Monday, March 19, 2018

The Raid of No Return

Raid of No Return
Nathan Hale
Amulet Books, 2017. Graphic Novel, 124 p.

In the latest book in Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales Nathan Hale tells Hangman and Provost all about a raid in WWII where American’s dropped bombs on Japan in retaliation for the devastation in Pearl Harbor. Once again Hale (the author not the character in the book) peppers humor with the historical facts and details of this dangerous mission. (I dare any of you to not laugh as Hangman pretends to be an airplane.) Even though this raid was not as successful as hoped, it was an important part of WWII and this book sheds light as to why. This book is another great addition to this series.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

From Story Time: The Letter "W"

Read in Book Babies

Written by Anna Kang
Illustrated by Christopher Weyant
Two Lions, 2017.  Picture Book.

Two fuzzy friends go to an amusement park. They try to convince each other that there are much scarier things than the roller coaster. Hairy spiders! Aliens! Fried ants! They soon discover that sometimes being scared isn’t as “scary” as they thought. With expressive illustrations and simple text, this giggle-inducing tale about (not) being scared features the endearing characters from the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award­ winner You Are (Not) Small.  --Publisher

Read in Toddler Time

Squeak, Rhumble, Whomp! Whomp! Whomp!
Written by Wynton Marsalis
Illustrated by Paul Rogers
Candlewick Press, 2012.  Picture Book.

Squeak.  Eek.  Speak.  What's that sound?  The back door, accompanied by a nosy mouse and a sister's sax!  Join world-renowned jazz musician and composer Wynton Marsalis and acclaimed illustrator Paul Rogers for a rollicking, clanging, clapping tour of a busy neighborhood.  Ringing with exuberance and auditory delights, this book will open kids' ears to the infectious rhythms and rhymes of the sounds all around us.  --Publisher

Read in Preschool Time

By James Proimos
Scholastic Press, 2015.  Picture Book.

What's a penguin to do when he can't find his new best friend?  Yesterday he made a friend who was an absolutely spectacular dancer, but now he can't find him anywhere!  Waddle...waddle...belly slide! along as his search takes him high and low, to surprising new friends and unexpected dangers.  Acclaimed creator James Proimos brings his zest and zany humor to this charming story about appreciating our friends--and ourselves.  --Publisher

Read in Preschool Time

I'll Wait, Mr. Panda
By Steve Antony
Scholastic Press, 2016.  Picture Book.

Mr. Panda is making a surprise.  What is it?  The animals must wait and see.  But waiting is boring.  Mr. Panda shows that good things come to those who wait!  --Publisher

Read in Monday Cuentos

By Frann Preston-Gannon
Lata de Sal, 2017.  Spanish Picture Book.

Pepper es un gato que vive plácidamente y que adora todos los días de la semana hasta que un día de la semana llega una sorpresa inesperada (como todas las sorpresas) ... llega un nuevo gato, un gato que será ... su hermano! Con él tendrá que compartir juguetes, mimos, comida ... eso es demasiado para Pepper y antes de que el nuevo gatito diga "miau", Pepper ya lo detesta completamente. Pero el gatito no desiste en su empeño por agradar y Pepper termina rindiéndose por completo a sus encantos ... aunque sin pasarse! Un libro que trata de manera súper divertida el momento de la llegada de un hermano/a o de un nuevo miembro de la familia que puede desestabilizar tu mundo en un momento.  --Publisher

Read in Friday Cuentos

El paseo del elefante
By Hirotaka Nakano
Lata de Sal, 2016.  Spanish Picture Book.

