Favorite Quotes

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents."
— Emilie Buchwald

“The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”
-- Dr. Seuss, "I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!"

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Fun New Book

Press Here
By Herve Tullet

This book would be great for sharing to a small group or one on one.  The cover is made of heavy board and the pages are sturdier than your typical picture book, but I wouldn't call this a board book.  The end pages are full of colorful dots to push.  Each page of the book gives the reader directions, such as "Press here and turn the page"  or "Rub the dot on the left gently"  and  "Five quick taps on the yellow".  After pushing, rubbing, and tapping the dots for several pages, the reader then gets to shake the book in various ways and sees what happens to the dots.  Then we try pushing real hard on the dots to see what will happen.  At the end we try clapping to see what will happen to the dots.  Children can practice the following skills with this book:  Following simple one step and two step directions, left/right, colors, action words, predicting, and much more!  I think toddlers through young school age (and even some adults!) will love performing the directions in this book!

Be sure to check out the author's website.  It has a lot of neat features to explore.

And he is a book trailer video:

Friday, June 10, 2011

Author/Illustrator Highlight: Lois Ehlert

 What is your favorite illustration style?  Mine has to be the use of collage.  My favorite collage illustrator is Lois Ehlert.  Her latest book is:

by Lois Ehlert

This story features a dog that can talk.  He answers his owner's questions with the following words:  Ralph, Roof, Bark, Rough, Wolf and Yep.  It is a cute story that young children are sure to enjoy.  Besides the illustrations, I loved the text usage.  When Ralph is speaking the text is dark black and large.  I also love the use of everyday items in the collage illustrations.  What is Ralph's nose made out of?  A pop can tab!  His eyes appear to be buttons and his teeth are a zipper.

Here are some other books by Ehlert that show her fascinating illustration style:


And here are some of her other great books:


Many of Ehlert's books are also available in Spanish versions.

Here are some websites to check out to learn more:

A video interview with Lois Ehlert from Reading Rockets

A Brief Biography and Review of her books

A great Lois Ehlert Author Study

There is also this great book full of wonderful activities related to her books:

Monday, May 23, 2011

3 New Picturebooks Perfect for Sharing

Red Wagon
By Renata Liwska
(She also illustrated The Quiet Book)

This is a fun story for sharing and would make a great addition to any storytime program.  Lucy got a brand new red wagon and she is very excited to play with it.  However, her mother asks her to first use the wagon to go to the market.  This does not sound like fun to Lucy, however a simple trip to the market turns into quite the adventure!
Be sure to check out the author's website.

Monday is One Day
By Arthur A. Levine
Illustrated by Julian Hector

This is also a great book for sharing aloud.  It shows a family counting down the days until the weekend when they get to spend time together doing something fun.  It is a great way to expose children to the days of the week.  The text is told in rhyme and flows very smoothly.  I also liked how this book focused more on the father figure than the mother figure, which is unusual in children's literature. The illustrations appear to be done in colored pencil and are very vivid and add detail to the story being told.

Mini Racer
By Kristy Dempsey
Illustrated by Bridget Strevens-Marzo

This would make a great addition to a storytime about transportation or just a great read aloud anytime.  I think boys would especially enjoy this title.  We see animals of all types driving and racing vehicles of all types.  When reading this story aloud, be sure to use lots of excitement and read faster as the racers drive faster.  There are a lot of words in the story that can add to the telling of the story through your voice such as, "Zooming", "Screech!" and "Beep".

Thursday, May 5, 2011

New Picture Books Featuring Dogs (and one cat)

There seem to be an awful lot of dog picture books coming out in the recent months.  I am more of a cat person than a dog person so while most of the following books feature man's best friend, I had to throw one that featured a cat in the mix for us cat people.

Harry & Hopper
By Margaret Wild
Illustrated by Freya Blackwood

This is a touching story about a little boy named Harry who loses his pet dog, Hopper.  Although this is not a happy subject, it is one that many young children must deal with--the loss of a beloved pet.  This story does a great job showing children how to deal with such an event.  I was glad to see that my local library has this fun looking picture book shelved with the parenting materials.  I wouldn't want a youngster to select this book only to find out the real topic by mistake.

Dog in Boots
By Greg Gormley
Illustrated by Roberta Angaramo

Dog is reading a story about a fantastic cat wearing boots.  He decides that he should wear some type of shoe as well.  So he sets off to the shoe store.  He starts with a pair of boots, but later finds that they are no good for digging up his bones.  He tries rain boots, flippers, high heels, and skis.  None of these are right for a dog's daily activities.  In the end he finds the perfect pair of shoes for himself----Paws!  This book is wonderfully illustrated and would make an excellent read aloud.

A Dazzling Display of Dogs
Poems by Betsy Franco
Illustrated by Michael Wertz

This book is full of concrete poems all about the wonderful topic of dogs.  The illustrations are fun and colorful.  The poems are both humorous and educational.  Some sample titles are, "Pug Appeal", "White Collar Blues", and "The Tail End".  My only concern about this book, is that while the text is written in fun and creative ways, it may be a bit hard for beginning or struggling readers to decipher.

Bulldog's Big Day
By Kate McMullan
Illustrated by Pascal Lemaitre

Bulldog is looking for a job.  He visits several of his friends and learns about their jobs (window washer, bookseller, firefighter, etc.) .  While he is busy looking for a job, he is also munching on some bulldog cookies.  In the end, he decides he should open up a bulldog cookie bakery since that is what he loves to do, bake and eat.  The back of the book even includes a recipe for Bulldog's oatmeal-carrot cookies.  While I don't think this book would make a great read aloud story, it would be great for beginning readers.  It slightly resembles a graphic novel in the way the story is presented on the page, with small illustrations and text spread throughout the pages next to the small illustrations.  My favorite part of the book was the facial expressions on all of the animals in the story.

