Posts Tagged ‘animals’

Upside Down Babies

December 17, 2014

by Jeanne Willis

“Once when the world tipped upside down, the earth went blue and the sky went brown.  All the baby animals tumbled out of bed and ended up with very funny moms instead.”  These are the first two sentence in this clever and beautifully illustrated book, “Upside Down Babies.”  We would all be a bit shocked to see a pig falling into a parrot’s nest.  But just imagine how that parrot mom would feel.   How about a polar bear landing in the desert next to her new mom, a camel.   A cheetah faster than lightning ends up with a sloth, can anything be slower.  This cheery book brings humor to each page as each mom is faced with unthinkable challenges gazing on their new babies.  Of course, the world does turn around but the ending may surprise you as a few babies and moms actually are happier with their new arrivals.

This book is great for our toddlers as well as preschool children.  Any adult would enjoy sharing this book with a group of children as well as a fun read one on one.

Davis – (Bev)

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Cats? In a Book?

December 12, 2014

There are cats

Have you read all the Eric Hill Spot books multiple times and need something new? Here’s just the thing! Check out one of Viviane Schwarz’s three lift-the-flap, interactive stories featuring cats. The first, There Are Cats in This Book, introduces Andre, Moonpie and Tiny. Each is distinct. Tiny is small and red. Moonpie is given a blue, slender figure. Andre is a large yellow cat. The action begins on the cover of the book as the cats peek over the partial jacket. Once the book is open readers are in for chaotic fun with characters who speak directly to their audience…


Hello. Who are you ?… Are you nice ?… You look nice.”


and invite them to play along…


TURN/ THE/ PAGE! / You did it! You saved us. Phew!/

Can you dry us, too? / Just blow on the page

There are no cats 

In There Are No Cats in This Book the three felines decide a vacation is in order. The cats want to escape the book to see the world. The same winning elements are at play in this follow-up book: flaps, bright colors and the dialogue between characters and audience. Readers will be glad the crazy cats safely return to their book pages so they can return in another episode.

Is there a dog

Peeking over the half jacket again, Moonpie, Andre and Tiny ask, Is There a Dog in This Book? Indeed there is! A purple dog. As readers help the cats find the dog they also help the cats learn to love the dog. Readers will be moving furniture, peeking in closets and petting animals to assist the frenetic threesome and their new pal.


Whew! Readers who made it through all that craziness in one sitting need a break. Time to pet the cats and dogs.

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December 11, 2014

Picnic by John Burningham

John Burningham’s books are some of my favorites.  Simply written and simply illustrated, they are perfect for young children.

Picnic is a quiet story about a boy and girl who go out one day and meet their animal friends.  Along the way they have a small adventure, as they are chased by Bull and the wind blows Sheep’s hat away.  In the end, they all go home to bed. Children will love reading along and answering the questions in the text like, “Can you find Sheep’s hat?”

Reading with children every day is essential to their early literacy development, and talking about the story as you read is equally important.  This particular book makes life easy for the parent because the story already includes interactive questions.

I hope you’ll share Picnic with your children, and that John Burningham’s books become some of your favorites too!

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Zeraffa Giraffa

November 18, 2014

zeraffa giraffaZeraffa Giraffa

By Dianne Hofmeyr

Illustrated by Jane Ray

Zeraffa the giraffe was caught in Africa. No taller than the tallest hunter, she was just a baby. When she was presented to the Pasha, he was delighted. He decided that she would be the perfect gift for his friend, the king of France. Zeraffa was given to a boy named Atir, who would care for her on the long journey. They first took a small boat up the Nile River, then a bigger boat across the Mediterranean Sea, and then Atir and Zeraffa walked the great distance to the beautiful city of Paris!

Through the whole journey, Zeraffa keeps growing, and growing, and growing! By the time they reach the King, she’s taller than any animal the French have ever seen. They loved her right away! Soon, French ladies were styling their wigs to be as tall as they could and they decorated their homes with the pattern on Zeraffa’s fur. The French people made cookies in the shape of giraffes and trimmed their bushes to look like her. But the one who loved her most of all was the King’s granddaughter.

Zeraffa Giraffa is a beautiful book about a giraffe’s great journey. The soft illustrations will capture the reader’s imagination and transport them to a time long ago when no one had ever seen a giraffe in Paris.

Recommended for ages: 6-10

Nicki P.

