Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Hammer and Nails

Hammer and Nails
By Josh Bledsoe
Flashlight Press, 2016. Picture book.

When Darcy’s friend gets sick and her great plans for girly fun are ruined, her dad suggests that they have a Darcy-Daddy Day where they take turns choosing what to do. Skeptical but willing, Darcy agrees. She helps Daddy mow the lawn and then Daddy (wearing a tutu) helps Darcy style themselves some new hairdos.

Both agree to try new things even if they seem boring or scary at first. This is a sweet and realistic story that effortlessly communicates compromise, imagination, hard work, quality time, and the special love between a father and a daughter.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Duck on a Tractor

Duck on a Tractor 
By David Shannon
Blue Sky Press, Scholastic Inc., 2016.

This is the sequel that many Duck on a Bike fans have been waiting for! (And I should know, I am one of those fans that LOVED Duck and wanted him to have more adventures!) At the end of Duck on a Bike Duck’s eyes go wide when he sees the big, red tractor. In this particular story Duck decides to take the tractor for a spin. Of course all of the other animals that enjoyed riding bicycles decide to join Duck. As they go down the street riding a tractor the opposite of what happened in Duck on a Bike happens—the people all stop and stare and have reactions to what they see (or what they think they see). This funny story will not only make those that loved Duck already smile, but those that love farm animals and tractors will also be pleased.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Goodnight, Little Monster

Goodnight, Little Monster
By Helen Ketteman
Illustrated by Bonnie Leick
Marshall Cavendish, 2010. Picture Book.

Little monster gets ready for bed in this rhyming picture book by doing all the typical things that little boys and girls do to get ready—taking a bath, brushing his teeth, reading a bedtime story, howling at the moon. (Okay, maybe not that last bit.) But a little monster also has to make sure that there are no children hiding under his bed at night. As he snuggles in with his soft toy slug he knows everything will be alright because his mom is just down the hall. The cute, quirky illustrations add humor to the story. Great read alike for fans of I Loathe You and My Monster Mama Loves Me So.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

From Story Time: The Letter F


By Lita Judge
Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2015.  Picture Book.

It's morning, and Beatrix the parrot is WIDE awake!  Even though she knows she should be quiet, she just can't contain herself and shares her (loud) joy with each of her animal friends.  And while they love Beatrix, her morning energy is a bit much for them.  Beatrix manages to get into all kinds of mischief, but in the end, they all settle down for a nice morning nap.  This is a great story for high energy early risers!


Written by Rick Walton
Illustrated by Greg Hally
Gibbs Smith, 1995.  Picture Book.

This read aloud is a great introduction to compound words.  Bullfrog has lost his hop and takes off on an adventure to find it.  During his search, he comes across other compound words such as toadstool, doghouse, hedgehog, boxcar, and more.  The first half of each compound word and a partial illustration give clues to the full word and illustration on the next page, making this a fantastic opportunity for kids to practice their prediction skills.


Written by Jonathan London
Illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz
Puffin Books, 1994.  Picture Book.

When Froggy wakes up, he can't wait to go out in the snow.  He pulls on his clothes and heads out, but his mom reminds him that he's forgotten something -- his pants!  He flops back inside (taking off his mittens, scarf, hat, and boots), puts on his pants (and everything else), and goes back outside.  But his mom calls him in again.  What has he forgotten this time?  Poor Froggy.  After going through this routine several times, he finally gets all of his snow gear on...but then is too tired to go out to play!  Kids will love the repetition and sound effects of Froggy's zut! zat! zwit! zumming!


By Jeff Mack
Philomel Books, 2015.  Board Book.

Frog and fly are friendly acquaintances, but a friendship between these two can't last too long with fly being so delicious and all!  This board book has four short stories drawn as large-scale comics.  Each story is only two or three pages with just a few frames per page.  Perfect for the youngest of listeners, this little book is sure to elicit lots of giggles!


By Lorna Balian
Star Bright Books, 2004.  Picture Book.

