This week’s books are brought to you by the 2012 ALA Notable Books List
Monday, October 8, 2012
Robot Zombie Frankenstein! by Annette Simon
This book is a little weird, but very lovable. A good book if you need unthreatening Zombies or scary guys. These robots keep adding ridiculous costumes to their personas until they settle on something they can both agree on and be themselves in. Limited text. Might be good to use for dialogic reading and get the kids’ creative juices flowing, but I’m not convinced as to its storytime merits. A good book to use for an art project and dealing with the shape concept, though.
Chirchir is Singing by Kelly Cunnane & Jude Daly
Poor little Chirchir just wants to help but she keeps messing up everything she touches until she finds the perfect job. Based on the Kalenjin tribe in the Great Rift Valley in Kenya, the book includes words in Kalenjin and Swahili. In the back of the book is an author’s note and glossary. I thought it was okay. I don’t think I would use it for a read aloud.
It’s a Tiger! by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Jeremy Tankard
This is my favorite kind of book. Action, adventure, audience participation. I see this as another “Going on a Bear Hunt” kind of movement activity if I get change it a bit to get a rhythm. Or even modify it to fit the bear Hunt rhythm and just have the tiger chasing us. So many possibilities. Seeing the tiger in the book from afar is a little difficult, which might make some kids wonder what the heck you’re talking about, but I think they’ll overlook that minor detail. I loved this book!
Olive & the Big Secret by Tor Freeman
A very cute book on the importance of secret keeping. Olive is supposed to keep a secret for her friend Molly but she tells Joe who tells Matt and so on and so forth until Molly hears her own secret and gets mad at Olive. We never get to find out the secret, because ITS A SECRET! A great story with a great message that doesn’t hit you over the head a million times.
Dot by Patricia Intriago
A great concept book, Dot uses a well, dot to show opposites like soft and hard, stop and go. I would definitely use this in Toddler Storytime and it would probably be good in pre-school Storytime on a more sophisticated level when paired with audience participation.
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Don’t Copy Me! by Jonathan Allen
I thought the ending to this book was a little lackluster. The circular story would normally be amusing, but there was something missing in this one. The little chicks follow the penguin as he tries to go on his walk until he outsmarts them/bores them by doing nothing but sitting. Once they get bored and leave, he goes on his walk just to discover that they are there again following up. There could’ve been some great humorous scenes or a lesson on looking up to older brothers/sisters/friends, but this story didn’t touch on any of those.
Don’t Squish the Sasquatch by Kent Redeker and Bob Staake
This book was weird. I liked the way that it started. There were story pages leading up to the title page which was integrated into the story seamlessly. There’s an audience participation line in “Don’t Squish the Sasquatch” and there is a weird, possibly lovable cast of characters. But those characters are WEIRD. They are combinations of random animals like a whale and a moose. It would be more fun in a read-aloud if the combinations were more exaggerated and obvious. It might be hard, though, for the kids to see the goat legs from afar. Still fun, and the smooches at the end are silly enough that I think kids would enjoy the story.
If All the Animals Came Inside by Eric Pinder, illustrated by Marc Brown
I love Marc Brown illustrations. There always so much to catch the eye and the scenes are always so lively. The story was okay. It rhymed enough and had enough sounds to be able to pull off in storytime, but I wasn’t in love with it. A good book to use if you’re stuck for something new.
Clothesline Clues to Jobs People Do by Kathryn Heling and Deborah Hembrook, illustrated by Andy Robert Davies
This book was great for pre-schoolers and Kinders. Each clothesline holds the clothes for a specific occupation and on the next page is tells what that person does. This leaves enough time for the kids to guess and see what comes next. I also appreciated the care in picking the gender of each profession. There was a female astronaut, carpenter and mail carrier and a male artist, farmer, and chef. There was one character of color, which I guess is better than nothing, but it would’ve been nice if there were more, especially a female character of color.
Two Little Monkeys by Mem Fox, illustrated by Jill Barton
An adorable book, but I have to admit that I’m partial to Mem Fox and love all her books. This book is about two monkeys, Cheeky and Chee who are afraid of a leopard under their tree. Great rhyming tools, I’ll definitely be using this book at some point.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
King Jack and the Dragon by Peter Bently & Helen Oxenbury
A good book for a make-believe storytime. Jack and his friends battle dragons until one by one giants come and take them home. Jack holds out as long as he can, putting on a brave face despite all the scary noises around his castle-fort.
