Archive for the ‘books’ Category

Last Stop on Market Street

July 2, 2015

last stop on market streetLast Stop on Market Street

by Matt de la Pena; illustrations by Christian Robinson

This simple story follows CJ and his Nana as they ride the bus across town after church. CJ has many questions to be answered – Why don’t they have a car? How come that man is blind? Why is this area of the city so dirty? Luckily, his Nana is there to point out the beauty in each situation.

Christian Robinson’s illustrations are colorful and bold –  a perfect complement to Matt de la Pena’s strong visual language. I loved the use of similes and metaphors spotted throughout the beginning. Encourage your child to describe some of their routines or draw the world around them.

Reviewed by Kate (Haggard)

 

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Duck’s Vacation

June 25, 2015

Duck’s Vacation by Gilad Soffer

Aahh! Duck is just settling in for a relaxing visit to the sea (complete with beach chair, cooling drink and an ice cream) when his peace and quiet is thwarted by interrupting readers. In one quick page turn Duck is shocked to lose his sunglasses and his ice cream cone! Another flick of the page and Duck wises up. He warns readers, “Do. Not. Turn. Any. More. Pages. No matter what!” Well, how can any reader resist? On each new page duck’s vacation becomes more impossible to enjoy as readers unwittingly plague him with a toe-biting crab, noisy crowds, a snowstorm and pirates. Duck-eating pirates! Now it’s up to readers to get Duck out of his predicament by doing precisely what he asked them not to do – turn pages.

Soffer wisely pairs spare text with colorful illustrations for the maximum mirth. Reminiscent of There Are No Cats in This Book (Schwarz), Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus (Willems) and Press Here (Tullet), this import from Israel is sure to delight readers of all ages.

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Touch the Brightest Star

June 24, 2015

by Christie Matheson

While looking at our new books I came across, “Touch the Brightest Star” by Christie Matheson.  She also wrote, “Tap the Magic Tree” and  illustrated both books.  The illustrations are beautifully blended watercolors that begin in the morning and drift into the night.  Each page pulls you into the book as you wave, press, blow, and pat, tap, count to three, swipe, blink, trace, rub, close your eyes, nod and touch the brightest star.  What a great book to interact with your children and let their imaginations soar on each and every page.

I enjoyed this book and even though I read it by myself I followed all the directions which made the book so much fun.  This book can be enjoyed by young children as well as older children.  The interaction that is required just pulls you into the magic of the book.

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The Boy and the Book

June 18, 2015

boybookThe Boy and the Book

By David Michael Slater

Illustrated by Bob Kolar

With just three words, this book tells the story of the joy of learning to read. It’s a struggle at first, sometimes frustrating, but when the words start to make sense, it opens up a whole new world. The young boy in the story comes into the library with his mother, sending the books scattering in terror. He finds a blue book with monsters, but doesn’t take very good care of it. When he’s gone, the book gets taped back together. The boy returns and the other books try to save their friend. This time, the book sees that in order for the boy to learn to read, he must be given the chance.

This book can help build your child’s narrative skills. By leaving out the words, it allows the reader to fill in the story with their own words and imagination. Try letting your child verbally narrate the book, or make the story up together. Narrative skills are an important part of early literacy.

Recommended for ages 2-5.

Nicki P.

Schimelpfenig Library

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Little Red Henry

June 12, 2015

Little Red Henry

By Linda Urban

Illustrated by Madeline Valentine

Fans of Little Red Hen meet Little Red Henry!   Little redheaded Henry is the youngest of 3 children and is pampered, adored and overly protected by his whole family.  Mama, Papa, sister Mem and brother Sven can’t seem to do enough for him – brushing his teeth, choosing his clothes and carrying him from place to place all while Mama is talking to him in baby talk.  Finally Henry (who is obviously no longer an infant) has had enough and declares “I’m not a baby!”  Only to hear his mother say “Of course, you’re not. Now sit in your itty-bitty chair and let Mommy make you breakfast.”  And in a style reminiscent of The Little Red Hen the family chimes in:

“Let me,” said Papa.

            “Let me,” said Mem

            “Let me,” said Sven

            “No, thank you,” said Henry. “I can do it myself.”

            And he did.

As Henry’s independence grows, he even makes his own playdate with the boy next door where both boys enjoy the freedom of playing in the backyard.  His family, on the other hand, is at loose ends wondering what to do with all of their free time.  As each family member rediscovers the creative interests they enjoyed before Henry absorbed their every waking moment, family life returns to normal. But Henry discovers he’s not totally independent of his loving family when he still craves the usual nighttime routine of being tucked into bed for the night and sung to sleep. And, of course, his family is more than willing to oblige!

Madeline Valentine’s cartoon drawings exude the gentle humor of Henry’s steps toward independence with expressively amusing and colorful gouache drawings beginning inside the front cover and extending through to the back.  A charming story which will resonate with children and parents alike.

