Archive for the ‘Picture Books’ category

Knock, Knock

June 7, 2018

A friend is what the heart needs all the time. ~Henry Van Dyke

May I Come In?  written by Marsha Diane Arnold and illustrated by Jennie Poh is an engaging picture book about a thunderstorm and friendship that will delight young readers.

may i come in

When a fierce thunderstorm frightens Raccoon, he looks for safety with Possum, Quail, and Woodchuck. What bad luck! No one has room for poor Raccoon. A shimmery light in the distance catches Raccoon’s eye, and he makes his way through the storm to Rabbit’s door. When the door is opened, Raccoon sees ten little rabbits hopping and bopping about. He knows there will be no room. What good luck! Rabbit invites him in and offers him a cozy chair and warmth. As the storm rages on, there’s another knock at Rabbit’s door. Who do you think is there? Possum, Quail, and Woodchuck are looking for comfort from the scary storm. Of course, Rabbit welcomes all her friends just as it should be. Readers will enjoy Jennie Poh’s colorful illustrations and Marsha Diane Arnold’s cleverly worded text that shows how a good friend and neighbor can make room for everyone and chase storm jitters away.

 

 

 

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A Story with Heart

May 31, 2018

umbrella

Author/illustrator Amy June Bates and her seventh-grade daughter, Juniper, came up with an idea for an inspiring picture book about an umbrella. The BIG Umbrella is spare in text, but the words and illustrations will fill your heart with warmth. The smiling umbrella welcomes all who need shelter from the rain. As the crowd grows under the umbrella so does the size of the umbrella. With each page turn, the delightful illustrations, done in watercolor, gouache, and pencil on watercolor paper, will make you smile. The final spread shows the umbrella and a diverse group of people interacting with one another. Without being preachy, Amy June Bates and her daughter have created a story about acceptance that will touch your heart.

 Wouldn’t it be nice if we were all like The Big Umbrella?

 

Mary Had a Little…What?

May 17, 2018

mary lamb

We all know Mary had a little lamb, but did you know that Mary Had a Little lab? That’s right! It seems she loves science and spends all of her time in her lab. Then one day she realizes she’s lonely and doesn’t have any friends. Being a very innovative scientist, Mary decides to create her own friend. She makes a Sheepinator machine. She adds a mixture to some sheep wool and…voilà! Out comes a very useful pet sheep. As the nursery rhyme goes, he followed her to school one day. Mary’s classmates are so impressed with her pet they want one, too. At Mary’s lab, she presses the duplicate button. It gets stuck, and suddenly, chaos ensues. Sheep, sheep everywhere! Her classmates pitch in and help fix the jam, round up the sheep, and give them to farmers. In the meantime, Mary comes up with a new idea. What is it? You’ll have to read this book to find out how Mary, her pet sheep, and her new friends work together for a successful ending to this hilarious story. Sue Fliess‘ rhyming test flows effortlessly, and readers will laugh at the entertaining illustrations by Petros Bouloubasis. This book has it all – girl power, science, innovative thinking, cooperation, and friendship. What more could you ask for?

What Makes a Writer?

March 22, 2018

someone like

If you’ve ever dreamed of being a writer, award-winning author, Patricia MacLachlan’s Someone Like Me is a book that will touch your heart. This charming, lyrical tale is about a little girl who listens to stories told over and over, reads book after book, observes how people talk and laugh, dreams of a white horse, and carries memories of her great-grandmother’s love of the prairie earth and nature. This semi-autobiographical story gives the reader a peek into Patricia MacLachlan’s childhood and how the simple things in life made a lasting impression on her. Chris Sheban’s beautiful illustrations are rendered in soft watercolors, colored pencils, and graphite. The text and illustrations evoke memories of a young girl’s life journey that influenced her life as a writer.

An Interview with Newbery Medalist Patricia MacLachlan

 

Wide-Awake Bear

March 1, 2018

We’ve all been there at one time or another. It’s the time when you’re exhausted but your child is wide awake.

