Posts Tagged ‘animals’

Chicken Lily

May 26, 2016

61nI7EPEwLLChicken Lily

By Lori Mortensen

Illustrated by Nina Victor Crittenden

For Chicken Lily, it’s not easy to take risks. She won’t take off her training wheels, or raise her wing in class. She might not be brave, but she’s good at so many other things. Being a careful colorer, and a patient puzzler couldn’t help her with the school’s poetry contest. She would have to get up on a stage and read a poem aloud in front of the whole school! Nothing could be more terrifying than that!

Chicken Lily proves that being scared is something anyone can face with a little support from friends. It’s okay to be scared sometimes. This is a great lesson to share with your little ones, whether they have a current fear, or whether they’re just a little nervous about something. Just like Chicken Lily, they too can face that microphone and take a step over their fears, even if it’s just for one day.

Recommended for ages 4-8.

Nicki P.

Schimelpfenig Library

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My New Mom and Me

May 13, 2016

51HkVEbXwrLMy New Mom and Me

by Renata Galindo

While it might not be a conversation you think about often, children should understand adoption. They might encounter adopted children in their school, or happen to be one themselves. My New Mom and Me is a gentle way to introduce your child to this concept.

Told from the prospective of the child, it brings up many of the concerns adopted children may feel, including the fact that they don’t look like their adoptive parent. While things aren’t always perfect between the new cat mother and her adopted puppy, they show how much love and patience can come out of the new living arrangements. Though they might not start off as a family, they learn how to become one.

Recommended for ages 3-7.

Nicki P.

Schimelpfenig Library

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Polar Bear’s Underwear

May 12, 2016

Polar bears underwear bigPolar Bear’s Underwear

By tupera tupera

“Poor Polar Bear! He can’t find his underwear!” (from book)

Polar Bear has misplaced his underwear and he can’t remember what they looked like! His friend Mouse decides to help him locate his absent undies by examining a series of colorful options… but unfortunately they all belong to other animal friends. It seems like Polar Bear may never see his gone garment again until…

well, you’ll just have to read to find out!

This is an adorable guessing game book with cut-out pages so you can see the underwear without seeing who they belong to until you turn the page. The animals and their underthings are made from cut paper of a dazzling array of colors and textures in a collage-style reminiscent of Lois Ehlert’s works.  Each pair of underwear is a clue to who their owner is so you have to stop and think to figure it out before you turn the page!polar bear & mouse

This book is part of the 2×2 Reading List selected annually by the Texas Library Association for young readers age 2 through 2nd grade.  Each book is paired with a list of fun and educational activities for children and parents to do together!  All of the 2×2 books at the Plano Public Libraries include this activity list on their inside cover.   If they are all checked out, we have a set of books as part of our Junior Reference collection that you can read in the library any time!

Reviewed by: Meredith (Harrington Library)

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The Best Sweater

April 26, 2016

sweaterThe Best Sweater

by Lynne Garner

illustrated by Sarah Gill

Spindle the mouse gets a handmade sweater from his grandmother and decides that it is the BEST sweater ever. It fits so perfectly that he wears it everywhere, even when it’s not cold (he ties it around his waist, just in case). Like all sweaters, especially those given lots of love, it gets a little tear. Mama fixes it, but soon there’s another problem! It won’t fit over his ears! After being snipped and sewed and fixed over and over, the best sweater finally finds new life as another surprise from Grandma.

This is a sweet story about family, growing up, and learning that things will always be changing. Soft watercolor and pastel drawings fill the pages with color, making this a beautiful book to share with your little one. It might just give you an idea of how to to ease the transition from a well-loved blanket or toy.

Recommended for ages 4-8.

Nicole P.

Schimelpfenig Library

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Beatrix Potter & the Unfortunate Tale of a Borrowed Guinea Pig

April 23, 2016

Deborah Hopkinson

When I discovered this new book in the library, Beatrix Potter & the Unfortunate Tale of a Borrowed Guinea Pig,  I couldn’t wait to read it. Beatrix Potter is a well-known and loved children’s book author and one of my favorites.  I’m sure we have all read some of her delightful tales and are quite aware of her love for animals.  Even as a small child, Beatrix and her brother enjoyed many different kind of pets.  She had frogs, salamanders, lizards, hedgehogs and newts just to name a few of her unusual pets and she loved to paint them.  So her request to paint her neighbor’s guinea pig was of no surprise to anyone.  Beatrix picked the prettiest guinea pig, Queen Elizabeth.   Beatrix was pleased with the guinea pig’s portrait but was summoned to a dinner party.  Little did she know that Queen Elizabeth was quite hungry and decided to munch on glue, string and paper while Beatrix was at dinner.  Devastated might be the word to use when Beatrix found Queen Elizabeth the next morning.  She had expired due to her previous evening’s meal.  Would Miss Nina Paget, her neighbor,  forgive her when Queen Elizabeth was brought back home?  A distressed Beatrix asked for forgiveness and also gave her the beautiful picture she had painted of Queen Elizabeth.

This noted author, Deborah Hopkinson has written a humorous and charming book about Beatrix that I’m sure you will enjoy.  The author has also added pictures and a small biography of Beatrix Potter in the back of the book along with a note to all readers:  “What would you have done in Miss Nina Paget’s shoes.  You many have been wise and kept the picture since Beatrix Potter became so famous that many of her pictures sold for thousands of pounds.”

