Friday, December 22, 2017

Pick a Pine Tree by Patricia Toht

Illustrated by Jarvis
Review copy provided by publisher.

Join a family as they pick out a tree for Christmas. There are many choices, but choosing is just the first step. Once your choice is made it's time to decorate and turn your pine tree choice into a Christmas tree.

Thoughts: A wonderful celebration of a Christmas tradition. We had live trees growing up, but we (the kids) never got to do the picking. My dad just found one in the woods. I love the inclusion of what happens to the tree after it's picked. Decorating the tree is such a magical thing. The illustrations are detailed and fun. The lack of outlines make the illustrations brighter. My favorites are the different trees at the tree lot, all the different tree decorations, and the Christmas tree. Pick a Pine Tree is a great book to read before going to pick out your Christmas tree. I think reading the book could become an annual tradition.

(Candlewick Press, 2017)

Thursday, December 21, 2017

A Christmas for Bear by Bonny Becker

Illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton
Review copy provided by publisher.

Bear has never really celebrated Christmas, but he's read about the traditions. This year he and Mouse are going to celebrate Christmas with a party. Mouse is disappointed that Bear's party doesn't include presents. Mouse is sure Bear is kidding so he goes looking for his present in all the usual places: under Bear's bed, in the hall closet, and in the Christmas tree.

Thoughts: Bear and Mouse have been some of my favorite characters since I discovered the first book, A Visitor for Bear, back in 2010. I'm glad to see them have a Christmas adventure. Even though they are friends now, I like that Mouse can still exasperate Bear. It makes this book a hilarious read aloud. I enjoyed reading it to some first graders this month. The illustrations are lovely and just what I've come to expect from Kady MacDonald Denton--soft colored and detailed. This is a great addition to the Bear and Mouse series as well as Christmas picture books.

Don't miss the other books in the series! (links to my reviews)
A Visitor for Bear
A Birthday for Bear
A Bedtime for Bear
The Sniffles for Bear
A Library Book for Bear

(Candlewick Press, 2017)

Friday, December 1, 2017

A Letter for Bear by David Lucas

Bear is the postman. Everyday, he delivers letters but never receives one himself. With the nuisance of the wind and snow, he meets all the animals on his route. Will his new friends ever send him a letter?

Thoughts: A sweet Christmas story with nice illustrations. I like the guide to all the animals on the end papers. I'm definitely adding A Letter for Bear to my list of books for Christmas events.

Themes: Christmas

(Flying Eye Books, 2013)

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Alison Jay

A classic children's book presented as a board book for the youngest listeners.

Thoughts: Just gorgeous with lovely flow. I didn't think turning a novel length book into a board book was possible, but this is great. Alison Jay's version of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is definitely going on my baby shower gift list.  

(Board Book Edition, Dial, 2015)

Monday, November 6, 2017

Good morning to Me! by Lita Judge

Beatrix the Parrot is supposed to be quiet when the other pets are sleeping, but she's just so excited. Once she wakes everyone up who knows what the day will bring?

Thoughts: Love, love, love! Too funny. I look forward to adding this to my pets themed storytime. Beatrix is an endearing character and Mouse is a long suffering saint. If my eyes don't mistake me, I think Beatrix and all the other animals belong to the child from Red Sled and Red Hat. The watercolor and pencil illustrations perfectly suit the story. I like the comic strip/book panels. They add interest to the illustrations.

Themes: Pets, Morning 

(Atheneum, 2015)

Friday, November 3, 2017

How to Catch a Mouse by Philippa Leathers

Clemmie the cat is an excellent mouser or so she thinks. She's so good she never sees a mouse.

Thoughts: Again like Sam and Dave and Is There a Dog In this Book? Readers will laugh at Clemmie's statements because they can clearly see the mouse. The illustrations are lovely--soft colored with good use of white space.

Themes: Cats, Mice

(Candlewick, 2015)

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Spots in a Box by Helen Ward

A guinea fowl feels out of place as he has no spots. He sends for some, but they aren't quite right. Neither are next or the ones after. Will he ever find the right kind of spots?

Thoughts: Too fun! I used Spots in a Box for my spots and dots storytime. I like all the detail in the illustrations.

Themes: Birds, Spots (& Dots, & Stripes)

(Templar, 2014)

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Flannel Friday Roundup for November 3, 2017

Here's your Flannel Friday Roundup for November 3. It's small, but both contributions are farm themed. I like to use a farm theme for storytime in the fall.

Wendy shares her third Old MacDonald set.

Amy shares Take Me Out to the Barnyard.

Shawn is hosting the roundup next week.

Important Links:
Follow Flannel Friday on Twitter with the hashtag #flannelstorytime.
Our November/December Flannel Friday Fairy Godmother is Melissa.  

Monday, October 23, 2017

How to Wash a Woolly Mammoth by Michelle Robinson

Illustrated by Kate Hindley

Your step by step guide to washing a woolly mammoth.

Thoughts: Too funny! Washing a woolly mammoth seems to be about as much fun as giving a cat a bath. This will be a fun book to share with elementary students when I do outreach. The illustrations are just right for the story.

Themes: Prehistoric, Baths, Pets, Elementary

(Henry Holt, 2014)

Friday, October 20, 2017

Wolfie the Bunny by Ame Dyckman

Illustrated by Zachariah O'Hora

When her mama and papa decide to adopt a baby wolf, Dot the Bunny tries to warn them it's a bad idea. She remains distrustful of her "brother" until the day they go to the store to get carrots.

