Tuesday, April 23, 2019

An ABC of Flowers

Cover image for An ABC of flowers

An ABC of Flowers 
by Jutta Hilpuesch
New York, NY : Philomel Books, [2019]

It turns out there really is a flower for every letter. This sweet book has a photograph of every flower and  a sweet cartoon illustration to go along with it. All your favorite flowers are here (forget-me-nots, mums, and sunflowers), along with some you probably haven't heard of before (billy ball, kalanchoe, xeranthemum?).  This is a perfect book for reading together, and readers of any age will enjoy every page. Don't miss this great springtime alphabet book. 

Monday, April 22, 2019


By Jenn Harney
Disney Hyperion, 2019. Picture Book.

In this latest brief story about underclothing a young bear is getting out of the bathtub (and should be getting ready for bed). Big Bear keeps telling the cub to put on the pair of underwear yet the wily cub keeps asking silly questions (“Under where?”) in order to postpone the sleepy inevitable. With fun illustrations (I especially enjoy the page where the pair of underwear is used as various hair styles) and clever wordplay (about one of the silliest words a toddler knows) this is sure to be a laughable story time winner—only it might not be quite as calming of a bedtime read. Seriously pure fun!

Saturday, April 20, 2019

From Story Time: Numbers!


Written by Mac Barnett
Illustrated by Jon Klassen
Candlewick Press, 2014.  Picture Book.

Sam and Dave are on a mission. A mission to find something spectacular. So they dig a hole. And they keep digging. And they find . . . nothing. Yet the day turns out to be pretty spectacular after all. Attentive readers will be rewarded with a rare treasure in this witty story of looking for the extraordinary — and finding it in a manner you’d never expect.  --Publisher


El día que los crayones renunciaron
Escrito por Drew Daywalt
Ilustrado por Oliver Jeffers
Traducción de Susana Figueroa León
Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2014.  Spanish Picture Book.

Un día, en la escuela, Duncan encontró un montón de cartas para él. Eran sus crayones que, molestos por el trato que recibían, decidieron escribir cartas como ultimátum para Duncan. Crayón Beige está cansado de ser el segundón de Crayón Café; Crayón Negro quiere ser usado para algo más que los contornos; y el Naranja y el Amarillo ya no se hablan porque cada uno cree que es el verdadero color del sol. El pobre Duncan solo quiere que sus crayones sean felices. ?Qué podrá hacer para tenerlos de vuelta?  --Publisher


By Juana Medina
Viking, 2016.  Picture Book.

1 Avocado Deer.  2 Radish Mice.  3 Pepper Monkeys.  Are you hungry yet??  Counting from one to ten, 1 Big Salad fills a bowl with the most delicious and delightful vegetables.  Here is a truly scrumptious way to learn numbers...and eat them, too!  --Publisher


By Ethan Long
Running Press Kids, 2012.  Picture Book.

One little fly spies a steaming bowl of soup and some crunchy crackers--the perfect lunch for one!  But soon, an unwelcome pal wants in on the action...then another, and another.  Count to ten with this flustered fly, but look out for the spider lying in wait and the ravenous chef!  


Written by Ashley N. Sorenseon
Illustrated by David Miles
Familius, 2016.  Picture Book.

Oh no! It is a very, VERY cold day, and all the numbers have frozen! Children must trace, blow on, and count the numbers to unfreeze them, and in the process, they will learn colors, seasons, patterns, and numbers. An interactive, educational experience, The Very Cold, Freezing, No-Number Day is sure to be a household and classroom favorite.  --Publisher


Adapted and Illustrated by Christopher Canyon
Dawn Publications, 2005.  Picture Book.

By car, pickup, minivan, and motorcycle, members of a family go up, down, and around the hills of West Virginia, heading for a family reunion at Grandma and Grandpa's country home!  This wonderful celebration of nature and family ends with a hayride and a hoedown.  It's all about country, it's all about music, and it's all about family.  --Publisher


How Are you?
¿Cómo estás?
Por Angela Dominguez
Henry Holt and Company, 2018.  Spanish Picture Book.

Welcome!  ¡Bienvenida!  Are you feeling hungry?  Shy?  Tired?  Your friends want to know!  ¿Tienes hambre?  ¿Eres tímida?  ¿Estás cansada?  ¡Tus amigos lo quieren saber!  Friendship awaits in this book about feelings, expressed both in English and in Spanish.  --Publisher

Friday, April 19, 2019

Hedy Lamarr's Double Life

Hedy Lamarr's Double Life: Hollywood Legend and Brilliant Inventor
Written by Laurie Wallmark
Illustrated Katy Wu
Sterling Children's Books. 2019. Informational

Hedy Lamarr was famous for many things. In her time, she was known as the stunning actress who made everyone swoon on the big screen. But in her free time, Hedy studied science and developed inventions, many of which never left her apartment. Her most influential invention is her frequency-hopping design. She built it in hopes to help the United States win WWII. However, the government could not afford to fund her project and held on to it for decades. Today, we all enjoy sending secure messages from our phones because of her innovation.

