Monthly Archives: March 2012

One Book You Won’t Want to Forget!

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Take a guess! 

With 5 clues see if you can name this one-of-a-kind children’s book from the past:

1.) Excerpt:

“A told B,

and B told C

I’ll meet you at the top

of the coconut tree.”

(Does that sound familiar?)

2.) There are 26 main characters who are introduced on the pages that are consumed by bright colors and bubbly rhymes!
3.) This picture book has some nonsense phrases, such as “skit skat skoodle doot” that will make children laugh!  Children love to see the 26 main characters or letters all bent out of shape, covered in band-aids, and even with a black eye.
4) Not only is this book entertaining, but it serves an educational purpose as well by introducing children to all of the letters in the alphabet from A to Z.  The rhythmic text allows children to read aloud and practice learning their alphabet in a fun and catchy way!

5.) Oh no - there’s a problem, though!  All of the letters want to meet each other at the top of the coconut tree.  So what do you think is going to happen when they all come tumbling down?  In a big heap the letters fall and can’t help it, but “Chicka Chicka . . . BOOM! BOOM!”
(Hint: The title of the book was in the last clue.)

If you guessed it this classic children’s book from the past is

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, By Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault.

 
I hope this has reminded you of books you loved reading when you were growing up.  So don’t forget about the books from your childhood and share them with those you love!
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom has bright, cheerful pictures with rhythmic text that are the perfect combination for a favorite read aloud at school or home.  After a few times through, children will be singing and repeating the alphabet aloud with you!
 
Happy Reading!
Megan Y. 🙂

You Can’t Take a Balloon Into The Metropolitan Museum

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One of my most vivid memories as a child
is that moment where I lost my balloon that I had been carrying around all day. It was in Wal Mart. It slipped the grip of my tiny fingers and floated high into the rafters, never to be seen again.


In You Can’t Take a Balloon Into The Metropolitan Museum, Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman and Robin Preiss Glasser take that lost balloon on a journey around New York City. A story completely told through pictures, this balloon pulls the reader through the Metropolitan Museum, Central Park, the Plaza Hotel, and Lincoln Center.

Don’t worry, our little girl gets the balloon back.

Too bad my balloon didn’t come back.
 

With beautiful and accurate illustrations, this is a great book for discussion and a great platform to ask any child:

where would your balloon go?

– Sarah K.

Curious George Goes to the Hospital

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By Margret & H.A. Rey

Quite possibly my favorite timeless classic children’s book, Curious George Goes to the Hospital follows the latest adventures of everyone’s favorite mischievous monkey. This time, George has swallowed a large puzzle piece, prompting an emergency visit to the hospital. Oh my! The book is sure to make children of all ages laugh with joy as doctors are able to save the day, first pointing out the puzzle piece in an X-ray. After all, George is able to make a little girl at the hospital laugh for the first time in her life!

“Maybe it WAS candy. Maybe he could eat it. George put the piece in his mouth – and before he knew, he had swallowed it.”

In addition to the hilarious scenes (George flying and crashing through the hospital in a wheelchair had me on the ground in fits of laughter), children are able to learn valuable lessons about the hospital: through George’s eyes, young children are able to see that not all hospital experiences have to be scary, and that doctors and nurses are nice and caring people!

The Curious George series is recommended for children aged Kindergarten and up, and I would consider this book from 1966 to be a lively and enlightening read for parents and their young children alike. After assigning my 7 year-old sister the task of reading Curious George Goes to the Hospital, here is her verdict:

“I always think Curious George is very funny, and he is especially funny in this book when he eats the puzzle piece. He makes everybody in the hospital laugh a lot, which is nice because the hospital can sometimes be a not fun place to be.”

Even the reputable Kirkus Reviews agrees with her, stating,

“While beginning readers are convinced that they are enjoying themselves with George, their supervising adults are equally sure that they are learning something. Both are absolutely right.”