Thoughts: Another hilarious read aloud. This book was perfect for my wolf themed storytime although the youngest kids didn't quite get all the humor. I love the bold black lines O'Hora used in the illustrations.

Themes: Rabbits, Wolves, Siblings

(Little Brown & Co, 2015)

Thursday, October 19, 2017

I Don't Want to Be a Frog by Dev Petty

Illustrated by Mike Boldt

A young frog dislikes being a frog for a variety of reasons. He'd much rather be a cat, a rabbit, a pig, or an owl. That's until he meets a wolf.

Thoughts: This is such a fun book to read aloud. The young frog can be quite outrageous and the dad so stern. It's a great combination. The illustrations are colorful. I love the use of speech bubbles. They really engage the reader or listener and makes the book a great read aloud.

Themes: Frogs, Elementary

(Doubleday, 2015)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Goodnight Already! by Jory John

Illustrated by Benji Davies

Bear is so sleepy. Duck is wide awake. Good neighbors they aren't.

Thoughts: This book is too funny. I can't wait to read it along with A Bedtime for Bear by Bonny Becker. It is a perfect pairing. The illustrations are bright and colorful. The use of little to no outline is a nice style.

Themes: Bedtime, Unlikely Friends

(Harper, 2015)

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Touch the Brightest Star by Charistine Matheson

This interactive picture book invites readers and listeners to participate in bringing night to the day.

Thoughts: I love Tap the Magic Tree and Matheson's second interactive book is just as fun. The actions are engaging and the collage illustrations are enchanting. I look forward to using Touch the Brightest Star in my next night themed storytime.

Themes: Night, Interactive

(Greenwillow, 2015)

Monday, October 16, 2017

Sheep Go to Sleep by Nancy Shaw

Illustrated by Margot Apple

Time for five sheep to go to sleep...but they can't sleep! Will Collie be able to help?

Thoughts: I love all the sheep books by Nancy Shaw and this latest will be a great addition to my bedtime themed storytime. The illustrations are soft, vibrant, and interesting.

Themes: Bedtime, Sheep, Rhyme

(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015)

Friday, October 13, 2017

How to Draw a Dragon by Douglas Florian

Part drawing lesson. Part tribute to dragons as pets.

Thoughts: Fun, fun, fun. I love dragons and I love Florian's childlike illustrations. They have definite kid appeal. Would pair well with various dragon poems.

  • “Dragon Tree” from Poetrees by Douglas Florian 
  • “Shopping at the Dragon Store” from I’ve Lost My Hippopotamus by Jack Prelutsky 
  • “Don the Dragon’s Birthday” from Falling Up by Shel Silverstein

How to Draw a Dragon also functions as an art lesson.

Themes: Dragons, Drawing, Pets

(Beach Lane Books, 2015)

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Monkey and the Bee by C. P. Bloom

Illustrated by Peter Raymundo

Monkey from The Monkey Goes Bananas is back! He's still banana crazy and this time a bee gets in his way instead of a shark.

Thoughts: Just as hilarious as the first. I love the comic book style illustrations and minimal text. This book was a storytime hit. Would pair well with Bear & Bee by Sergio Ruzzier.

Themes: Monkeys, Bees, Almost Wordless

(Abrams, 2015)

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Beautiful Birds by Jean Roussen

Illustrated by Emmanuelle Walker

This beautifully illustrated ABC book focuses on birds...more than 26 because some letters warrant more than one feathered friend.

Thoughts: I can't wait to use this gorgeous book for my next birds themed storytime. The surprise narrator reminds me of Dogs by Emily Gravett. The illustrations are exquisite--bright colored and they draw your eye.

Themes: Birds, Alphabet

(Flying Eye Books, 2015)

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Marilyn's Monster by Michelle Knudsen

Illustrated by Matt Phelan

Everyone has a monster except Marilyn. She tried to be patient, but one day she can't help herself. Instead of waiting, she goes out looking for her monster. And it's a good thing she does.

Thoughts: What a sweet story. The idea of kids having a friendly monster is very imaginary friend/Monsters, Inc after Boo. I love Marilyn's spunk. Despite being told she can't look for her monster, she does anyway. Matt Phelan's watercolor and pencil illustrations suit the story perfectly. The monsters are especially well done. I look forward to sharing this books my elementary outreach later this month.

Themes: Monsters, Elementary

(Candlewick, 2015)

Monday, October 9, 2017

It's Only Stanley by Jon Agee

The Wimbledon family are trying their best to sleep, but odd noises and strange smells keep waking them up one at a time. When they check on the noises and smells, they find that it's only their dog Stanley.

Thoughts: I loved Jon Agee's book Little Santa and this book is the same. It's Only Stanley is so funny. The family's disgruntled-ness at being awakened paired with their nonchalant reaction to Stanley's nocturnal activities made me laugh with every page turn. Agee's illustrations with bold lines, muted color palette, and lovely detail complement the story exactly. I look forward to sharing this book at storytime and during outreach.

Themes: Night, Dogs, Elementary

(Dial, 2015)

Friday, October 6, 2017

Alice in Wonderland: Down the Rabbit Hole, A Modern Retelling by Joe Rhatigan & Charles Nurnberg

Illustrated by Eric Puybaret.

Exactly what the title says--takes readers through the first part of Alice's journey up until her conversations with the caterpillar.

Thoughts: Published for the 150th anniversary of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, this retelling will introduce a new generation of fans to the book. Down the Rabbit Hole would be a perfect read aloud the next time I have a Mad Hatter Tea Party or a Alice in Wonderland event. The end papers with their map of wonderland are great. The illustrations are colorful and interesting.

