Thursday, November 23, 2017

Princess Cora and the Crocodile

Princess Cora and the Crocodile
By Laura Amy Schlitz
Illustrated by Brian Floca
Candlewick Press, 2017. Picture book.

Poor Princess Cora. Although she is born a princess, her parents are so concerned with preparing her to be the queen, they keep her too busy and structured with constant studying, physical exercise and multiple baths each day. Cora just wants to get a dog and play outside, but no one will let her get a dog. She writes a letter to her fairy godmother asking for a pet. The next morning she finds a box in her bedroom with a crocodile inside! The crocodile hatches a plan to get Cora some much needed free time.

This fun princess story with a twist is great for those ready for longer picture books. The crocodile keep readers laughing. It has simple chapters and a feel good story that speaks to the heart of young and old who are looking for a break from the day to day stresses.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Glass Town Game

The Glass Town Game
by Catherynne Valente
Margaret K McElderry Books, 2017. Fiction
What if children's pretend games came alive?  In this thickly layered and deeply imaginative story the remaining children in the Bronte family, Charlotte, Emily, Anne and Branwell, have developed a very complicated and ongoing pretend game in their Yorkshire home. When it is time for the older girls to go to a dismal boarding school, the children find that they have the opportunity to take a magic train to visit the world they have created. They seize at the chance, but soon find that their pretend wars and battles are much more frightening when they are real. As they face thrills and challenges, and meet versions of famous characters from British history, they come to find that they really do have the courage they always hoped they processed.  This is a great choice for advanced readers who enjoyed The Phantom Tollbooth or Alice in Wonderland.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

We Are Brothers, We Are Friends

We Are Brothers, We Are Friends
By Alexandra Penfold
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017. Picture book.

A big brother tells his baby brother about all the things he plans to teach him (such as how to play hide and seek and how to be a dinosaur), and how he will always be there for him to share his toys, hear him first when he cries, and even share his mom and dad.

Sweet, feel-good fare, made special by the great imaginative illustrations full of action and color. A worthy addition to new baby books and a great big brother, little brother read.

Monday, November 20, 2017

The Bad Seed

The Bad Seed 
Jory John
Illustrated by Pete Oswald
HarperCollins Publishers, 2017. Picture Book.

There is a seed that is a bad seed. And I mean a BAD SEED! Every other seed knows just how bad he is. He is terrible. He never washes his hands. He lies. He is late. He cuts in line. He is bad, bad, bad! However, the Bad Seed has a story as to why he is bad. There was a traumatic experience in his life (he is a sunflower seed that at one point was in a bag while at a baseball game—and readers can just guess what happens to sunflower seeds while at baseball games). As the story progresses readers will learn that perhaps seeds that are bad might become good again. This is a great way to talk about actions and consequences and attitudes to difficult situations. And, it is fun to read about the story of this “baaaaaad seed!”

Saturday, November 18, 2017

From Story Time: The Letter "K"

Read in Book Babies

Bumpety, Dunkety, Thumpety-Thump
Written by K.L. Going
Illustrated by Simone Shin
Beach Lane Books, 2017.  Picture Book.

Two toddlers go on a bumpety berry hunt in this darling picture book that's perfect for preschoolers.  Wagon on gravel goes bumpety bump.  Pebbles in the pond go plunkety plunk.  Toes in the grass dance thumpety-thump.  Bumpety-plunkety-thumpety-thump!  Join two sweet siblings as they explore their backyard, get deliciously creative in the kitchen, and then spend a cozy evening preparing for bed.  Along the way they'll get muddy and messy and hungry and sleepy--just as all little ones do.  This celebration of imagination, creativity, and sibling love will have readers young and old chiming in--and yearning for some yummy pie!  --Publisher

Read in Toddler Time

By David Ezra Stein
G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2009.  Picture Book.

When you're new to the world, every hop brings another surprise.  Joey wants to explore, but is he ready to leave Mama's pouch?  Trying new things takes courage!  Fortunately, Mama is never far away--and Joey might even meet a new friend.  In this delightful tale of a baby kangaroo's first hop, Stein's inviting illustrations gently convey both Joey's fears and his triumphs, showing that one little step can lead to the whole world.  --Publisher

Read in Preschool Time

Can You Cuddle Like a Koala?
By John Butler
Peachtree Publishers, Ltd., 2003.  Picture Book.

From leaping like a frog to winking like an owl, young readers can enjoy copying different animals and the ways they move.  In rhyming text, acclaimed author-illustrator John Butler prepares his readers for a good night's rest as they mimic a range of animal movements that gradually become more and more relaxing.  Butler's stunning portraits feature wide-eyed, adorable animals in their natural surroundings.  Finally, children can curl up like a squirrel, ready for the night.  --Publisher

Read in Preschool Time

Knuffle Bunny:  A Cautionary Tale
By Mo Willems
Hyperion Books for Children, 2004.

