Friday, December 30, 2011

Die for Me by Amy Plum

Revenants Trilogy #1

After the death of their parents, Katie and her older sister Georgia move to Paris to live with their grandparents. Each girl has her own way of dealing with the grief. Georgia loses herself in the city's night life. Katie stays in until her grandparents force her to go out. Reading at a sidewalk cafe, Katie catches her first glimpse of Vincent, the guy who will change her life. Vincent is more than good looking. He has quite a past. Do he and Katie have a future together?

What I thought: Thank you, Amy Plum, for writing something more than the usual in the teen paranormal genre. Die for Me gets my vote. The reveal (i.e., what Vincent is) was obscured by Katie's obsession with the angel statue. I was sure this was going to be another fallen angel book. I was so wrong and glad to be it. The Paris setting was interesting. Die for Me is the 3rd book I've noticed with the City of Light as the setting. Anna and the French Kiss and Revolution being the first two. The climax was great. I can't wait to read the next book, Until I Die, which is due to be published in May 2012. In my humble opinion, Die for Me is teen paranormal writing at its best.

(Harper Teen, 2011)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Clementine & the Family Meeting by Sara Pennypacker

The family meeting sign is up in Clementine's apartment. Clementine is sure she's done something wrong. That's usually what family meetings are about--what Clementine has done wrong. Until the meeting, Clementine is on her best behavior.

What I thought: Delightful as usual. I can't believe this is the 5th book in the Clementine series. I love how the topic of the family meeting and the missing rat fit together. This one would pair well with Ramona Forever by Beverly Cleary.

(Illus. Marla Frazee. Disney Hyperion, 2011)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Red Sled by Lita Judge

Forest animals abduct an unattended sled for nighttime adventures.

What I thought: I loved it! Almost wordless, but the illustrations tell the story perfectly. My favorite illustrations are the bear seeing the sled, bear and rabbit sledding, the child wondering, everyone sledding (last page). It was hard to pick my favorites. Red Sled would pair well with Jingle Jingle by Nicola Smee. I can't wait to use this book in my red themes story time in February.

Story Time Themes: Winter, Sleds, Forest Animals, Red

(Atheneum, 2011)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Making a Friend by Alison McGhee

From the dust jacket: To make a friend you need eyes and a nose and a mouth. Don't forget the arms! And the hat! Now you have a friend. Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall. Friends stay friends forever.

What I thought: Such a sweet story. It would pair well with the song "Frosty the Snowman." I really like Alison's books. They always transcend into something more for adult readers. Making a Friend is a beautiful book about friendship that goes beyond snowmen. It could be talking about any friends but especially those who move away. The illustrations are gorgeous. I love the expansive white space. My favorites are hugging the snowman, the boy's picture of the snowman, and hugging the snowman again.

(Illus. Marc Rosenthal. Atheneum, 2011)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Christmas Tree for Pyn by Olivier Dunrea

Pyn, the small daughter of a mountain man, longs for a Christmas tree. She asks her papa every day. When he ignores her request, she decides to get tree for herself. The snow drifts are bigger than she is. Will Pyn get her tree for Christmas?

What I thought: A sweet story with charming illustrations. Pyn is persistent and I like that about her. Dunrea makes good use of white space. The illustrations for A Christmas Tree for Pyn are very like his in Old Bear and His Cub. My favorite illustrations are Pyn and Papa out in the snow, giving thanks, and the tree all decorated.

(Philomel, 2011)

Monday, December 19, 2011

What Puppies Do Best by Laura Numeroff

Summary from the dust jacket: Children and families delight in all the playful antics and enthusiastic affection of puppies: They chase their tails and catch Frisbees; they wake you up in the morning and keep you warm at night. But what do they do best? The answer is perfectly clear in this irresistible celebration of puppies.

What I thought: I'm a dog lover/owner and I totally agree with all statements in this book. Puppies are great. What Puppies Do Best will be a wonderful addition to my dog themed story time. The illustrations are lovely. I wouldn't expect anything less from Lynn Munsinger. My favorite illustrations are sitting, giving paw, belly rub, and making friends.

Story Time Themes: Dogs, Love

(Illus. Lynn Munsinger. Chronicle, 2011)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Happy Pig Day! by Mo Willems

An Elephant & Piggie Book

Piggie is so excited. it's Pig Day...that day set aside to celebrate pigs. Gerald gets quite upset. He's an elephant not a pig. But Piggie soon shows him that anyone can celebrate Pig Day.

What I thought: I've never read an Elephant & Piggie Book that I didn't like. This one was especially good. Gerald gets so sad. My favorite part and illustration was the reveal. (Read the book and you'll know what I'm talking about. I won't give it away!)

(Hyperion, 2011)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Time for a Bath by Steve Jenkins & Robin Page

Baths are one of those easy-peasy things. A tub, some water, and don't forget the soap! However, if you're an animal, your bath may not include water. Time for a Bath explores the bathing habits of 15 different animals.

What I thought: Another winner from Jenkins & Page! The topics of this series (eating, sleeping, and bathing) will delight even the youngest children. The illustrations are great. My favorites are Japanese Macaques, spoonbill, and the deer. I can see myself using this book when I do a bath time story time and sharing facts with my preschool story time kids.

(Houghton Mifflin, 2011)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Time to sleep by Steve Jenkins & Robin Page

You know about sleeping, right? Lights out, eyes shut, in bed? Well, not if you're an animal. Time to Sleep explores the sleeping habits of 17 animals.

What I thought: Great as usual. Books by Jenkins & Page are always so interesting and informative. I love the more information section. Time to Sleep would work well for a bedtime or pajama story time for older kids. I really like the illustrations. I'm becoming quite fond of torn & cut paper collage. My favorite illustrations are hedgehog, koala, and gorillas.

(Houghton Mifflin, 2011)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Grandpa Green by Lane Smith

While exploring his great-grandpa's garden, a young boy relates his grandpa's life story.

What I thought: A lovely story with great illustrations. Grandpa Green makes me wish my grandparents had left behind such a garden. This book will be excellent to share with preschoolers. My favorite illustrations are the Wizard of Oz and the elephant.

Story Time Theme: Grandparents

(Roaring Brook Press, 2011)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Splish, Splash, Splat! by Rob Scotton

Things Splat doesn't like:
~Spike (who breaks his toys and eats all the candy fish)
~Water (Baths are horrible! How will he survive swimming lessons?)

Splat's dislikes come together in the swimming pool. It turns out that Splat does like Spike and swimming.

What I thought: Cute! I haven't read any of the other Splat books, but I will be. He's a great character. This would actually pair well with Rock 'n' Roll Mole as both Mole and Splat dislike or fear something. The illustrations are bright and colorful. I find them very appealing. My favorites are dreaming, lined up for swimming lessons, Spike and Splat in the pool, and Spike's gift.

Story Time Themes: Friendship, Swimming, Fears

(Harper, 2011)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Rock 'n' Roll Mole by Carolyn Crimi

Mole likes to rock...but only by himself or with an audience of one. Mole's dilemma is stage fright. Can he overcome his fear and save the day at Pig's talent show?

What I thought: I can't wait to use Rock 'n' Roll Mole is story time. The story sings, if you'll forgive the pun. I like that Mole has a common fear and he overcome it. (I never liked public speaking!) The illustrations are great. I'm a huge fan of Lynn Munsinger. My favorite illustrations are Mole waking up, imitating Mick Badger, and at the end of the show (last page).

Story Time Themes: Friendship, Music, Fears

(Illus. Lynn Munsinger. Dial, 2011)