Themes: Alice, Classics

(Imagine, 2015)

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Once Upon a Cloud by Claire Keane

Celeste wants to give her mother a gift, but she can't think of anything. A nighttime dream adventure inspires her. 

Thoughts: Gorgeous illustrations and an imaginative story. Pair with Dream Animals, While the World Is Sleeping, Clara & Asha, and Dream Friends.

Themes: Moms, Gifts, Dreams, Imagination

(Dial, 2015)

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Hoot Owl, Master of Disguide by Sean Taylor

Illustrated by Jean Jullien

A hungry owl disguises himself to catch his prey. His disguises don't work until he sets his sights on a pizza.

Thoughts: Too funny! A great way to talk about owls being carnivores. I love the black background of the illustrations and the bold colors used with them. Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise is super fun to share with kids of all ages. Would pair well with Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds.

Themes: Owls, Pizza

(Candlewick, 2014)

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Chu's Day at the Beach by Neil Gaiman & Adam Rex

Chu from Chu's Day is back. This time he's at the beach and when he sneezes the ocean is all mixed up. Can he sneeze again and put everything right?

Thoughts: What a fun book! I especially like the mer-pandas. Chu's Day at the Beach is a great addition to my beach storytime. The illustrations are bright, colorful, and so detailed.

Themes: Beach, Pandas, Sneezing

(Harper, 2015)

Monday, October 2, 2017

Monty's Magnificent Mane by Gemma O'Neill

A vain lion realizes his mistake in time to save his friends the meerkats.

Thoughts: I love how Monty redeems himself. His vanity could have been his downfall, but he realizes he has something more valuable than a magnificent mane, friends. The mixed media illustrations are lively and fun with good use of white space.

Themes: Lions, Crocodiles, African Animals, Friendship, Meerkats

(Templar, 2014)

Sunday, October 1, 2017

By Mouse and Frog by Deborah Freedman

One day Mouse decides to write a story. The only problem: her friend Frog wants to help. But he's a little too excited and soon the story is a mess. What's a mouse to do?

Thoughts: I love By Mouse and Frog. It works on so many levels. Fun for storytime but also for using with older kids as an invitation for them to write stories of their own. The illustrations are lovely. I like the soft colors and the pencil drawings. I wish I knew all the references to famous children's books, but I only recognized a few. By Mouse and Frog would make an interesting lesson in children's picture books. Pair this with Dog loves Drawing by Louise Yates, Journey by Aaron Becker, and Violet and Victor Write the Most Fabulous Fairy Tale by Alice Kuipers.

Themes: Friendship, Writing, Drawing, Imagination

(Viking, 2015)

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Counting Crows by Kathi Appelt

Illustrated by Rob Dunlavey.

The title sums up this book perfectly. You count crows a few at a time and then snacks until you reach twelve.

Thoughts: A fabulous book. The rhyming text flows beautifully. I love the counting, the snacks, and the sounds. The illustrations with their limited color palette (black, white, gray, and red) are wonderful. I've had fun sharing this book in storytime with several different themes. It's a great book for fall.

Themes: Numbers/Counting, Crows, Fall

(Atheneum, 2015)

Friday, September 29, 2017

Camp Rex by Molly Idle

Camping is a wonderful excursion for friends. But when your friends are dinosaurs, things get interesting.

Thoughts: I Love how the text is almost at odds with the illustrations. There's so much more going on in the illustrations than the text let's on. Makes for a hilarious story. Would pair well with Into the Woods by Susan Gal.

Themes: Camping, Dinosaurs

(Viking, 2014)

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Flight School by Lita Judge

Penguin wants to fly. One problem: penguins can't fly. But with a little help from his friends, he just might.

Thoughts: Sweet story that also touches on science a little. (Flightless birds: what makes a bird a bird?) Lovely illustrations.

Themes: Birds, Penguins, Dreams

(Atheneum, 2014)

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Peek-a-Boo Bunny by Holly Surplice

Join the bunny in his favorite game--hide and seek!

Thoughts: So glad Holly Surplice has a second book out. I love her About a Bear. This one features the same cast, but the bunny is the star. Lovely illustrations and engaging rhyming text. Would pair well with Hide & Seek by Il Sung Na and Hands Off My Honey by Jane Chapman.

Themes: Games, Rabbits, Forest

(Harper, 2014)

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

This Is a Moose by Richard T. Morris

Illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

A film about a moose. The only problem: the star refuses to act like a moose. What's a director to do?

Thoughts: Hilarious! This will be such a fun book to share with kids. Would pair well with Count the Monkeys by Mac Barnett.

Themes: Moose, Interactive

(Little, Brown and Company, 2014)

Monday, September 25, 2017

It Is Night by Phyllis Rowand

Illustrated by Laura Pronzek

In the night, where do animals sleep?

Thoughts: Charming story. I wasn't familiar with it, but it seems timeless. I'm glad to make its acquaintance with new illustrations by Laura Pronzek. It Is Night will make a lovely addition to my bedtime storytime. Would pair well with Sleep Like a Tiger by Mary Logue.

Themes: Night, Bedtime

(Greenwillow, 2014)

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Is There a Dog In This Book? by Viviane Schwarz

The three cats in the book are sure they don't want to meet a dog. In fact, they spend a lot of time hiding from him, but could they be wrong dogs?

Thoughts: This will be a fun book for kids. The cats are almost hysterical in their hiding from the dog. The flaps are a fun addition.