This little witch has all the right accessories.  She has a big nose, crooked teeth, a pointy witch's hat, and witch shoes with buckles.  She even has a broom and a black cat!  She's ready and excited to cast some witchy spells.  But her laugh sounds more like a giggle than a cackle, her potion is just a goopy mess that makes her cat sick, and her spells never work the way they're supposed to.  Do you know her secret and why nothing works?  This Spanish translation book has been a classic in English (Humbug Witch) since 1965!


Written by Aaron Reynolds
Illustrated by Peter Brown

"Jasper Rabbit had a passion for carrots."  He just LOVED them, and he picked them from Crackenhopper Field every time he had the chance.  But soon carrots seem to be following him wherever he goes, and then they start appearing in his house!  Jasper is convinced that the creepy carrots are coming to get him...what do you think?  Just the right mix of veggie horror and humor, this is a great read for little ones at Halloween time.  Check out Creepy Carrots in English too!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

We Are Growing!

We Are Growing!
By Laurie Keller
With Forward and Afterword by Mo Willems
Hyperion Books for Children, 2016. Easy Reader.

As eight blades of grass experience new growth spurts, they each find that they are each an –est such as the tallest or curliest. All except Walt that is. Walt and his friends hilariously try to determine what Walt is.

In this first book of the new series called Mo Willems’ Elephant and Piggie Like Reading, the two beloved characters introduce a new easy reader book and make a final comment about the book. We Are Growing! is a very funny and loveable book driven by dialogue between the blades of grass much like the Elephant and Piggie books. Fans of Mo Willems, Gerald and Piggie will enjoy seeing their friends and will love the feel of the book. However, this is a great book that stands on its own and is a great choice for anyone looking for their next easy reader.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


by Jason Reynolds
Antheneum Books for Young Readers, 2016. Fiction. 181 p.
Castle Crenshaw (nickname, Ghost) lives in a rough neighborhood.  His dad is serving time and his mom barely makes enough to put food on the table.  Ghost can't seem to stay out of trouble at school, but when he gets a chance to be on an elite track team he is motivated to keep in step both on the field and in class.  For the first time he feels like he is a part of something, but when his past and his poor decisions catch up with him, he is at risk of losing it all.

This is a feel-good sports story is about how a mentor, a little talent, and lot of hard work can change a life. Reynolds has created some endearing characters and readers will find themselves cheering for Castle, hoping he can rise about his tough circumstances.  This book is available from the library in print, as an e-book and as an audiobook download.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Beard in a Box

Beard in a Box
By Bill Cotter
Knopf Books, 2016. Picture book.

A young boy has discovered the source of his dad’s awesomeness: his beard. Determined to get one for himself, he orders Scam-O’s “Beard in a Box” and dreams about what style of beard he will choose. Once he receives his package, he eagerly puts the beard seeds on his face and waits for them to grow. Will he ever get his beard and become as cool as his dad?

This clever book is hilarious for both kids and adults and has a sweet father/son message.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Go, Otto, Go!

Go, Otto, Go!
By David Milgrim
Ready-to-Read, Simon Spotlight, Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division, 2016.

In this newest edition of the “Adventures of Otto” easy readers series, Otto builds a rocket ship so he can go “home” to where his family is. Of course things don’t necessarily go as planned for poor Otto. Young beginning readers will enjoy not only the story of a memorable robot but also the fact that there are few words on each page. For example, there are two pages that have seven words on them (all the others tend to have between three and six words per page); however, one page with seven words has “up” constituting four of the words the other has “down” being four of the words. Young readers who love robots and easier stories will enjoy this new book—especially since they will most likely be able to read it on their own.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Unlike Other Monsters

Unlike Other Monsters
By Audrey Vernick
Illustrated by Colin Jack
Disney-Hyperion, 2016. Picture Book.

