Friday, April 21, 2017

The Summer Nick Taught His Cats to Read

Submitted by Ms. Josie!
The Summer Nick Taught His Cats to Read by Curtis Manley and Kate Berube. One summer day, Nick decides to teach his two best buddies, Stevenson and Verne, how to read. There’s just one problem--Stevenson and Verne are cats! They don’t know how to read! Nick, who loves doing everything with his cats, persists with his idea anyway. If he could learn to read, so could his furry friends! Nick plans out a thorough lesson plan starting with the basics of spelling. He first tries to teach his cats words that might appeal to them like “ball,” “food,” and “nap.” The cats continually ignore him. But Nick doesn’t give up! After a few trials, his cat Verne becomes interested in books about fish and is soon reading all by himself. Stevenson, on the other hand, becomes more and more agitated by the idea of reading (*gasp*) and hides from Nick and Verne. Stevenson's reluctance to read worries Nick. Will he ever be able to share his love of reading with Stevenson? One afternoon, Nick and Verne discover a pile of colorful drawings under the bed--Stevenson has illustrated an entire story about pirates! So Stevenson was interested in reading after all! But instead of using words, he preferred to use pictures to tell a story. Nick and Verne decide to add to Stevenson’s story by writing in words. For the first time, Stevenson seems intrigued by words. The very next day, Stevenson is found with his whiskers in another book about pirates. Through understanding and encouragement, Nick is able to assist both of his cats as they build their individual reading skills. During this process, the cats even discover subjects that enhance their love of reading. This story kindly reminds us that each reader is unique and that building reading skills comes more easily to some than to others. With a bit of patience and persistence, young readers can attain a strong foundation for early literacy skills as well as a lifelong love of reading. See this book listed in our catalog 

Thursday, April 20, 2017


Submitted by special guest blogger Ms. Andrea!
Achoo: Good Manners Can Be Contagious! by Mij Kelly is a hilarious guide of manners for children through the eyes of farm animals. This comical tale explains why practicing good manners is so important, just ask any animal on the farm! Miss Suzy Sue takes a manner-filled journey around the farm learning not to fight like a cat, stink like a dog, or eat like a pig. This hilarious book teaches children manners in a fun fashion with easy to remember rules about having good manners. It is a great read to be enjoyed by the whole family, and perhaps the family pet. See this book listed in our catalog

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Goodbye Book

Submitted by Mr. Eric!
Sometimes it’s very hard to say goodbye to person you care deeply for. You still remember all of the good times, but those memories that used to make you feel good now make you feel very sad. You may feel angry at those around you, or that you don’t even want to talk about it with loved ones. The Goodbye Book written and illustrated by Todd Parr explores the topic of losing a loved one in a way that will make sense for children. In it, a little fish has lost his friend, and over the course of the book goes through all the stages of grief until he finds acceptance. In a style that is typical for Parr, the story as well as the illustrations are simple but still serve to tell a touching story. On the final page, he writes “Of all my books, this was the hardest to write - because it’s never easy to say goodbye.” See this book listed in our catalog

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

I Am (Not) Scared

Submitted by Ms. Brenda!
Being afraid is something everyone feels at some point. This book is a fun, funny way to learn that being scared can also be exciting! In I Am (Not) Scared, written by Anna Kang and and illustrated by Christopher Weyant, we meet up with two fuzzy friends from You Are (Not) Small. This time, the friends are trying to convince each other (and maybe themselves) that they are not scared of riding a roller coaster. There are much scarier things than a roller coaster, right? Snakes! A tub of hairy spiders! A pit of hot lava! When a roller coaster, carrying a snake, (What!) whooshes to a stop in front of them, they decide to be scared together. What better way to overcome fear than by screaming with excitement while hanging onto a dear friend!  The simple text, bold illustrations, and subject matter make this book a fun read for all ages. See this book listed in our catalog

Monday, April 17, 2017

Hello My Name is Octicorn

Submitted by Ms. Karen!
Hello, My Name is Octicorn by Kevin Diller and Justin Lowe. This uplifting story is about a brave and friendly octicorn named Octi. Yes octicorn, as in half-unicorn, half-octopus. This, as you may imagine, causes Octi more than a little trouble fitting in with both unicorns and octopi (and pretty much everyone else). However, the cheerful Octi is undaunted in the search for a friend and earnestly lays out for the reader the wonderful reasons why we should think about having an octicorn for a friend. Octicorns can juggle! They are good at all sorts of sports and games! Octicorns give great hugs! Octi knows that octicorns looks different than everyone else and though sometimes it causes Octi a little sadness, s/he is okay with who s/he is and knows that our differences are never as important as the things we have in common. Friends, anyone?! This is a charming and positive book about living with our differences and making friends. See this book listed in our catalog

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Have You Seen Elephant?

