Archive for the ‘books’ Category

Tiptoe Joe

April 23, 2014

Tiptoe Joe

By Ginger Foglesong Gibson


In this beautifully illustrated and interactive book, Tiptoe Joe invites his friends to come along on a secret and special adventure.

The illustrations are warm and inviting. The animals’ expressions are sweet, friendly and absolutely adorable, and the details of their clothing are such fun. Each animal has on a colorful item of clothing. (I love Tiptoe Joe’s red sneakers!)

The repetitive rhyming text and wonderfully fun use of onomatopoeia makes this book a great choice to read aloud to your little one.  It would also perfect for a classroom read.

My favorite part of all though is the wonderful surprise waiting at the end of the book.  I’m not telling – you’ll have to discover it on your own. Give this one a try.  You’ll be glad you did. Happy reading!

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It’s Not Yours, It’s Mine!

April 22, 2014

51TcxlOOnaL._SS500_It’s Not Yours, It’s Mine!

By Susanna Moores

We’ve all had that special toy that we didn’t want to share. Blieka the bunny has a ball. It’s big and round and red and wonderful, and it’s all HERS. To keep others from getting it, she takes it with her everywhere. They have tea parties together, and go to the movies together, and take baths together. Her friends asked to play with it, but Blieka always said, “It’s not yours, it’s mine!” But when her favorite ball gets a hole, Blieka needs help to fix it.

While Blieka still struggles to share her ball, she learns that something wonderful can happen when you share with your friends. A warm story with fun, simple illustrations, it’s a great read to help make sharing a little bit easier.

Recommended for ages 3-6.

Nicki P. (Schimelpfenig)

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Star in the Forest by Laura Resau

April 18, 2014


Star in the Forest

Star in the Forest by Laura Resau

Zitlally’s father has been deported, and she feels alone.  She hides in the junkyard of rusted car parts near her trailer park, where she finds a dog which has been chained and abandoned.  Eventually she begins to trust the dog, and with the help of her next-door neighbor and new friend, Crystal, she finds the courage to rescue Star.

As Zitlally withdraws from her friends at school, she develops empathy for Crystal, a girl who is considered a liar and an outsider. Star in the Forest is an important story for children, because it opens the door to several good discussion points, like the meaning of friendship, and immigration. Immigration, a topic not normally discussed with children, does affect them.  Why not begin the discussion around a book?  Laura Resau’s website,, has two discussion guides that might be useful, plus you’ll learn how to pronounce the author’s name.  There are also pronunciation guides in the back of the book for Spanish and Nahuatl words.

Best for grades 3 to 6, I hope you’ll enjoy reading about Zitlally, Crystal and Star.

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Shoe Dog

April 16, 2014

Megan McDonald

Shoe Dog by Megan McDonald.

All dogs love to chew and they can usually be placated by a bone, a toy or even a smelly sock but  not Shoe Dog.  How did he get that name?  We meet this adorable dog at a pet store where is is anxiously waiting for a home.  The owner has no idea what she is in for until she discovers his passion, shoes!  In fact, that is how he got his name.  He can’t seem to help himself as he discovers just the right size boxes filled with shoes.  Even though he is called “BAD DOG” and has to sleep at the bottom of the bed or on the cold downstairs floor the lure of those shoe boxes is just more than he can stand.  You would think he would have learned his lesson but when a large red bag appears he hears that familiar rustling of paper and he knows those boxes are just waiting for him.  Shoe Dog will find that bag and when he pulls it over what falls out makes him stop in his tracks.  He no longer needs shoes for his has found a new passion.

I really enjoyed the illustrations in this large colorful book.  The drawing of Shoe Dog really fit his spunky personality.  Who doesn’t enjoy a good dog adventure and this one is worth reading.

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Growing Patterns: Fibonacci Numbers in Nature

April 15, 2014

growing patterns

Growing Patterns:Fibonacci Numbers in Nature by Sarah C. Campbell

There’s a number sequence, a pattern, that mathematicians call Fibonacci numbers.  Each number is the sum of the two numbers that come before it: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13…and so on.  So what?  Well, it happens that this pattern shows up in the strangest places throughout nature.  In the petals on a flower, the bracts on a pinecone, the skin of a pineapple, and the shell of a nautilus.  Who knew that nature and math were so intertwined!

This book makes a somewhat sophisticated math concept accessible to elementary age kids, although it helps if the reader has experience with number patterns.  Simple, striking photographs illustrate the concept beautifully, and the last page in the book expands on related concepts like the Golden Ratio and Lucas numbers for those readers who want to know more.  Fabulous and simple non-fiction about a concept unusual in children’s books.

fibonacci 1

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Here Comes the Easter Cat

April 11, 2014

here-comes-the-easter-catHere Comes the Easter Cat
by Deborah Underwood, illustrated by Claudia Rueda

Cat doesn’t understand why everybody loves the Easter Bunny so much.  Sure, he brings everyone chocolate eggs, but that can’t be that hard…right? When Cat figures out how hard that job is – and discovers that the Easter Bunny never has time for a nap – he finds a way to help instead of just being jealous.

