Monday, October 1, 2012
Shhh! by Valeri Gorbachev
A big brother tries to be quiet while his little brother sleeps. He tells everyone, like the clowns and the pirates and the trains to “Shhh!”. A great book for big brothers and sisters.
Violet’s Music by Angela Johnson, illustrated by Laura Huliska-Beith
Violet loves music. Ever since she was born she was all about music breakfast, lunch and dinner, morning, noon, and night. But Violet could never find anyone who loved music as much as her. Until she was in the park, a little bit more grown up, and finds her very own band. A story for older kids who love music.
Pond Walk by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace
As Mama and Buddy go for a walk around the pond, they spot different animals and insects and identify them. Mama shares an interesting fact about each animal. The pictures are paper photographed with “real” images of the animals encountered. The book encourages children to observe, identify, and take notes of their surroundings. Great for one on one sharing for a science-inclined child.
The Big Ugly Monster and the Little Stone Rabbit by Christ Wormell
This book was so sad! It’s about a big ugly monster who’s so ugly no one wants to talk to him, nothing grows near him, and the sun never shines on him. Because he’s so lonely, he carves all these little animals out of stone, but when he smiles at them, they all crack and break except for one, the little stone rabbit. The rabbit and the monster live a life together until the monster dies and the stone rabbit stays outside his cave while plants begin to grow and the sun shines. The end. A book of loneliness for a monster who can’t help how he looks and no one will look to his inner beauty. sad. sad. sad.
Guinea Pigs Add Up by Margery Cuyler, illustrated by Tracey Campbell Pearson
A very cute counting book told in rhyme about a classroom pet that expands from 1 to 2 to way too many guinea pigs thanks to procreation. Fun for older pre-schoolers and kids in kinder and first grade.
Banana! by Ed Vere
In limited text, two monkeys fight over one banana and in the process learn to share.
Tuesday, October 3, 2012
Broom, Zoom! by Caron Lee Cohen, illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier
A darling book of limited text that shows a witch and an unknown green thing fighting over the broom. They say they need it and want it, but it turns out the green guy needs it more since he is cleaning up a sack of something that spilled. After they finish, the witch shows him that flying isn’t scary as their broom zooms across the sky.
Split! Splat! by Amy Gibson, illustrated by Steve Bjorkman
This colorful book is a great book to share with kids to expose them to phonological awareness. (I got this off a list by Penny Peck for her infopeople webinar this week). The colorful book is filled with rhyming words and tells of all the fun you can have in the rain and in the mud. The story is told through the pictures while the text provides funny sounds to say. I got a little tongue tied while reading it the first time through, but after some practice I think this would be a fun book to share with kids.
Tell Me the Day Backwards by Albert Lamb, illustrated by David McPhail
From the same list by Penny Peck, this book is great for dialogic reading. As baby bear goes through his day backwards, it provides a lot of opportunities for the kids to figure out what came first. It’s also a great book to introduce sequencing and works for books about seasons since baby bear’s day started with waking up after hibernating all winter. A great book for pre-schoolers. Random side note, I loved that the words were framed on the page. I thought it created a warmth that went with the pictures and the story.
Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
A book of colors off of the Penny Peck list, I have to admit that I really love Seeger books. Every book she does looks like pure genius to me and I don’t know why someone else didn’t already do it because they’re so simply brilliant. The illustrations in this book look like they’re painted on canvas, creating a highly textured looking page with many things to identify. The book focuses on different shades of green, or lack there-of and has peek-throughs/cut-outs connecting the story and illustrations until the end. Could be used with all ages of pre-K
All the Water in the World by George Ella Lyon and Katherine Tillotson
The final book off the Penny Peck booklist for today, this circular story tells how the water cycle works, from water evaporating to rainfall. It has a green message of water conservation for everyone since we are all connected by water. A good book to introduce this science concept to little ones.
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
I have a confession. I Love stories about Moose (fyi: the plural of Moose is Moose. Very confusing.). Maybe I Just love saying the word. I’m not really sure. None the less, I read a lot of Moose books today, so beware!
Duck Duck Moose by Dave Horowitz
Moose ends up heading south for the winter with the ducks because everyone up north is hibernating and he’s lonely. At first he doesn’t really want to go, but it turns out he LOVES Florida and doesn’t want to leave. The book has funny moments that older kids, K-1 will pick up on. For example, they go to a U-Pick Orange Grove. The ducks pick oranges and Moose picks his nose. The book also goes over geography as they cross the country from top to bottom, seeing sights in New York and Washington, D.C. along the way. A fun book for a family getting ready for a vacation.
Making the Moose Out of Life by Nicholas Oldland
The story of a docile moose who doesn’t like to get wet or have any adventures finds himself on a journey of self-discovery. After being stranded on a desert island where he meets a Turtle named Tueday, he is rescued by a cruise ship where he discovers the wonder of the 24 hour buffet. He returns home a changed moose and embraces the idea that he should live each day to the fullest. This book was fun, although it went on a little bit, I think it would be great to share with kids in Kinder through 2nd grade. The size of the book and the illustrations make it hard to share during a group storytime setting, but I do love the illustrations a lot. That moose is someone I’d like to be friends with.