This remarkable woman wanted to be know for something other than her looks. She fought to change the world and leave her mark. This book shows her courage, resilience, and unapologetic wit. Read this one with older children who are ready to be inspired and look for quotes from Hedy herself on every page.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Ernestine's Milky Way

Written by Kerry Madden-Lunsford
Illustrated by Emily Sutton
Schwartz & Wade Books, 2019. Picture Book.

Ernestine lives in the Smoky Mountains with her Mama while her Daddy is at war. She and her Mama milk their cow Ole Peg every morning. One day Ernestine's Mama gives her a special job: she has to take two jars of milk down yonder to their neighbors, all by herself. It's a little daunting to the plucky five-year-old, but she begins her journey as the morning star lights her way. The path takes Ernestine through terrain marked only by plants and wildlife, from thickets of crabapple to a valley of doghobble. Along the way she hears animal sounds that make her nervous. Could that scratcha-scratcha-scratchin be a bear? Her mantra reassures her throughout it all: "I'm five years old and a big girl!" 

Ernestine's Milky Way reads like a bighearted folktale about neighborliness, courage, and dairy. The rich, colorful illustrations reveal details about a different time, a different place and a different way of life. Recommended as a read-aloud in small settings. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Coral Reef

Coral Reef
By Tinybop Inc.
Available on the App Store.

Coral reefs are said to contain the most diverse ecosystems on the planet and play an essential ecological role, but because they are located underwater they are hard for young oceanographers to explore. This educational app from Tinybop introduces the vivid world of a coral reef in an interactive world. Kids can act like a parrotfish and eat harmful algae from off the coral, or plant stinging plants and rocks to protect fish from invading sharks.

With vocabulary in more than 20 languages and an accompanying caregiver handbook about these underwater worlds, this app is a pretty solid bet. It is also full of beautiful, crisp, graphics that bring the reef to life and are worth celebrating on their own. This app, best intended for ages 4-8, is perfect for budding marine biologists.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Spencer and Vincent, The Jellyfish Brothers

Spencer and Vincent, The Jellyfish Brothers 
Written by Tony Johnston
Illustrated by Emily Dove
Simon and Schuster, 2019. Picture Book.

Spencer and Vincent are best friends, who just happen to be brothers. They like to swim around, drifting on the current, singing a fun song with each other. Unfortunately, one day they get separated, and in an effort to find each other again, they must enlist the help of all the other creatures in the sea. Peril and danger ensue, but the brothers use their love for each other to solve the problem.

The undersea pictures in this book are bright, fun, and swirly like the waves they’re inspired by, and the different animals are unique and exciting to look at. The turquoise of the water and the coral and pink of the brothers makes for a sweet color contrast that elevates the mood of the story into something that is carefree, like a tropical island or a bright coral reef, without distracting from its heartfelt message. The journey the brothers go on is a scary one, but their unfailing optimism keeps the book lighthearted. Spencer and Vincent are jellyfish who don’t give up on each other.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Display: Let's Experiment

Eat Your Science Homework : Recipes for Inquiring Minds
by Ann McCallum
Watertown, MA : Charlesbridge, [2014]

Introduces recipes and fun science facts, including black hole swallow-ups, munch on molecules with atomic popcorn balls, and invisible ink snack pockets.

Cool Structures : Creative Activities That Make Math & Science Fun For Kids!
by Anders Hanson
Minneapolis, Minnesota : ABDO Publishing Company, c2014.

Discover secret math and science tricks to creating art! This title introduces young readers to the sciences, with a creative twist. Math and science educational pages are interspersed with cool structure activities that offer practical applications of the information students learn in class. All activities include how-to photos, easy instructions, and clear explanations. Reinforce Common Core Standards in reading, math, and science, while making cool art projects, from a wooden bridge to a spaghetti tower.

Simple Science Projects
by Kelly Milner Halls
[Vero Beach, Florida] : Rourke Educational Media, [2019]

Whether you need inspiration for a class project or just want to have some science-fueled fun, these simple projects will get you started. From disappearing dots to spy glasses, each activity requires common household items and has less than five steps. Let's experiment!

Science Experiments You Can Eat 
by Vicki Cobb
New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2016.

With revised and updated material, a brand-new look, and hours of innovative, educational experiments, this science classic by award-winning author Vicki Cobb will be devoured by a whole new generation of readers!
Kids take the reins in the kitchen with this hands-on book of edible science experiments. With contemporary information that reflects changes in the world of processing and preserving foods, this cookbook demonstrates the scientific principles that underpin the chemical reactions we witness every day--just by cooking.
And once readers have tested their theories and completed their experiments, they can eat the results! From salad dressing to mayonnaise, celery to popcorn, and muffins to meringues, this book uses food to make science accessible to a range of tastes.
Also included is essential information on eating healthfully, plus additional resources for further exploration.

by Sarah L Schuette 
Mankato, Minn. : Capstone Press, c2012.

