Miss Bell goes to pet store buys a cute kitten that has stripes, a tail and a smile so like a tiger, that she names him—what else?—“Tiger.” But Tiger soon grows out of kitten-hood; as a matter of fact, he is soon as big as a tiger, and even roars, moves and plays like a tiger! Although it’s obvious to others that this is no ordinary cat, bespectacled Miss Bell still sees Tiger as her beloved baby pet. “Cats are Cats,” she says.” Miss Bell knows that cats love to watch fish, so she returns to the pet store to buy Tiger some of the little critters.
Another of my favorite seasonal picture books is this companion book to Baby Bear Sees Blue. In an autumn landscape, a curious bear cub asks Mama Bear questions about the sounds of animals around them, and then counts the animals as they make their preparations for the winter.
Among my very favorite picture books are those with the theme of changing seasons. This story by Wisconsin author Miller is at the top of the list. At a fall farm market with her mother and father, Sophie picks out a yellow squash. The squash is just the right size for Sophie to hold, and--it turns out—to love. “I’m glad we met,” says Sophie.
A wide-eyed spotted snake from the zoo wanders into “the wrong pit,” and wends its way among the instruments of an orchestra: brass, winds, strings, percussion. It is impressed by all the sights and sounds—and hiding places: charmed by the oboe, cozy in the tuba. The snake’s fascination is not returned by the musicians, however, and the zookeeper is summoned. Time to hide! As the musicians warm up their instruments, the snake likens the sounds to those of other animals in the zoo.
Who are the stars of this book? Colors or Shapes? With the help of three unusual judges (featured in Boldt’s 123 versus ABC), two teams vie for the honor. Team Color takes the stage to begin a talent contest, but Shapes soon crash it, and the game is on. Red, Blue and Yellow do some fancy mixing to create a variety of new colors--everything from purple to turquoise. But the shapes, including Circle, Triangle, and Square, show that they can change as well, adding side
Believing is magical, and Amy Krouse Rosenthal is a champion of always trusting magic. In Uni the Unicorn, Rosenthal invites you to discover the beauty in believing, no matter how ridiculous an idea might seem.
Uni is a unicorn. On the surface, she looks and acts like your typical unicorn. She has a beautiful mane, sparkling eyes and golden hooves. She even brings wishes to life.
“Storywoods” blog creator Rebecca Dudley uses her expert photography and multi-media diorama art in this beautiful wordless picture book story featuring Hank, a sweet little animal of the woods. While on a walk, Hank finds an egg on the ground beneath a bird’s nest. When he fails in his valiant attempts to return the egg to the nest before nightfall, Hank cares for the egg and keeps it warm until he can try again the next day. This time, he has some help, and makes new friends as a result.
This is a fab(ulous) and funny book about John, Paul, George and Ringo—four lads from Liverpool, England who together, achieved worldwide fame and admiration as the Beatles, rock music band extraordinaire.
“Yawns are sneaky. They can creep up on you when you least expect them.” And--yawns can lead to pajamas, bedtime stories, lullabies and tucking in—whether you’re ready or not! The book serves as a witty warning for all those readers who are definitely not ready for bed, with challenges to resist anything cozy, cuddly, sleepy or snuggly. But, also heed my warning: this book will make you yawn, not because it’s boring, but because--as author Hélène Boudreau knows all too well--yawns are contagious! This charming funny book with the lively, distinctive ca
This is a story about the intersecting lives of two boys living at a boarding school in Maine.Jack’s father, a military man, enrolled thirteen-year-old Jack in boarding school after his mother died.There, Jack meets Early Auden, a socially isolated numerical savant who has lost his entire family.Jack is surpri
What’s a “wordle?” According to creators Rosenthal and Bloch, wordles are “groups of words that sound exactly the same but mean different things,” such as “I scream,” and “ice cream”; “Heroes,” and “He rows.” This setup is followed by a baker’s dozen of wordles. One of my favorites is a fellow shouting, while being chased by two deer with big antlers, “I scream! Two bucks!” followed by an ice cream vendor selling “Ice cream, two bucks!” Other favorites include characters from fairy tales, and a little plug for Rosenthal’s book
In this clever, Christmassy take on a beloved fairytale, Papa, Mama and Baby are polar bears; when they are out walking, waiting for their Christmas pudding to cool, a certain special visitor comes to call, hungry and tired after finishing most of his holiday rounds. Santa Claus thinks the pudding has been left for him, and thereby hangs the rest of the tale! Santa, the bears, and their cozy house and surroundings are charmingly detailed in soft watercolors by mother-daughter duo Jane and Brooke Dyer.