Submitted by Ms. Josie!
Have You Seen Elephant? by David Barrow. In this wonderfully entertaining book, an elephant proposes a game of hide-and-seek to a young boy. The boy agrees that a game of hide-and-seek would be fun and he instructs the elephant to hide first. The elephant warns the young boy, “I am very good.” The young boy states he will try his best and counts to ten. Let the hilarious game of hide-and-seek begin! It turns out that the elephant is indeed very good at hiding, even when his enormous form appears in plain sight. He hides underneath curtains and blankets, behind the television, inside of a lamp shade, and behind a tiny tree. Talk about an elephant in the room! These colorfully illustrated scenes speak directly to the reader, cluing them in to the seemingly obvious hiding spot of the elephant that the young boy continually overlooks. Children will laugh at the elephant’s comical hiding spots and will also delight in pointing out where the elephant is hiding--a great chance for young readers to practice those prepositions of place! After searching all afternoon, the young boy gives up and the elephant finally reveals himself. Shortly after being reunited, the boy and the elephant are approached by a turtle who suggests a game of tag. However, the turtle warns them that he is very good at playing tag. The story ends with a cheerfully smiling turtle decked out with a racing stripe on his shell and a sweatband on his head. The readers can only guess that (despite the fact that turtles are known for moving slowly) this turtle turns out to be very speedy indeed. A great message that this book subtly presents is if we put stereotypical assumptions aside, we can see that anyone can truly be good at anything. See this book listed in our catalog

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Penguin Day

Submitted by Ms. Sue!
Penguin Day: A Family Story by Nic Bishop is a nonfiction story of a typical day in the life of a Rockhopper penguins that live near the sea. Their family is in many ways similar to ours. Rockhopper penguin parents take care of their babies. The baby penguin is hungry and momma penguin goes out to get food. The daddy stays behind to keep an eye on the little one. Momma must go hunting so she and other penguins will travel a long way over hills, climbing down cliffs, and hopping across sand to get to the sea. The sea is a dangerous place filled with predators like orcas and sea lions. The penguins are nervous but there is safety in numbers and they all jump in at once. They are hunting for fish and krill to eat among the waves and underwater. When full, they make their way back home. If the baby penguin wanders away, the skua (a wild bird) can swoop down to get him. Fortunately the daddy is close by and scares the skua away. He leads the baby back to the colony and safety. When the momma penguins arrives back home there is a lot of excitement as everyone recognizes each other and the baby penguins get fed. See this book listed in our catalog

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark

Submitted by Ms. Tess!
I Dissent by Debbie Levy, with illustrations by Elizabeth Baddeley, is a great book for Women's History Month, as it is the biography of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a history making woman in many respects! You could say Ruth Bader Ginsburg's life has been one disagreement after another. She has been disapproving, objecting, resisting, and, yes, dissenting her whole life, to old ideas, unfairness, and inequality. As a child she disagreed that girls should not go out into the world and do big things. As a young woman she disagreed that women should not go to college and become lawyers. As a lawyer she fought many cases against inequality because she disagreed that women and men shouldn't have the same opportunities. And as Supreme Court Justice she has written many dissenting opinions. In fact, she has a special collar she wears over her judges robes especially for when she dissents! She most often disagreed with Justice Antonin Scalia, but though they often had conflicting views, that didn't stop them from having a long fun-filled friendship! Justice Ginsburg is a hero to many people, paving the way, affecting change, and fighting for equality. This would be a great book to share with an elementary school aged child in your life. See this book listed in our catalog

