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!"

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.

Father Themed Books 2010

I know Father's Day is a long ways away, however every day can be about Fathers right?  Here are two great picturebooks that feature good old Dad:

Oh, Daddy!
by Bob Shea

I think this book makes a great read aloud and would be a fine addition to any storytime, especially ones about Fathers or Family.  The story text flows smoothly and includes dialogue between father and son hippos.  I love the humor shown by the father in this story.  The children could join in when you read the phrase, "Oh, Daddy!" which repeats often in the cute and funny story.

Old Bear and His Cub
by Oliver Dunrea

This book also makes a great read aloud and would be a great addition to any storytime.  It would also make a great bedtime story.  Little Bear doesn't like being told what to do by Old Bear.  However, he always ends up listening to what Old Bear tells him because he knows that Old Bear loves him.  I enjoy the part where Old Bear stares hard at Little Cub to get him to listen.  Children could practice their own version of staring hard.  When Old Bear catches a cold he has to listen to what Little Cub tells him to do.  When reading the story aloud, be sure to use an Old Bear and Little Cub voice to help your listeners understand who is talking and be sure to demonstrate staring hard (most teachers and mothers already have this "stare" down pat!)

Last of my Newbery 2011 Reviews

One Crazy Summer
by Rita Williams-Garcia
Newbery Honor 2011
Coretta Scott King Author Award 2011
Scott O'Dell Prize for Historical Fiction 2011

I enjoyed this award winning novel and had to read the whole thing in one sitting.  This book also includes the Newbery theme this year of children going away for the summer to live with long lost relatives or friends.  In this case, three sisters travel to California to spend the summer with their mother who left the family when the girls were very young.  We also learn about an important time in African American history and about the Black Panthers.  We get to know the three sisters and their mother through great character development in the storyline.  The girls and mother develop their own kind of relationship by the end of the story. 

     The author's website
     An excerpt from the book read by the author
     A great review from Welcome to my Tweendom

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Caldecott Award 2011

A Sick Day for Amos McGee
by Philip C. Stead
Illustrated by Erin E. Stead
Caldecott Medal Winner 2011

This cute story is about Amos McGee, who is the zookeeper and a great friend to the animals at the zoo.  Amos was a man of habit, following the same routine daily.  He has a special relationship with each animal at the zoo.  For example he sits quietly with the shy penguin and has races with the tortoise.  Then Amos McGee wakes up with a cold one morning and stays home from the zoo.  The animals miss their friend and wonder where he is.  We then see the animals take the bus to Amos's house to visit him. They take care of Amos just like he always takes care of them.  The animals spend the night with Amos after he is feeling better.  The illustrations are great and appear to be pencil drawings with colored pencil accents.  Each page only has a few colors on it, making the colored item stand out on the page.  The drawings of the animals and Amos are very detailed and lifelike.  Overall, I really enjoyed this book and it would make a great read aloud. The author and illustrator are a husband and wife team.  This was Erin's first book that she has illustrated!  Congrats to her for being so successful with her first attempt.

Interrupting Chicken
by David Ezra Stein
Caldecott Honor 2011

I read this book before it won the Caldecott Honor and found it to be enjoyable.  It includes my type of humor!  This is a funny story of a father and daughter chicken who are trying to enjoy bedtime storytime.  I love that the parent chicken was a father figure.  Papa Chicken tries to read several well known stories to his daughter.  These include Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood and Chicken Little.  Each time the daughter interrupts the story with her own humorous ending.  After Papa Chicken gives up on storytime, the daughter chicken decides to read Papa Chicken a story instead. She reads him a story she makes up called, "Bedtime for Papa".  He interrupts her story with his snoring as he has fallen asleep.  I enjoyed the colorful illustrations in this book.  The book information states that the illustrations were created by using "watercolor, water soluble crayon, china marker, pen, opaque white ink, and tea".  My favorite illustrations are of the stories that papa reads to his daughter.  We see the book that he is reading with the story's illustrations and then with young chicken's new endings.

Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave
by Laban Carrick Hill
Illustrated by Bryan Collier
Caldecott Honor 2011
Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award 2011

This is the story of Dave, a real person, and the process he goes through to make a jar on a potter's wheel.  We see the jar take shape through the magnificent watercolor collage illustrations and the poetry like story being told through the text.  There is one fold out page when the jar is emerging on the potter's wheel, making the jar appear to spring up on the page.  The end pages are a deep brown like the mud on the potter's wheel.  The text on each two page spread is displayed on top of an earth tone colored background.  In the end we see the finished jar and what Dave writes on the jar.  The back of the book includes some interesting facts and details.  First we can see photographs of some of the actual jars Dave has created and we can read about his life as a slave making pottery.  We also learn more about the poems he wrote on the jars.  The author also includes a note about how he came to know of and study about Dave the Potter.  The reader can also read a note from the illustrator about his research and inspirations for the illustrations.  Finally a bibliography is included if you want to learn more about Dave and his pottery.

Related items from bibliography:


An Educator's Guide to Dave

Online biography of Dave

Leonard Todd's Website