Friday, April 18, 2014

The Grudge Keeper

Cover image for The Grudge Keeper

The Grudge Keeper
by Mara Rockliff, illustrated by Eliza Wheeler
Peachtree, 2014 picture book

No one in the town of Bonnyripple keeps a grudge.  Instead they write down their grievances and give them to the Grudge Keeper, and old man named Cornelius.  As time passes Cornelius' cottage becomes so full of grudges it can hardly hold them all.  Then one day, a great wind comes and blows everything in the little town around, including the grudges.  Poor Cornelius is buried in all the grudges, and as the townspeople dig him out, they find better ways to deal with their petty squabbles.

This is a fun and gentle parable about the perils of holding grudges.  The story is whimsical and Wheeler's charming watercolor and ink illustrations match the tone of the text. Great as a read aloud, this is a delightful packet of wit and wisdom.

Como Crece una Semilla
Helene Jordan, Illustrated by Loretta Krupinski
Aprende y Descubre la Ciencia y Rayo of HarperCollins Publishers, 30pg. Non Fiction (ages 4-7)

How does a seed grows? This is a perfect little book to explain this concept. There are plenty illustrations for children to see and grasp this concept. The colors are pleasant and the descriptions are just perfect for children ages four to seven. Enjoy!

Como crece una semilla? Este pequeño libro explica este concepto en detalle y ademas lo hace con muchas ilustraciones. Los niños entenderán este concepto sin ningún problema. Los colores son perfectos para ilustrar las flores y las semillas. Este libro es recomendado para niños de cuatro a siete años. ¡Goce!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Display - Olivia

By Ian Falconer
Olivia decides that a marching band must accompany the fireworks display so she forms one from pots, pans, her brother's toys, and her father's suspenders.

By Ian Falconer
Whether at home getting ready for the day, enjoying the beach, or at bedtime, Olivia is a feisty pig who has too much energy for her own good.
By Ian Falconer
At school, Olivia tells about her summer vacation and how, when she went to the circus and all the performers were out sick, she saved the day, becoming Olivia the Tattooed Lady, Olivia the Lion Tamer, The Amazing Flying Olivia, and more.
By Natalie Shaw
A royal family comes to town, and when Olivia and Princess Stephanie realize they look exactly alike, they decide to switch places, making Olivia a princess for a day.
By Alex Harvey 
Olivia is super excited to have her best friend come along on her family camping trip. However Francine is not a huge fan of the Great Outdoors and is less than excited about the mud, the bugs, and the idea of sleeping in a tent. It's up to Olivia to help Francine get in touch with her inner nature lover.
It's time for the town Easter egg hunt! But instead of searching for the eggs, Olivia and her family have to complete silly stunts to collect them. Can Team Olivia be the first to finish and win a special Easter surprise?
By Ian Falconer
Olivia embarks upon a quest for identity and individuality as sets about creating a whole array of fantastically dressed princesses.
Whether Olivia is learning to dance like a prima ballerina, running her school carnival, or camping in the great outdoors, no challenge is too great for this tireless heroine!
By Emily Sollinger
Olivia decides to throw her mother a surprise birthday party, and with a little help from her father, her grandmother, and her brother she fixes a menu of red foods and gets everything ready.
By Ian Falconer
On a family vacation in Venice, Olivia indulges in gelato, rides in a gondola, and finds the perfect souvenir.
By Emily Sollinger
When Olivia's teacher gives Olivia a "surprise" plant seed envelope, she takes care of the seed in her garden, excited to discover what kind of plant she will grow.
The star of Ian Falconer's beautifully illustrated books, children know and love Olivia, an adventurous, 'can-do' 6-and-3/4-year-old pig. Olivia has an active imagination, a keen sense of humor, and a spunky, confident personality. In these programs Olivia's world, her family and friends are brought to vibrant life. Olivia encourages creativity, explores the endless possibilities for any great idea, and is always wondering "What if?"

Display - Let's Go Fly a Kite

By Nancy Luenn
A crafty thief constructs a magnificent kite which he hopes will enable him to reach the golden dolphins that adorn the roof of a nearby castle.
By Jonathan Fenske
Abandoned after a birthday party, Balloon is beginning to droop when Kite comes by and invites him to join her for an adventure, spinning and playing among the clouds.
By Wayne Hosking
Asian Kites introduces kids to the fascinating art of kite making. Through the fun and approachable projects in this book, children will learn all the steps for creating beautiful, unique and creative kites with easy-to-find materials.  

