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!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

More Award Winning Books

Janis Joplin: Rise Up Singing
by Ann Angel
2011 YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award Winner

Here is a link to a great review of this book:  Abby the Librarian

And to put you in the mood for this book, check out this video:

Seeds of Change
By Jen Cullerton Johnson
Coretta Scott King/Steptoe Illustrator Award 2011

The vividly colorful illustrations will draw you in to the this story.  I love the illustrator's use of white lines to highlight the illustrations.  This is the story of a young girl named Wangari who grew up in Kenya.  Although unusual, Wangari was allowed to attend school and she used this education to later promote the rights of women in Kenya and to help save the Kenyan land.  Wangari was the first African woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize.

Links:  Author's website

     Illustrator's website

    The Green Belt Movement (founded by Wangari)

The Pirate of Kindergarten
By George Ella Lyon
Illustrated by Lynne Avril
Schneider Family Book Award Winner 2011: Childrens

This is the story of young Ginny who is having some trouble with her vision.  We see how Ginny struggles with the activities of Kindergarten.  We see that Ginny sees the world differently than most  people.  After a vision screening at school, it is determined that Ginny has double vision.  She gets to wear a patch to help train her eyes to see only one of everything.  This is how she becomes the Pirate of Kindergarten who can do everything that the other children can do!!

Here is a more in depth review and information about Amblyopia (double vision) at:  Amblyopia Kids

Printz Honor Winner: Stolen

By Lucy Christopher
Printz Honor 2011

This novel is one that will stick with the reader for a long time after the final words are read.  It is written as a letter from Gemma to her kidnapper, Ty.  While deep down the reader knows that Ty is doing something wrong and that Gemma may be suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, you just can't help but root for a romance between the two.  How does this fascinating story end?  This is a must read to find out!  Do you like the ending or do you feel it should have ended differently?  Are you hoping for a sequel?  I'm not sure if that is possible, but I know I was left wanting more of Gemma and Ty.

Links:  Author's Site 

          Scholastic's Interview with the Author 

Be sure to watch this video preview:

Monday, March 21, 2011

Nonfiction Monday: Ballet for Martha

Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring
by Jan Greenburg and Sandra Jordan
Illustrated by Brian Floca
Sibert Honor Award 2011

The watercolor illustrations by Floca bring the story of this ballet to life.  This is the story of how the ballet called Appalachian Spring came to be.  It was a collaboration of Martha Graham the choreographer and dancer, Aaron Copland the composer, and Isamu Noguchi, the set designer.  We see how the ideas for the play were formed, how the music was composed, how the dances were put together, and how the set was created.  We also get to see the first performance of the play in 1944 at the Library of Congress in Washington DC.  The end of the book contains a detailed bibilography and a short biography of all 3 of the plays creators.  This book would fit well in the themes of: ballet, Appalachia, and collaboration.

Here is a preview of the ballet:

Here is also a link to some activities connected to the book: PBS Appalachian Spring

Be sure to check out the rest of today's Nonfiction Monday posts at:  The Children's War

Monday, March 14, 2011

Nonfiction Monday: Kakapo Rescue

Kakapo Rescue: Saving the World's Strangest Parrot
Scientists in the Field Series
By Sy Montgomery
Photographs by Nic Bishop
Sibert Award Winner 2011

I am a big fan of Nic Bishop's photography and I have also enjoyed the other books in the "Scientists in the Field" Series.  I was not surprised that this book won the Sibert award for Nonfiction this year.  The kakapo parrot is near extinction and they only live on a small island off the coast of New Zealand.  The author and photographer of this book spent 10 days on the island learning about these strange birds and the efforts taking place on the island to keep the parrots from going extinct.  The photographs in the book show the rare parrot upclose and the images captured in the photos are breathtaking. There are also photos of the scientists and other workers who work on the island taking care of the parrots.  We learn all about this fascinating parrot, their history and how they came very close to being totally extinct.  The reader also gets a first hand look at the life of the scientists who live on this island and work with the parrots daily.  This book may inspire some young readers to choose a career goal.   My favorite chapter was the one about the care of the baby kakapo parrots!  The back of the book contains information about how readers can help the kakapo parrots and sources for additional information.

