Friday, January 21, 2022

One-Osaurus, Two-Osaurus by Kim Norman

The dinosaurs are playing hide-and-seek. Can they make it to ten? 

Thoughts: Lovely rhythmic text paired with colorful illustrations. I can't wait to read this book during storytime. Pair with The Elephants' Guide to Hide-and-Seek by Kjersten Hayes, Find Fergus by Mike Boldt, Everybunny Count! by Ellie Sandall, Peek-A-Boo Bunny by Holly Surplice, and Hide & Seek by Il Sung Na for a hide-and-seek themed storytime. 

Themes: Dinosaurs, Counting/Numbers, Hide-and-Seek 

(Illustrated by Pierre Collet-Derby. Candlewick Press, 2021.)

Monday, January 17, 2022

Guess What!? by Mo Willems

Unlimited Squirrels are back! This time Zoom Squirrel is going to the beach. He's counting the days. 

Thoughts: Too fun! I love that Mo has a new easy reader series now that the Elephant & Piggie series is complete. I also like that Guess What!? is more than just a story. It's got jokes, research, and a guessing game. This will be a fun book to share with kids of all ages. The illustrations are vibrant and expressive.

Get some activity sheets for the series here

Don't miss the other Unlimited Squirrels Books! 

  • I Lost My Tooth!
  • Who Is the Mystery Reader? 
  • I Want to Sleep Under the Stars! 

Themes: Squirrels, Beach

(Hyperion, 2021.)

Friday, January 14, 2022

Red by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

Seeger's third color book explores emotions through various shades and hues of the color red. 

Thoughts: I love everything about this book. The brief text (just the names of the different reds) pairs well with Seeger's acrylic on canvas illustrations. I love the saturation she achieves in her painting. Red will be a good addition to a color, emotion, or fall themed storytime. Check out this blog post on Seeger's website about the making of Red. Her process is fascinating. 

Don't miss Seeger's other color books! 

  • Green (2012)
  • Blue (2018)

Themes: Red, Foxes, Almost Wordless 

(Neal Porter Books, 2021.)

Monday, January 10, 2022

The Story of a Story by Deborah Hopkinson

How do you write a story? Here's The Story of a Story

Thoughts: This book is a great introduction to the writing process for the youngest readers, but will also be appreciated by writers of all ages. The illustrations are colorful and detailed with good use of black outlines and white space. I love the information at the end of the story about writing your own story. This would be a great activity to do with elementary students. Pair The Story of a Story with How to Write a Story by Kate Messner and Write! Write! Write! by Amy Ludwig Vanderwater

Themes: Writing, Stories, Elementary

(Illustrated by Hadley Hooper. Neal Porter Books, 2021.)

Friday, January 7, 2022

A Most Clever Girl: How Jane Austen Discovered Her Voice by Jasmine A. Stirling

This charming picture book biography focuses on Jane Austen's love of stories and words. The book follows her as she decides to write and perfects her craft over the years. 

Thoughts: I've been a fan of Jane Austen ever since I saw the 1996 adaptation of Emma on A&E when I was in high school. I didn't actually read her books until I was in graduate school. Her books offer so much enjoyment even more than a century after their publications. A Most Clever Girl is a great introduction to Jane and her love of writing. The illustrations are soft-colored and engaging. Notes from the author and illustrator are included as well as resources and a selected bibliography. I think anyone who reads this book will want to know more about Jane and eventually read her books. 

(Illustrated by Vesper Stamper. Bloomsbury Children's Books, 2021.)

Monday, January 3, 2022

One Sheep, Two Sheep by Tammi Sauer

It's bedtime on the farm and Rooster's ready to go to sleep. To go to sleep, he has to count sheep. Just sheep. No other animals. Are you ready? 

Thoughts: Too funny! I love Rooster's dramatic reactions to the not sheep animals. The story reads well and has a great rhythm. The digital illustrations are are colorful and engaging. This is will be a great addition to a bedtime or farm storytime. 

Themes: Bedtime, Farm, Counting, Sheep

(Illustrated by Troy Cummings. Abrams Appleseed, 2021.)

Friday, December 31, 2021

A Troop of Kangaroos: A Book of Animal Group Names by Lis Mundorff

A Troop of Kangaroos is a collective noun/animal group name books for the youngest readers and listeners. It features nine animals with six bonus animals at the end of the book. 

Thoughts: I've always been a fan of animal group names or collective nouns. To borrow a phrase from Anne Shirley, there's so much "scope for imagination" in collective nouns both for writing and drawing. I love that A Troop of Kangaroos is for the younger kids. The illustrations are colorful and detailed. There's so much to look at on the two-page spreads throughout the books. An easy writing and/or art activity would be to ask the kids to write a story or draw a picture of one of the bonus animal group names (hummingbirds, giraffes, wombats, narwhals, coyotes, and raccoons). The kids could also seek out other animal group names and write/draw about one that strikes their fancy. I highlighted collective nouns/animal group names during my summer program because the topic fit in so well with the CSLP theme of "Tails and Tales." You could pair A Troop of Kangaroos with An Ambush of Tigers: A Wild Gathering of Collective Nouns by Betsy R. Rosenthal, A Curious Menagerie by Carin Berger, or A Tower of Giraffes: Animals in Groups by Anna Wright for a fun lesson on animal group names. 

Themes: Animals, Collective Nouns, Elementary 

(Feiwel and Friends, 2021.)