On another note, the illustrations by Charlotte Voake capture your imagination and add to the charm of this delightful book.


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Dash by Kirby Larson

April 22, 2016

DashjacketX6W1G7TADash by Kirby Larson

Historical fiction is my favorite genre, because I love learning about other time periods and other perspectives of life.

Dash is set during World War II. The story revolves around Mitsi, who is separated from her dog, Dash, when her family is sent to a Japanese internment camp.  Based on the story of a real life person, the story touched my heart.  Larson’s writing pulls you into a young girl’s emotional perspective.  Fortunately, Mitsi and Dash are reunited, but unfortunately the internment camps were a reality that impacted so many people in America in a negative way.

I have read a couple of Kirby Larson books for teens and kids, and I’m glad I tried this one. On page 200 of the book, one of the adult characters who has created a tumbleweed garden at the camp, says, “…if you look with your heart, you can find beauty anywhere.” This book would be great for young readers and adults who are willing to discuss the past and look to the future!

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A Hungry Lion or a Dwindling Assortment of Animals

April 19, 2016


A Hungry Lion or a Dwindling Assortment of Animals

by Lucy Ruth Cummins

The very hungry lion is all set to enjoy an exciting day with his other animal pals. But all of a sudden his friends start disappearing at an alarming rate! Is someone stealing the hungry lion’s friends, or is the culprit a little…closer to home?

With sharp wit, adorable illustrations, and hysterical twists galore, this debut picture book asks—what do you think happened to the hungry lion’s friends?

I picked this one up when it first came in, mainly because of the title. I wanted to find out why the assortment of animals was dwindling! I had an idea, and at first it seemed like my idea was correct, but then came a twist! But is it the only twist? As Jon Klassen (author and illustrator of I Want My Hat Back and This is Not My Hat) has said about it: “So smart and so cute and so dark all at the same time.” Exactly! But dark in the funniest possible way. If you’re a fan of Klassen’s you’ll probably enjoy this book just as much.
Happy reading!
Reviewed by: Lara (Haggard)

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Go Home Flash

April 7, 2016

Go Home FlashGo Home Flash

By: Ruth Paul

“Playful puppy Flash doesn’t want to stay home—he wants to go on adventures with his favorite people!  Even to places he shouldn’t be… But his owners know it’s because he misses them while they’re away, and they miss him too!” (from cover)

All Flash wants is to be with his family but everyone is just so busy!  This is the second book featuring this scruffy little mutt with a penchant for mischief.  The story is a fun and easy read great for early readers or children who are just getting familiar with words.  There are plenty of rhyming words and repetition to help build early literacy skills.  The pictures are bright and playful with small action sequences and big full-page illustrations.  If you enjoy this book, be sure to check out the first Flash book or one of Ruth Paul’s other animal tales!

    Product Details

Reviewed by: Meredith (Harrington Library)

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A Friend for Bo

March 25, 2016

by Elisabeth Zuniga

Bo the bunny was lonely and decided to look for a playmate.  After searching for quite a while he found a large white oval shape hidden in the grasses.  Bo was thrilled and decided his new friend should be called Rollie.  Rollie was an unusual friend, but never seemed to mind when playing dresss-up, reading stories, going on picnics or any new adventure.  Bo was concerned that Rollie never smiled so Bo helped him out.  An adventure in sailing proved to be a disaster when Rollie rolled onto the cookies and smashed them.  How was Bo to know that his new friend rolled around.  Also he would never share his bed with Bo so poor bunny had to sleep on the floor.  What was a bunny to do?  Suddenly Bo heard a cracking noise and his new friend turned into a total surprise.  Rollie was now a different kind of friend but someone who would always be a special friend for Bo.

A Friend for Bo is a great book that will introduce your children to what friendship is all about.  You will enjoy the illustrations just as much as you will enjoy reading the story with your children.



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Emma Dodd’s Love You Books

February 23, 2016

The Love You Books

Emma Dodd excels at sweet, simple books for babies and toddlers. Her ‘Love You’ series focuses on the relationship between parents and children. The gentle, rhyming text is great for bedtime and the smaller size of these books makes them a good choice for little hands. You’ll find reflective foil on the pages, making snow look like glitter and water shine. While I refer to the animals in this book as ‘mothers’, they are not identified as so. They can be a mother or father, making these adorable stories even more loving and flexible to suit the reader.


A mother polar bear assures her baby that she will always be there, through playtime and scary times. Even when baby polar bear feels lost or alone, mama will always be there.


More and More

A young monkey learns that his parents love him more and more each day. Whether he’s messy or sweet, cranky or kind, his parents will always love him.



Mother owl observes her child’s happiness in this nighttime story. She promises to safeguard his contentment when she can, because she is happiest when she can share that joy with her baby.



A koala mom is struggling to find what she loves best about her baby, but there are so many things to love! She decides that there’s no need to pick one thing, because she loves everything about her.


When I Grow Up

Baby bear shares all his hopes about what he will be like when he grows up. He wants to be big and strong, clever and funny, kind and loving, just like his parents.



Little elephant explores a world of opposites, learning that no matter whether he’s dirty or clean, happy or sad, that his family will always love him as he is.


When You Were Born

Many different animal parents express how their world’s changed the day their babies were born.



A mother wolf shares with her baby how he fulfilled a wish for her. In turn, she wishes to teach him everything she knows and see him learn how incredible the world can be.


All of these books are recommended for ages 2-5.

Nicole P.

Schimelpfenig Library

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