 Links about the kakapo parrot:
          The Fabulous Kakapo

          Kakapo Recovery

Other books in the Scientists in the Field series:

Check out the rest of today's Nonfiction Monday posts at: Chapter Book of the Day

Other books featuring the photographs of Nic Bishop:

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Pura Belpre Illustrator Award 2011

Grandma's Gift
By Eric Velasquez
Pura Belpre Illustrator Award 2011

The story was inspired by real life events in the author/illustrator's childhood.  Young Eric spends his Christmas holiday with his grandmother.  He helps her shop and prepare pasteles for the holiday.  In exchange for his help, his grandmother takes Eric to the Metropolitan Museum of Art as part of a homework assignment for school.  At the museum he sees a portrait of Juan de Pareja, a Puerto Rican just like Eric and his family.  Eric learns that de Pareja was a slave and an assistant to the painter, Diego Velazquez. He also learns that de Pareja was freed and became a very successful painter.  This trip to the museum and seeing this painting inspired young Eric to become an artist himself.  That Christmas his grandmother gave him his first set of colored pencils.  Much of the dialogue in the book is written in Spanish and translated in English.  The end of the book contains an explanation of the story from the author and some additional information about pasteles, Juan de Pareja and the Chrismas carol mentioned in the book.


The Author's Website

A Recipe for Pasteles

Monday, March 7, 2011

Nonfiction Monday: A Wizard from the Start

A Wizard from the Start: The Incredible Boyhood & Amazing Inventions of Thomas Edison
by Don Brown

This picture book biography shows Thomas Edison's life from the time he was a young boy until he was an old man.  We all know that Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, but did you know that he also had 1038 other inventions?  Edison's father was a farmer, a lumberer, a grocer, and the owner of a tower to which he charged 25 cents for a birds eye view of the land below.  Thomas helped out on the family farm as a young boy.  When Thomas's mother did not like how a teacher treated Thomas, she decided to homeschool him.  Thomas read all sorts of books on all sorts of topics.  He visited his public library and would read every book on a shelf before moving on to read the next shelf of books.  Thomas Edison's parents encouraged his love of reading  and they even encouraged him to conduct his own experiments in a lab that he set up in their cellar.  As a teenager, Thomas worked on the railroad selling newspapers, candy, etc. to the train riders.  Thomas worked very hard and he also worked very long days.  Thomas continued reading books every chance he got.  Young Thomas even printed his own newspaper and sold it to the train commuters.  When Thomas began to lose his hearing, he began hanging around telegraph offices and learning the trade.  He became a successful telegrapher and traveled all over America working as a telegrapher.  He spent his spare time conducting experiments with the telegraph equipment and electricity.  Eventually he quit his telegraph job to work full time developing his inventions.  Thomas Edison's first patented invention was an electric vote recording machine.  This invention was a failure and no one bought it.  This experience made Edison focus on inventing items that people wanted and needed.  He invented many things including stock tickers, the phonograph, and motion picture cameras.  In 1879 he invented the electric light bulb, his most famous invention.  Thomas Edison claims that he never worked a day in his life because he enjoyed what he did and thought it was fun.
The back of the book includes a one page description of Edison's life and explains a little about some of the effects and controversies of some of Edison's inventions.  There is also a short list of books about Edison for further reading.
This book would be great for children who are learning about Thomas Edison, who are learning about biographies, or who are learning about inventions.

Related books:

To read the rest of this week's post check out this week's host: Picture Book of the Day

Monday, February 28, 2011

Nonfiction Monday: Yucky Worms

Yucky Worms
by Vivian French
Illustrated by Jessica Ahlberg
Candlewick Press

This would make a great addition to a storytime or program about: worms, dirt, or gardening.  The end papers show worm paths and worms.  The story is about a young boy gardening with his grandmother who is teaching him about worms.  Also included on the pages are facts about worms, and labeled diagrams.  We learn about worm body parts, what worms like to eat, why worm poop is important, and how worms help our gardens grow better.  We also learn what animals like to eat worms and how we can find worms in the dirt.  The back of the book includes a short index and information on how to be a wormologist.

Other books that go well with this theme:

To read the rest of this week's post check out this week's host:  Rasco from RIF

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Two great books from the publisher, Child's Play

Rabbit Pie: The Perfect Recipe for Bedtime
by Penny Ives
From Child's Play

 I received this book from the publisher for review.  This is a sweet addition to any bedtime routine or bedtime storytime.  The reader sees a mother rabbit getting her six baby rabbits ready for bed.  First she gathers her ingredients, which include a sprinkling of kisses and six cups of milk.  Each step of the bedtime routine is explained as if it were in a recipe.  For example, "place in warm soapy water" and "fold into a soft towel".  Children are sure to enjoy the page where mother rabbit does the following, "Pat dry, dust the bottoms, and lightly brush the tops."  After reading this story, children could share their bedtime routines.

