play with. But some children find that special toy or blanket they simply cannot live without. Of course, sometimes that precious object is slightly more unique. In Sophie’s Squash, written by Pat Zietlow Miller and illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf, Sophie finds a friend in a hearty autumn vegetable. On a trip to the farmers’ market, Sophie finds her new best friend, a butternut squash she names Bernice. Sophie and Bernice do everything together, until Sophie notices that perhaps Bernice is beginning to look just a little worse for wear. However, Sophie could never do something as terrible as eat her new friend. With the help of a farmer, and some very patient parents, Sophie’s determination pays off in the end. Based on the true story of the author’s daughter who fell in love with her own squash, Sophie's Squash will delight kids and grown ups alike. See this book listed in our catalog

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Crankee Doodle

Submitted by Ms. Sara!
Crankee Doodle by Tom Angleberger, illustrated by Cece Bell. Yankee Doodle is bored. But when his pony suggests they go to town, he refuses. The pony suggests reasons why they should go. Perhaps Yankee could buy a feather for his hat. And maybe then he could call it macaroni. WHAT?!?!? Why would he want to do that? It’s a hat, and it doesn't even look a little like macaroni! But wait--the pony says “macaroni” means “fancy.” Yankee replies “Macaroni isn't fancy... You know what’s fancy? Lasagna. Lasagna is fancy.” He does not want a feather in his hat, he does not want to call it macaroni, and he definitely does NOT want to go to town. Can the pony convince Yankee Doodle to go? Read the story to find out! Yankee Doodle’s long, silly rants are sure to induce laughter, and make this an excellent book to read aloud. See this book listed in our catalog
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