Themes: Dogs, Cats 

(Candlewick, 2014)

Friday, September 22, 2017

Click, Clack, Peep by Doreen Cronin

Illustrated by Betsy Lewin

Farmer Brown just thought Duck was trouble. Now there's a baby duck on the farm and she can't sleep!

Thoughts: Fun, fun, fun! Anyone who has had a new baby will appreciate this book. A great book for spring.

Themes: Farm, Baby Animals, Spring

(Atheneum, 2015)

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Sleeping Cinderella & Other Princess Mix-Ups by Stephanie Clarkson

Illustrated by Brigette Barrager

Cinderella, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White are tired of their stories and decide to switch places. They discover changing stories didn't make them happy, but they have the power to change their stories.

Thoughts: What a fun book. Pair with The Great Fairy Tale Disaster by David Conway. The illustrations are fabulous especially the princesses' clothes. I love that they're not totally Disney. I look forward to sharing this with older kids perhaps at a princess party.

Themes: Folktales, Elementary

(Orchard Books, 2015)

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Smick! by Doreen Cronin

Illustrated by Juana Medina

A dog named Smick, a stick, and a chick. Good story, that.

Thoughts: What a lovely book. The text is brief and the illustrations are just right. I love the bold black lines and the addition of some real items (the stick, what made chick). Smick! will be a great addition to my dogs storytime. Pair with City Dog, County Frog by Mo Willems.

Themes: Dogs, Friendship

(Viking, 2015)

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Square Cat ABC by Elizabeth Schoonmaker

Companion to Square Cat

Eula is back! This time she has friends who arent other cats and a new hobby. It's an alphabetical adventure.

Thoughts: Love Eula and so happy she has a new book. This ABC book is something different. It goes through the alphabet, but it's more than a listing of letters. It's a story. 

Themes: Cats, Alphabet, Vegetables

(Aladdin, 2014)

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Bear Ate Your Sandwich by Julia Sarcone-Roach

This is the story of a bear and how he came to eat your sandwich.

Thoughts: Fun story! Surprise narrator (Dogs by Emily Gravett) and a bear in the city (Goldilocks and Just One Bear by Leigh Hodgkinson and Breaking News: Bear Alert by David Biedrzycki). I also like that the bear is black. So many of the good bear books have brown bears and we don't have brown bears in my neck of the woods. I love the illustrations--bright, detailed with a impressionistic feel. 

Themes: Bears, Food

(Knopf, 2015)

Saturday, September 16, 2017

The Farmer's Away! Baa! Neigh! by Anne Vittur Kennedy

The farmer's in the field and the animals are having all sorts of fun.

Thoughts: Love the concept behind this book--animal sounds only, no words. This was a fun book to share in storytime and would pair well with Moo! by David LaRochelle. The illustrations are detailed and interesting.

Themes: Animal Sounds, Farm

(Candlewick, 2014)

Friday, September 15, 2017

Flannel Friday: Treasure Chests

I made these treasure chests to go along with my pirate storytime. I used an image from clker as a template and puff paint for the details. I added numbers to the lids to aid the kids in number recognition. Underneath the chests, I placed different colored felt circles. The goal of this set is for the kids to help the pirate duck find her lost treasure. (Hint: it's purple!) I made my pirate duck stick puppet with a free clipart image from Teachers Pay Teachers.

Jessica is hosting the roundup this week.

Important Links:
Follow Flannel Friday on Twitter with the hashtag #flannelstorytime.
Our September/October Flannel Friday Fairy Godmother is Amy C.  

The Monkey Goes Bananas by C. P. Bloom

Illustrated by Peter Raymundo

Two islands, one monkey, a bunch of bananas, and a shark. Do you see where this story is going?

Thoughts: What fun! Nice to have a monkey book where an alligator or crocodile isn't the villain. Almost wordless, it really lets the illustrations do the talking. Was great to share in storytime.

Themes: Monkeys, Sharks, Almost Wordless

(Abrams, 2014)

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Breaking News: Bear Alert by David Biedrzycki

I think the title says it all.

Thoughts: What a fun book! Would be great to share for outreach storytime at the local elementary school. I love all the detail in the illustrations especially the menu at Teddy's Diner (inspiration for my next teddy bear picnic) and the nods to other famous bears (Pooh, Paddington). Bears touted as heroes remind me of the lion in How to Hide a Lion by Helen Stephens.

Themes: Bears, Elementary

(Charlesbridge, 2014)

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Julia's House for Lost Creatures by Ben Hatke

"Julia's houses came to town and settled by the sea."

(From the beginning, the idea of a moving house conjures up visions of Howl's Moving Castle and Baba Yaga's house. So I know this book will be good.)

Too quiet so she opens her home to lost/misplaces/displaces creatures among them are cats, trolls, Folletti (Italian imps), snail, mermaid, ghost, dragon, and goblins.

Too loud equals RULES.

Happily ever after.

Thoughts: This is a fabulous book. One of my favorites right up there with Dream Animals

(First Second, 2014)

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Ah Ha! by Jeff Mack

A day in the life of a frog full of captures, escapes, and near death experiences all expressed by two little words--ah ha.

Thoughts: What a fun book! I enjoy sharing this book with my storytime kids. The illustrations are bold and colorful. Pair with other almost wordless books: Red Sled and Red Hat by Lita Judge and Moo! by David LaRochelle.

Themes: Frogs, Ponds, Almost Wordless 

(Chronicle, 2013)

Monday, September 11, 2017

Little Owl's Day by Divya Srinivasan

Companion to Little Owl's Night

Little Owl decides to stay up during the day instead of sleeping so he can experience daytime. He encounters animals and plants he's never seen before.