 Copy Cat
by Mark Birchall
from Child's Play

I received this book from the publisher for review.  The end pages show the cat and dog from the cover enjoying many activities together.  Cat does everything that Dog does.  Dog doesn't really like this and gets angry with Cat and calls him a copycat.  Then Dog doesn't see Cat for several days, she begins to miss him being there to have fun with.  Dog goes to visit Cat and sees that he is not feeling well, so Dog makes Cat feel better.  The next day when Cat is ready to play, he can't find Dog anywhere.  Finally he finds Dog who is now sick in bed.  Now it is time for Cat to call Dog a copycat (and to to make her feel better).  This is a fun story about friendship and a lesson about what being a friend means.  After reading this story, children could play a copycat game and they could also talk about what it means to be a good friend.  This book make a great read aloud and would be a fun addition to any storytime for young children.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Nonfiction Monday: Insect Detective

Insect Detective
by Steve Voake
Illustrated by Charlotte Voake
Candlewick Press

The pen and watercolor illustrations give this book a "science journal" feeling and the spots of color throughout add to the text.  This would make a great addition to any program about insects.  It would also be a good recommendation for a child who shows an interest in insects. The story describes insect life going on around us daily.  In smaller text, are specific facts about the insect being described.  The back of the book includes a small index and some activities to try out being a real life insect detective.
Another great review at Simply Science

Enchanted Learning's Insect Activity Page

DLTK's Insects and Bugs Activities Page

PreKinder's Bug Theme Page

To read the rest of this week's post check out this week's host:  Three Turtles and Their Pet Librarian

Friday, February 18, 2011

Geisel Award Winners 2011

Bink & Gollie
By Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee
Illustrated by Tony Fucile
Geisel Award Winner 2011

This easy reader is broken into 3 different chapters.  We see that Bink and Gollie are good friends but they disagree about most things.  This includes socks, pancakes, and which fish to buy.  This book uses a lot of dialogue between Bink and Gollie to tell the story.  The illustrations help to tell the story and show the emotions of the characters well.

Ling and Ting: Not Exactly the Same!
by Grace Lin
Geisel Honor Book 2011

This easy reader is broken into 6 different short chapters and also uses a lot of dialogue between Ling and Ting to tell the story.  Ling and Ting are twin sisters who look identical, but they are always saying that they are not exactly the same.  Each chapter shows a way that the sisters are different from one another, for example one likes to eat with chopsticks and the other prefers a fork.

We Are in a Book!
An Elephant and Piggie Book
By Mo Willems

I am big fan of Mo Willems and I adore his Elephant and Piggie books.  They make great read alouds and this series is also great for beginning readers.  Piggie discovers that they are featured in a book and is super excited.  However, Elephant is concerned about what will happen to them when the book is finished.  Be sure to read this one to find out!

Printz Award Winner: Ship Breaker

Ship Breaker
by Paolo Bacigalupi
Printz Award Winner 2011

This is the story of a young boy named Nailer who is a ship breaker.  This means that he works inside wrecked ships and oil tankers pulling out all the copper wire.  I love how the book jacket looks like it is made of copper.  We see how rough life is for young Nailer working the light crew on the ships and then dealing with his drug addicted, abusive father.  After a bad storm, Nailer finds a young girl alive on a wrecked ship.  Will this young girl be Nailer's ticket to a better life?  Will he always live the life of a ship breaker?  Who is this young girl and where did she come from?  What will happen to Nailer's father?  You must read this novel to find out, it is full of action, drama, suspense, and even a little romance.  This is one of those novels that will leave you wanting more of the characters in the story.

Check out this video of the author talking about the book:

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Oversize Lift the Flap?

Out of Sight
Pittau and Gervais

This would make a great storytime book for older preschoolers about animals.  It is an oversized lift the flap book.  The first page set has four white animal shapes on black background.  When you lift the flap you read a fact about that animal.  The next page set has white background with a black image of a unique animal body part.  When you lift the flap you see what animal it belongs to and you can read a fact or two about it.  The next page set has 10 different flaps that have animal hides or skin on them.  When you lift the flap you see what animal it belongs to.  Under these flaps are pop up animals and a few have some interesting facts as well.  The next page set shows animal feet and noses.  Can you guess the animal? It's trickier than you think.  The next page set is similar showing animal tails and eyes. The next page set shows animal ears and the last page set shows animal tracks.  I could see children having fun guessing what animal is under the flaps.  I sure did!

