Friday, September 21, 2018

50 Wacky Things Animals do: Weird & Amazing animal Facts

Cover image for 50 wacky things animals do : weird & amazing animal facts

By: Tricia Martinea Wagner 
Illustrated by: Carles Ballesteros
Quarto Group, 2017. Nonfiction 103 pg.

Did you know that  Octopuses are great escape artists? They can squeeze out of the smallest openings. Spotted Skunks can do handstands, who knew?  They stand on their front paws and raise their tails to make them look bigger and more threatening to their prey before they spray. Butterflies hover around Spotted River Turtles to sip their tears and Pilot Fish actually swim in a sharks mouth and act like a toothbrush cleaning food particles out of their teeth. In exchange for this service the shark doesn't eat them. These fun facts about animals and many more can be read about in this new book. Its a quick read for anyone who loves animals and the strange things they do to survive in the wild. After all, what would you do if you thought you were going to be eaten by something bigger? 

Monday, September 17, 2018

Knock Knock

Knock Knock
By Tammi Sauer
Illustrated by Guy Francis
Scholastic Press, 2018. Picture Book.

I know quite a few kiddos who love jokes—especially knock knock jokes. Well, this is the perfect picture book for the young readers who think silly jokes are funny (and for the parents who are tired of the same knock knock joke being told over and over again).

Basically Bear is getting in bed—since he is tired and about to hibernate. Then there is a loud “Knock Knock” on the door. “Who’s there? Justin. Justin who? Justin the neighborhood and thought I’d stop by!” Thus begins the series of knock knock jokes that keeps Bear awake (and somewhat grumpy) as more and more neighbors come to interrupt the start of his hibernation. Readers soon discover it is all for a good cause (and they are all indeed Bear’s friends, despite the tired state they keep Bear in). Basically, this is a fun book (with loads of great illustrations—with bunny slippers and all) for kids who like jokes and think friends are important.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

From Story Time: The Letter "B"

From Monday Book Babies

By Il Sung Na
Alfred A. Knopf, 2017.  Picture Book.

Bird is new to the forest, and he’s looking for a friend. Bear could use a friend, too.
But Bird is too shy to introduce himself. Just as he musters the courage to say hello . . . it’s too late! Bear has already found a friend: a bright, shiny red balloon. Has Bird missed his chance?  From the acclaimed Il Sung Na comes a charming and beautifully illustrated story about courage, kindness, and friendship.  --Publisher

From Monday Cuentos

El primer día de un colegio
Texto de Adam Rex
Ilustraciones de Christian Robinson
Traducción de Teresa Mlawer
Editorial Corimbo, 2017.  Spanish Picture Book.

Aquel verano, cuando terminaron de construir la escuela Frederick Douglass, el edificio comenzó a hacerse muchas preguntas: ¿Cuál será mi destino? ¿Quién vivirá entre mis paredes? ¿Para qué me utilizarán? Através de sus conversaciones con el conserje y tras observar y escuchar a los nin̳os que pronto empezaron a entrar por sus puertas, descubrió los sentimientos que infundía en los más pequen̳os: ilusión, terror, diversión.  --Publisher

From Toddler Time

Blue Whale Blues
By Peter Carnavas
Kane Miller, 2016.  Picture Book.

When Penguin hears Whale singing the blues, he tries to help.  But how do you stop a blue whale feeling blue?  A delightful story about a whale with bike trouble and the happy-go-lucky penguin who cheers him up.  --Publisher

From Preschool Time

Written by Shirley Parenteau
Illustrated by David Walker
Candlewick Press, 2009.  Picture Book.

Four chairs. Four adorable bears. All is well until Big Brown Bear shows up — what a stare! — and wants a seat. Can these clever bears put their heads together (among other things) and make space for one more? With endearing, expressive illustrations and a sustained rhyme in every line, here is a cozy tale that makes it clear there is room for all.  --Publisher

From Preschool Time

By Matt Spink
Abrams Appleseed, 2016.  Picture Book.