El paseo del elefante es una historia sencilla que esconde la complejidad del optimismo y de la actitud ante la vida. Cada uno de los animales que acompañan al elefante en su paseo le aportan compañía pero también un peso que aunque puede ser a veces insoportable ... con una actitud positiva se supera.  --Publisher

Friday, March 16, 2018

Something Very Sad Happened

Something Very Sad Happened: A toddler's guide to understanding death
By Bonnie Zucker
Illustrated by Kim Fleming
Magination Press, American Psychological Association, 2016.
Informational picture book

When my youngest siblings were a pair of particularly energetic 4-year-olds, a harrowing adventure resulted in the untimely death of one of the new kittens. I recall them realizing, for the first time, what dying actually meant, and it was kind of traumatic. 

It's difficult to teach young children the impact death has, but this book tries to. With some sweet simple words that can be tailored to your particular situation, Zucker walks the child through what death might mean to them and those they love. There is also some helpful guidelines for parents of young children.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

The Boo-Boos that Changed the World

The Boo-Boos that Changed the World
By Barry Wittenstein
Illustrated by Chris Hsu
Charlesbridge, 2018. Informational picture book.

I remember reading a book in elementary school with interesting stories of how household items were invented. The Band-Aid was included and I have always remembered the basics of the story. The inventor's wife was constantly getting cuts. He wanted a way for her to bandage the cuts easily and by herself while he was at work. I liked the story. Truly, all Band-Aids have some kind of magic power that takes away pain, because my kids have always been appeased by having a Band-Aid placed on their little scrapes.

Wittenstein has created an informative, funny, true story of Earle Dickson and his wife Josephine. I learned more details to the story I remembered from my childhood. Wittenstein goes through the beginnings of Band-Aids and the stumbling blocks that were overcome. The product was great, but getting the public to learn about Band-aids and their endless uses was tricky. It is crazy to think of a time when Band-Aids were not found in every home medicine cabinet. Readers will be inspired through the invention and marketing process of an everyday household product and the way it came to be.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Hero is a Four Letter Word

Hero is a Four Letter Word
(Recess Warrior, #1)
By Marcus Emerson
Roaring Brook Press, 2017 (2014 c). Comics. 133 p.
Scrap, AKA Bryce, is the playground superhero. His best friend, Yoshi, is the toughest girl in school. Together they face down cootie ridden zombies and crazed female pirates. This is an amazingly clever comic book about the imaginary life on a school playground. Emerson includes the classic stereotypes; the girl that is always trying to kiss everyone, the boy who acts like a cowboy, the kid who talks like a TV narrator, the science nerd kid. There is a lot of talk about bases, and territories, and getting cooties. I am always impressed when an adult author taps into their younger self and captures what it is like to be a 4th grader again.  I honestly chuckled all the way through this one. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Her Right Foot

Her Right Foot
By Dave Eggers
Illustrated by Shawn Harris
Chronicle Books, 2017. Informational.

The worst way to start a book review is to say that it is cool, but this book is cool. This book tells the story of the Statue of Liberty in a way that is humorous, interesting, and informative - to say this text is well-written would undersell how enjoyable it is to read. Because not only does this book tell the story of how the Statue of Liberty came to stand in New York - it tells us why. It reminds us that the Statue of Liberty has welcomed millions of immigrants to the United States and will continue to do so.

This book is timely, to say the least, and though it is longer than many picture books it never feels too long. The text is highlighted by construction paper collage in solid colors that provide lots of views of the Statue of Liberty and of immigrants in America. This book is different from so many children's informational books and it stands out in its uniqueness. 

Monday, March 12, 2018

Something's Fishy

Something’s Fishy 
Jean Gourounas
Phaion Press Limited, 2017. Picture Book. 

This is a humorous book to read in the wintertime—although I do understand that all the various animals would not be together in friendly terms nor would a penguin be randomly hanging out with other arctic animals… A penguin is ice fishing. Along comes an arctic hare and asks what the penguin is doing. The response of “Shh!”does not deter the hare from sticking around to see what the penguin might catch. Next comes a walrus followed by a seal, a reindeer, a human, a polar bear, and a moose. Gourounas throws in a clever twist with the ice fishing (that is just as unlikely as a penguin hanging out with the arctic animals) but is fun to read. This will be a great book for kids who are all about the joy of anticipation only to discover it isn’t quite what they expected.