Thoughts: A lovely book! Lots of detail in the illustrations for kids to notice. The two Little Owl books would make a great storytime as well as a discussion about nocturnal and diurnal animals. Other similar books are Polar Bear Night and Polar Bear Morning by Lauren THompson.

Themes: Owls, Forest, Daytime

(Viking, 2014)

Friday, September 8, 2017

Flannel Friday Roundup for September 8, 2017

Here's your roundup for September 8!

Keith has 2 things to share this week: a visual for the rhyme Tick Tock and Neko Atsume and Bananya.

Kate has Five Pink Flamingos with an original rhyme.

Wendy has a witch!

I have a bathtub and on a spiderweb.

Jessica is hosting the roundup next week.

Important Links:
Follow Flannel Friday on Twitter with the hashtag #flannelstorytime.
Our September/October Flannel Friday Fairy Godmother is Amy C.  

Flannel Friday: Elephants

This week's storytime theme was elephants and I made a few things to use on the flannel board. The two rhymes I found were variations of the "five little..." rhymes. One used a bathtub and the other a spiderweb. The patterns for the elephants and the bathtub came from clker. The pattern for the spiderweb was a coloring sheet I reformatted. Elephants have wiggle eyes and details in puff paint. The spider web was glued on to a felt sheet to add stability. The bathtub has a puff paint outline that I'm not thrilled with. It was supposed to be silver glitter and came out white. I may redo it.

Moo! by David LaRochelle

Illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka

A Cow. A Car. A crazy adventure all expressed or described with one word. Moo.

Thoughts: This book is pure magic! And I can testify that Moo! is indeed storytime gold. The kids love helping Cow moo. The illustrations are fun and bright. Pair with other almost wordless books: Red Hat and Red Sled by Lita Judge, Ah Ha! by Jeff Mack.

Themes: Cows, Cars, Almost Wordless

(Walker, 2013)

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Bear Sees Colors by Karma Wilson

Illustrated by Jane Chapman

Everybody's favorite bear is back with a new adventure. THis time it's color. Out for a walk in the forest, Bear encounters blue, red, yellow, green, and brown.

Thoughts: Bear Sees Colors will be a great addition to my colors storytime. Pair with Baby Bear Sees Blue by Ashley Wolff. The illustrations are bright and colorful. A great book for spring. The book has potential for discussion and extension activities with kids. For example, naming things that are [insert color],  and the colors that weren't mentioned (orange, purple, pink, black, white, gray).

Themes: Bears, Forest, Colors, Spring

(Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2014)

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Telephone by Mac Barnett

Illustrated by Jen Carace

A mama bird on the power line sends a message along to her son Peter. But will the message reach him in time and in the same words as it was given?

Thoughts: I have fond memories of playing pass it on in elementary school. This would be a fun book to share with elementary students and then play a game of pass it on. The illustrations are bright and detailed. I like all the  different species of birds. Would pair well with Pass It On by Marilyn Sadler or Flight School by Lita Judge.

Themes: Birds, Words, Talking, Games, Elementary

(Chronicle, 2014)

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

A Bean, A Stalk, and A Boy Named Jack by William Joyce

Illustrated by Kenny Callicutt

Think you know the story of Jack and the beanstalk? You do? Well, that's nice, but are you sure?

Thoughts: This retelling of a familiar folktale is imaginative and irreverent. I can't wait to share it with students at the elementary school. The humor would be too much for my storytime kids. The illustrations are bright and interesting. I like that the text doesn't tell the whole story. The illustrations give plenty of opportunities for engagement questions.

Themes: Elementary, Folktales

(Atheneum, 2014)

Monday, September 4, 2017

Mix It Up! by Herve Tullet

The famed creator of the fun, interactive picture book Press Here returns this time to play with colors. Tullet covers primary and secondary colors as well as hues and shades.

Thoughts: Oh what fun this will be in storytime. It would also make a great basis for a preschool art program where the kids can play with color.

Themes: Colors, Interactive

(Chronicle, 2014)

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Puddle Pug by Kim Norman

Illustrated by Keika Yamaguchi

Percy the pug loved puddles. But his perfect puddle belongs to some pigs and Mama pig doesn't like to share. What's a pug to do?

Thoughts: Too cute! Percy is a wonderful character. The story and its illustrations are great. Fabulous addition to dogs storytime. My favorite illustrations are the map and bringing Petunia home.

Themes: Dogs, Pigs

(Sterling, 2014)

Friday, September 1, 2017

A Moose That Says Moo by Jennifer Hamburg

Illustrated by Sue Truesdell

One girl imagines a zoo. It all starts with a moose that says moo!

Thoughts: Hilarious! Would pair well with My Garden by Kevin Henkes. I love a good book about imagination.

Themes: Zoos, Imagination

(FSG, 2014)

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Red Knit Cap Girl to the Rescue by Naoko Stoop

Red Knit Cap Girl and her forest friends help a lost polar  bear cub find his way home.

Thoughts: Lovely story and illustrations. Would make an interesting addition to polar bear storytime.

Themes: Helping, Polar Bears

(Megan Tingley Books, 2014)

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Day Dreamers by Emily Winfield Martin

companion to Dream Animals

Emily Winfield Martin's latest picture book asks readers to explore their imagination instead of embracing their dreams. Where will your imagination take you?

Thoughts: Love, love, love Emily's whimisical illustration style. I also enjoy books that encourage children (and adults) to use their imaginations. I think this book would be better shared one on one in a lap or at bedtime.