Some birds are big, some birds are small, and some birds are just incredibly tall.  Swooping and squawking, flapping and fluttering...birds of all shapes and sizes are celebrated in this stylish tale of extraordinary plumage.  With rollicking, rhyming text and vibrant illustrations, Some Birds will have young readers tweeting for more!  --Publisher

From Friday Book Babies

Written by Kathryn Otoshi and Bret Baumgarten
Illustrated by Kathryn Otoshi
Blue Dot Press, 2015.  Picture Book.

This colorful concept book reveals an illustrative surprise and reading delight with every turn of the page. Little hands can do so many wonderful things: plant ideas; stretch imaginations; and reach for dreams. Parents and educators will enjoy sharing the word play with young readers. Children will revel in the spectacular art created using thumb- and hand-prints. The book's uplifting message will rouse and motivate, leaving no heart untouched.  --Publisher

From Friday Cuentos

Escrito por Alice Schertle
Ilustrado por Jill McElmurry
Traducido y adapto por F. Isabel Campoy
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers, 2016.  Spanish Board Book.

La cuidad sí que es un lugar rápido y ruidoso para un pequen̳o camión de campo como Azulito. Todos empujando para ser el primero, p̂ronto se arma un gigantesco atasco! Afortunadamente, el camioncito azul viene a solucionarlo todo, en puro estilo Azul. Esta nueva aventura hace que colaborar y tomar turnos sea más divertido que nunca.  --Publisher

Friday, September 14, 2018

Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth

Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth
By Oliver Jeffers
Penguin Young Readers, 2017. Picture Book

“Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth” is a charming exploration of the different parts that make up planet earth and how to navigate this place we all call home. Written for Jeffers’ newborn son, this book is both playful and heartfelt, and aims to guide young readers to better understand the great big world around them.

The most striking parts of “Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth” are the spectacular drawings. The quaint and simple illustrations include fun details, scientific facts, and personal touches. Each page of drawings draws your attention by focusing on the bigger picture, before leading your eye to the smaller details. This book will be lots of fun for young readers who enjoy spotting those details, and parents who will enjoy the depth of the drawings.

The fun illustration style of this book helps you really understand the messages that the author is conveying. Messages about earth, and what makes it unique, messages about being kind, and messages about focusing both outward and inward, and especially about not being alone.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Wee Beasties: Huggy the Python Hugs Too Hard

Wee Beasties
Written by Ame Dyckman
Illustrated by Alex G. Griffiths
Little Simon, 2018. Board Book

Learning how to be gentle and controlling excitement can be tricky. Wee Beasties perfectly shows the way. Huggy the Python has a couple of experiences where he is not able to be gentle. He keeps trying and is given a lot of chances and reminders. In the end he is successful!

This is a great tool to teach young children, in a friendly way, how to practice self-regulation skills. Dyckman uses relatable items to emphasize ideas: balloons, ice cream, and puppies. It is speaking straight to young children! Griffiths' illustrations are fun and colorful and pair perfectly with Dyckman's story.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Kitten Construction Company: Meet the House Kittens

Meet the House Kittens
(Kitten Construction Company #1)
by John Patrick Green
First Second, 2018. Comics. 70 p.
Marmalade is an amazing architect, but she is also an adorable kitten.  Because she is so little and cute nobody will take her seriously. When the city planner rejects her plans for the new Mayor's Mansion, Marmalade takes things into her own paws. She recruits other kittens with serious construction skills, and together they work to overcome kitten prejudice.

This a cute new graphic novel great for younger readers.  Children will relate with the challenge of being considered too little or too cute to do anything important.  Green's color illustrations are as adorable as, well, a kitten!  Great for either boys or girls, this is one not to be missed.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

A Raccoon at the White House

A Raccoon at the White House
By Rachel Dougherty
Illustrated by Rachel Sanson
Simon Spotlight, 2018. Easy Reader.

Did you know that there was once a raccoon named Rebecca who lived at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? President Calvin Coolidge kept her as a pet (one of many odd animals who lived at the White House with the Coolidges) and liked to walk her around the grounds on a leash. This odd moment from US History is well documented for young readers in this new series Tails from History all about famous pets and their famous owners.

This is a well illustrated and unique new series of Easy Readers, perfect for the pet lover in your life.

Monday, September 10, 2018

A Big Mooncake for Little Star

A Big Mooncake for Little Star
By Grace Lin
Little, Brown and Company, 2018. Picture Book.

