Monthly Archives: January 2012


In “My Daddy and MeNewbery Medalist Jerry Spinelli creates a heartwarming portrayal of a father-son relationship. By using dogs to personify the human characters, Spinelli tells a story that transcends all barriers, even species!

“I cant wait for my daddy to come home from work. There are so many things to do!”

The flappy-eared pup waits in anticipation for his daddy to come home from work.

Whether its cookie time, playing magic, or planting tomatoes in the garden it is clear that spending time together is their favorite time of the day.

Even when Daddy is too tired from work he is never too tired to sing pup a lullaby before bed.

The illustrations by Seymour Chwast are simple, almost childlike, yet captivating. The bright colors and varying patterns keep kids engaged and artfully depict the actions described by the text.

One aspect of this book that teachers and parents will enjoy is the simple language and storyline that many kids will be able to read aloud themselves. The story is told from the first person point of view of the little pup, and therefore encourages the reader to relate to the characters.

This book is sure to please with its simple tribute to dads everywhere.

Happy reading!

Monica & Hilary

–This blog post is dedicated to our dads! 

My Daddy and Me

Gracie Graves and the Kids from Room 402


By Betty and Michael Paraskevas

“Anna May Johnson sat in the back.

                                                  She didn’t need a reason to give a kid a whack.

                   She never did her homework. She never raised her hand.

                    Anna May Johnson played the tuba in the band.”


Did you attend KindergartenHave you ever had a teacher who puts up with mischief and trouble on a daily basis? I think we all have!!!

The Paraskevas mother-and-son team provides us with witty rhyming couplets and humorous illustrations about each of the children in Gracie’s classroom. Children are sure to relate to and fall in love with the students in the classroom: the naughty ones, the nerdy ones, the pretty ones, and the athletic ones. 

The children’s book was so popular that it became a television show around 10 years ago and still airs today… in multiple countries and languages! You can have a look at the show’s catchy theme song below:

Check out this write-up from Amazon!

Gracie Graves remembers the name of every kid she’s taught in thirty years. And she’s certainly not likely to forget the fourteen boys and fourteen girls who inhabit her classroom now. How could she, with kids like Joey Tuna, who ate sixteen Twinkies at the Halloween party, with disastrous results? Or Tillie Ferillo, who stuffed a pussy willow up her nose? Or Freddie Fay, who emptied the school with a noxious brew he mixed up for show-and-tell?

Michael Paraskevas’s lively portraits are the perfect complement to Betty Paraskevas’s delightfully silly poems in this hilarious slice of school life from the celebrated mother-and-son team that created Junior Kroll and The Ferocious Beast.”

Still not convinced?! Listen to what my 7 year-old sister has to say about Gracie Graves and the Kids from Room 402:

“This book is my favorite because it makes me laugh a lot. I like how all of the poems about the kids rhyme and the book also has very funny drawings.”

The book is sure to entertain young children and their parents alike, and children will almost definitely choose a favorite character and memorize many of the poems!

Happy Reading!


Officer Buckle and Gloria: By Peggy Rathmann


Safety Tip #1: Keep your shoelaces tied.

Safety Tip #77: NEVER stand on a swivel chair.

Safety Tip #101: Always stick with your buddy!

Do any of these sound familiar? Well, if they do Officer Buckle has probably come to your school!

Office Buckle is know for his boring safety demonstrations that he performs at all the schools in the town of Napville. He, however, gets a new partner in crime that quickly becomes a new friend. Gloria soon becomes the star of Officer Buckle’s safety demonstration and adds excitement to his tiresome list of rules.

Does Gloria outshine her human counterpart?  

Find out what teamwork is all about in this Caldecott winner! 

Happy Reading- Laney and Kiara

Green Eggs and Ham


Green Eggs and Ham

By Dr. Seuss

Come and read this classic rhyme,
You’re sure to have a splendid time!

Sam-I-Am just wanted to share,
A little snack with his friend right there →

But his friend was stubborn you see,
And kept exclaiming, “let me be!”

He would not try the Green Eggs and Ham,
That did not stop persistent SamIAm.

His friend would not eat them here nor there,
He would not eat them anywhere.

SamIAm asked with all his might,
until his friend finally took a bite.

To find out what he has to say,
Go grab this book! Hip hip hurray!


This story is perfect for beginning readers. They will fall in love as Dr. Seuss transports them into his world of rhymes. With the Who’s, children will enjoy the sing-song style and classic illustrations of Green Eggs and Ham!

-Laurie & Erin

Me, Frida


Me, Frida by Amy Novesky and illustrated by Caldecott Medal winner David Diaz is a beautiful piece of children’s literature describing the life of a young Frida Kahlo.  The biographical story is accompanied by exquisite illustrations that bring the story to life.

Novesky tells the story of Kahlo and her artist husband Diego Rivera’s journey from Mexico to San Francisco.  Initially, Kahlo feels lost and alone in a strange big city.  Eventually, though, she recognizes the beauty of her new home and finds the strength to emerge from her husband’s shadow and become a distinguished artist in her own right.

The paintings in the story were done in acrylic, charcoal and varnish on primed linen, giving them a unique textured appearance.


One aspect of the story that teachers will enjoy is the incorporation of Spanish words within the text.  Students will be able to learn about various parts of Mexican culture through the references in the story.

“’Quiet, querida,’ cooed Diego.  He loved his beloved’s singing, but there was work to be done.”



We loved reading this story and elementary students and teachers will too!!!

Dan and Emily

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?


Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?  by Bill Martin, Jr. is a classic picture book and story-time favorite. It is packed with vibranillustrations made from tissue-paper collages by Eric Carle. Eric Carle is a distinguished illustrator, infamous for painting tissue paper with acrylic paint to construct collages. You’ll have to read the book to see more of his fabulous illustrations!

For more information about how he creates his pictures, view a tutorial:

Each animal sees and introduces the next animal in the book, whether it is

the redbird, the purple cat, or the yellow duck.

The steady tempo, repeating pattern, and rhyming of

 “me” and “see”, inspires children to sing along:

Purple cat, purple cat, What do you see?”

“I see a white dog looking at me.”

Near the end, Martin veers away from the pattern.

Rather than meet more animals, there are children!

This addresses an audience of children, personally prompting them to recall each animal in the story, one after the next.

 (This makes it a FANTASTIC read-aloud book!)

“Children, children, What do you see?”

It is wonderful for children who are learning how to read because they will be exposed to phrases used consistently throughout the book, and they will start to recognize them page after page. It will even help children identify animals and COLORS!

Click here for a reading by Bill Martin, Jr.:

enjoy! 🙂