Themes: Imagination

(Random House, 2014)

The Lion and the Bird by Marianne Dubuc

Lion and Bird become unlikely friends when Bird breaks his wing while flying south for the winter.

Thoughts: Sweet story. Would pair well with City Dog, County Frog by Mo Willems. I love the brevity of the text. It makes engaging kids easy.

Themes: Friends, Seasons, Lions, Birds, Friendship

(Enchanted Lion Books, 2014)

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Applesauce Weather by Helen Frost

Illustrated by Amy June Bates

A family story set in autumn...Uncle Arthur always comes to visit when the first apple falls, but will he still come now that Aunt Lucy is gone? Faith is sure he will. Peter doubts.

Thoughts: A sweet story told in verse with four voices: Faith, Peter, Uncle Arthur, and Aunt Lucy. As most verse novels do, it reads quickly. All characters are perfectly developed. I had an uncle quite like Arthur and his characterization is spot on. Applesauce Weather would be a great fall read aloud for classrooms or families.

(Candlewick, 2016)

Monday, August 28, 2017

National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry edited by J. Patrick Lewis

Subtitle: More Than 200 Poems with Photographs that Float, Zoom, and Bloom
Companion to National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry

From the introduction by J. Patrick Lewis: "Every day more than 70 animals, plants or other living things, like fungi, roots, and molds, vanish forever. The Book of Nature Poetry seeks to capture the ever changing nature of nature, so that gone is not forgotten" (page 5).

The poems are divided into 10 sections (The Wonder of Nature, In the Sky, In the Sea, On the Move, Across the Land, In Shade, In Distress, In Season, In Splendor, and Last Thoughts) and the collection includes 4 indexes (title, poet, first line, and subject).

My favorite poems are "The Blue Between" by Kristine O'Connell George, "Advice from a Frog (Concerning a Crane)" by Alice Schertle and "Whale" by Mary Ann Hoberman.

The photographs are stunning and perfectly paired with the poems. The detail captured is amazing. In this book, I saw animals and places I'd never heard of. This collection like the one before is great for sharing/reading slowly. More than 200 poems gives readers many choices. Would be a good choice for poetry teatime sharing.

My one complaint: I don't like that Emily Dickinson's poems were given titles.

(National Geographic, 2015)

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets by Kwame Alexander with Chris Colderley & Marjory Wentworth

Illustrated by Ekua Holmes

Three poets honor twenty renowned poets in this collection of original poems. The poems are divided into three parts (Got Style, In Your Shoes, and Thank You). The book also features an informative section titled "About the Poets Being Celebrated."

Thoughts: This book is indeed a celebration. I love the last paragraph of the preface by Alexander. The collection as a whole is organized simply and flows well. The poems are all different stylistically which is to be expected as they honor different poets. The poems beg to be read aloud. I love the mix of poets celebrated. I was not familiar with a few of them. The information on the featured poets as well as the different lists make me want to know more about them.

The illustrations are bright, colorful, full of texture, and perfectly suit the poems. Paper collage is one of my favorite illustration mediums/techniques.  Ekua Holmes' illustrations make Out of Wonder a visually stunning book. My favorite poems are "Contemporary Haiku,' "Jazz Jive Jam," "The music of the Earth," "Hue and Cry," and "No Idle Days." My favorite illustrations are of the following poems: "In Every Season," "A Field of Roses," "How Billy Collins Writes a Poem," "The Music of the Earth," and "Majestic." 

Out of Wonder would be a great way to introduce children to these famous poets, maybe during a poetry teatime. There is a teacher's guide available here.

(Candlewick, 2017)

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Fresh-Picked Poetry: A Day at the Farmers' Market by Michelle Schaub

Illustrated by Amy Huntington

Eighteen poems take readers through a farmers' market in a day. You'll pick out vegetables, eat sweet treats, and get a little dirty.

Thoughts: A fun collection. Farmers' markets are a growing trend and this is a great introduction to the idea. The poems have great rhythm. The illustrations are just right. The pale outlines invite you into the illustrations. I like that the poems aren't the same form. The most creative, in my opinion, are "Delightful Bites" and "Wild Dreams in Two Voices." The last page, "Fresh-Picked Reasons to Spend a Day at the Market," is both informative and interesting. My favorite poems are "Market Day Today," Delightful Bites," "Necessary Mess," "Goose Chase," "From Bee to You," and "Farmer Greg's Free-Range Eggs."

(Charlesbridge, 2017)

Friday, August 25, 2017

Keep a Pocket in Your Poem: Classic Poems & Playful Parodies by J. Patrick Lewis

Illustrated by Johanna Wright

Thirteen classic poems and thirteen playful parodies.

The classic poets: Beatrice Schenk de Regniers; Robert Frost; Langston Hughes; Jack Prelutsky; Rose Fyleman; David McCord (x2); Emily Dickinson; Alfred, Lord Tennyson; A. E. Housman; Carl Sandburg; Robert Louis Stevenson; and Issa.

Thoughts: The introduction perfectly begins this collection. Lewis defines parody and invites readers to try writing some of their own. I like the mixture of classic poems--some are ancient, others older, and still others contemporary. The parodies are fun. Some are almost tongue-in-cheek. The illustrations are soft and detailed. (I like Johanna's other books Bunnies on Ice, Bandits, and The Secret Circus). My favorite parodies are "The Ogre," "The Firefly," and "The Tiger."
(Wordsong, 2017)

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Things To Do by Elaine Magliaro

Illustrated by Catia Chien

A first collection. The poems begin simply with the words "Things to do if you are a/an [insert noun]" and proceeds to take you through a day.