Fly Blanky Fly by Anne Margaret Lewis, illustrated by Elisa Chavarri
Another perfect book for make-believe, this story would work for toddlers or pre-schoolers. All the different things Sam makes with his blanky are quite impressive as he flys to the moon, swims through the ocean, and eventually falls asleep. Also a great bed time book now that I think about it!
Baby Bear Sees Blue by Ashley Wolff
A great color book for pre-schoolers. I feel like sometimes color books are too easy for pre-schoolers and there isn’t much dimension. Something like Planting a Rainbow and Wow Says the Owl are examples of what I think are great color books with a concept, and I can add this one to that list as well now.
I Know a Wee Piggy by Kim Norman, illustrated by Henry Cole
This colors book is pretty fun. The pig is out of control and creates chaos all around the fair as he paints himself and rolls around in all different colors, eventually winning an art show. Thoughtful and fun, this book builds upon itself and creates a good rhythm.
Go, Go, Grapes!: A Fruit Chant by April Pulley Sayre
Loved this book! All about different kinds of fruit, it includes the not so common fruits like lychee, mangosteen, and dragon fruit amongst others. Simply rhymes, colorful photographs, and a fun use of fruit at the end make this book a great read-aloud and share together book.
Thursday, October 11, 2012
The Hired Hand by Robert D. San Souci, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney
*not a 2012 ALA Notable Book, this was recommended to me by my manager as a good read-aloud for older grades so of course I had to read it and add it.
Told correctly, this story could have quite the air of mystery and suspense surrounding it. There is a pretty obvious moral of the story thread throughout and at the end, but it isn’t too heavy handed. I just wish the villain had gotten a little more punishment for his wrongdoings.
What To Do If An Elephant Stands on Your Foot by Michelle Robinson, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
Reminiscent of if you give a mouse a cookies, this is the jungle version where you draw the attention of all the different animals and escape danger. Fun for a storytime about jungle animals, but I wasn’t in love with it.
Good News Bad News by Jeff Mack
This book was super cute. Only using the text “Good News” and “Bad News”, this book goes through the different events and emotions that Rabbit and Rat feel as they try to go on a picnic. You definitely learn the difference between Bad News and Good News.
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
This book is pretty funny. Rabbit straight out lies to Bear about not seeing his hat (Rabbit is WEARING Bear’s hat) and Bear is totally bummed out until he realizes he knows right where it is. Rabbit gets his in the end. And so does anyone who questions Bear and his motives. Younger kids will enjoy the dialog and older kids will love the frustration of knowing where Bear’s hat is.
Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow? by Susan A. Shea, illustrated by Tom Slaughter
Loved this book. Teaches children the difference between things that grow and things that don’t in rhyme and flaps. A fun surprise around every corner. I will definitely be using this one in storytime.
Friday, October 12, 2012
Bow-Wow Wiggle-Waggle by Mary Newell DePalma
The story is told through the pictures in this book, with the text focusing on rhyming action words. A fun book to use with babies and toddlers, or also to have pre-schoolers help fill in the narrative gaps.
Oh, No! by Candace Fleming and Eric Rohmann
This book had a great rhyme and wonderful illustrations. The text will grab children and they will anticipate who is going to fall into the hole next and who is going to rescue them. Tiger is the least helpful animal in the story and gets whats coming to him in the end.
One Two That’s My Shoe! by Alison Murray
A play on One Two Buckle My Shoe, this mischevious dog steals his owner’s shoe and she chases him down through number ten. Cute and simple with large, clear illustrations. A great storytime addition.
The last two titles for today are picked off of the go-back cart. I don’t think they’re on any special lists…
The Friendship Wish by Elisa Kleven
Farley is the new kid in the neighborhood and wants to find a friend, but all the neighborhood kids don’t want to play with him. Until he starts telling them about an angel he met in a dream who sang with a guitar and made him pancakes. Although she is fake, as the kids try to lure the angel back, they find common interests and new friends in each other. This book is good for Kinder and first graders as it is a little long.
Sadie and the Big Mountain by Jamie Korngold, illustrated by Julie Fortenberry
A book about the Jewish holiday Shavuot and a little girl overcoming her fears. This book is good for Kinders through Second grade. I don’t know anything about Shavuot so I can’t attest to the representation of the holiday but I do know that the little girl is a relatable character.