Reviewed by Connie (Parr Library)

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Trapped!

June 10, 2015

trapped coverTrapped!  A Whale’s Rescue by Robert Burleigh and illustrations by Wendell Minor

As a humpback whale “spyhops, lobtails, flashes her flukes,” and feeds on krill, she encounters danger in the form of unseen nets.  Soon, the threads of the nets are entangled on her body and she begins to struggle.  She is TRAPPED.  Rescue divers come, but are they too late?

With rich vocabulary and many full-page spreads, the reader has a sense of the majesty and grand size of the whale.  There is tension as the reader hopes for a successful rescue.  Wendell Minor’s gouache illustrations are realistic and depict the beautiful, jewel-tone colors of the ocean.  This is the best kind of non-fiction picture book, with the final pages giving more information on the true story behind the book, whale rescue, and humpback whales, and where to look for more resources.

whale 2

In the final double-page spread with no text, the whale splashes back to the depths of the ocean by the light of the moon.  A truly beautiful picture book about a trapped (and saved) whale.

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Hypnotize a Tiger: Poems About Just About Everything

June 9, 2015

Hypnotize a Tiger: Poems About Just About Everything

By Calef Brown

Have you discovered the literacy benefits of poetry?  Poetry is great for reluctant readers:  it comes in small, bite-sized proportions, and the rhyming words make sounding out words easier.

Hypnotize a Tiger is a great place to start, especially for middle-grade readers.  Calef Brown’s first longer-format book of children’s poetry is wonderfully whimsical and hilarious in its content.  Brown’s fun illustrations accompany each framed poem.  The poet doesn’t let the margins go to waste, though, as Brown has filled them with illustrations, jokes and rhymes that correspond with the framed poems above them.

Here’s my favorite:

Tubadours

Tuba-playing troubadours             
Have tuba doors and tuba stiles
Installed in all their domiciles
For easy entry and exit.
With a normal door
The tuba wrecks it.

{in the margins:}
Marching bands are disbanding everywhere,
except in Manitoba, where they can still man a tuba.

 

 

Don’t miss this awesome collection from Calef Brown, and check out other books by Brown!  My favorite is We Go Together: A Curious Selection of Affectionate VerseRecommended for grades 2-5.

Reviewed by Alyssa (Davis Library)

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Turtle Island

June 2, 2015

turtleTurtle Island

By Kevin Sherry

The ocean is a very big place, as Kevin Sherry taught us in his other picture books I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean and I’m the Best Artist in the Ocean. The giant turtle in Turtle Island is lonely. Even though he is VERY big, he doesn’t have any friends. A big storm changes that one day and he meets four animals who all have special talents. Together, they make turtle their new home (and the first Turtle Island). Turtle is so happy to have friends that he forgets Bear, Cat, Owl, and Frog all have homes and families. He must say a teary goodbye to his new friends, but not for long! Soon his friends return with a special surprise!

With fun, bright colors and friendly characters, Turtle Island is a fun read to share together. It has simple text, but so much to look at in the tiny towns on turtle’s back. Try using the pictures to tell your own story with your child to encourage their imaginations.

Recommended for ages 3-5.

Nicki P.

Schimelpfenig Library

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Bear Counts

May 28, 2015

bear-counts-9781442480926_hr

Bear Counts, by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman

This concept book by Karma Wilson introduces the numbers from one to five. Wilson’s familiar “Bear” spends the day with mouse. Throughout the day, the two run into different friends. Each friend has items that allow Bear to count. The phrase, “Numbers, numbers, everywhere. Can you count with Bear?” is repeated throughout the book. When each number is mentioned, several items are grouped on the page that show the number. Each number, 1 through 5, is presented in this way. The text is rhyming and the illustrations have bright colors and details. There is much white space between texts which makes it easy to see and count the items on the page. Since the book only counts to 5, it is perfect for younger children. The book is recommended for children 3 to 7.

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I am Jackie Robinson

May 27, 2015

jackieI am Jackie Robinson

By Brad Meltzer

Illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos

Brad Meltzer’s series Ordinary People Change the World show heroes all throughout history in a new light. Each book is told in first person, with the historical figure telling the story about their lives and accomplishments. The illustrations are comical and fun, making it an interesting read for younger kids as well as older. What makes the books unique is that the heroes are drawn to look like children, letting the reader relate to these normally bigger-than-life people.

In his newest book in the series, Brad Meltzer shows the life of Jackie Robinson, world renowned athlete and warrior for equality. Jackie was the first African American to play on a major-league baseball team. Though he faced discrimination all of his life, Jackie learned tolerance from his mother and applied it wherever he could. People were mean to him on the field and off of it, but Jackie kept his head high and played baseball with everything he had. His example opened the doors for all races to play together.

Recommended for grades K-2.

Nicki P.

Schimelpfenig Library

If you enjoy I am Jackie Robinson, make sure to check out the other books in the series!

ameliarosaalbert

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