Trixie, Daddy, and Knuffle Bunny take a trip to the neighborhood Laundromat.  But the exciting adventure takes a dramatic turn when Trixie realizes somebunny has been left behind....  By combining expressive cartoon drawings with beautiful photographs of Brooklyn, New York, Willems tells a brilliantly true-to-life tale about what happens when Daddy is in charge and things go terribly, hilariously, wrong.  --Publisher

Read in Monday Cuentos

By Jez Alborough
Translated by Mario Castro
Santillana, 1995.  Spanish Picture Book.

¡Huy!  ¡El osito de Eduardito es enorme!  Y hay un oso de verdad que tiene el problema opuesto -- ¡su osito es muy chiquito!  ¿Será un caso de identidad equivocada? --Publisher

Read in Friday Cuentos

By Claudia Bielinsky
Translated by Lluís Cortés
La Galera, 2005.  Spanish Picture Book.

Moteado, vivaracho y muy inquieto, Uki está conociendo su entorno, pero ... todo el tiempo le dicen lo que debe hacer y lo que no. Él obedece aunque no siempre comprende el porqué de lo que le indican. Decidido a investigar y a enternder, Uki hará uso de su perspicacia para explicarse las dudas que tiene ... y ¿por qué? se ocupa con gracia e ingenio de la pregunta más recurrente en el crecimiento de todo pequeño. --Publisher

Friday, November 17, 2017

The Wolf Keepers

The Wolf Keepers
by Elise Broach
art by Alice Ratterree
Henry Holt and Company, 2016.
Fiction. 343 p.

Lizzie, daughter of a zookeeper, lives at a zoo just over an hour from Yosemite national park. She's spending this particular summer keeping a nature journal of the new wolf exhibit, just like John Muir would. When she discovers a foster care runaway that's been living behind the elephant sanctuary, she's thrown into an adventure that involves uncovering a zoo scandal and discovering the hidden cabin of John Muir.

This is a sweet tale and good for kids who appreciate wildlife and outdoor adventure. There is also the discussion of hard topics like foster care and life without a mother.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Tiny Hero of Ferny Creek Library

The Tiny Hero of Ferny Creek Library
By Linda Bailey
Illustrated by Victoria Jamieson
Harper Collins, 2017. Fiction. 324 p.

Eddie is a bright green bug. His family lives in an elementary school. They were brought into the classroom in a container that ended up breaking. His family made their home behind a classroom chalkboard. Eddie's aunt learns to read and loves visiting the library. One day his aunt doesn't come back and Eddie decides to save her! In the process he finds out the library itself is in danger, and he is determined to do all he can to save it.

There are many literary references throughout. Eddie's aunt knows children's books, and uses the characters to inspire Eddie in his endeavors. Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little by E. B. White are mentioned throughout and the story of The Tiny Hero of Ferny Creek Library has a similar feel. It is perfect for younger children ready for longer books.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine

The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine
by Mark Twain and Philip Stead
Doubleday Books for Young Readers, 2017. Fiction. 151 p.
Have you ever wondered what kind of bedtime stories Mark Twain might have told his own children?  Once when his family was in Paris, Twain told a story he liked so well that he made some notes about it so that he could write it up later.  Recently some Twain scholars found the notes, but they were incomplete. They contracted Philip Stead to fill in and complete the story and Erin Stead to do the illustrations.  The result is a story about  a boy,  Johnny, who lives with an overbearing father. When he father asks him to go to town and sell his pet chicken for some food, Johnny starts on an adventure that includes magic beans, talking animals, and a spoiled rotten prince.  The book is full of Twain and Stead's wry humor and is illustrated with wonderful colored pictures throughout.  It is available from the Library in print, as an ebook, on CD, and as an audiobook download.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Books! Books! Books!: Explore the Amazing Collection of the British Library

Books! Books! Books!: Explore the Amazing Collection of the British Library
By Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom
Candlewick Press, 2017. Informational.

This bright, fun, colorful, intricate picture book introduces young readers to the rarest, coolest, and most valuable books in the British Library. Things like a Shakespeare folio kept in a bomb-proof room or the St. Cuthbert Gospel which was found in a coffin. Exciting details like these will propel kids through a lot of cool history in a very condensed form. Collage illustrations are nothing new, but the ones in this book are especially interesting - manuscript pages make up outfits, backdrops, and are scattered throughout.

A great introduction to Western Literature, hand this book to any young bibliophiles and anglophiles.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Nothing Rhymes with Orange

Nothing Rhymes with Orange 
Adam Rex
Chronicle Books, 2017. Picture Book.

Poor Orange. In this rhyming extravaganza all the different fruit (and a random bit of other objects) are rhymed into the story. But since nothing rhymes with “orange” the Orange feels left out. With a mix of the rhyming text and various asides from Orange, readers will laugh and sigh over the juxtaposition of the hilarious (and nonsensical) rhymes and the loneliness Orange feels for being left out. This text is a good starting point to talk to children about a number of different topics: rhymes, identifying fruits, being left out, and inclusion. This is Adam Rex at his best.