A Great New Reference Book

The Ultimate Visual Guide to Everything on Earth: Natural History
From the Smithsonian Institution
DK Publishing

This is a great book to add to your reference collection.  Children from preschool and up would enjoy looking at the pictures in this book.  It starts out with general information about the earth, then describes Minerals, Rocks and Fossils.  The next section is all about microscopic life.  A great section on all sorts of plants is included followed by a whole section about fungi.  The book ends with its largest section about animals, including invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.  A detailed glossary and index are also included.  I loved the photos in this book and its wide range of topics.  This would be great for school assignments that require a "book" source of information.  The book is rather large and heavy for young children to manipulate, but the adults helping them with their information quest will be able to help. A must have for your reference collection!
Be sure to check out the following video for a great look inside the book:

Friday, February 4, 2011

Some 2010 Picture Book Highlights

Snook Alone
by Marilyn Nelson
Illustrated by Timothy Basil Ering

This book received a starred review from Booklist, The Horn Book, and School Library Journal so I had to check it out from my local library.  Definitely a picture book for older readers, I can see this book being used with elementary school students.  The new vocabulary mentioned in this story of friendship and faith would lead to many different activities.

by Jeannette Winter

This is a true story from the country of Columbia.  It tells the story of John Luis and his burros who become traveling libraries.  This enables the children living in the remote villages of Columbia to have access to knowledge.  The colorful, painted illustrations add to the story and show the culture of Columbia.

Push Button
by Aliki

This book would make a great read aloud, especially for toddlers.  The end papers are full of colorful buttons for pretend pushing. The story is about a little boy who loves to push all sorts of buttons.  These buttons can make things do all sorts of silly and noisy things.  The little boy hurts his finger and cannot push buttons anymore so he begins to look at a book and in the book he sees all the other things that he can do, like pull, dig, hide, kick, etc.

Art & Max
by David Wiesner

I thought for sure that this picture book would win some awards this year.  I love David Wiesner's work (see below for additional books).  This is the story of two dinosaurs.  Art is busy painting and Max wants to join in, he is so excited.  When Max wonders what he should paint, Art suggests he paint a picture of him.  Max takes this literally and begins to paint ON Art.  When Art tries to shake off the paint it does not go anywhere, so Max turns a fan on him.  This does not work either.  Then Max gives him some water to drink.  As Art drinks the water, ALL his colors begin to disappear.  What happens next?  Pick up this book at your library to find out!

Other books by Wiesner:

Book Review: Ninth Ward

Ninth Ward
by Jewell Parker Rhodes
Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book 2011

You know those books that stick with you long after you are done reading them?  Well this is one of those.  The author does a great job of character development, especially with the main character Lanesha.  I find myself wondering what happened to her after the story ended and what she would be like as an adult.  Lanesha does not know who her father is and her mother died giving birth to her.  Her mother's upper class family does not want anything to do with her.  Therefore, she is raised by the midwife who helped deliver her, Mama Ya-Ya.  The reader will come to love Mama Ya-Ya as much as Lanesha does.  We see Lanesha struggle to make friends and to fit in at school.  She is her own unique person.  Mama Ya-Ya sees things and can sense things and Lanesha can see ghosts.  They live in the Ninth Ward in New Orleans during the time of Hurricane Katrina.  This is the only children's book that I am aware of that shows the effects of Hurricane Katrina.  Mama Ya-Ya senses the hurricane coming, but does not think that will be the problem.  She dreams that they survive the hurricane but that something much worse happens after.  Will Lanesha and Mama Ya-Ya evacuate their home like others in their neighborhood?  Will they survive the massive and devastating hurricane?  Will Lanesha'a new friends survive the hurricane?  We all know what happened after Hurricane Katrina to New Orleans.  How will this effect Lanesha, Mama Ya-Ya and their friends?  What will Lanesha learn about herself?  To answer these many questions, you must read this fabulous novel!

     The book's website Here you can read more about the novel, listen to an interview with the author, see pictures of Hurricane Katrina's damage, download an Educator's guide to teaching about the novel, schedule a visit from the author, and see many more resources about Hurricane Katrina and the Ninth Ward.  You can also find information on how you can donate to help the people effected by Hurricane Katrina.

     The author's website  Here you can find many of the same types of items as above.  You can also read about how the author came to write this novel.