Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Bear & Hare: Where's Bear? by Emily Gravett

Bear and hare are playing hide and seek. Bear's no good at hiding and later he's no good at seeking either. Poor Bear!

Thoughts: This book was a lot of fun to share in storytime. The kids helped me count and enjoyed spotting Bear. They agreed...Bear is bad at hiding. I look forward to using other books in this series in storytime. The illustrations are lovely as always.

Themes: Bears, Hares (Rabbits), Friendship, Games (Hide-and-Seek)

Simon & Schuster, 2016 (US Edition).

Monday, December 2, 2019

The Great Gran Plan by Elli Woollard

When the pig of brick house fame finds a note indicating that the Big Bad Wolf is going to eat Little Red Riding Hood's gran, he's determined to save her. A mix up with his supplies leads to a case of mistaken identity and just when he thinks he's dinner...

Thoughts: Too funny! I can't wait to add this fractured fairy tale to my list for fairy tales storytime and outreach. I also look forward to using it next summer when the summer reading theme is "Imagine Your Story." The illustrations are bright, colorful, and filled with detail.

Themes: Fairy Tales, Fractured Fairy Tales, The Three Little Pigs, Big Bad Wolf

Illustrated by Steven Lenton. Henry Holt, 2017.

Friday, November 29, 2019

But the Bear Came Back by Tammi Sauer

When a bear knocks on his door, a boy is sure bears don't belong in houses. He tells the bear to go, but the bear keeps coming back...until he doesn't.

Thoughts: Such a nice story. I like how it changes halfway through with the boy wanting the bear to come back. It was a sweet, short story perfect for storytime. The illustrations are interesting. I like the lack of outlines and the colors used. My favorite illustration is of the bear after he came down the chimney.

Themes: Bears, Friendship, Unusual Pets

Illustrated by Dan Taylor. Sterling, 2018.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Lion of the Sky: Haiku for All Seasons by Laura Purdie Salas

2019 Cybils Poetry Nominee

Haiku and riddle combine in this celebration of the seasons.

Thoughts: Very nice! Haiku is one of my favorite poetic forms. These are clever and evocative. I have loved sharing Jack Prelutsky's If Not for the Cat with students for years. I'm thrilled to have a new option. The illustrations are beautiful--soft and detailed. My favorite poems are umbrella, bud, fireflies, fireworks, pencil, squirrel, snow, and stars. Another beauty of haiku: they are short enough to share with the youngest listeners. I love the author's invitation to readers at the end to try their hand at their own riddleku. She also has an activity sheet for this on her website.

If you like the idea of seasonal haiku, you might also check out these collections:
Hi, Koo!: A Year of Seasons by Jon J. Muth
Guyku: A Year of Haiku for Boys by Bob Raczka
Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems selected by Paul B. Janeczko

Themes: Seasons, Haiku, Riddles, Elementary

Illustrated by Mercè López. Millbrook Press, 2019.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Boom! Bellow! Bleat! Animal Poems for Two or More Voices by Georgia Heard

2019 Cybils Poetry Nominee

A book of animal poems that are meant to be performed.

Thoughts: What a wonderful collection! I can't wait to use this book when I visit 2nd grade classes in the spring. This book is fun and promotes poetry--what could be better? The poems are great when read alone. I can only imagine how good they'll be when I have a whole class to help me. The digital illustrations are reminiscent of cut paper collage and draw the eye. They are colorful and interesting. My favorite poems are "Animal Songs," "We Don't Say Ribbit!," Fight of the Honeybees," and "Forest Orchestra." My favorite illustrations are the cover, "We Don't Say Ribbit!,"and "Noisy Fish."

Themes: Animals, Animal Sounds, Elementary

Illustrated by Aaron DeWitt. Wordsong, 2019.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Trees by Verlie Hutchens

2019 Cybils Poetry Nominee

Fifteen poems introduce readers to trees in lyrical language with colorful illustrations.

Thoughts: A nice collection of short poems about a subject most kids will be familiar with. The language is lyrical and whimsical. The illustrations are gorgeous--richly colored and detailed. My favorite poems are Aspen and Birch. My favorite illustrations are the cover/copyright page and any others that have a hint of purple. This collection will pair well with Douglas Florian's Poetrees as well as Deborah Ruddell's Today at the Bluebird Café and A Whiff of Skunk, A Hint of Pine: A Forest of Poems. Hutchens' poems are simple enough to share with the youngest listeners.

Themes: Trees, Nature, Forest, Homes, Birds

Illustrated by Jing Jing Tsong. Beach Lane Books, 2019.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Bear Came Along by Richard T. Morris

It started with a river and when a bear came along the adventure began.

Thoughts: This book is so fun. I like how all the different animals join the story. It reminds me a little of Lita Judge's Red Sled. I love how the illustrations start out in black and white and then become colored as the story goes on. This was a great book to share during my bear storytime. There are plenty of opportunities to ask the kids engagement questions. I think Pham's illustrations are beautiful. The colored trees are my favorite. I like all the detail she puts into all the illustrations as well.

Themes: Bears, Friendship, Forest

Illustrated by LeUyen Pham. Little, Brown, and Company, 2019.