A traditional nursery rhyme is given a cute Christmas twist with a little help from Santa Claus, and a lot from de Las Casas and Stone-Barker. Based on “The House that Jack Built,” and similar to the team's Halloween version, The House that Witchy Built, The House that Santa Built is a rollicking romp of rhythm, with elves and reindeer and snow and—of course—children taking part of the arctic antics in and out of Santa’s castle. The cut-paper collage illustrations are fun and fanciful. There are plenty of sound effects that make this a p
Are you looking for a fun gift idea? Something new for “Where’s Waldo” fans? Or just a way to keep the kiddos busy while they wait for Christmas? Then bring a little “Christmas Chaos” into your life! It’s one of several books in the “Seek It Out” series by Picture Window Books, a division of Capstone Press. The book features 14 scenes, laid out in two-page spreads, which feature a different winter holiday experience: the center of a busy shopping mall, Santa’s workshop, ski slope, skating rink, a gingerbread village, a Kwanzaa celebration, among others
No tricks, just treats! There are many great books with Halloween stories and poems, and many are currently on display at the library. One of my favorites is Alison McGhee’s Only a Witch Can Fly. The author uses a beautiful old form of poetry with a mesmerizing rhythm, to relate the feelings of a young girl who longs to fly on a chilly but enchanted Halloween night, even if it means leaving the warmth of home, familiar things, and doubts and fears behind.
This bilingual English/Spanish book celebrates the life of the great Latin Jazz musician Ernest “Tito” Puente (1923-2000). Readers learn about Tito in different stages of his life: as a baby (in New York City of Puerto Rican parents), banging out rhythms on pots and pans; as a kid drumming and dancing his way to talent show success (but still finding time to play baseball with the neighborhood kids); as a young man in the Navy serving his country while developing his gift of playing and writing music; and as a professional musician who wins fame, fortune, love and admiration by using
These opposites, and other concepts, are delightfully explored in this wordless picture book by artist Lizi Boyd. The front cover depicts a boy, dog at his side, peering out the window of a cheery house, while birds and other creatures fly and frolic in the yard. On the title page, the boy is at the open door, inviting the reader/viewer into his peaceful, happy world of dreams, plans, projects and play. Inside, he contentedly makes preparations for spring planting, while out the windows, two snowmen are in view. Each subsequent page shows a scene from a room in
I love Jan Thomas’ silly, charming books with her bold, colorful comic-style illustrations, from Rhyming Dust Bunnies to Is Everyone Ready for Fun?Let’s Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy is her latest to date, and in my opinion, another hit. The cowboy of the title is actually not so brave; in his attempts to settle his cows down for the night, he interrupts his own lullaby with startled exclamations about what he imagines is lurking in the dark. The cows calm and reassure him--until, that is, something really IS in the shadows!
April is National Poetry Month! Celebrate it, the Fox Cities Book Festival, nature, too, with a sweet and simple poem by versatile author Marion Dane Bauer. Its lines provide the text for this beautiful picture book, with intimate portraits of various wild baby animals and animal families by renowned nature photographer Stan Tekiela (one of the featured authors at this year’s Fox Cities Book Festival). Tekiela captures on camera many young critters, from slow turtle hatchlings to a frisky cougar kitten; from a soft rabbit kit to prickly porcupettes; from little possums hit
“Line up every kind of plant and animal on Earth…and one of every four will be a beetle.” So begins the Beetle Book by Steve Jenkins, a treasure trove of fascinating facts about beetles the world over, including information about body structure, life cycles, communication, defenses, and other beetle behaviors.
Meet Wendell, Wilmer, Willy Woody and Walter—5 bird-like juggler brothers who perform together in a hilarious stage show, while demonstrating basic math concepts such as counting, addition, subtraction and comparison. The reader audience will learn as they laugh at the Wing Wing Brothers’ antics and comic appearance. Parents and teachers will appreciate that the book meets the Common Core Standards for kindergarten mathematics; kids will appreciate the goofiness and fun.
“Why do it?” I asked myself. “Just months ago, you reviewed a book about a dog with a second chance at a happy life (Saving Audie by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent), so why do another so soon?” “I can’t help it!” was my reply. “I’ve fallen in love, and people in love can do foolish things. So there!”
On August 28, 1963, almost 50 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his powerful and iconic “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. The “Dream” portion of the stirring speech provides the narrative for this picture book, illustrated with inspired and inspiring paintings by Caldecott Honor Award-winning artist Kadir Nelson. Nelson includes portraits of Dr.
Booklover Morris Lessmore methodically records his life one page at a time until a terrible storm carries him away and destroys his words and his surroundings. A young woman, who is being pulled skyward by an array of colorful books, gives him her favorite, which leads him to an extraordinary library. The stories entice Morris who devotes his life to repairing the books and reading the stories to keep them alive.