Little Star helps Mama make a Big Mooncake on the opening endpapers. Then they place the Big Mooncake in the night sky to cool. Mama tells Little Star to remember “not to touch this Big Mooncake until I tell you to”; yet even though Little Star says she will remember, it is a little hard once it is night time and she is hungry. Even though the story and text are good, for me Lin’s illustrations steal the show. Little Star has some great facial expressions throughout the book and readers will be sure to enjoy. Also, those interested in origin myths will enjoy learning this one about how the moon waxes and wanes. An enjoyable read all around.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

From Story Time: The Letter "A"

From Toddler Time

Written by Tammi Sauer
Illustrated by Goro Fujita
Sterling Children's Books, 2015.  Picture Book.

You will be looking out your window when something wonderful comes your way.  You will want to keep him.  You and your alien will strike up a fabulous friendship and all will go well...until bedtime.  Can you figure out what your new buddy needs most of all?  This funny, heartwarming story proves that friends and family are the most important things in the matter who you are.  --Publisher

From Preschool Time

Written by Matt Roeser
Illustrated by Brad Woodard
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2016.  Picture Book.

Asteroids! Planets! Astronauts!
In this charming debut picture book, a grumpy asteroid named Astro is thrown out of orbit and takes an unexpected journey through space! Astro is a cranky asteroid who just wants everyone to respect his personal boundaries. But when a satellite knocks Astro out of orbit, he is forced to embark on an epic adventure through space…whether he wants to or not!

Filled with playful illustrations and tons of cool facts about space, this picture book is a must-have for all the future astronauts who are ready to journey through the galaxy.  --Publisher

From Preschool Story Time

By Owen Davey
Templar Books, 2013.  Picture Book.

Laika is a stray on the streets of Moscow before she is chosen to be the first animal launched into orbit.  When things go wrong, everyone thinks Laika is lost.  But could there be more to her incredible story than meets the eye?  --Publisher

From Friday Book Babies

By Marcus Pfister
NorthSouth Books, 2013.  Picture Book.

I can blend-in with a leaf or tree—changing colors, so you can’t see me!

Marcus Pfister’s playful rhymes highlight the distinctive features of each animal—from alligator to zebra—allowing little listeners to guess the name of each animal. Pfister’s bold, colorful illustrations capture each critter in all of their glory and name the animal in bold letters so children can see if their guesses were correct—a ferociously fun way to learn about the alphabet and animals.  --Publisher

From Friday Cuentos

By Yasmeen Ismail
Editorial Corimbo, 2015.  Spanish Picture Book.

Rafa NO quiere ir a la escuela con esas gafas. Hace todo lo posible para esconderlas en los sitios mÔas inverosÔimiles. Pero es muy difÔicil, porque las gafas son Enormes, Redondas, y Rojas. Curiosamente, al final, esas gafas le harÔan ganar a Rafa una estrella de oro...y una nueva amiga. AdemÔas âhora ve bien! Un cuento divertido y reconfortante sobre los efectos positivos de ser un poco diferente.  --Publisher

Thursday, September 6, 2018

This Is My Dollhouse

This Is My Dollhouse
Written and Illustrated by Giselle Potter
Schwartz & Wade Books, 2016. Picture Book.

The narrator of this picture book is a girl who has made her own cardboard dollhouse and furnished it with odds and ends, mismatched pieces and handmade touches. She plays with her dollhouse by making things: clothing for her dolls out of ribbon, a breakfast of fried eggs from cut pieces of paper, a rooftop elevator from a paper cup and a string. It's an interactive and imaginative way to play. But when the narrator goes to her friend Sophie's house and sees Sophie's perfect, plastic, store bought dollhouse, she feels self-conscious. Sophie only wants to play the "right" way, and the right way isn't very fun. The narrator worries that if Sophie ever comes over, she won't like her dollhouse. Sophie does come over, and quickly our narrator's shame disappears. Their fun isn't limited by the homemade dollhouse, with its imperfections and repurposed materials. It's expanded by it.

This Is My Dollhouse is about the joy of making things and the value of open ended play. The illustrations and text are charming and might inspire readers to build their very own dollhouse.