While I am the first to admit my uncanny obsession with the character of Curious George due to our sharing of a name (see the picture of my room at school below), I highly recommend this book to beginning readers and adults alike for a rewarding mix of humor and sentimentality and free of any sort of bias!

Happy Reading!

– (Curious) George

Way Out West with a Baby

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What happens when three cowboys, Dan and Dom and Deke, find a lost baby during their way out west?

Dan, Dom, and Deke were just doing their job when late one night they heard a cry. Much to their surprise

“looking helpless, cold and small, was a little crying baby swaddled tightly in a shawl.”

These three cowboys realize they must “get him to his Mom and get him to her quick, ‘cause I’ve a kinda inkling that she might be worried sick.”

Join Dan, Dom and Deke as they set off on a journey through a storm in search of this little baby’s mom.

Will these cowboys be able to reunite him with his mother?

You’ll just have to join in the adventure to find out!

Children will LOVE this hilarious, rhyming story which is made even more exciting by the amazing illustrations of these goofy cowboys.

Way Out West with a Baby by Mike Brownlow will keep children of all ages laughing as the cowboys struggle to take care of this little, lost baby while in search of his mother.

Happy reading!

– Laurie

It’s a Little Book

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Many people believed that Lane Smith’s original It’s a Book where Jackass the adult donkey cannot understand the non-technological nature of this object Monkey calls a ‘book’ was a children’s book that was not suitable or intended for a child audience…

enter…

It’s a Little BookSmith’s companion board book that places diapers on Donkey and Monkey while posing the same question of the readers: have we lost our understandings of books in this digital age?

What is that? asks Baby Donkey

Baby Donkey continues to ask Baby
Monkey
what this object is for:

And Baby Monkey repeatedly tells Baby Donkey:

until finally Baby Monkey tells Baby Donkey that its for reading because…

The rhythm of the question and answer format of this board book is easy to follow along to and adds to its comic nature. While this book is intended to appeal to a young audience someone of any age would delight in its simplicity! Lane’s subtle use of different fonts for Donkey and Monkey’s dialogue help establish the colder digital persona of donkey and the warmer print-friendly personality of Monkey.

I appreciate Lane Smith’s ability to start conversations among children about more serious topics such as aging in the recently reviewed Grandpa Green and about the danger of the digital age today in It’s a Little Book.

This simple and comic story would make a great gift for younger children. I can see myself giving this book to expectant mothers or couples that are book lovers as a gift at a baby shower.  This book is also great for parents, kindergarten teachers, and librarians to teach children how to handle books.

Its a Little Book the perfect gift for your friend who is married to their kindle. Poke fun at them and give them a subtle hint that digital books cannot stand up to their print counterparts.

Long live books in print!

Monica

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Oh No! Little Miss Spider cannot find her mother!  😦

Luckily, Betty the Beetle offers to help Little Miss Spider look for her mother.

“Did she squeeze down a hole? Or Dive underwater? Why won’t she come out here, and meet her new daughter?”

While looking for her mother, Little Miss Spider gets tricked and almost becomes lunch for some hungry baby birds!

Just in nick of time, Betty the Beetle saves Little Miss Spider, and the story comes to a happy conclusion!

The combination of such colorful, artistic illustrations and fun rhymes makes this the perfect book for children. Kids will love to read this book out loud to their parents. The bright colors and facial expressions of the characters really bring the story to life. 

“Just right for preschoolers or beginning readers, this reassuring story, complete with a surprise ending, is a charmer.” -School Library Journal

I definitely recommend this book for all readers!

Happy reading everyone!

-Hilary Phillips

Oh No! Little M…

Declaration of Interdependence: Poems for an Election Year

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Declaration of Interdependence: Poems for an Election Year

By Janet Wong

ISBN: 978-1-937057-21-3

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It’s an ELECTION YEAR! You know what that means? Lots of news about the potential candidates: their history, their platforms, and their promises. Sometimes, it’s sooo easy to get EVERYTHING JuMbLeD!!! Wong’s Declaration of Interdependence is a great collection of poems for people of all ages. These FuN and FANTASTIC poems keep us all entertained with their simple RyThMs and easy- going vocabulary. Wong’s poetry reminds us that we all are “we the people,” regardless of age, race, gender, or any other factor.

