Archive | Book Reviews RSS feed for this section

Drama Bear: The Sniffles for Bear by Bonny Becker

19 Oct

What a drama bear! Bear is convinced he is dying, when he only has a cold. He convinces mouse, who has come over to nurse him, to help him up to bed:

Photo of the illustration taken with Instagram

Filled with more great vocabulary and phrases (“I fear you do not appreciate the gravity of my situation!”), priceless illustrations filled with expression (by Kady MacDonald Denton), and a lovely story of true friendship, this is another Bear story worth checking out. A bit long and with conversations that may require discussion between reader and listener, this may not be the best for storytime, but perfect for one-on-one sharing between a caregiver and older preschool or young elementary school child.

Books to look forward to: Ollie the Purple Elephant by Jarrett J. Krosoczka!

13 Aug

I adore Jarrett J. Krosozcka’s books – especially Punk Farm, which allows me to release my inner Ramone – so it’s a foregone conclusion that I would be excited for the release of Ollie the Purple Elephant. And after watching this video, where Jarrett describes how Ollie was imagined, and a bit of the story, I’m even more excited to read it!

Bonus: learn how to properly pronounce “Krosoczka.” I am pleased to hear that I’ve not been mangling it all these years.

</object>

 

Books I saw at ALA that’s I’m REALLY REALLY looking forward to getting

6 Jul

At ALA Annual last week in New Orleans, I spent a little time in the exhibits hall strolling through the publishers’ booths, checking out the upcoming books (and scoring a little swag. But just a little. I was being very restrained). Since there was no possible way I could read all the upcoming titles that looked interesting, and since I’m too lazy to write them down (plus had my hands full with the aforementioned swag), I took pictures of the covers to remind myself to find those books again. I hereforth (is that a word?) share my most anticipated* titles with you. The pictures link to Amazon or Indiebound, if I could find the titles:

*I know some of these are already out. But I haven’t actually seen them yet, so they’re all new to me!

EVERYTHING Jan Thomas produces is GOLD.

Dogs. Donuts. Numeroff. 'Nuff said.

Looks like it will be fun for storytime!

(and I’m not just including April Pulley Sayre because she said on twitter that she liked one of my Flannel Friday posts.)

Eric Carle! What more do you want?

Adored the first one. Can't wait for the second!

Hot Rod Hamster's having a birthday!

No, not a picturebook. BUT STILL.

Eve Bunting!

I know nothing about this book other than that the cover is very, very cute. Yes, I'm judging it by its cover.

Wonderful illustrations by Deborah Freedman

More llama drama from Anna Dewdney!

I love Erica Perl, and not just because she gave me a bunch of Chicken Butt temporary tattoos. You know what?

Neat idea! By Cheryl Bardoe

It's a new Antoinette Portis book! Yay!

You had me at "Giant Fold Out Book" (and Simms Taback)

Pardon my finger in the picture. I am a HUGE Jarrett Krosoczka fan, and I love Lauren Thompson too! This should be great!

Poor Bear! Good thing he allows Mouse to visit now.

Katie Davis!

I can’t wait to get my hot little hands on each of these titles. What are your most-anticipated new books?

New* Books we (the preschoolers and I) love

24 May

Each year around this time I round up all the awesome new* books I can find, and do a storytime with them. I am lucky enough, through my outreach program, to be able to give all almost 1400 kids I visit each month a brand new book (to keep!) in May, so I do only a short storytime before we get to handing out the books. These are the books we are sharing and loving this month:

*And by “new”, I mean “new to me.” Apparently some of these are more than a year old! But so what, I just found them!