Sunday, March 11, 2018


By Marianna Coppo
Tundra Books, 2018. Picture Book.

Petra is more than a rock. She is a mountain, an island, and an egg. She is fearless and strong. She is always up for an adventure.

This is a delightful read about imagination, seeing the positive in any situation, and being open to new possibilities. The book is worth the read for the last page alone. Do not miss out of this great find!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

From Story Time: The Letter "V"

Read in Book Babies

By Bethanie Deeney Murguia
Little Bee Books, 2017.  Picture Book.

This hilarious follow-up book to Cockatoo, Too features cockatoos, toucans, two-can stew, and gnus!  One can. Two cans. Toucans?  Toucans, too.  Toucan stew???!  The cockatoos are back, and the toucans are too! But the toucans think the cockatoos say "toucan stew" and run away in a toucan canoe, so the cockatoos make them some two-can stew, which attracts the gnus, who ask the reader, "Can gnu?"  --Publisher

Read in Toddler Time

By Michael Slack
Henry Holt and Company, 2011.  Picture Book.

Monkey Truck has a mission!  He's on the lookout for all sorts of jungle bungles--there are chameleons to rescue before they get squashed, snakes to untangle, and hippos to pull free.  And look out for that TSUNAMI!  This playful picture book is perfect for preschoolers who like to be silly and prefer their adventures set in overdrive.  --Publisher

Read in Preschool Time

By Paulette Bogan
Bloomsbury, 2015.  Picture Book.

Virgil the penguin has found a polar bear!  It will be his polar bear...and only his.  This polar bear's name is Owen, and he likes to play with everyone on the iceberg.  Virgil and Owen might someday be best buddies, but sometimes to make new friends, you first have to learn how not to make friends...  --Publisher

Read in Preschool Time

Written by Smriti Prasadam-Halls
Illustrated by Katherina Manolessou
Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2017.  Picture Book.

Reginald's a T. rex who is just as mighty as the rest.  He has a loud roar and all the speed a dino could need.  But, when it comes to mealtime, he would rather chow down on beans and greens than the juicy steaks his pals prefer.  So when the other dinosaurs make him feel like he doesn't belong, Reginald shows his clan how strong a vegetarian T. rex can be.  A celebration of delicious fruits and veggies, T. Veg is a rollicking, laugh-out-loud tale about a brave dinosaur who dares to be different.  --Publisher

Read in Monday Cuentos

By Emily Gravett
Castillo de la lectura, 2008.  Spanish Picture Book.

Un conejo va a la biblioteca y saca un libro sobre lobos.  El libro explica dónde veven los lobos, cuántos dientes tienen y qué les gusta comer.  El libro es tan interesante que el conejo no se da cuenta de que una figura sinistra con garras y colmillos afilados comienza a desprenderse de las páginas para acecharlo…  Un libro álbum de excepcional ingenio y originalidad, con dos finales alternativos para satisfacer a los lectores más exigentes.  --Publisher

Read in Friday Cuentos

Las vacaciones de Pingüino
Written by Salina Yoon
Translated by Margarida Trias
Corimbo, 2015.  Spanish Picture Book.

Cuando Pingüino se va de vacaciones a la playa, descubre que lo que las hace especiales no es adónde vas, sino con quíen vas.  --Publisher

Friday, March 9, 2018

Curious George's Dictionary

Curious George's Dictionary
Illustrated primarily by Mary O'Keefe Young
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2008.

Love Curious George? We do too. But you might not know that there's a special edition dictionary especially for George's fans. This thin dictionary is geared specifically towards kindergarten and preschool-aged children with over 600 simple words accompanied by descriptive pictures and beginner sentences. It's great for young readers.

If you aren't sure how to teach your children to use a dictionary, consider checking out and reading "How Do I Use a Dictionary."