By Satomi Ichikawa
Pablito, a Guatemalan boy whose pet pig Amarillo has disappeared, uses a kite to send him a message that he still loves him.
By Margaret Hillert
When his kite lifts him above the ground, a child takes a "funny ride" as he views what is on the ground and in the air.
By Linda Sue Park
In Korea in 1473, eleven-year-old Young-sup overcomes his rivalry with his older brother Kee-sup, who as the first-born son receives special treatment from their father, and combines his kite-flying skill with Kee-sup's kite-making skill in an attempt to win the New Year kite-fighting competition.
By Laura Williams
Young Junho does not like to listen to the boring childhood stories that his grandfather tells. But as the two build a kite together, Jinho sees the old man in a new light.
By Stan Berenstain
While kite flying one beautiful summer day, Sister Bear and Brother Bear encounter kites of many different shapes and sizes.
By Mercer Mayer
After seeing the disparity between the conditions of her father's palace and the city beyond its walls, the Emperor's daughter has the royal kitemaker build a huge kite to take her away from it all.
By Geraldine McCaughrean
In thirteenth-century China, after trying to save his widowed mother from a horrendous second marriage, twelve-year-old Haoyou has life-changing adventures when he takes to the sky as a circus kite rider and ends up meeting the great Mongol ruler Kublai Khan.
Curious George loves a good windy day. There are many things he can practice flying ... like a kite! Now if only he doesn't get too carried away!
By Mike Venezia
 Author and artist Mike Venezia provides hilarious, cartoon-style illustrations to complement his easy-to-read text and full-color reproductions of the scientists' sketches and notebooks.

Two popular series, Ready-to-Read and Childhood of Famous Americans, combine to present the story of young Ben Franklin who loves doing experiments and cannot wait to test out his latest idea involving a kite!
By Ying Chang Compestine
Long ago in China, three brothers become tired of chasing birds from their family's rice fields and experiment with ways to make the job easier.

Display - Villages, Cities, and Towns

By Richard Peck
In rural Indiana in 1904, fifteen-year-old Russell's dream of quitting school and joining a wheat threshing crew is disrupted when his older sister takes over the teaching at his one-room schoolhouse after mean, old Myrt Arbuckle "hauls off and dies."
By Diane Wilson
Spirited fifteen-year-old horse lover Rachel Selby determines to become a veterinarian, despite the opposition of her rigid father, her proper mother, and the norms of Boston in 1872, while that city faces a serial arsonist and an epidemic spreading through its firehorse population.
By Jeannie Mobley
Thirteen-year-old Trina's family left Bohemia for a Colorado coal town to earn money to buy a farm, but by 1901 she doubts that either hard work or hoping will be enough, even after a strange fish seems to grant her sisters' wishes.
By Kathryn Littlewood
Twelve-year-old Rose Bliss wants to work magic in her family's bakery as her parents do, but when they are called away and Rose and her siblings are left in charge, the magic goes awry and a beautiful stranger tries to talk Rose into giving her the Bliss Cookery Booke.
By Betty G. Birney
Eben McAllister searches his small town to see if he can find anything comparable to the real Seven Wonders of the World.
By Mary Hooper
In June 1665, excited at the prospect of coming to London to work at her sister Sarah's candy shop, teenaged Hannah is unconcerned about rumors of Plague until, as the hot summer advances and increasing numbers of people succumb to the disease, she and Sarah find themselves trapped in the city with no means of escape.
Petals in the Ashes
By Mary Hooper
Hannah and Sarah escape London, leaving behind plague and death as well as their sweets shop, and when it is safe, Hannah and her younger sister Anne return, only to face the city's Great Fire of 1666.
One Crazy Summer
By Rita Williams-Garcia
In the summer of 1968, after travelling from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to spend a month with the mother they barely know, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters arrive to a cold welcome as they discover that their mother, a dedicated poet and printer, is resentful of the intrusion of their visit and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp.
The Great Brain
By John Dennis Fitzgerald
The exploits of the Great Brain of Adenville, Utah are described by his younger brother, frequently the victim of the Great Brain's schemes for gaining prestige or money.
Highway Robbery
By Kate Thompson
On a cold day in eighteenth-century England, a poor young boy agrees to watch a stranger's fine horse for a golden guinea but soon finds himself in a difficult situation when the king's guard appears and wants to use him as bait in their pursuit of a notorious highwayman.
By Marie Rutkoski
Twelve-year-old Petra, accompanied by her magical tin spider, goes to Prague hoping to retrieve the enchanted eyes the Prince of Bohemia took from her father, and is aided in her quest by a Roma boy and his sister.
By Siobhan Dowd
 When Ted and Kat's cousin Salim disappears from the London Eye ferris wheel, the two siblings must work together--Ted with his brain that is "wired differently" and impatient Kat--to try to solve the mystery of what happened to Salim.
Catherine "Cat" Royal, an orphan who lives at the Drury Lane Theater in 1790s London, tries to find the "diamond" supposedly hidden in the theater, which unmasks a treasonous political cartoonist and involves her in the street gangs of Covent Garden and the world of nobility.
The City of Ember
By Jeanne DuPrau
In the year 241, twelve-year-old Lina trades jobs on Assignment Day to be a Messenger to run to new places in her decaying but beloved city, perhaps even to glimpse Unknown Regions.
By Maurie Manning
 In turn-of-the-twentieth-century New York City, a shoeshine boy tries to find the owner of a piece of red cloth, venturing up and down fire escapes, back and forth across clotheslines, and into the company of the diverse people who live in the tenement buildings.
Machines Go to Work in the City
By William Low
In this interactive book, toddlers learn about city machines--from a bucket truck to a tower crane to an airplane
By Emily Jenkins
Relates how the water in a park is used in different ways by the human and animal inhabitants of a neighborhood.
By John Rocco
 When a busy family's activities come to a halt because of a blackout, they find they enjoy spending time together and not being too busy for once.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Poem-Mobiles: Crazy Car Poems
Written by J. Patrick Lewis and Douglas Florian
Illustrated by Jeremy Holmes