Schimelpfenig Library

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Lion, Lion by Miriam Busch

November 4, 2014

Lion, Lion by Miriam Busch

I love the cover of this book!  The reader knows right away that the story will be humorous, judging by the expression on the little boy’s face.

The boy is looking for Lion, and Lion says he’s looking for lunch.  The boy makes some helpful suggestions, to which the Lion declines.  But readers are in for a twist, and in  the end they will get a good laugh.  The illustrations by Larry Day are on white background spreads,  making the body language and expressions of the characters really stand out.

I highly recommend this new book, which will spark your child’s imagination, make them laugh, and create lots of opportunities for talking together.

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The Case of the Vanishing Little Brown Bats

October 31, 2014

brownbatsThe Case of the Vanishing Little Brown Bats: A Scientific Mystery

By: Sandra Markle

Whether or not you are a fan of bats, it should be known that bats are an important part of nature’s ecosystem. The main reason why they are important is that they eat insects, which may damage crops or disease animals and people.

In recent years, bat researchers have been alarmed at the number of bats dying during the winter. Since bats hibernate in protected areas, it isn’t the cold that is killing them.

This book explores the sciences involved in solving this mysterious bat killer.

At the end of the book, there are trivia facts about bats, information on how to help local bats, and global bat conversation websites. Additional books and websites are recommended for further research.

This book presents the mystery with a riveting narrative, photos, and scientific facts. It is recommended for older elementary students.

Reviewed by: Diana (Harrington Library)

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The Lion and the Bird

October 9, 2014

lionThe Lion and the Bird

By Marianne Dubuc

One day while working in his garden, Lion hears a sound. Finding a hurt bird, he takes the little creature into his house to help nurse it back to health. Since the bird’s friends have continued to fly south for the winter, Lion lets him stay. They do everything together during the winter. They read books together, have dinner together, go ice fishing and sledding together. When spring comes, Lion is sad to see his dear friend go. He spends all summer alone, but gets a special surprise when fall comes again.

This is a sweet story with soft, color-pencil illustrations. The text is simple and limited, making it a great choice for young readers. Though the bird never speaks, Lion always knows what he’s trying to say. Your little ones will love these adorable friends.

Recommended reading for ages: 4-7

Nicki P.

Schimelpfenig Library

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The Monkey Goes Bananas

September 30, 2014

Monkey Goes BananasThe Monkey Goes Bananas

By: C. P. Bloom

Illustrated by Peter Raymundo

There are a number of books with a limited use of words. With just eleven different words (twelve if you include ‘the’), this book will take you on a flip-book type journey with a resourceful monkey. The Monkey Goes Bananas uses simple text and extremely animated and fun pictures to tell the story of a monkey who wants the bananas from a nearby island. The only thing stopping him is a big span of water and a SHARK!!!

This is a great book for an interactive story time with your little ones. Have them tell you the story using the pictures, or try to say each of the eleven different words with a crazy voice. This story will have your kids giggling and begging to read it again!

Recommended for ages: 3-7

Nicki P.

Schimelpfenig Library

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A Mountain of Friends

September 16, 2014

by Kerstin Schoene

If a book can be called adorable I would have to vote for this one, A Mountain of Friends.  Kerstin Schoene both author and illustrator has created a heart-warming book about friendship, sharing and kindness.  A young penguin is sad because even though he is a bird he is faced with an insurmountable problem, he can’t fly.  You can’t help but smile as the animals work together to make this penguin happy.  The animal’s personalities are reflected in the illustrations as you feel the love and warmth they have for their friend, penguin.  Your child will enjoy some of the unique pages in this book as the penguin is able to reach the top of his world.  A must read for ages Pre – K through seond grade.

Beverly (Davis)


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Chu’s First Day of School

September 11, 2014

Chu's firstChu is back in Chu’s First Day of School by Neil Gaiman and Adam Rex.  In the first book featuring the lovable panda bear, readers got a surprise when they found out about Chu’s explosive sneezes.

In this second title, Chu is nervous about going to school.  When he gets there and all the animals take turns introducing themselves and sharing something they love to do, there’s a surprise in store for his fellow classmates, as Chu can’t help but demonstrate what he loves to do.  The expressions on his classmates’ faces tell Chu everything is going to be all right.

The concerns of Chu will resonate with young children, and readers will find humor in the facial expressions throughout the book and of course, in Chu!

For more books, check out our Starting School list.

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