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

I Will Love You Anyway

Submitted by Ms. Sue!
I Will Love You Anyway by Mick Inkpen, illustrated by Chloe Inkpen, is the story of little pug dog who is many times badly behaved and won’t stop running away. Dog thinks: “I lick your face, I bite your leg, I scratch the carpet, I steal your gloves, and they smell of you.” They tell me “Stop,” “Quit,” “Sit,” and “Leave.” “I run away.” Dog runs and runs and runs. He is out all night. He whimpers and cries. He hears a car! Help! Woof! Yelp! Then the car stops and Dog sees it’s his human who picks him up and takes him home. Dog knows if he could speak he would say: I will never run away again! But he wags his tail instead. Dog thinks: I don’t do “Sit!” and I don’t do “Stay!” But I will love you anyway. See this book listed in our catalog

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Real Cowboys

Submitted by Mr. Eric!
When you see a cowboy in the movies they are usually hootin' and a hollerin', causing a ruckus, and generally shooting at people outside of old timey saloons. In Real Cowboys, by Kate Hoefler and illustrated by Jonathan Bean, we get to learn how cowboys really were. Cowboys worked hard every day to help drive massive herds of cattle towards the next town. They couldn’t be very loud because that would frighten the cattle and maybe cause a stampede. They couldn’t cause a ruckus because then one of the calves might run off and get lost. And they certainly didn’t shoot at anyone. They worked outside all day, in the blazing sun and in the freezing rain, and often had to make their way through prickly cacti and sharp bushes. Being a cowboy was also very lonely. Cowboys usually didn’t work with many other people, and because of that their dogs were often their best friends. Real Cowboys is a beautifully illustrated book that perfectly captures how tough and lonely it was to be a real life cowboy. See this book listed in our catalog

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Not Quite Narwhal

Submitted by Ms. Carol!
Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima is about a creature named Kelp. Kelp was born in the ocean. He lives there with his friends, the narwhals. He really thinks he is a narwhal. He just thinks he is a little different. His tusk isn't as long, he doesn't like the same food that they do, and he is not a very good swimmer, but his friends don't seem to mind. One day he gets swept away in a current. He sees land, and a creature that looks very much like him. As he goes exploring he finds these creatures and soon discovers he is not a narwhal after all. He is a unicorn. His new unicorn friends teach him all about being a unicorn. He was having lots of fun but he began to miss his old friends so he returns to the ocean. He begins to wonder what he should do. Should he stay with his old friends or return to his new friends? Then he realizes maybe he doesn't have to choose after all... See this book listed in our catalog

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Who What Where

Submitted by Mr. Eric!
Who What Where?, written and illustrated by Oliver Tallec, is a book that you may have to put your thinking cap on before you start to read. Similar to Tallec’s book, Who Done It?, every page is a little puzzle that the reader has to solve. “Who tracked paint in the house?” may seem like a simple question, but when there are four suspects staring at you, all pointing fingers and accusing each other, it may not be as easy as you think. Some of the puzzles are fairly easy, like “Who jumped too hard on the trampoline?” The answer seems to be the guy with the big bandage around his head.  But others like “Who is hiding under the tablecloth?” are much more difficult. Who What Where? is a great book to help your little one develop their problem solving skills, while having some fun along the way. See this book listed in our catalog

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Ten Tiny Babies

Submitted by Mr. Eric!
Have you ever heard the old saying “the tiniest baby screams the loudest?” Well, Ten Tiny Babies, written and illustrated by Karen Katz, will have you and your little one screaming for joy as you read through this fun counting book together. What is more adorable than one tiny baby? Ten adorable tiny babies! Slowly, one by one, babies join together to wiggle their toes, jump around, and play silly games, until we have a total of ten cute babies. After all that activity they quickly tucker out and take a much deserved nap. This book is an excellent example of a counting book that will teach your child the basics of counting through the use of adorable illustrations of goofy babies. (Pro Tip: As you read the book to your child, pause on each page to count each of the babies, encouraging them to count with you!) See this book listed in our catalog

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Giant Squid

Submitted by Ms. Tess!
With poetic text from Candace Fleming and cinematic illustrations from Eric Rohmann, Giant Squid tells the story of a majestic and mysterious underwater beast. The giant squid lives in the deep sea and very little is known about them. Scientists must hypothesize on limited observations and apocryphal stories about how the giant squid lives day to day. We know of its long tentacles, its large eyes, and its beaky mouth. But less is known about how and why a giant squid can change the color and even pattern of its skin. Or how many eggs it lays and where. The back matter of the book contains information about the anatomy of the giant squid, information about the precarious study of the giant squid, and resources for further information about the giant squid. This would be a wonderful book to share with an elementary-school-aged child in your life! See this book listed in our catalog