What if your hot dog lunch could transform into a car that would take you magical places? In Poem-Mobiles, such things do happen- thanks to the silly rhymes of J. Patrick Lewis and Douglas Florian, and the incredible illustrations of Jeremy Holmes. Anything can be turned into a car, including a bunch of balloons or a shoe. The poems are fun and encourage imagination. There are even little lessons tucked in; in the poem about a caterpillar cab, there are drawings of the stages of caterpillar to butterfly. From cover to cover this is a visual and literary treat.

Happy National Poetry Month!

Monday, March 31, 2014

I Didn't Do My Homework Because...

I Didn't Do My Homework Because...
Written by Davide Cali
Illustrated by Benjamin Chaud
Chronicle Books, 2014. Unpaged easy reader.

A teacher asks her young pupil, "So, why didn't you do your homework?" The child rattles off dozens of excuses for not doing it. They range from "An airplane full of monkeys landed in our yard," to "A tornado swept up all of my books!" In every detailed illustration, the student looks as though he is desperately trying to do his work.In the end, he wonders why the teacher doesn't believe him. The answer is surprising and funny. This is a must-read for all first graders!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

How to Cheer Up Dad

How to Cheer Up Dad
By Fred Kohler
Dial Books for Young Readers, 2014. Unpaged picture book.

Little Jumbo is wreaking havoc around the house, which makes Dad pretty unhappy. Who would be happy with an elephant son who refuses to eat his breakfast, take a bath, or wear clothes? Then Little Jumbo suggests Dad takes a time-out to improve his mood. (This doesn't go over well with Dad.) He thinks of some loving ways to cheer him up, like giving him a hug and sharing his ice cream. I love this picture book, and I think it would make a wonderful birthday or Father's Day gift for weary dads. The artwork is full of life and personality, and will get a laugh out of parents and children. One especially priceless scene features Jumbo standing on his chair, blowing raisins to the ceiling...then they land on Dad's head.

Hank Finds an Egg

Hank Finds an Egg
by Rebecca Dudley
Peter Pauper Press, 2013.  Unpaged. Picture Book

A small bear-like creature, named Hank, finds a little, white egg sitting on the forest floor. He quickly locates the nest from which the egg has fallen--but that is when his real problems begin.  There are no words in this book--the gentle and charming tale is told only in pictures. Children will love looking at the photographs and trying to guess what it is that Hank plans to do next. Every once in while you come across a book whose illustrations make you stop and wonder, how did they do that? Hank Finds an Egg is such a book.  Each and every picture is a complicated miniature scene created from scratch. Every leaf, every tree, even the characters have been lovingly created in careful detail.The story line is simple and the pictures stunning. Check it out for yourself.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Under the Egg

Under the Egg
by Laura Marx Fitzgerald
Dial, 2014.  247 pgs. Mystery

     Theodora Tenpenny is pretty much on her own after her grandfather Jack dies. She lives with her Mom, but her mother is kind of cuckoo - she only works on mathematical theorems all day, and drinks expensive, exotic tea blends. Jack died in an auto-pedestrian accident, but before he passed away he told Theo to look under the egg to find a letter . . . and a treasure. Theo's family keeps chickens in the backyard, and has a vegetable garden to supplement their meager income. Each day, honor of place goes to the first egg laid which is set in a cradle on the mantelpiece to be replaced the next day by a freshly-laid one. Theo doesn't find anything under the real egg, but when she takes her grandfather's picture of an egg down from the mantelpiece, she finds an obviously old and probably very valuable painting which may even be a Raphael. How she and her new celebrity friend Bodhi discover where the painting came from and to whom it belongs constitutes the remainder of the tale. Under the Egg is a fun, touching, and instructive mystery with beginnings in World War II and references to the monument men who were charged to reclaim works of art stolen by the Nazis. The characters are well wrought and are mostly good company. A good deal of art history is painlessly delivered, and the puzzle will appeal to kids who like Blue Balliet's art mysteries.  The ending is abrupt and hard to swallow - a few too many convenient coincidences, but this is still a fun read and a great puzzle.