The Useful Moose: A Truthful, Moose-full Tale by Fiona Robinson
A story about a girl who loves moose so much that she invites a few to stay in their house. She discovers that they have excellent domestic skills and they stay until they get homesick. The story seemed like it would lend itself to a decent read aloud, although there isn’t a ton of action in the story to make it very exciting. A nice, simple, thoughtful book about friendship.
Pebble: A Story About Belonging by Susan Milord
There are kind of two storylines going on here: One is the pebble who wants to do something more with his life but is too big or too small for most things. The other is a little boy taking a trip to the beach and seeking a souvenir. The two meet in an idealistic world and a perfect match is made. Nevermind that the little boy will potentially lose the pebble and he will be swept up by a street sweeper. I think this book was a little too lovey-dovey for me.
After moose, I also really love owls. I don’t get to use owls as often in storytimes because I tend to associate them with nighttime and I feel awkward doing goodnight stories and things like that just after we all woke up in the morning. Maybe if I ever get to do an evening storytime. One owl picture book I do love to use is “WOW! Said the Owl” which is all about colors. I love getting the audience to say “WOW!” over and over again. It’s pretty amusing.
Hootenanny!: A Festive Counting Book by Kimberly Ainsworth, illustrated by Jo Brown
This book definitely left something to be desired. One owl gets ready for the Hootenanny and picks up 4 more owls along the way. They play music and dance and start wearing crazy hats? It was a book that I think needed further development. The refrain in the book was okay, but kind of a mouthful to teach to a group once over. There are definitely more fun owl books than this one out there.
Thursday, October 4, 2012
Today’s books are brought to you by the 2012 ALA Notable Books for Younger Children’s List.
The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred by Samantha R. Vamos, illustrated by Rafael Lopez
A book that builds upon itself like “The House That Jack Built”, this book first introduces the term in English and then changes it into Spanish for the duration of the rhyme/story. I really enjoyed it and think that with a little practice I might be able to incorporate it into storytime. I’m a little wary (read: possible unnecessary “traditional”) on the choice of clothing for the humans in the story, but otherwise I enjoyed the illustrations.
Grandpa Green by Lane Smith
This book actually choked me up a little bit. A little boy tells the life story of his great-grandfather who is a horticulturist. He says that he is old now and sometimes forgets things, but what he forgets, his plants, or topiaries, remember for him. This is a good book for a child with an aging grandparent or great grandparent who is trying to understand what they are going through. It’s also fun to look at the pictures and narrate themselves.
Harry & Hopper by Margaret Wild & Freya Blackwood
Well, this book was sadder than the last one. I don’t know if it was the illustrations that tipped me off, or the story, but I got the feeling about 3 pages in that this dog was going to die. After Hopper dies, Harry grieves for his dog and starts seeing him in dreams where they play and enjoy their time together, giving Harry time to give Hopper a proper goodbye. I felt the dream sequence was a little abrupt and not quite clear (it states that Hopper woke him up) as to whether the dog had come back to life, but this book could work for a child struggling with the loss of a pet.
These Hands by Margaret H. Mason
A grandfather tells his grandson all the things his hands used to be able to do and then teaches him a thing or two along the way. The story melts into the grandfather telling his grandson about the things his hands weren’t allowed to do – like mix and touch bread in the Wonder factory. But through teamwork and protests, everyone became equal and everyone’s hands were allowed to do the same thing, regardless of color. A great book to share with younger kids on racial issues in the world.
See Me Run by Paul Meisel
A good book for beginning readers, this book follows dogs as they get in to all sorts of mischief and eventually get chased by some angry dinosaur bones.
Friday, October 5, 2012
Prudence Wants a Pet by Cathleen Daly, illustrated by Stephen Michael King
Brought to you by the 2012 ALA Notable Books for Younger Children’s List. Prudence is desperate for a pet, but her parents just won’t cooperate. She tries different avenues for a pet including a branch named branch, a shoe named formal footwear, and sea monkey-like things which are very disappointing to her. She cares for all these animals and in the end her parents get her a real pet. This story was funny but I wasn’t wowed. It was okay and I would give it to kids who really want a pet but their parents won’t cooperate.
Naamah and the Ark at Night by Susan Campbell Bartoletti, illustrated by Holly Meade
Brought to you by the 2012 ALA Notable Books for Younger Children’s List. An excellent lullaby for a bedtime storytime. Side note: I always love paper cut-out illustrations.
I Want to Be an Astronaut by Byron Barton
A great introduction to being an astronaut for pre-schoolers. This would be great to share with LA pre-schoolers since the Space Shuttle Endeavor now lives in our own backyard.
Hugo and the Really, Really, Long String by Bob Boyle
I wasn’t sure about this book at first – It seemed a little wordy and the refrain was maybe a little too long, but it turned out to be a really great story. This would be a fun read aloud with kids in Grades K-1 or 2, mostly because of the surprise string ending. They’ll get a kick out of it.
Zoo Animals 1 2 3 by Rebecca Fjelland Davis
A great counting book, each number describes what the animals are doing and then the next sentence leaves you with a fact about the animals. Nothing too major, and the illustrations are photographs of the animals. Good for animal loving pre-schoolers.