Wide-Awake Bear is Elliot’s story.

wide awake

Elliott, a little bear, and his mother prepare to nap until spring arrives. Elliot dreams of spring until something awakens him, and he can’t go back to sleep. He tries everything, but the shadows and dark shapes in the cave scare him. His mother wakes and comforts him, but he is still a Wide. Awake. Bear. He pretends he’s a little fish and swims to the den’s opening. When he sees snow, ice, and dark clouds, he’s disappointed spring isn’t anywhere to be found. Mama assures him spring will come and tells him many things need to sleep during the winter. With his mother’s help, they fix Elliot’s bed, share a treat, and snuggle until there is no more wide-awake bear. Author, Pat Zietlow Miller does a splendid job of creating a sweet tale about going to sleep. Parents and children will easily relate to this story when it comes to family bedtime. Jean Kim’s illustrations done in soft colors will steal your heart. This book begs to read again.

 

 

 

An Act of Kindness Goes a Long Way

February 15, 2018

Hurry up! Move it! Hustle!

These words and phrases have become part of our vocabulary in our fast-paced society. We’re so caught up in our own lives sometimes we don’t even have time to share a smile or say hello. Are common courtesy and kindness disappearing? Not if talented authors like Pat Zieltow Miller have anything to say or write about it. In her newest book, BE KIND, she reminds us what kindness is and how a simple act of thoughtfulness can spread like ripples in a pond.

kind

When a young student spills grape juice all over her dress, all but one of her classmates laugh. The classmate who didn’t laugh remembers her mother’s words to always be kind. She tries several different ways to make the girl feel better but is unsuccessful. She then ponders what it means to be kind. She begins with small things and goes on to bigger acts of kindness that spill out of school, spread around town, and around the world. Jen Hill’s illustrations show a diverse group of individuals in various settings doing acts of kindness throughout the book. With simple but powerful text, this book demonstrates empathy and understanding for others. It’s a wonderful resource for discussions of what it means to be kind, and it’s a must-have book for children, parents, and educators.

What have you done to be kind today?

Let There Be Light

January 25, 2018

When we moved to a new state and a new home in a new housing development, everything was … new. Meeting our neighbors helped us feel more comfortable in our surroundings, and as we cultivated new friends, smiles lit up our faces.

Sometimes you find neighbors don’t always agree with everything happening in a community, but when the developer of our neighborhood put a new “street light” at the entrance to our development, we all came together. The decision was unanimous. The light must go.

It’s wasn’t a street light. It was a  light pole that belonged in front of someone’s house to light up a driveway or walkway. If you blinked, you’d miss the tiny glow it cast. I kiddingly said, “Maybe the snowplow will take care of it for us.”

It did.

IMG_3214

As of now, the light post lies face down in a puddle of slush. It’s a sad ending to the tale of the little light that didn’t shine brightly enough. The homeowners are in the process of replacing the light with a genuine street light that has a luminosity that will guide all those who enter our community.

Speaking of light …

Here are two sparkling books that will throw light on the subject of light.

Rabbit

The Way Home in the Night written and illustrated by Akiko Miyakoshi, Kids Can Press, 2017

windows

Windows  is written by Julia Denos and illustrated by E.B. Goodale, Candlewick, 2017

Both of these books take place in the evening when lights illuminate the inside of neighborhood homes and businesses. Those looking in from the outside can catch a glimpse of what is happening on the inside. These slice of life images inspire curiosity, imagination, and a safe feeling of home and community. I especially love the lyrical language in The Way Home in the Night. The charming illustrations and text in both of these books make them a must read. And once you do,  I know you’ll agree with me.

Now, if you’re in the dark like we were this week because of a power outage, you might like this book.

blackout

Blackout is written and illustrated by John Rocco, Disney-Hyperion, 2011

When the lights go out, what’s a family to do? With the electronics down and out, a family learns how to reconnect with one another. Appealing text and illustrations show how family time can turn into quality time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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