Friday, December 22, 2023

The Ice Cream Vanishes by Julia Sarcone-Roach

Squirrel can make snacks disappear...or at least he wants to and tries very hard to do so. He is unsuccessful until he discovers the perfect snack--ice cream. With help from his friend Bear and with all the other park animals as an audience, Squirrel is finally going to make a snack vanish. 

Thoughts: Such a fun book! I like how exuberant Squirrel is. The painted, pen and pencil illustrations add a further touch of whimsy to the story. My favorite illustrations are Squirtrel in his "top hat" and the vanished ice cream on Bear's bottom. Pair with Hat Tricks by Satoski Kitamura and Warning! Do Not Touch! by Tim Warnes for a magical storytime. 

Themes: Bears, Squirrels, Magic 

Don't miss these other  books by Julia Sarcone-Roach!

(Alfred A. Knopf, 2023.)

Monday, December 18, 2023

Out Cold by Ryan T. Higgins

Bruce is back! It's winter in Soggy Hollow and all the animals are enjoying the season...except for Bruce. He's stuck inside with a cold. The mice know just how to cheer him up. 

Thoughts: Bruce is one of my favorite characters and he doesn't disappoint in his latest adventure. Those mice...sheesh! I think they mean well. They're just like a trio of rambunctious toddlers. I look forward to sharing Out Cold in a storytime in January. The illustrations are colorful and detailed. My favorites are always Bruce's expressions. 

Find activity sheets here

Themes: Bears, Winter, Bruce, Sniffles 

Don't miss the other Bruce Books! (Links to my reviews.)

Picture Books:

Board Books:

  • 1 Grumpy Bruce
  • Peek-a-Bruce

Little Bruce Books:

Early Readers:

(Disney Hyperion, 2023.)

Friday, December 15, 2023

Why Do Elephants Have Big Ears? Questions--and Surprising Answers--About Animals by Steve Jenkins & Robin Page

This informative nonfiction book features questions and answers about 19 different animals. 

The animals: camel, bat, aye-aye, zebra, flamingo, spotted skunk, hippo, giraffe, sloth, naked mole rat, giant squid, chameleon, proboscis monkey, red-eyed tree frog, polar bear, wombat, hatchetfish, narwhal, African elephant

Thoughts: If you know me at all, you know that Steve Jenkins and Robin Page are my favorite creators of nonfiction books for children. The cut paper collage illustrations are fascinating and eye-catching. The facts are presented simply. The back matter features more information about each animal as well as a bibliography. Throughout the book, the size of each animal is shown in comparison to average human size. I can't wait to share this new book with first and second grade classrooms. This would pair well with What's Your Favorite Animal? edited by Eric Carle and various animal poetry books like The Beauty of the Beast edited by Jack Prelutsky and National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry edited by J. Patrick Lewis

Themes: Animals, Nonfiction, Elementary 

(Little, Brown and Company; Hatchette Book Group, 2023.)

Monday, December 11, 2023

If I Was a Horse by Sophie Blackall

If you were a horse instead of a child, what would your life be like? 

Thoughts: I love books that engage children in imagination. If I Was a Horse would be a lovely addition to a storytime about imagination, horses, or questions. The story is brief yet thoughtful. The illustrations are colorful and detailed. I especially love the fields of dandelions and the detail that the child is wearing a polka dot shirt so of course their horse self is spotted. 

Themes: Imagination, Horses, Questions 

(Little, Brown and Company, 2023.)

Friday, December 8, 2023

Goldilocks and the Three Knocks by Gregory Barrington

You've got to be careful with bears. Goldilocks learned this the hard way. The bears were just being good neighbors...until they weren't. 

Thoughts: This might be my new favorite version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. I love that we get a look at Goldilocks's side of the story, but I won't spoil it here. I love the illustrations. The details and panels paired with the mixture of fonts gives the book a comic book style feel. Pair with Goldibooks and the Wee Bear by Troy Wilson, Redlocks and the Three Bears by Claudia Rueda, Goldilocks and Just One Bear by Leigh Hodgkinson, and Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems. 

Themes: Fractured Fairy Tales, Fairy Tales, The Three Bears 

(Harper, 2022.)

Monday, December 4, 2023

No Bunnies Here! by Tammi Sauer

The appearance of a wolf in Bunnyville makes the bunnies nervous. After all, wolves eat bunnies. Everyone knows that. After disguising various bunnies as unicorns, lamps, puppies, and pillows, the wolf is still there and still wants to find a bunny. Is he that hungry? 

Thoughts: Too funny! Such a bright, colorful, exuberant book. I love how much effort the bunny puts into convincing the wolf that there are no bunnies to be found. I look forward to sharing No Bunnies Here! in storytime. Would pair well with Count the Monkeys by Mac Barnett. 

Themes: Bunnies, Wolves, Misunderstood Wolves

(Illustrated by Ross Burach. Doubleday Books for Young Readers, 2022.)

Friday, December 1, 2023

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Sleigh! by Mo Willems

Twenty years after we first met the Pigeon, he's still angling to drive. This time it's Santa's sleigh. We're supposed to tell him no. Will the Pigeon ever get to drive anything?

Thoughts: Too funny! So fun that this first ever Pigeon holiday book published twenty years after the very first Pigeon book. I love the nod to The Pigeon Wants a Puppy! in the plot. Not telling so you'll have to read it to find out. Find activities on the publisher's website here

Don't Miss the Other Books about Pigeon! 

Themes: Christmas 

(Union Square Kids, 2023.)