Thursday, October 26, 2017

On a Beam of Light

Submitted by Ms. Tess!
On a Beam of Light by Jennifer Berne, with illustrations by Vladimir Radunsky, is a biography of Albert Einstein for children. Einstein lead a remarkable life. As a child he was intrigued by mysteries and asked so many questions his teachers told him he was a distraction to the rest of the class, and he'd never amount to anything! But he continued to learn and read and imagine. Some of his greatest contributions to the world were the discovery of atoms - tiny stuff that everything is made of - and the realization that we are all constantly moving through space and time - even when we are standing still. He was always thinking, and doing things to make himself happy so that he could think better, like eating ice cream, playing his violin, and not wearing socks. Einstein hated socks. I think it's important to encourage young people to think, and to question, and to investigate the world. Because of Einstein's dreams, and thoughts, and questions, we've accomplished amazing things, like traveling to space. What will your child's questions lead us to one day understand about the universe? See this book listed in our catalog

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

XO, Ox

Submitted by Ms. Tess!
XO, Ox by Adam Rex and Scott Campbell is an unexpected love story told through correspondence between an ox and a gazelle! It begins with a letter from Ox to Gazelle. "For some time now I have wanted to write a letter to say how much I admire you." he writes. Gazelle, being a jungle celebrity, beloved by many, sends back a form letter. Ox writes again, and receives a form letter again. He writes again to note he received two letters from Gazelle with the exact same words, meaning she must be very smart and have "such a tidy mind," and that he hopes Gazelle knows he loves her for her beauty AND her brains. Gazelle personally responds to this, not liking the thought of being repetitive, but assuring Ox, "There is no need to write me again." But that won't stop persistent Ox from writing again and again to tell her why he loves her, and Gazelle, who is initially convinced Ox is hopeless (she couldn't love anyone so stout, and smelly, and clumsy, could she?) eventually opens her mind, and heart, to the possibility of returning Ox's affections. This is a lovely story about writing letters - a lost art! - and not judging people based on preconceived notions. See this book listed in our catalog

Friday, October 20, 2017

If You Plant a Seed

Submitted by Ms. Karen!
If You Plant a Seed written and illustrated by Kadir Nelson. I love books about growing things so it is no wonder I love this book, with its simple presentation of how seeds provide us with food. However it is just as much about growing people, and communities, through even the smallest “seeds” of kindness. Mouse and Rabbit dream of a garden and plant a few seeds. When the plants are grown, the birds arrive, super-interested in eating some of their yummy veggies. Rabbit and Mouse refuse, and an argument quickly ensues, which devolves into an all-out fight, destroying the little garden in the process. Sadness, despair, and resentment all abound, until little Mouse decides to offer the last unbroken tomato to... their enemies, the birds! You’ll love how this one small act of kindness, recognized and returned, changes everything and gives Rabbit and Mouse a garden beyond their wildest dreams with lots of new friends thrown into the bargain. There are very few words here; the ground-eye view paintings of the animals and birds carry most of the story. The close-ups of plants and animals are astonishing! We can see the wonder on an animal’s face as it gazes at a new seedling, and feel the anger and tension that erupt into violence when the creatures “plant seeds of selfishness” and refuse to share. By turns sweetly funny, sad, and heartwarming, If You Plant a Seed gently encourages readers of all ages to use their power for kindness and compassion with its non-preachy, beautifully told story. This author also wrote Baby Bear and We Are the Ship. See this book listed in our catalog

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Duck, Duck, Dinosaur, and the Noise at Night

Submitted by Ms. Sue!
Duck, Duck Dinosaur and the Noise at Night by Kallie George and illustrated by Oriol Vidal. Feather, Flap, and Spike are feeling very big and very brave. Mama Duck says they are getting too big to sleep with her and are ready to sleep in their own nest. Feather and Flap, who are both ducks, are getting big! Spike, who everyone thinks is a duck (but is a baby dinosaur), is getting bigger! It's exciting and scary to sleep in their own nest. “We can do it!” they say. Until they fall asleep and awake to a very loud GRRORE! What was it? “Hide!” says Spike. So they all hide. At last they fall asleep again. GRRORE!! “Run away!” So they run to the pond. Finally they settle back to sleep. GRORRE! “Make noise and scare it away!” So they make a lot of noise. But Spike is so exhausted that he falls right over in a deep sleep. That’s when they hear it one more time. GRRORE! It was Spike! The GRRORE was a snore! Flap and Feather laugh just before they all sleep in their own nest all night. See this book listed in our catalog

Monday, October 16, 2017

Before Morning

Submitted by Ms. Josie!
Who doesn’t love a good snow day? For some, a snow day means not having to go to school, sipping hot chocolate, or building snowmen. For others, a snow day is a chance to stay home and snuggle close to loved ones. In Before Morning by Joyce Sidman the young daughter of a pilot wishes for a snowfall that will shut down the airport just for one day. Wishing “just this once--change the world before morning,” the young girl gets her wish as her mother returns home from the airport. Together, the young girl and her parents enjoy a family snow day full of sledding, cuddling by the fire, and eating warm desserts. Written in the form of an invocation, a poem that invites something to happen, this heartwarming tale reminds us of the power of words. This book is a quick read in terms of the amount of text, and the muted tones of the illustrations mimic the dreamy and slow pace of falling snow. See this book listed in our catalog

Friday, October 13, 2017

What Is Chasing Duck?

