Category Archives: New Books/Reviewer’s choice

Bedhead by Margie Palatini illustrated by Jack E. Davis

Standard

You know those mornings when you wake up and no matter how hard you try, you just cannot get your hair to work with you? Well Oliver is having one of those mornings in Bedhead by Margie Palatini.  In a daze, Oliver gives his teeth a “passable brushing,” and then he notices it:

“In a gunk less corner of the soapy silver soap dish… in a fogless smidgen of  his father’s foggy shaving mirror…right there on the hot water faucet, for heaven’s sake… he saw it!”

“It was BIG”

“It was BAD”

“It was…”

“BEDHEAD!”

After noticing this monstrosity, Oliver’s scream “shook,” it “rattled,” and “it rolled all the way down from the stairs and into the kitchen where Froot Loops went flying.”  Oliver’s dad, mom, and sister file up to the bathroom to check on him. They each try to tame his hair, but all of their attempts are futile. Oliver finally discovers a solution: a hat!

When he finally makes it to school, one of his classmates reminds him that it is PICTURE DAY! As the class is arranged for their picture, the cameraman tells Oliver to take off his hat. Oliver reluctantly takes off his hat and to his surprise, his hair is not sticking out every which way!

But, then, as the cameraman counts down for the picture, the BEDHEAD comes back!

The story ends with a copy of Oliver’s class picture, which captures the moment perfectly.

This humorous tale offers an experience in which we all can relate. The rich and descriptive language aligns well with the detailed illustrations.

Love it!!

-Anna Blair Solomon

Advertisements

We Are in a Book!

Standard

Elephant and Piggie are back at it again in this wonderful book written and illustrated by the talented Mo Willems!

Winner of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor (an honor awarded annually to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished American book for beginning readers published in English in the United States), this book is fun for children of all ages!

In this book, Gerald the elephant and Piggie notice something strange… Someone is looking at them!

Who could it be?

The reader!

When they discover they are in a book, the characters celebrate and rejoice! But now Elephant and Piggie have a BIG problem! What happens when the book ends?

Make sure to pick up a copy and find out!

Join Elephant and Piggie and turn the pages with them. Delight in how Willems experiments with conventions and has his characters “break the fourth wall.” Enjoy how he plays with text and speech bubbles. This book will truly surprise the reader and make the reader smile! 🙂

– Reviewed by Laura Wilczek

My America Poetry Atlas of the United States

Standard

Lee Bennett Hopkins has selected 50 wonderful poems for My America Poetry Atlas of the United States. The poems are grouped by geographic regions within the United States and portray a beautiful and original representation of our country. Many of the poems have a special ability to take the reader back in time to imagine how life was lived many years ago. The other poems portray present-day depictions of the United States. The hopes and dreams of our nations citizens are expressed in each and every poem.

This book can be incorporated into many education settings. For example, it can be particularly useful to introduce certain geographic regions during a Social Studies lesson while also studying poetry. There are many descriptive words throughout the book and each poem offers its own, unique feeling and mood.

The illustrations are majestic and calming. They depict the United States in a very peaceful and beautiful way. As a special bonus, each region has its own map  and fascinating facts for each state. This is a book that every classroom should have and that every traveler will enjoy!

– Mary Frances Griffith

The Hello, Goodbye Window

Standard

The Hello, Goodbye Window is a MAGICAL Gateway that can be found in the kitchen of Nanna and Poppy’s house!

Image

From the outside looking in, the window may look like a regular window to most. But through the Hello, Goodbye Window, passersby are welcomed into the home of Nanna and Poppy. One can say hello, wave goodbye, and feel welcomed whether excited or shy. When there’s no one to see, the landscape of nature is as pretty as can be. The Hello, Goodbye Window is the perfect lens through which you can explore nature at any time of the day!

The Hello, Goodbye Window is a fun family read, especially amongst grandchildren and their grandparents. Young readers will certainly enjoy the warm, vibrant, watercolor illustrations. Since the this book is written for young readers, many can read children should find comfort and elation at the chance to read to you! So snuggle close near the kitchen table, grab this text, and experience the fun through your Hello, Goodbye Window!

-Erin

You Can’t Take a Balloon Into the Metropolitan Museum

Standard

With eighteen famous sculptures and paintings, a combination of photographs, black and white sketches, and colorful accents, the illustrations certainly speak for themselves!

Weitzmman and Glasser’s graphic novel,

You Can’t Take a Balloon Into The Metropolitan Museum,

is a piece of art within itself.

A young girl and her grandmother explore the Metropolitan Muse

um while her yellow balloon sails away and embarks on a tour of the city.

Each page is divided into frames in which either the balloon or the grandmother and girl are present. The contrast between the chaotic journey of the balloon and the placid walk through the museum is magical.

One could spend hours lingering on the detailed illustrations, between the personality of the city people, and the photographs of paintings at the Met.

Where will the yellow balloon sail off to, next?

 

 

 

happy reading! “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go!”- Dr. Seuss

Alex

Great Book for a Rainy Day!

Standard

What do you love most about rainy days? The sound of the rain hitting the window? Puddles? Or maybe even colorful umbrellas? 🙂

When you pick up Yellow Umbrella, written by Jae Soo Liu, you get all three of those!  The children walking through the puddles in the illustrations, the colorful umbrellas that gradually fill the pages, and even the sound of the rain and piano completing the reading experience!

 

This wordless picture book may seem to offer a few colorful illustrations, but here are a few reasons you can not go wrong reading this book . . .

The Yellow Umbrella book allows children’s imagination to soar!  With out words readers’ can invent their own story each time they read the book.

From an educational standpoint it is a great book when learning to count.  With each turn of the page more umbrellas are added to the illustrations and children can count one consistent object.  This book could even be used for an art lesson too!

The MUSIC, created by Doong II Sheen, adds a component to the picture book that most others do not have, making it a one-of-a-kind read!  There are multiple songs and options, lasting over 6 minutes long for example, giving one the perfect excuse to slow down, relax, and on a rainy day, snuggle under some warm covers!

And, most of all the author conveys a powerful and important message to remember.  Jae Soo Liu said it best when she stated, “I realized that under their umbrellas, all those physical differences disappeared.    What remained in my mind was the visual image of the harmonized colors and movements of the umbrellas.  It seemed to me that these children were claiming that they were all equal in spit of their physical differences.”

This is just the book to start a rainy day tradition – Happy Reading!

Megan 🙂

Only a Witch Can Fly

Standard

Only a Witch Can Fly by Alison McGhee and illustrated by Taeeun Yoo is a sweet book for children with some rhyming and repetition.  It tells the tale of a little girl who wants to fly, even though only witches can fly.

The text is written in such a way that it almost suggests a sing-song or poem style reading.  In fact, the format is an old French poetry style called sestina.

“The dark night around you fills with Fly, fly
and bright yellow moonlight shines down.
Cat, by your side, purrs a gentle Bye, bye
and Owl stares up at a star, so far.”

The muted color palette and unique linoleum-block illustrations add a vintage look to this story.  The heavy use of black gives it an appropriately spooky feel.

The main character tries over and over again to fly, getting up on her broom but never quite getting off the ground!

Until…

This simple story about persistence and following your dreams is touching and beautiful, and can definitely be enjoyed by children and adults alike!

Happy Reading!
Emily