Since Zander is a monster, he doesn’t have any friends. Monsters don’t do friends. His sister, who is a fairy, has lots of friends. Then one day while surfing, Zander notices a bird watching him. The bird comes back the next day, and soon they are hanging out. When other monsters notice Zander and Bird hanging out, they ask him if they are friends. He says no because monsters don’t have friends. But he begins to wonder if he and Bird are friends so he asks his sister what friends do. She tells him they talk, eat, hang out, share secrets, and give kids who have lost their teeth money. Zander realizes that he and Bird do most of those things but until they find children with lost teeth to give money to, they will just have to hang out. A cute story about friendship and breaking the mold to be yourself and be friends with those who you think might be different from you on the surface but become the perfect companion.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Display: Read Around the World

The Jumbies
By Tracey Baptiste
Eleven-year-old Corinne must call on her courage and an ancient magic to stop an evil spirit and save her island home.

The War That Saved My Life
By Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
A young disabled girl and her brother are evacuated from London to the English countryside during World War II, where they find life to be much sweeter away from their abusive mother.

Grk and the Pelotti Gang
By Joshua Doder
Tim and his dog Grk face kidnapping, a plane crash in the jungles of Brazil, and more as they pursue a gang of escaped bank robbers--the infamous Pelotti brothers--who were originally captured by the Raffifi children's father.

Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates
By Mary Mapes Dodge
A tale of young honor set in the early nineteenth-century Netherlands.

A Girl Named Disaster
By Nancy Farmer
While journeying to Zimbabwe, eleven-year-old Nhamo struggles to escape drowning and starvation and in so doing comes close to the luminous world of the African spirits.

Possum Magic
By Mem Fox
Two Australian possums go in search of the magic that will make the invisible one of them visible.

Zorro and Quwi
By Rebecca Hickox
A retelling of the Peruvian folktale in which the deceptions of a guinea pig save it from a hungry fox.

Listen, Slowly
By Thanhha Lai
Assisting her grandmother's investigation of her grandfather's fate during the Vietnam War, Mai struggles to adapt to an unfamiliar culture while redefining her sense of family.

Anne of Green Gables
By L.M. Montgomery
Anne, an eleven-year-old orphan, is sent by mistake to live with a lonely, middle-aged brother and sister on a Prince Edward Island farm and proceeds to make an indelible impression on everyone around her.

Seesaw Girl
By Linda Sue Park
Impatient with the constraints put on her as an aristocratic girl living in Korea during the seventeenth century, twelve-year-old Jade Blossom determines to see beyond her small world.

Rickshaw Girl
By Mitali Perkins
In her Bangladesh village, ten-year-old Naimi excels at painting designs called alpanas, but to help her impoverished family financially she would have to be a boy--or disguise herself as one.

Mariana and the Merchild
By Caroline Pitcher
A childless old woman is given a merbaby to raise until the child can safely return to the sea.

Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms
By Katherine Rundell
Will must find her way after she's plucked out of a wonderful life in Zimbabwe and forced to go to boarding school in England.

Becoming Naomi Leon
By Pam Munoz Ryan
When Naomi's absent mother resurfaces to claim her, Naomi runs away to Mexico with her great-grandmother and younger brother in search of her father.

Mice, and Beans
By Pam Munoz Ryan
In this rhythmic cumulative tale Rosa Maria spends the week getting ready for her granddaughter's birthday party and trying to avoid attracting mice--unaware that the mice in her walls are preparing for a party of their own.

The Gift of the Crocodile
By Judy Sierra
In this Indonesian version of the Cinderella story, a girl named Damura escapes her cruel stepmother and stepsister and marries a handsome prince with the help of Grandmother Crocodile.

Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters
By John Steptoe
Mufaro's two beautiful daughters, one bad-tempered, one kind and sweet, go before the king, who is choosing a wife.

White Giraffe
By Lauren St. John
After a fire kills her parents, eleven-year-old Martine must leave England to live with her grandmother on a wildlife game reserve in South Africa, where she befriends a mythical white giraffe.

Homeless Bird
By Gloria Whelan
When thirteen-year-old Koly enters into an ill-fated arranged marriage, she must either suffer a destiny dictated by India's tradition or find the courage to oppose it.

I Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade
By Diane L. Wilson
Oyuna tells her granddaughter the story of how love for her horse enabled her to win a race and bring good luck to her family living in Mongolia in 1339.