The poems: dawn, birds, honeybee, acorn, snail, sun, sky, eraser, scissors, rain, boots, orb-spider, crickets, and moon. 

Thoughts: I have loved Elaine's poetry since I discovered her blog Wild Rose Reader during National Poetry Month years ago. I am thrilled that she has finally published a collection. Her "things to do" list poem is a great form and easy to teach to children. The illustrations are soft colored and inviting. They showcase the poems' energy perfectly. My favorite poems are honeybee, sun, boots, and moon. The poems are simple and lyrical and perfectly capture a day in the life of a child. What did you notice today? I look forward to future collections from Elaine.

(Chronicle, 2016)

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

It's An Orange Aardvark by Michael Hall

One ant decides to make a window in the stump. With the help of a lively imagination, trouble ensues as the ants think an orange aardvark is after them.

Thoughts: Too funny. I love Michael Hall's books and can't wait to use this one. I really like the cut paper illustrations.

Themes: Ants, Colors 

(Greenwillow, 2014)

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Have You Heard the Nesting Bird? by Rita Gray

illustrated by Kenard Pak

Each bird has its own call or song, but not the nesting bird. She is quiet. Why?

Thoughts: A very nice book. Some of the birds' songs will be troublesome to reproduce, but I'll have fun trying. I liked the interview with the birds at the end. I learned more than I ever knew about nesting birds. Lovely illustrations--reminiscent of Jon Klassen.

Themes: Birds, Spring

(Houghton Mifflin, 2014)

Monday, August 21, 2017

Big and Small by Elizabeth Bennett

illustrated by Jane Chapman

Friend big (a bear) and Small (a mouse) are off on an adventure. Along the way, Small needs some help. Big is always there.

Thoughts: Lovely! A sweet story with gorgeous illustrations. I have enjoyed using this book in storytime. I would love to see the series continue.

Themes: Bears, Mice, Picnics, Friendship, Spring

(Tiger Tales, 2014)

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

I Hatched! by Jill Esbaum

illustrated by Jen Corace

A killdeer chick hatches and spends the whole day getting to know his world.

Thoughts: The chick as the narrator is fun. You can feel his energy as he runs and runs some more. This will be a nice addition to my birds storytime. Lovely illustrations. I look forward to trying this out on my storytime kids.

Themes: Birds, Spring

(Dial, 2014)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Pigeon Needs a Bath! by Mo Willems

The Pigeon is back. This time instead of wanting something--like a bus, a hot dog, a later bedtime, a puppy, or a cookie--he doesn't want to do something: take a bath. But pigeon, are baths really that bad?

Thoughts:  Pigeon books are always crowd-pleasers. This one isn't as interactive as the others, but it is just as funny. I love his change of heart.

Themes: Bathtime

(Hyperion, 2014)

Monday, May 22, 2017

Maple by Lori Nichols

Named for a tree, Maple loves the tree her parents planted for her and her name. She sees her tree as a friend. Being friends with a tree turns out to be excellent training for becoming a big sister.

Thoughts: Such a sweet story. It reminds me of Sophie's squash. Lovely illustrations, especially the maple leaves.

Themes: Siblings, Friendship, Seasons, Trees

(Nancy Paulsen, 2014)

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Extraordinary Jane by Hannah E. Harrison

Jane is a circus dog. There's only one problem. She doesn't have a talent.

Thoughts: A cute book. Perfect addition to my circus storytime. Beautiful illustrations--bright with good use of white space.

Themes: Dogs, Circus, Being Yourself

(Dial, 2014)

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Dream Animals: A Bedtime Story by Emily Winfield Martin

How do you get to dreamland? "Furred, finned, or feathered, your dream animal is waiting."

Thoughts: Dream Animals is a gorgeous book. I love the story and the illustrations. Emily Winfield Martin's style strikes me as fresh and new, but at the same time, it is also classic and vintage. I used this book for one of my stuffed animals sleepover and the kids were a bit too wiggly to appreciate it. I look forward to trying again and also recommending it to parents and friends. It's hard to pick a favorite illustration, but I like the elfin hollow and the mermaid tea. Would pair well with Red Knit Cap Girl and Dream Friends.

Themes: Animals, Dreams, Imagination

(Random House, 2013)

Friday, May 19, 2017

Baby Bear Counts One by Ashley Wolff

Baby Bear from Baby Bear Sees Blue returns. The season is fall and winter is on its way. Baby Bear counts all the animals as they prepare for winter.

Thoughts: As lovely as the first. I love the lino block illustrations. This would pair well with Denise Fleming's Time to sleep.

Themes: Numbers, Bears, Fall, Ready for Winter

(Beach Lane Books, 2013)

Thursday, May 18, 2017

How to Hide a Lion by Helen Stephens

What do you do when you find a lion in your playhouse? Hide him, of course! Only, lions are hard to hide.

Thoughts: An utterly charming tale of an unusual friendship. I love the illustrations, the wit, and the reference to The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr. I look forward to using this book in storytime soon.

Themes: Lions, Friendship

(Henry Holt, 2013)

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Sophie's Squash by Pat Zietlow Miller

illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf

Every kid has a favorite toy or friend. Sophie's is Bernice, a squash.

Thoughts: A wonderful story about love and friendship and vegetables. The illustrations are great. They show Sophie's vigor for life.