We’re in the midst of a white winter wonderland in Wisconsin. But for those who long for something green, you’ll find it, in all its many shades, in this lovely picture book. Author/artist Seeger combines simple rhyming text, lush paint-on-canvas illustrations and with cleverly positioned cut out accents, inviting readers to explore and enjoy the presence (and sometimes absence) of green in nature and in everyday objects.
This picture book explores the many types of quiet a child may encounter in their everyday lives. Quiet can be cozy and nice, shameful and remorseful, or shocking and scary. Liwska portrays these different types of quiet experiences with furry woodland friends that are drawn with a beautifully detailed hand. Children will relate to many of the examples of quiet, especially “bedtime kiss quiet.” A great story for bedtime.
Attention-grabbing large colorful pictures of dragons and a spirited plotline that parallels a child’s morning routine will win over young children in Jane Yolen’s latest picture book. A small knight awakens huge sleeping dragons, feeds them pancakes with a catapult, brushes their fangs and hurries them out so they can fly him to Knight School.
A little brown bunny and a little blue bird become friends one spring and play with one another until it is time for the bird to fly south. The friends miss each other through the long winter months until they are reunited again the following spring. This book showcases the theme of friendship with a beautiful message that distance can’t hinder friendship. Berger’s illustrations are the showpiece of this picture book, containing backdrops of loose-leaf and graph paper, newspaper clippings embedded in objects, and illustrations that look textured.
The Village Garage is a story about the hard work that the Village Garage crew does each year. In spring, the crew must clean up the streets from the fall and winter. In summer, the crew patches holes in the streets and cleans up from storms. In autumn, the crew cleans up leaves then waits patiently for the first big snow storm to take out their snow plows in winter. Children, especially young boys, will love the illustrations filled with tools, machines and construction equipment.
Fear is a natural part of growing up. Parr recognizes that sometimes children are scared because they don’t understand something. In his story, he recommends that children tell someone why they are scared and maybe after, they won’t be so scared anymore. The book touches on many prevalent childhood fears like being afraid of the dark and monsters or scary first-time experiences like riding on an airplane or being separated from a parent for the first time. Each fearful experience Parr writes about includes a positive result or answer to the fear.
How to Hug is a complete hugging manual for children. It includes instructions on how to properly hug both humans and animals in a comical approach. It is the perfect story for those that hug too long, those that hug too tight, or even those that try to hug the cat! Christy’s humorous illustrations supplement proper hugging techniques on each page. So prepare children for the many impending hugs they will receive this holiday season by sharing How to Hug.
Jasmine & Tai-Tai’s grandfather Agong comes to live with their family from a faraway land. One day he tells Jasmine that she is ready for magic. Agong asks Jasmine to make a wish and then he puts his hand over hers and they dip the brush and touch it to the paper. The two tell the story of Jasmine’s wishes through Chinese characters, which can be found in each dreamlike illustration. Jasmine & Agong practice their calligraphy all spring until Agong becomes ill in the fall and passes away.
Young children will delight in this charming story of the famous American cook Julia Child living in Paris with her husband Paul and her mischievous tortoiseshell cat, Minette. Julia Child learns to cook with passion and endless energy. Minette inhales the delicious aromas and dines on the most scrumptious meals, yet being a cat, still prefers a good fresh mouse.
A clever fairy tale told in rhyme about a very short king who boasts constantly and forces his subjects to bow down to him. He meets his match in a common girl who turns out to be a sorceress. She casts a spell on him so that his head expands every time he proclaims his grandness. Young children will love to listen to this funny tale and to experience the bright colorful illustrations.
Tony Sarg (1880 – 1942) was the master puppeteer who invented the first huge animal puppets that floated in the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York. This is the story of a creative little boy who wondered at how things moved and worked, and who grew up to become the puppeteer of Macy’s parade.
Everyone will find something to giggle about with this great CD, one of many produced in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the“Music for Little People” Company. From great action songs like Raffi’s “Shake Your Sillies Out,” and “Everyone Loves to Dance” by Aaron Nigel Smith; funny story songs like “I’m My Own Grandpa,” sung by the late great Chet Atkins, and “My Name is Cheech, the School Bus Driver” by comedian Cheech Marin; new treatments of old favorites such as Tom Glazer’s “On Top of Spaghetti,” sung by the Persuasions; and other great tracks by Buckwheat Zydeco,
It’s Christmas Eve and Santa is on his way to deliver toys around the world. Suddenly his reindeer harness breaks, sending him downward “like a BIG, FAT, JOLLY RED SKYROCKET!” Santa crashes into a barn and recruits the barnyard animals. A magical journey ensues with an old dog, cows, sheep, a goat, a horse, and a pig pulling his sleigh. Bright, colorful, luminous pictures draw young children into this riotous tale.