Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wow! Said the Owl by Tim Hopgood

When a little owl naps at night, the day time colors astound her.
What I thought: Simple text, great story/idea, beautiful illustrations. A thoroughly satisfying book.

Story Time Themes: Baby Sit & Sign emphasis on colors, Nocturnal Animals
(New York: FSG, 2009)

Monday, March 29, 2010

A Book of Sleep by Il Sung Na

How do animals sleep? This book explores the various ways different animals sleep.

What I thought: A fun, informative book. Will leave kids wanting to know more about the featured animals and their sleep habits. Loved the illustrations.

Story Time Themes: Pajama story time, Nocturnal Animals

(New York: Knopf, 2007)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Barnyard Slam by Dian Curtis Regan

What's happening tonight on the farm? A poetry slam in the barn. All are invited to hear and be heard.

What I thought: Hilarious! Ever since Cronin's farm books came on the scene, books about farm animals have become increasingly popular. This one doesn't miss. I loved haring all the animals' poems. My favorite was Cow's (excuse me, Bovina's). I also liked seeing the animals' personalities develop. I hope we'll see more of these barnyard friends.

Story Time Ideas: Would be great for introducing kids to the concept of poetry slams. Pair with Cronin's books for a fun story time.

(Illus. Paul Meisel. New York: Holiday House, 2009)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Creaky Old House by Linda Ashman

(Subtitle: A Topsy-Turvy Tale of a Real Fixer-Upper)
Until the day the doorknob breaks, the family likes their house just fine. But oh what a fuss when the doorknob refuses to be fixed and requires not a screw but a whole new house.

What I thought: I've been a fan of Ashman since I read her Stella, Unleashed. This wasn't a disappointment. A rollicking, rhyming narrative about a family and their house. The text has real rhythm. a great read aloud. Older readers (school age) will probably appreciate it more than preschoolers.
(Illus. Michael Chesworth. New York: Sterling, 2009)

Monday, March 22, 2010

What's New at the Zoo? by Suzanne Slade

(Subtitle: An Animal Adding Adventure)

A visit to the zoo becomes a numerical adventure. Rhyming word problems about the animals need solutions. How many animals are at the zoo? Read your way through and solve the problems to get the final count.

What I thought: A fun and educational book. Not only does it teach adding skills, readers also learn about the different zoo animals. The illustrations were realistic. I liked the page borders. They added definition and interest.

Story Time Themes: Numbers, Counting, Baby Sit & Sign emphasis on numbers

(Illus. Joan Waites. Mt. Pleasant, SC: Sylvan Dell, 2009)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Beezus and Ramona movie!!!

Newsflash: premiering this summer--Beezus and Ramona, the movie!

Am I the only fan who didn't know this? Thanks to Abby(the)Librarian for getting the word out.

I loved the Ramona books growing up. I even read Cleary's memoir A Girl from Yamhill. Several times.

During college (English major) and grad school (library science) I was absolutely floored to discover Beverly Cleary was a children's librarian before she became a writer and author.

It's been ages since I read the books. The movie's not coming out until August (I think). So here's my own personal challenge: to re-read all the Ramona books before the movie comes out. Join me if you dare.

Here are all the Ramona books:

1. Beezus and Ramona
2. Ramona the Pest
3. Ramona the Brave
4. Ramona and her Father
5. Ramona and her Mother
6. Ramona Quimby, Age 8
7. Ramona Forever
8. Ramona's World

Note: I might also read Henry and Beezus which is pre-Ramona.

Expect regular updates on my status.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Pennies for Elephants by Lita Judge

In 1914 Boston, children go without treats and find extra jobs so they can buy three elephants for the local zoo. The story is told through the eyes of one little girl and newspaper clippings.

What I thought: A fascinating story and just think, it's true! I liked everything about this book. Will definitely use it for my next elephant story time. The illustrations were great. I especially liked the newspaper clipping inserts. They added a lot to the story.

(New York: Hyperion, 2009)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Dear Pen Pal by Heather Vogel Frederick

(Mother-Daughter Book Club Book #3)

Emma, Jess, Megan, and Cassidy are now eighth-graders. Things change for the girls this year. Jess goes to local boarding school. Cassidy has to deal with her sister leaving for college and her mom's pregnancy. The book club is still going strong. This year, they are reading Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster. They acquire pen pals in Wyoming. The book club expands to include a grandmother and a friend. Can the girls survive all these changes?