  • Schmid, Paul. A Pet for Petunia. Petunia wants, WANTS, WANTS a pet skunk. But when her parents say no, she goes on a rant that librarians like me (i.e. extra goofy) LOVE to perform. “Stink? I’ll show you stink!”
  • Bardhan-Quallen, Sudipta. Chicks Run Wild. Apparently one group of preschoolers loved this so much they were still talking about it long after storytime. After mama puts the chicks to bed, and closes the door, they get up again and RUN WILD! But Mama finally figures out that if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, and manages to wear them out in the process!
  • Beaumont, Karen. No Sleep for Sheep! Continuing the sleep theme, sheep is trying to get some sleep. But various farm animals keep coming into the barn, making noise, and waking him up! Lots of repitition, and the illustrations of the extra-fluffy, and super-harried, sheep are wonderful.
  • Kemp, Anna. Dogs Don’t Do Ballet. Biff the bulldog dreams of his name in lights. But his person’s father says “Dogs Don’t Do  Ballet.” Biff has other plans, and they involve putting on his person’s tutu and following her to a performance of the Royal Ballet.
  • Dewdney, Anna. Roly Poly Pangolin.  “Roly Poly, very small, doesn’t like new things at all.” Not bugs for dinner, not monkeys who want to be friends. But Roly Poly finally discovers that not every new thing is scary.
  • Vere, Ed. Banana! A simple, but expressive book with only 2 words in it: Banana and please. A great narrative skills developer, as kids can help tell the story.
  • Foley, Greg. I Miss You, Mouse. A lovely new addition to the Bear books. Now with flaps to lift!
  • Gormley, Greg. Dog In Boots. After reading Puss in Boots, Dog decides he wants some boots as marvelous as those worn in the story. But the first pair he gets, while wonderful, are no good for digging. He goes back to the store several times trying to find the perfect pair of shoes in which to do ALL of his doggie activities. We especially loved the picture of dog in high heels, perfect for scratching!
  • Nesbitt, Kenn. More Bears! Hilariously meta. And the preschoolers had learned who an author and illustrator were, so were able to understand that concept (mostly). I pointed out the words “More Bears!” on each page and let the kids say them.”
  • Hillenbrand, Will Spring Is Here! Mole wakes up and discovers spring has arrived. He tries to wake bear, to no avail. What will he have to do?
  • Sayre, April Pulley. If You’re Hoppy and You Know It. A play on the song, offering words like “hoppy”, “sloppy”, “growly”, and “flappy” and the corresponding animals.

I’m looking forward to sharing (I have an ARC but not a hard copy yet):

  • Foley, Greg (geez, this guy’s talented!). Purple Little Bird Bird works very hard making his purple house perfect. But something’s missing. He travels around the world, meeting animals of every color, looking for the perfect place.

What are your new favorites?

Brand-new books the preschoolers (and I) like

16 Aug

In addition to Pete the Cat and Jump!, this summer I’ve been collecting fun newly-published (or just new to my library) books that I want to add to my storytimes this year.  It’s always fun to try out a new title on the preschoolers; sometimes (oftentimes) it works, and sometimes, to my surprise, it falls flat.  But I really enjoy sharing a book that I’ve just discovered and really love, and it makes it all the more sweet when the little guys like it too.  Here are some of my new faves:

  • Geringer, Laura.  Boom Boom Go Away. This one has a great refrain that the kids I read it to picked up on right away. They always came in on the “go away!”  Lots of sounds to make, which reinforces phonological awareness.
  • Hendra, Sue.  Barry, the Fish With Fingers. Okay, so maybe here in the U.S. we don’t call fish sticks “fish fingers”.  But that doesn’t make this book any less silly.  After you read it, you can talk about things we can do with our fingers.  And things we probably shouldn’t (*cough* sticking them in your nose *cough*).

    Wiggle those fish fingers!

  • Doodler, Todd H.  Animal Soup. Take a squirrel, cross it with a whale, and what do you get? A SQUALE, of course! This pictures are the best part of this book, although this book can be used for print awareness: I run my fingers under the words squirrel, whale, and squale to show the kids what I was reading.
  • Silly daddy!

    Shea, Bob. Oh, Daddy! Daddy can’t do anything himself, like get dressed, get in the car, or hug. His little hippo has to show him every time. Oh, daddy!  Can’t wait to see Shea’s Dinosaur vs. the Potty, too – it’s coming out in September!