To the laboratory, Spot It seekers! From wacky potions to microscopes to dino bones, this book delivers a mad dose of science fun. How many hidden items can you find in these dazzling scenes? Grab your lab coat and put your seeking skills to the test.

by Dan Green
New York : Sterling Children's Books, 2016.

If you think scientists are boring eggheads in white coats who never leave the lab, this dynamically illustrated book will set you straight! Meet the rebels: super-brainiacs who were off-the-charts smart, but also made mistakes, argued, took risks, performed weird experiments, broke the rules . . . and achieved our greatest leaps forward. From dinosaur hunters to germ finders to quantum physicists, these men and women pushed the boundaries of science to get to the truth. Now, through fascinating stories, you can find out how they did it.

by Elizabeth Suneby
Toronto : Kids Can Press, [2018]

It's monsoon season in Bangladesh, which means Iqbal's mother must cook the family's meals indoors, over an open fire. The smoke from the fire makes breathing difficult for his mother and baby sister. Hearing them coughing at night worries Iqbal. So when he learns that his school's upcoming science fair has the theme of sustainability, Iqbal comes up with the perfect idea for his entry: he'll design a stove that doesn't produce smoke! Has Iqbal found a way to win first prize in the science fair while providing cleaner air and better health for his family at the same time?

A Little Chicken

A Little Chicken
By Tammi Sauer
Illustrated by Dan Taylor
Sterling Children’s Books, 2019. Picture Book.

Dot is a little chicken who “was a little chicken”. She is scared of all of the things (especially wolves, bears, and questionable lawn ornaments). One day while she is putting up “safety features” in the chicken coop she accidentally knocks out an egg—one of her soon to be siblings. Dot must become brave to save the day, and her sibling. This is a cute story about an adorable heroine who isn’t perfectly brave—but is perfect in every other way. This story will help shy and somewhat scared readers realize that it is okay to be scared as long as you are brave when it counts. Cute and hilarious all at the same time!

Saturday, April 13, 2019

From Story Time: All Around the World!


Written by Aaron Reynolds
Illustrated by Dan Santat
Roaring Brook Press, 2018.  Picture Book.

Dude! You have to read this book. It's totally about this platypus and this beaver who are friends. They want to go surfing but dude, there's this shark who's in the ocean, too. But don't worry. This shark approaches and you'll never guess what happens.

Kirkus Reviews named this one of their "BEST PICTURE BOOKS OF 2018" for a good laugh! 


Written by Minh Lê
Illustrated by Dan Santat
Disney Hyperion, 2018.  Picture Book.

When a young boy visits his grandfather, their lack of a common language leads to confusion, frustration, and silence. But as they sit down to draw together, something magical happens--with a shared love of art and storytelling, the two form a bond that goes beyond words.

With spare, direct text by Minh Lê and luminous illustrations by Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat, this stirring picture book about reaching across barriers will be cherished for years to come. 


By Dan Yaccarino
Harper Collins, 2016.  Picture Book.

From cave drawings to the invention of the printing press to our digital age, discover how a story has been told in many different ways from the past to today. It’s always been around, making us happy, sad, excited, or scared and bringing people together.

With simple text and delightful illustrations, Dan Yaccarino reminds us of the power of story. A Junior Library Guild Selection.  --Publisher


By Yuyi Morales
Roaring Brook Press, 2013.  Picture Book.

Señoras y señores, put your hands together for the fantastic, spectacular, one of a kind . . . Niño! Fwap! Slish! Bloop! Krunch! He takes down his competition in a single move! No opponent is too big a challenge for the cunning skills of Niño―popsicle eater, toy lover, somersault expert, and world champion lucha libre competitor!

Niño Wrestles the World is in English with Spanish vocabulary, and is a fun, colorful story about a boy wrestling with imaginary monsters (including an Olmec Head and La Llorona) and adversaries like his younger sisters. This is a joyful picture book about imagination, play, and siblings.  --Publisher


Written by Carmen Tafolla
Illustrated by Amy Córdova
Tricycle Press, 2010.  Picture Book.

Join in the lastest fun from a Pura Belpré Honor-winning team.  These Fiesta Babies dance, march on parade, and sing along to mariachi songs in their spirited celebration of fiestas.  From piñatas to flower coronas, little ones are introduced to the many colorful aspects of an important and lively Latino cultural tradition.  --Publisher


Escrito por Lenor Bravo Velásquez
Ilustrado por Jorge Ruiz
Loqueleo, 2017.  Spanish Picture Book.

Lo primero que hacen un dragón, un hada y un unicornio al nacer es pedir ‘Chocolate!’ Acompaña en este cuento a los papás de estos personajes, quienes hacen un largo viaje hasta el mágico lugar donde nace el cacao, el fruto con el que se elabora este delicioso alimento.