What I thought: Brilliant as usual. Ms. Frederick writes from the heart about these girls. Reading about them reminds me of my own middle school years. Love the book club reading selection. So far it's three out of three of my favorite books. I wonder what they'll read next? Perhaps A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton Porter. Elnora starts high school in that book. They might also consider March by Geraldine Brooks. At fourteen, they should be able to handle the complex issues in it. Wait, I have it! They're going to read something by Jane Austen. But which one? My favorites are Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, and Emma.
(New York: Simon & Schuster, 2009)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Dog Biscuit by Helen Cooper

You've heard it said that you are what you eat. Does it follow then that if you eat a dog biscuit, you turn into a dog? Bridget thinks it does.

What I thought: A funny book. This is just the sort of adventure (or misadventure) kids have. The illustrations suited the text perfectly. I especially liked the ones of Bridget as a dog.

Story Time Theme: Dogs
(New York: FSG, 2008)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Duck, Duck, Moose by Dave Horowitz

The ducks are going south for winter. Bear is already hibernating. Moose doesn't want to be alone all winter so he goes south with the ducks. Together they have many adventures.

What I thought: A funny book with cartoon like illustrations. I predict this will be a hit with boys.

(New York: GP Putnam's Sons, 2009)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Millie's Marvellous Hat by Satoshi Kitamura

Millie wants to buy a hat, but she has a problem. Her funds are limited. She has no money for hat. Luckily for her, the hat maker has an imagination. He sells her a hat she can afford and Millie has not one hat but hundreds.

What I thought: Another great book about the power of imagination. The illustrations are classic--simple lines and muted colors. My favorite illustration is the one with the people in the park and all their hats. Kids will like looking at all these different hats.

Story Time Themes: Imagination, Stand Alone (the book is a little long)

Craft idea: Have the kids draw/design their own marvelous hats.

(New York: Andersen Press USA, 2009)

Monday, March 8, 2010

When You Meet a Bear on Broadway by Amy Hest

One day, you meet a bear on Broadway. He's lost his mama and you must help him find her.

What I thought: A delightful story. I love the intrusive narrator--makes it an interactive book. The illustration hark back to the old days--simple lines, pastel colors, an almost monochromatic color palette. Where was this book when I did my teddy bear story time?

Story Time Themes: Teddy Bears, Winnie-the-Pooh

(Illus. Elivia Savadier. New York: Melanie Kroupa, 2009)

Friday, March 5, 2010

About Penguins: A Guide for Children by Cathryn Sill

Short text paired with realistic illustrations inform young readers and listeners about penguins, their habitats, and habits. More detailed information about penguins is at the end of the book.

What I thought: Another great penguin book! The brevity of the text makes it ideal for sharing with young children. I liked the illustration captions and the additional information at the end of the book. The captions will hep children identify the different species of penguins.

Story Time Theme: Penguins (Pair with If You Were a Penguin by Florence Minor)

(Illus. John Sill. Atlanta: Peachtree, 2009)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Have You Ever Seen a Sneep? by Tasha Pym

A young boy has all his recreation interrupted by a variety of imaginative (imaginary?) creatures. He can't picnic, read, swim, or even take a walk. When he finds out that you don't have those creatures in your part of the world, his bags are packed and he's coming for an extended stay.

What I thought: Look out Dr. Seuss and Lewis Carroll! Tasha Pym has created new creatures. The slight repetition in the text ("Have you ever...") makes it perfect for story time. Also, it's an interactive book. The boy asks questions and wants answers. The illustrations are great. Old school like Ernest H. Shepard.

Story Time Themes: Imagination or Creatures (Pair with Dr. Seuss' books, a chapter from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland or a chapter about Milne's infamous heffalumps and woozles.)

(Illus. Joel Stewart. New York: FSG, 2009)

Monday, March 1, 2010

If You Were a Penguin by Florence Minor

Imagine you're a penguin. Okay, now what? What exactly do penguins do? Lots!

What I thought: Simple text paired with realistic illustrations result in an informative and engaging book about penguins. This is perfect for preschool and early elementary school. Fun facts and a species directory give readers/listeners something to think about after the story is over. I (an adult) learned quite a bit from this book. I had no idea there are so many types of penguins.

Story Time Themes: Winter, Penguins

(Illus. Wendell Minor. New York: Katherine Tegan, 2009)