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Some Pets

Submitted by Ms. Sam!
Some Pets by Angela DiTerlizzi and illustrated by Brendan Wenzel is all about our pets. Everyone’s pet is different, whether it be a different breed of the same animal or different species altogether! Some pets are cuddly, some pets are scaly. Some pets crawl while others are small. No matter what type of pet you have, they are yours and yours alone! Check out the collection of pets at the end of the book to find what might be your next pet! See this book listed in our catalog

Thursday, March 9, 2017

You Are (Not) Small

Submitted by Mr. Eric!
Everyone has felt small, or inconsequential, at some point in their life. Sometimes it can feel as if life, with all of its distractions and possible dangers, is just too big for any of us to really make a difference. You Are (Not) Small, written by Anna Kang and illustrated by Christopher Weyant, shows us that being small, and feeling like you don’t make a difference in the world, is all about perspective. In the story a pair of fuzzy creatures meet each other in the woods, one bigger and one smaller. But when more fuzzy creatures begin to appear, all in varying sizes, what exactly constitutes as “small” and “big” really starts to become blurred. If I’m the same size as all of my friends am I “big” or just normal sized? Even though on the surface this is a book that cleverly describes the difference between small and big for children, looking deeper there are certainly important lessons for adults as well. See this book listed in our catalog

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Everything Is Awkward

Submitted by Ms. Tess!
Everything Is Awkward is a picture book for children by Mike Bender and Doug Chernack, creators of the website Awkward Family Photos. How do you explain "awkward" to a child? All it really means is: everything isn't perfect. Sometimes when you're eating, you get the food in your mouth, and sometimes you get it on your face! And that's awkward. Sometimes you go to sit on the potty, and sometimes you fall in the potty! Awkward! Family vacations can be super fun, but they can also be - you guessed it - super awkward. But you know what? Being awkward is okay. It just means you're being you! This book is full of gut-busting awkward photos that will have you and your little one laughing about the perfect imperfection of life! See this book listed in our catalog

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Marta Big and Small

Submitted by Ms. Sam!
Marta Big and Small is all about Marta, una niƱa. Jen Arena has a beautifully written bilingual book illustrated by Angela Dominguez. Marta takes off and explores the jungle, meeting many animals as she goes. Marta finds she is bigger than a bug but smaller than an elephant. She is faster than a turtle but much slower than a horse. That is until she meets a hungry snake who finds her very sabrosa, yummy. Some quick thinking pulls her out of a hairy situation. Learn more Spanish terms while reading this book or just check out the nifty glossary in the back. See this book listed in our catalog

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

That Is NOT a Good Idea!

Submitted by Mr. Eric!
That Is NOT a Good Idea by Mo Willems is a story about a young, naive, duck who finds herself wandering through the city at dark. As anyone knows, the city can be a scary and potentially dangerous place at night. But lucky for her a very friendly, extremely well-dressed, fox approaches her to help her get safely out of the city. Oh, what a nice guy to help such a clueless individual in her time of need! To show up right at the perfect time can only be a coincidence and not by his own malicious design! Surely he doesn’t have any ulterior motives! I’m sure you think you know where this story is going… but you may be wrong… This is a fun story about how not everything may be as it seems at first glance. (Pro tip: if you can find a scarf and a hat acting out the parts of the fox and the duck can make this book a fun activity for you and your child!) See this book listed in our catalog

Monday, February 27, 2017

The Happy Hippopotami

Submitted by Ms. Karen!
Who loves a sunny day at the beach? Hippos do! The Happy Hippopotami by the ever-popular Bill Martin, Jr., is one of my favorite stories, about a multi- generational bus trip to the beach. From happy hippopotapooses toddling across the sand, to happy hipppopatapoppas with dimes in hand for boardwalk treats, these beach-loving hippos find all kinds of fun at the shore. Hippos are everywhere, sunning, dancing, making music, competing in events, riding the carnival rides and seeing the shows, till the sun goes down and the tired hippos board the bus for home. The rhymes are creative and delightful and the hippos are beautiful in soft bright watercolor. It's a ton of fun at the beach! See this book listed in our catalog

