Posts Tagged ‘new books’

Frog on a Log?

Some say cats are bossy animals, and in this new book by Kes Gray and Jim Field we certainly get that impression.
frog on a log

Frog on a Log starts with cat’s stern instruction; “Hey, Frog! Sit on a log!” The rest of the book is a conversation between cat and frog about who sits where. We learn that cats sit on mats, goats sit on coats, puffins sit on muffins, and snakes sit on cakes. The cat knows all of this and lectures frog saying, “It’s not about being comfortable, it’s about doing the right thing.”

These silly rhymes (and super silly pictures) make us smile, but they also help little brains understand how words are related to each other. When you play with the rhymes in books you’re working on an important early literacy skill, phonological awareness. So read this one together and laugh as you learn!

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Last week I was looking though a pile of well reviewed illustrated books for kids. These were books that might be good enough to merit the Caldecott Medal in 2016. As you can imagine, mostly the pile contained picture books and some poetry books with a few non-fiction books thrown in too. Then there was this one!

roller girl

Roller Girl, by Victoria Jamieson, is a 239 page graphic novel about a fifth grader named Astrid. After watching her first roller derby bout she’s fired up to join derby camp in the summer and meet her hero, Rainbow Bite. There’s just as much action in this book as you’d expect from a book about roller derby but there’s lots of preteen drama too. There are new friends and old friends and mothers who don’t understand. Everything about his book was engaging and fun. Oh, and educational! I learned how scoring works in a roller derby bout and what different positions do for the team.

What makes this book even greater is knowing that the woman who wrote the story and made all the great illustrations is also a roller girl! You can visit her website here to learn a little more about her writing, drawing, and skating.


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waitWait, by Antoinette Portis, is such a lovely new book! It tells a simple story alternating between just two words throughout. I could say that the pictures perfectly reflect the tension between the busy demands of parenting and the joys of childhood, but that seems a bit pretentious. Instead, I’ll just say that I love the colors and the message. Sometimes we don’t need to hurry as much as we think we do. Wait and see the wonders.

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Can You Whoo, Too?

can you whoo

Can You Whoo, Too? by Harriet Ziefert is one of those non-fiction books that can work two ways. Every page has simple text that engages the listener to moo, whoo, or squawk. Along the side of each page there is also specific information about animal behavior with great words like ‘bellows’, ‘terror’, and ‘compose’. It reads like a poetic book about animal sounds if you just read the big words. This would be great with a classroom full of kids. It reads like a beginner biology book if you’re just reading with one or two children and you’re reading all the words on every page.

Now let me tell you about the pictures! They’re so much fun. I love the colors and patters on the collage papers that Sophie Fatus used. Her cheerful animals do look like they are talking to each other, and sometimes to the reader as well.

Take a look at this new book and share it with your favorite little animal lover today!

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On-the-Go Fun for Kids

on the go

This new book has hundreds of simple, engaging activities for you to do with your child. Author Amanda Morin broke the book into handy chapters about car trips, train trips, vacations and hotel stays, shopping trips, and stuff to do when you’re just waiting at places like the doctor’s office. There’s a nice mix of word games, imagination games, brain teasers, and pen and paper games. There are also suggestions for apps to try for the tech loving kids in your family.

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They’re baaaack!

It is wonderful to see a long-time favorite author with a new book. Nancy Shaw, author and illustrator of multiple, delightfully silly books about a flock of sheep who manage to create chaos and trouble wherever they go, has recently published Sheep go to Sleep.


sheep go to sleep

From a ship, to a shop, in a jeep, and now asleep, the hapless sheep are sure to bring a grin to everyone’s face who shares these tales.
In addition to the humor of the stories and the art, the rhyming text is easy to follow, encouraging guesses and retelling, two strategies that help pre-readers and readers alike.
What authors do you wish would write another book?

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Four Favorites

One of the things that I love most about being a librarian is that I get to take a sneak peak at books before they hit the library shelves. There’s a brief window of time between us getting the book and putting it out on the shelves for everyone to enjoy, and during that time I try to read — or at least browse — the new picture books.

Here are four picture books that will be hitting a shelf near you very soon:

Boy Who Loved the MoonThe Boy Who Loved the Moon by Rino Alaimo.

This book features a cute story about a young boy who wants to give the moon a gift. But what gift could you possibly give a moon? He tries a rose, a pearl, and a diamond, but the moon rejects them all. Finally, the boy comes up with a gift that no one has tried before. I won’t spoil the ending, but I will say that while the story is very sweet, it’s the illustrations that completely steal the show. All pictures, with one notable exception, are done in varying shade of orange/gold on a black background, and the effect is perfect for this fantastical story!

One Word from SophiaOne Word from Sophia by Jim Averbeck and Yasmeen Ismail.

Most children wish for a pet to call their own. Some want a dog. Others prefer cats. And of course there are plenty who want a pony. Not Sophia; she wants…a giraffe. She knows that convincing her family to get such an unusual animal will take some work, so she drafts up elaborate arguments, equipped with charts and graphs. But all it takes to get her giraffe is one simple word: please. While there’s a part of me that’s worried that children reading this story will ask for a giraffe of their own (and, let’s be honest, saying “please” just won’t work in real life for this particular animal), I still love this story’s moral of being polite. I also REALLY love the vocabulary. This book features words such as “effusive” and “loquacious,” and it even offers a glossary in the back. Very cool!

My Rules for Being a Pretty PrincessMy Rules for Being a Pretty Princess by Heath McKenzie

Who doesn’t love a good princess book? This book debunks the myth that princesses must always be poised and perfect. Throughout the book, a rambunctious girl is instructed on how to be a perfect princess. But she decides that those rules just aren’t for her; therefore, she drafts up some new rules. These rules include attending delicious tea parties, dancing however you want, and not waiting for the prince to save you. I would hand this book to any princess fanatic who might want a change from the typical princess stories.

Snow White and the 77 DwarfsSnow White and the 77 Dwarfs by Davide Cali

I admit that I really, really love fractured fairy tales, and this one is amazing! It starts off as the original tale did with Snow White running away from her wicked step-mother. However, instead of finding 7 dwarfs, she finds 77 dwarfs! That’s a lot of dwarfs to take care of, and it isn’t long before Snow White is exhausted from all the work. Again, I won’t spoil the ending, but I will say that it’s sure to make you chuckle! While I love the spin this story takes, I also really, really love the colorful illustrations. This book really catches your eye, and I can see children examining the humorous pictures and naming all 77 dwarfs.


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