Wednesday, October 20, 2021

100 Cats by Michael Whaite

So many cats to count! Can you count them all? 

Thoughts: Such a fun book! The text is fabulous--very rhythmic. You can also chant it. The illustrations are colorful and I love all the depictions of the cats. My favorite cats are art cat, lucky cat, cool cat, grin cay, lynx cat, tangled in your knitting cat, floppy cat, clock cat, stripe cat, and my cat. I think if I use this book in storytime, I'd read it first and then we'd go back and count the cats keeping a running total page by page. 

Themes: Cats, Counting

(Random House, 2019.)

Monday, October 18, 2021

Itty-Bitty Kitty Corn by Shannon Hale

Kitty thinks she's a unicorn. In fact, she's almost certain even though Parakeet and Gecko are always naysaying. But when a real unicorn shows up, Kitty is defeated. She's not a unicorn. But could she be a kitty corn? 

Thoughts: Such a fun book and a great addition to unicorn books. I look forward to adding this to my unicorn storytime. The illustrations are colorful and I love the expressions on all the characters' faces. Some great activity sheets are available here from the publisher. Several of them encourage children to use their imaginations as well as drawing and coloring skills. 

Themes: Cats, Unicorns, Imagination 

(Illustrated by LeUyen Pham. Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2021.)

Friday, October 15, 2021

Outside, Inside by LeUyen Pham

A look back at the changes the  COVID-19 pandemic brought to the world both outside and in. 

Thoughts: Such a timely book! Outside, Inside is a great way to start a discussion with the youngest children about the pandemic. Simple text is paired with lovely illustrations. The illustrations are so detailed I found my self going back to look at them several times. I often say that when we find ourselves on the other side of this pandemic (and we're not there yet) I think we need to have some way to remember what life was like then. This book definitely fits the bill. I could see myself sharing Outside, Inside at such an event where we share stories from the time and have a favorite mask show and tell. I know parents, grandparents, and teachers will find this book to be useful. 

(Roaring Brook Press, 2021.)

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

The Bookstore Cat by Cylin Busby

How would you describe the bookstore cat? Here are a few suggestions from A to Z! 

Thoughts: I love the inspiration for this book. I've never heard of the game The Minister's Cat, but I have played a similar one when hosting a Kit Kittredge Party. I think my storytime kids will enjoy this book, but I'm looking forward to sharing it with older kids and playing the game with them after we read the book. I may assign each child a letter and have them write down a few adjectives that start with their letter so we can play quickly. When I visit classrooms, I usually only have thirty minutes. 

Themes: Cats, Alphabet, Elementary 

(Illustrated by Charles Santoso. Balzer + Bray, 2020.)

Monday, October 11, 2021

Tea Time by Beth Ferry

Is it tea time or tee time? Homophones cause a slight confusion during Frannie's time with Grandy. 

Thoughts: Too funny! This will be a great addition to a tea storytime or a grandparents storytime. Explaining homophones to preschoolers should be fun. The illustrations are colorful and detailed. I like the golf terms defined at the end of the book. The ruined tea (hot tea, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and chocolate cake) and the tea at the clubhouse (hot tea, club sandwiches, and chocolate chip cookies) give me and possibly parents and grandparents ideas for extending the story. 

Themes: Tea, Grandparents 

 (Illustrated by Dana Wulfekotte. G. P. Putnam's Sons, 2021.)

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

The Capybaras by Alfredo Soderguit

The chicken coop is a great place to live. Peaceful with plenty of food. Then one day some unexpected visitors arrive--the capybaras. They don't fit in with the hen crowd. Can chickens and capybaras be friends? 

Thoughts: I think capybaras are the cutest and I've got to see some a zoos before. They look like gigantic guinea pigs. I like the friendship that develops between the chickens and the capybaras. The text is sparse and there are several two-page spreads that are wordless. The illustrations remind me of picture books from years ago. I like the detail Soderguit is able to convey in the animals' expressions and the limited color palette. I find it interesting you never really see the humans' faces. The ending vignette leaves the possibility for another book. Or if not, you can ask kids to write that story. 

Themes: Farm, Chickens, Capybaras, South America

(Review Copy Provided by Publisher. Translated by Elisa Amado. Greystone Kids, 2021. )

Monday, October 4, 2021

My Dog Banana by Roxane Brouillard

Just a boy walking his dog. Wait...that's a banana, isn't it? 

Thoughts: What a fun book! When I first saw the cover it immediately reminded me of Peanut by Lisa Alsenas. I think this book will make readers and listeners laugh out loud. I look forward to sharing this book with first and second graders. I think they'll understand the humor a bit more than my under five storytime kids. The illustrations are great. They remind me of illustrations from the 1970s and 1980s. The surprise ending is reminiscent of Bark, George by Jules Feiffer. Fruits and vegetables as pets or friends is an intriguing concept. I can only think of one other book and that is Sophie's Squash by Pat Zietlow Miller.

Themes: Unusual Pets, Dogs, Bananas, Fruit, Silly Books, Elementary 

(Review Copy Provided by Publisher. Illustrated by Giulia Sagramola. Greystone Kids, 2021.)