This fun, humorous picture book is written as if the narrator is having a conversation with Cat, but all of Cat’s responses are nonverbal and only suggested in the illustrations.  This is makes it a wonderful story to use as an exercise in “reading” the pictures in a book.  Each illustration of Cat suggests half of a conversation and half of the narrative in the book.  Take time with your little one and let them tell YOU what Cat is thinking and saying, and enjoy the humor that follows!

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Momo and Snap are NOT friends!

April 10, 2014

Momo and Snap are NOT friendsMomo and Snap Are Not Friends!

By Airlie Anderson

Momo and Snap Are Not Friends is a story about two different animals that happen to cross paths, and when they do they engage in a competition of sorts. They battle it out to see which one of them is more ferocious. Through several rounds, Momo the monkey and Snap the alligator go head to head testing their strength and their growls. But that’s not all, they also compete to see who is better at juggling, drawing, swimming, fishing and running. It’s a grueling competition that gets interrupted by a pack of hungry lions. But only Snap sees them coming. Thinking on his feet, Snap does the only thing he can think of. He runs in the opposite direction, but not before scooping up little Momo. And thus begins a  warm friendship.

I love everything about Momo and Snap are NOT friends, it’s such a great story with two adorable characters. What I love the most about this picture book is the style in which it is written. There are no words, the entire story unfolds through pictures and sounds that Momo and Snap make. It’s a fun read, especially when read aloud!

Recommended for ages 3-8.

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The Magic Bojabi Tree

April 8, 2014

The Magic Bojabi TreeThe Magic Bojabi Tree

By Dianne Hofmeyr

Illustrated by Piet Grobler

All of the animals of Africa are hot and hungry. They want the beautiful fruit from mysterious tree, but it is guarded by the biggest python they have ever seen. The python tells them they can eat the fruit if they name the tree, and the king of the beasts is the only one who knows the name. Sending zebra and monkey and elephant for the name ends in disaster as they forget the name on the way back. They try a bunch of silly words, but the python won’t budge. By the time turtle takes his turn, the king of the beasts is angry at being woken so many times. Still, turtle gets the name and makes up a rhyme to help him remember.

The Magic Bojabi Tree is an old African story that has many different versions. It’s a fun read for little ones that like catchy rhymes. I recommend reading the turtle’s song together so everyone can sing it during the story. With quirky, colorful paintings The Magic Bojabi Tree is sure to inspire giggles.

Recommended for ages 4-7

Nicki P. (Schimelpfenig Library)

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Kid Picks

April 6, 2014

Title: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules

Author: Jeff Kinney

What I thought about it: What I liked best about this book is that it is really funny and it’s has alot of picters in the book.

Reviewed by: A’Teya Leonard




Title: The Serpents Shadow

Author: Rick Riordan

What I thought about it: It has lots of Egyptian magic and Egyptian mythology.

Reviewed by: Nurije




Title: Dance Class. 6, A Merry Olde Christmas

Author: Beka

What I thought about it: I like when the old lady sings opera.

Reviewed by: Cathy




Title: Giants Beware!

Author: Jorge Aguirre

What I thought about it: I like the part when Marie lays on a bed and pretends she can feel a pea but there is no pea!

Reviewed by: Michelle Kim



Title: Wonder

Author: R.J. Palacio

What I thought about it: I absolutely love this book because, it is so discriptive and it is about bullying and gives us a message not to do it. Also I was stuck on this book as soon as I got it.

Reviewed by: Christine Kim



Title: Nickel Bay Nick

Author: Dean Pitchford

What I thought about it: It was funny

Reviewed by: Madison Harris




Title: Happy Birthday Bad Kitty

Author: Nick Bruel

What I thought about it: Kitty’s B-day and her mom come’s.

Reviewed by: Ella Points

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A Walk in Paris

April 4, 2014

A Walk in Paris

By Salvatore Rubbino

A little girl and her grandfather take a walking tour through the city of lights spotting all the famous landmarks and enjoying the French culture and food in this delightful book by Salvatore Rubbino. The amazing illustrations are realistic and you feel as though you are on the journey with the little girl.

It is my dream to visit Paris and see all the sights the little girl and her grandfather saw. What I loved most about this book besides the amazing illustrations are the factoids and tips that accompanied the story on each page. These facts included French translations, history of the city and locations of landmarks. I have learned so much! By the way did you know thirty-seven bridges cross over the river Seine? Cool, huh!

For ages 5 and up

Make sure to check out A Walk in London and also A Walk in New York by Salvatore Rubbino.

Reviewed by Maggie (Parr Library)

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