  • Thomson, Bill.  Chalk. Okay, so I’m not yet sure how this is going to play in storytime as I haven’t used it yet. And it has NO WORDS. This will be a great one for narrative/storytelling kids as I hope to have the preschoolers tell me what’s happening rather than me reading the story.  I’ll let you know how it goes. I CAN say, for sure, that this one will be GREAT for one-on-one sharing.
  • Bloom, Suzanne.  What About Bear? Bear and Goose. Such good friends. In fact, you could say they are splendid friends, indeed.  But what happens when tiny Fox enters the scene, and deems bear too big, too grumpy, and too far away to play with? Will Goose abandon his old friend in favor of a new one? Read it and find out! And if the picture of little Fox hiding behind his tail doesn’t make you go “awwwww”, then, well, I don’t know what’s wrong with you.

    Mem Fox! Jan Thomas!

  • Fox, Mem. Let’s Count Goats. Okay, so I’m cheating a little here. I haven’t actually seen this one, so I don’t really know ifI like it yet. But, given the factors involved (Mem Fox, illustrator Jan Thomas, goats!?), I can predict that I will probably LOVE it.  And since the preschoolers have always reacted well to both Fox and Thomas (haven’t tested goats on them), I can be pretty sure they will love it too.

Which books are you looking forward to sharing? I polled some fellow librarians on twitter, and these are the titles they shared: How Rocket Learned to Read by Tad Hills (looks cute to me!), Amelia Bedelia’s First Apple Pie by Herman Parish,  City Dog, Country Frog by Mo Willems, and Ladybug Girl by Jacky Davis.

Sing a book! Jump! by Scott M. Fischer

11 Jun

Not the Van Halen version

Recently I chose a bunch of fun, recently-published books to share with the preschoolers. One of those was Jump!, by Scott M. Fischer.  When I read it silently, to myself, the first time, I heard it as a kind of twangy bluegrassy song.  It would be a perfect book to sing rather than read, and the children get to help out with the JUMP! refrain.

Singing in storytime (or anytime), whether you’re singing a book rather than reading it, or sharing an old favorite song, helps young children develop their phonological awareness.  Kids become better able to hear the smaller sounds that make up words, which is useful when sounding out words later.

After inventing my own tune for Jump!, I learned that Scott Fischer originally wrote it as a song.  Here, he performs it for a group of kids, and, oddly enough, it sounds very close to same song I heard in my head when I first read the book!

I especially love the Australian accent for the croc. After seeing this performance, I think Scott Fischer and I would be good friends.  Does anyone else think the cat looks like that little white kitty from the Aristocats?

One tiny quibble, though: on the “Sploosh!” page, if I hold it up so that the whale is at the bottom and the animals are splooshing up out of his blowhole, the word is upside down. The kids have noticed. But if I turn it over so the word is right-side up, it looks like the whale is upside down. Help!

The Sleepy Little Alphabet: A Bedtime Story from Alphabet Town by Judy Sierra

24 Nov

When planning an early literacy storytime, letter knowledge is the hardest skill match up with books that work in a group setting.  Alphabet books often lack a cohesive plot, and are better for one-on-one sharing than as storytime fare.  Enter Judy Sierra’s The Sleepy Little Alphabet.  This darling book, with energetic mixed-media illustrations by Melissa Sweet, tells the story of the lower-case letters of the alphabet (the upper case ones are the parents) getting ready for bed.  Each letter’s activities are described in rhyming sentences that include the letter sound at least once (and sometimes more often): “f is full of fidgety wiggles.  G has got the googly giggles.” The text is printed in a bright color that contrasts the background (making it easier to see and reinforcing print awareness), and the letters themselves are printed in a larger size than the rest of the text.  Every child can relate to the nighttime activities happening in this book, and will have tons of fun learning about letters and their sounds.  I, personally, am just so excited to have an alphabet book to add to my bedtime stories theme!  Judy Sierra, the amazing author of such wonderful book treats as Wild About Books and Preschool to the Rescue, gives us another reason to snuggle together and read!

%d bloggers like this: