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)