Themes: Friendship, Love

(Schwartz & Wade, 2013)

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Henny by Elizabeth Rose Stanton

Meet Henny. She's a chicken, but she's not your average chicken. She has arms. Yes, just like humans have. Henny is not sure she likes being different. Or is she?

Thoughts: A lovely book a bout being different. Pair with For Pete's Sake by Ellen Stoll Walsh and Square Cat by Elizabeth Schoonmaker. Lovely pencil and watercolor illustrations with good use of white space.

Themes: Chickens, Being Different

(Paula Wiseman, 2014)

Monday, May 15, 2017

What's Your Favorite Animal? by Eric Carle & Friends

The title of this book is both a question and the subject of the book. Fourteen children's book illustrators answer the question with both an illustration and an explanation.

Thoughts: This is an inspiring book and I can't wait to use it for a program. I will share the book with kids possibly along with another animal book. After that, I will give them the time and materials to answer the question. Their answers would make a great bulletin board display. My favorite answers are Blue Carp (Peter Sis), Behold the Octopus (Nick Bruel), Duck (Jon Klassen), and Leopard (Lucy Cousins).

Themes: Animals, Elementary

(Henry Holt, 2014)

Saturday, May 13, 2017

A Book of Babies by Il Sung Na

This delightful picture book explores animal babies.

Thoughts: a nice story which incorporates facts. Lovely illustrations. I like his style. A Book of Babies would pair well with My First Day by Steve Jenkins & Robin Page.

Themes: Animal Babies

(Knopf, 2013)

Friday, May 12, 2017

Eye to Eye: How Animals See the World by Steve Jenkins

I think the title is this book's best description.

Thoughts: Fascinating and beautifully illustrated. Just what I would expect from Steve Jenkins. I love sharing his books when I do outreach in 1st and 2nd grade classrooms.

Themes: Elementary

(Houghton Mifflin, 2014)

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Big Bear's Big Boat by Eve Bunting

Illustrated by Nancy Carpenter

Now that Big Bear is too big for his little boat and has given it to Little Bear, he sets out to make a bigger boat. The only trouble is all his friends have advice to give. Big Bear soon realizes that sometimes it's best to be true yo your dreams.

Thoughts: What a charming story! The illustrations are just right--soft yet vibrant. Big Bear's Big Boat would pair well with The Pigs' Picnic by Keiko Kasza and Monkey Face by Frank Asch.

Themes: Bears, Boats, Advice

(Clarion, 2013)

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

I'm a Frog! by Mo Willems

Piggie has done it again. That is to say, she's upset Gerald yet again. This time by being a frog. What if he turns into a frog, too?

Thoughts: Too funny. I love Gerald's exaggerated reactions to Piggie's pretending. This would be a great book to add to my animal sounds storytime.

Themes: Elephants, Pigs, Animal Sounds, Imagination

(Hyperion, 2013)

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Brimsby's Hats by Andrew Prahin

Brimsby the hatmaker is content. He makes hats, his friend makes tea, and they chat. But one day,his friend goes away and Brimsby is all alone. He sets out to find new friends.

Thoughts: Such a lovely story. I love the ingenuity of Brimsby. He isn't content to be alone so he finds (and helps) new friends. Lovely, detailed illustrations. My favorite is the birds inside their new homes.

Themes: Friends, Hats, Birds, Tea

(Simon & Schuster, 2014)

Monday, May 8, 2017

The Very Big Carrot by Satoe Tone

Six little rabbits find one very big carrot. What should they do with it?

Thoughts: Too funny! I can hear my storytime kids shouting "Eat it!" through all the rabbits' fantastic suggestions.

Themes: Carrots, Vegetables, Rabbits, Imagination

(Errdmans, 2013)

Friday, April 7, 2017

Flannel Friday: Doggies by Sandra Boynton

I love Sandra Boynton's board books, but the pictures are too small to share with large storytime groups. In the past, I've adapted Bob and Fifteen Animals.

This time I have adapted Doggies: A Counting and Barking Book. Boynton's illustration style makes adapting her books to felt easy. In storytime, I still use the book, but the felt pieces mean everyone can see the characters clearly. This set has a felt base with layers and layers of puff paint.

I'm hosting the roundup this week.

Keith is hosting the roundup next week.

Important Links:
Follow Flannel Friday on Twitter with the hashtag #flannelstorytime.
Our March/April Flannel Friday Fairy Godmother is Anne.  

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Flannel Friday Roundup for April 7, 2017

Here's the Flannel Friday Roundup for April 7th. Enjoy!

Laura adapted the book One Day in the Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Tree by Daniel Bernstrom into a puppet story with felt characters. I love it!

Carissa is a first time Flannel Friday poster. Welcome! She shares how she made a flannel board from a picture frame. Great idea! I usually use the backside of a dry erase board.

Kate has Hildy the HenLittle Chick, Little Chick Hide and Seek Game, and Little Bunny, Little Bunny Hide and Seek Sizes Game for us.

Wendy shares a build-a-bug set with us this week. Such a clever idea and just in time for my bugs storytime later this month.

Stephanie (another first time poster1) shares 5 Little Fish Japanese style in the form of a free printable on her Storytime Japan Facebook group.

This week, I have adapted Doggies by Sandra Boynton.

Kelly has a great version of Little Chick, Little Chick that's perfect for spring and would pair well with a book I read for my eggs storytime this week: Hurry, Hurry by Eve Bunting.

Keith is hosting the roundup next week.

Important Links:
Follow Flannel Friday on Twitter with the hashtag #flannelstorytime.
Our March/April Flannel Friday Fairy Godmother is Anne.