Submitted by Ms. Jill!
What is Chasing Duck? by Jan Thomas. Quack! Something is chasing Duck! Duck is running away! Duck runs into friends Sheep, Donkey, and Dog as he flees, and each friend asks: “What is chasing Duck?!” It’s something wild and hairy - so scary! It has big teeth - so scary! With each revelation about what is chasing duck, another friend joins in running away. What could it be?! Who will be brave enough to face what is chasing Duck?! Like all Jan Thomas stories, this short and zany tale has a hilarious twist - two, in fact - and simple, fun, cartoon-style illustrations. Read it along with The Doghouse  and  Let’s Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy for a trio of tales about facing what scares you. See this book listed in our catalog

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


Submitted by Ms. Jill!
Frankie by Mary Sullivan. Frankie is a small white pup with black spots, who has just been adopted and is SO EXCITED to have a new home and a new person. Nico is a small black dog with a white belly, who already lives in that home with that person. Frankie wants to explore, taste, and play with everything! But Nico doesn’t want to share anything. The toys, the bones, the blankie, the bed… Nico firmly claims all the good stuff, leaving Frankie to scrounge and make do, until a gift from their human tips the balance. Now Frankie has all the best stuff! Will Nico and Frankie learn to live together and share their treasures? This sweet story is told from the perspective of the two dogs, through the wonderful expressive pictures, and very simple words. Read Frankie with your little dog-lover, or anyone who needs a gentle story about sharing and feelings. See this book listed in our catalog

Monday, October 9, 2017

Bruce's Big Move

Submitted by Ms. Carol!
Bruce's Big Move by Ryan T. Higgins is a story about Bruce the bear. Bruce lives with his four adopted geese and his house is very crowded. He also has three mice living in his house that just will not leave. The mice love Bruce and the geese but Bruce wants them gone. The mice always make a mess and are quite noisy. He tries his best to get rid of them but no matter what he does they just won't leave. Bruce decides that the only way to get rid of the pesky mice is to move. Bruce packs up the geese and goes in search of a new home. He has trouble but eventually finds a nice home. He likes it there, except for his too friendly neighbors, but the geese are sad because they miss the mice. Bruce tries to cheer them up but nothing works. One day the moving van arrives with all of Bruce's things including the pesky mice. The geese and the mice are so happy to see one another. Will Bruce have to move again or will he welcome the mice as a new addition to his family? See this book listed in our catalog

Friday, October 6, 2017

What Color Is a Kiss?

Submitted by Ms. Karen!
What Color Is a Kiss? by Rocio Bonilla. Monica is a lively girl with definite ideas of what she likes and dislikes! Her favorite thing is painting and she has painted a million colorful things but has never painted a kiss. But what color IS a kiss anyway? Monica thinks of all the colors she loves (Is a kiss red like spaghetti sauce? Maybe green like crocodiles, but NOT like vegetables...) and colors she definitely doesn't love, like grey (but she does love elephants and hippos). Hmmm. Now Monica is more confused than ever! How will she ever figure out how to paint a kiss? In her frustration she turns to her Mommy for help, and together they find the best answer to Monica’s big color question! See this book listed in our catalog

Wednesday, October 4, 2017


Submitted by Ms. Sue!
Splatypus by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, illustrated by Jackie Urbanovic. Platypus lives on the bay. He is feeling lonely and he wants to play. He tries different things. Can he jump like a kangaroo? Skipping hopping, dipping, dropping. Oh no! Splatypus! “This is not for me. Wait and see and I will find a place for me.” Dingo’s chase, possums bound. So he hobbles, bobbles, wiggles, and wobbles. Oh no! Splatypus! “Not again,” he says with a with a sigh. “I’ll have to go somewhere else and try.” Fruit Flies fly, Bats fly high. Flapping, flipping, plopping, double. Uh-oh! Splatypus! Nothing is easy and he is getting discouraged. “I am through trying!” But the next day Platypus spies some swans swimming by. Then some penguins say a soggy hi. Platypus decides on one last try. Feeling shy. But to the water, teeter totter, jump on in with a splitter-splotter. Ker-sploosh, ker-splash, Splatypus! Diving, dipping, sliding, slipping, wait a minute, Splatypus is swimming! It’s the perfect place for Splatypus. See this book listed in our catalog

Monday, October 2, 2017

School's First Day of School

Submitted by Ms. Josie!
Looking for a book to read on the first day of school? Look no further! School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex is perfect for helping young readers understand those “first-day jitters”and the new experiences that come with starting school for the first time. All summer long, School and Janitor spend many afternoons together and become very good friends. But tomorrow is the first day of school and School is… nervous! What if something goes wrong? What if the children don’t like him? What if School isn’t ready to be a school? Janitor kindly reminds School that everything will be fine. And so, School’s first day of school begins. Many children begin arrive... many more than School thought! The children seem to be everywhere - running, playing, laughing. But a few students are not quite so happy to start school. They are bored, disgruntled, and generally displeased with School. This makes School sad because really, he is trying his best. Then, to make matters worse, School’s fire alarm accidentally goes off... how embarrassing! School’s first day is not going well at all. As the day goes on however, the mood lightens. The children begin to make friends, tell jokes, and sit nicely while listening to their teachers. School even learns and thing or two! The initial nervousness of the day seems to dissipate and School starts warming up to the children. With wise insight from Janitor, School begins to see just how lucky he is to be a school. In fact, he can’t wait for his second day of school. Heartfelt and imaginative, this book promotes empathy as it reminds readers that sometimes, everyone feels nervous and that is completely okay. See this book listed in our catalog

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