Say Hello to ZORRO!
By Carter Goodrich

Mister Bud had a great life and he had a great daily schedule.  He liked the schedule and everyone stuck to the schedule.  Then, Zorro came along. He disrupted Mister Bud's great life and his schedule.  But Zorro and Mister Bud soon found out that their schedules were the same, and having someone to share the schedule with was sometimes fun.  They became best friends in the end.  I loved this story and the illustrations, especially the dog's facial expressions!  This would make a great read aloud!

Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku
By Lee Wardlaw
Illustrated by Eugene Yelchin

I loved the title of this book and the idea of cat haiku.  Each poem is told in haiku and describes a cat's life who gets adopted from an animal shelter.  Here are some of my favorite lines, "What do you mean, Eww? How is my tuna breath worse than peanut butter?"  and, "Sorry about the squishy is your shoe. Must've been something I ate."  I also liked the slightly Asian inspired illustrations.  A must read for cat lovers!

Another Printz Honor 2011 Winner

Please Ignore Vera Dietz
By A.S. King
2011 Printz Honor Award Winner

I chose to read this novel for two reasons, one- it is a Printz Honor book and two-many of my fellow bloggers have posted about this one.  Why does Vera want to be ignored?  Why is Vera afraid of turning into her mother or her father?  Will Vera learn to deal with alcohol in a responsible manner?  What about her best friend Charlie?  What secrets was he keeping from the world?  Why was his death so mysterious?  What really happened the night of his death? Will Vera tell the world what she knows about Charlie's life?  This story starts with Charlie's funeral and then we learn bits and pieces of the events that lead to this tragedy.  The story is mostly told from Vera's point of view, but we also hear from Charlie and Vera's Dad.  Towards the end of the book, most of the stories come together and the reader gets a clear picture of what really happened with Vera and Charlie.  I have to admit that I wanted some of the lose ends tied up, but was left wondering about a few a things.  Overall, this was a great read and I feel that teens can relate well to the events in the story.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Books of Culture

I noticed a theme of "culture" in my library basket this week.  Here are some of the highlights:

Roots and Blues: A Celebration
By Arnold Adoff
Paintings by R. Gregory Christie

I checked this book out from the library because I feel connected to both the author and the illustrator.  I have attended the Virginia Hamilton Conference on Multicultural Children's Literature for the past two hears.  Arnold Adoff is the husband of the late Virgina Hamilton and attends the conference annually with his son Jamie Adoff.  Last year one of the special guests was R. Gregory Christie and I enjoyed the talk that he gave and have become a fan of his work.  His paintings for this work are astounding.  This is a great book of poetry that celebrates the Blues style of music. 

By Jeannie Baker

This book is very unusual.  When you open the book there are two separate stories, one on the right side of the book and another on the left.  These are the stories of two young boys, one in Australia and the other in North Africa.  The stories are wordless and are told through wonderfully creative collage style illustrations.  It almost reminds me of claymation.  Though the two boys lives are very different and in very different settings, something connects them.  Be sure to check this one out to find out.

How the Sphinx Got to the Museum
By Jessie Hartland

I was drawn to this book because I recently took a workshop about Museum Collections and learned a bit about the inner workings of a museum.  This is a cumulative tale told in a fun and creative way.  The reader learns how a museum obtains an item for exhibit.  We also learn the names of some of the museum workers and a bit of Egyptian history at the same time.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Spring Inspired Books

Well I think Spring has finally sprung here in northeastern Ohio.  That put me in the mood for some Spring themed picture books.  Check out the following, they would all make great read alouds and would make great additions to a Spring themed storytime:

Bedtime for Bear
By Brett Helquist

Although this story is about a bear getting ready for hibernation, there is great talk about seeing him again in the Spring.  His friends want him to play with him lots before he goes to sleep for the winter.  They are looking forward to playing with him again in the Spring!

Brownie Groundhog & February Fox
By Susan Blackaby
Illustrated by Carmen Segovia

So I think I am a couple months behind with this picture book, but it would be a great story to read on Groundhogs Day.  It talks about winter ending and fabulous Spring beginning soon.  The groundhog and the fox have lots of fun together looking for signs of Spring!

Snow Rabbit , Spring Rabbit: A Book of Changing Seasons
By Il Sung Na

It's the year of the Rabbit!  And there are a plethora of rabbit books being published this year.  This is one of my favorite new rabbit stories.  I love this illustration style and the simple text  used to describe the seasons.  The story ends with the excitement of Spring beginning!

Little White Rabbit
By Kevin Henkes

I am a big fan of Kevin Henkes and just adore his illustration style.  This is another of his picture books that does not disappoint.  It is also another of my favorite new rabbit stories.  The little white rabbit in the story sets off for a wonderful Spring adventure where he wonders what it would be like to be some of the other animals of Spring.  The one thing he doesn't have to wonder about is how much his mother loves him.

By Stephen Gammell

I don't know about where you live, but here in Ohio with the Spring weather comes another thing....lots of Mud!!  This picture book is mostly wordless with a few simple pages of text.  The reader sees a little girl playing outside when she imagines a new friend called Mudkin.  Mudkin thinks the little girl is a queen and they set off on a lively adventure.  You must check out this book and admire the fascinating illustrations!

Ugh!  Eggs!
By Sarah Arnold
Review copy from: Child'd Play Publisher

Eggs are another popular Spring topic.  Pip does not like eggs!  He is very displeased to find out that his Dad has made eggs for breakfast.  He spends the whole day avoiding foods made with eggs.  He gets a great surprise when he is enjoying his Chocolate Sponge Cake.  It has eggs in it!   The book includes several recipes using the incredible, edible egg!