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Bunny Slopes

Submitted by Ms. Sam!
Bunny Slopes written and illustrated by Claudia Rueda is an interactive book all about a bunny hitting the slopes. This very innovative book is sure to please the crowds looking for a little twisting and turning. When we meet Bunny, he is ready to ski. Well, there isn’t any snow, but with a little shake the reader creates snow! Tilt the book to help Bunny down the slopes and turn the book to help bunny avoid the cliff! Each turn of the page allows the reader to help bunny in his skiing endeavors. See this book listed in our catalog

Friday, February 24, 2017

Take Heart My Child

Submitted by Ms. Sue!
Take Heart, My Child: A Mother’s Dream by Ainsley Earhardt with Kathryn Cristaldi, illustrated by Jaime Kim. This lyrical lullaby is an endearing story meant to inspire new generations of children to follow their hopes and passions so that their dreams can come true. “Before you were borne, before you came to be, I dreamed a love song on a butterfly sea,” begins the journey of this song in words. Float along on waters and fly like butterflies. See polka dot trees, where you will never get tired and will dare to be different. Don’t be afraid of winter when leaves fall and fade and follow your heart. If you stumble, trust yourself and take a leap. These are the dreamed-of wishes for a new life written from life lessons learned and inspired by the life of a new baby. The beautiful illustrations are created with acrylics and are inspired by the illustrator’s childhood with the sun, moon, sky, and stars as her favorites. They always appear in her artwork. See this book listed in our catalog

Friday, February 10, 2017

The Magic Word

Submitted by special guest blogger Ms. Andrea!
The Magic Word by Mac Barnett is an adorable story about a little boy who learns the power of the magic word, a very specific and unique magic word. He uses the magic word to his advantage and gets all the things he believes he wants. Then he learns that having everything he desires is not all it is cracked up to be. He reverses his wishes and learns the magic of another word, “sorry.” This book remains comical while simultaneously teaching children valuable lessons about manners. The illustrations are engaging and fun. It is a great book for family story time! See this book listed in our catalog

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Blobfish Book

Submitted by Ms. Carol!
The Blobfish Book by Jessica Olien is full of lots of interesting animals and fun facts. Blobfish, however gets really bored and tries to make every page all about him. Finally we get to the blobfish. Blobfish is so excited until he hears the fun fact. He doesn't like being called the world's ugliest animal! He gets so upset. In the end his friends draw him a picture and cheer him up. There is a little bit of science and humor on each page. You can laugh and learn something at the same time! See this book listed in our catalog

Monday, February 6, 2017

Bear and Bunny

Submitted by Ms. Karen!
Bear and Bunny by Daniel Pinkwater, illustrated by Will Hillenbrand. This sweetly illustrated story is about two friends, Bear and Bunny, who like walks, long talks, naps, and adventures in the woods. They obviously are besties, so much so, in fact, that “the bear is sure the bunny is a very small bear, and the bunny is sure the bear is a very large bunny.” But of course these kinds of things matter very little to true friends. One day the friends decide that what they need is a pet and they set off in search of the perfect one. Much wandering and careful discussion ensues - “Can a pinecone be a pet?” - until Bunny and Bear find just what they are looking for! See this book listed in our catalog

Friday, February 3, 2017

Bertie Wings It!

Submitted by special guest blogger Ms. Melissa!
Bertie Wings It by Leslie Gorin, illustrated by Brendan Kearney, is a clever tale about a bird, named Bertie, who is ready to leave his nest and fly for the first time. Before he does so, these modern times insist you have the "proper" stuff and follow the advice of "experts." Bertie needs "this" to do "that" and "that" to do "this." It weighs him down and gets in the way. Soon he realizes that the "experts," who can't even fly, are not always right. Sometimes, you just gotta trust your gut and jump off the branch and fly! This is a great book for those youngsters who get lost in the preparations and lose sight of what's important.  See this book listed in our catalog

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Little Red Writing

Submitted by special guest blogger Ms. Andrea!
Little Red Writing written by Joan Holub puts a comical spin on the classic tale of Little Red Riding Hood. This story follows the adventures of Little Red as she writes a story in school. Her presence is requested at Principal Granny’s house, but it isn’t Granny who is waiting for her. It is the Wolf 3000 pencil sharpener who wants nothing more than to sharpen Little Red to smithereens. Little Red escapes just in time to present her story in class. This book is a great tool for teaching kids about the different parts of a story. It has great descriptive language, and fun, engaging illustrations. Children will enjoy the story as it is written, and adults will enjoy the twist on an old favorite. See this book listed in our catalog
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