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These poems seem simple at the surface level, but they are extremely thought provoking as well. These poems open up a great opportunity to have some great conversations with our little ones about the elections, deeper issues within society, and how our government works. Wong even says in the book that “there are no stupid questions,” so lets take time to answer them ALL!  There is even a question section at the end of the poems to help you get started! In this section you can discuss things such as what would you do if you were president? What do your family members remember about their first election? She even asks: What is your own liberty pledge?

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Wong makes learning about all of these issues super fun and easy! So take a moment to look at these with your child, because we are all:

“One people

sharing the earth

responsible

for liberty

and justice

for all.”

This has been one of my favorite reads this year, and I highly recommend it to people of all ages. YoUnG, old, or somewhere in between– you are going to enjoy it!

Happy Happy Reading!

Courtney

If I Never Forever Endeavor

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If I Never Forever Endeavor is a fabulous poetry book written by Holly Meade. 

It tells the story of a little bird who is scared to try out his new wings. With a little encouragement and some practice, he learns to fly and experiences life!

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If in all of forever

I never endeavor

to fly, I won’t know if I can.

If I did endeavor, and found my wings clever,

I could see the world!

My nest is so nice

the nicest of nests.

Who needs to fly- ever?

I think I’ll forget

all about this “endeavor.”

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I won’t know how it feels to

scallop the air

with a dip

and a glide.

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This book has beautiful, patterned illustrations. The poems on each page can be read and interpreted separately or the book can be read as one whole story. It is an inspiring picture book and would be great for children of all ages!

Friends of a feather,

I say, endeavor and

fly!

Happy Reading!

Sage

Close Your Eyes

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ImageClose Your Eyes is an incredible bedtime story written by Kate Banks and illustrated by Georg Hallensleben.  This is one of those stories that a parent would read to a child as he/she is tucked into bed and getting ready to go to sleep

The mother continuously says “Close your eyes, little tiger, and go to sleep.” The little tiger does not want to go to sleep for he is afraid and wants to continue to view the world, but his mother assures him that only his dreams await him and that she will be there when he awakes. 

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One aspect of this story that really helps it stand out is the illustrations by Georg Hallensleben.  Although it is not specified in the text, it seems as if the illustrations were done using water colors.  While the illustrations are not necessarily life-like, they have their own individual feel which brings the story to life.  The emotions shown on the faces of the tigers, especially, make these illustrations original and unique.

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This is a beautiful story and the way the mother calms down the baby tiger is truly touching.  I believe that this story must be reassuring to hear as a child who may be afraid of the dark or who may not want to go to sleep.  I would recommend it to any parent looking for a great bed time story. I hope you enjoy this story both now, and when you get the opportunity to read it to your children as they are dozing off,

Happy Reading,

Dan Prager

No Bears

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Ella is writing a book, and one thing is for certain…there are NO BEARS in it!

“I’m tired of bears. Ever time you read a book, it’s just BEARS BEARS BEARS — horrible furry bears slurping honey in awful little caves. You don’t need BEARS for a book.”

After Ella explains what you do need for a book, pretty things, funny things, and maybe even a scary monster, she starts her story of a beautiful princess who has a fairy godmother and, you guessed it, NO BEARS.

There is even a monster in Ella’s story who wants to capture the princess so she will read him bedtime stories every night! How terrible! Who saves the princess from the monster? Well, you’ll have to read Ella’s story to find out!

Ella’s story contains references to classic fairytales that children will recognize and love to point out, such as Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and the Three Little Pigs.

This exciting, layered picture book written by Meg McKinlay and illustrated by Leila Rudge will have children begging to read it over and over again!

Happy Reading!

-Lynsie

For classroom ideas (primarily for kindergarten to third grade) click here!