Archive for the ‘Picture Books’ category

Problems, Problems

April 27, 2017

Tuesday was World Penguin Day. Who can resist penguins? They’re cute, and they waddle. I hope you didn’t forget your inner child and you waddled like one on Tuesday.

Did you know that sometimes penguins have problems? Read on.

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Penguin Problems written by Jory John and illustrated by Lane Smith, Random House Books for Young Readers.

Penguin is having a bad day. Nothing is right. It’s too early. It’s too cold. There’s too much snow. It’s too bright. It’s one problem after another. Then a walrus comes along with some inspirational words about appreciating what you have. It takes Penguin a while to realize there is a point to the walrus’s words, and Penguin begins to see the world around him as a better place. But then again, there are always Penguin problems. Lane Smith’s delightful illustrations combined with Jory John’s text make this book a laugh-out-loud success for both children and adults.

Waddle to your local library or bookstore and pick up Penguin Problems and some of my other penguin favorites.

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Penguin and Pinecone: a friendship story written and illustrated by Salina Yoon, Walker & Company

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 Little Penguin Gets the Hiccups written and illustrated by Tadgh Bentley, Balzer & Bray/Harperteen

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 Grumpy Pants written and illustrated by Claire Messer, Albert Whitman & Company

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 And Tango Makes Three written by Justin Richardson; Peter Parnell and illustrated by Henry Cole, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

 

 

An Egg Surprise

February 9, 2017

On this snowy, blowy, waiting-for-a-foot-of-snow morning, I have the perfect book that whispers the hint of spring and new things to come. Keven Henkes is a talented and prolific writer and illustrator who has received many prestigious awards for his work. In January, his newest picture book, Egg, was released.

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The story begins with four eggs. There is one pink, one yellow, one blue, and one green. Three chicks crack out of their eggs, but the last green egg remains unhatched. The chicks wait and wait until their curiosity gets the best of them. They “peck-peck-peck” until it cracks open and they find out what’s inside. It’s not what the chicks expected. Using a combination of single words, repetition, and wordless pages, Henkes crafts a  story of surprise, uncertainty, and eventual friendship. Words and engaging pastel illustrations are sure to delight children as they easily read along with this satisfying story.

 

 

Do You Have the Grumpies?

January 26, 2017

Have you ever had one of those days when nothing seems to go right? It’s raining and you have no umbrella. You’re late for work. You forgot your lunch. You find yourself asking, “Why me?” Step back, take a deep breath, and read Grumpy Pants written and illustrated by Claire Messer. It’s a sure thing to put a smile on your face.

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Penguin is not having a good day. He’s in a very bad mood and doesn’t know why. He tries to shake off his grumpiness, but nothing seems to work. Then he has an idea, and very slowly he begins to feel much better. Don’t let this book fool you. You’ll delight in sharing it with young readers. It’s a perfect pick for two to five-year-olds. Messer’s illustrations are adorable, and the text is presented in a large font. Everyone will enjoy the hilarious antics as Penguin finds a way to get rid of the grumpies!

A Very Satisfying Picture Book

January 5, 2017

I’m always hungry for a deliciously dazzling picture book. Well, I found it, and every reader should gobble it up.

A Hungry Lion or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals, written and illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins, has received lots of impressive book chatter.

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With so many cute animals starring in it, this book is hard to resist. It’s filled with twists, turns, and surprises. You’ll adore the illustrations. The double-page spread done in black will leave you in the dark and keep you guessing what is about to happen. I’d like to tell you more, but that would spoil the fun. Get this book! It’s worth sinking your teeth into.

A Dino/Pirate Tale

December 15, 2016

If your kids are fascinated by dinosaurs and pirates, Pirasaurs! is a book you don’t want to miss.

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Author, Josh Funk, crafts a fast-paced story in rhyme you’ll be sure to enjoy. Hilarity abounds in this dino/pirate tale. There’s a ship full of buccaneering beasts with a traitor among them. Captain Rex is a woman, Triceracook is the ship’s cook, and the little hero is adorable. Michael Slack’s colorful illustrations are filled with details and humor. There’s deck swabbing, swordplay, belching, burping, and mutiny! Buried in all the fun is a treasure that reveals compromise and sharing. Once you’ve finished reading Pirasaurs! you’ll be hooked. Aye, matey! Join the Pirasaurs crew for a delightful read.

DU IZ TAK?

December 1, 2016

If you have very young children, you know they have a language of their own – uhda, madee, ticka …  They know what they’re saying, but it’s up to us to figure it out. And that brings me to a picture book that fascinates me. When I first heard about this book, I was convinced it was written in a foreign language. When I finally got my hands on it, I was in for a big surprise!

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Du Iz Tak? is written and illustrated by Carson Ellis. The text is sparse, using “invented” words. With that in mind, Carson Ellis has masterfully crafted a fanciful story filled with creativity and imagination. Two damselflies discover a shoot growing out of the ground. Other insects investigate the growth. After some interesting discussion and the help of Icky the bug, they build a tree house in the growing shoot. Drama comes into play with the addition of a huge spider, a hungry, bird, and a blossoming flower. While all of this is taking place, a caterpillar has made its cocoon. At night, a violin-playing insect sits above the cocoon and plays to the night sky. This oversized picture book is one that needs time to absorb. Ellis’ illustrations are filled with the beauty and wonder of nature and what can happen when imagination blossoms. This circular story has a very satisfying ending and lends itself to close examination and discussion.

Another picture book with invented words and fun to read is Best Frints in the Whole Universe by Antoinette Portis. See my comments here.

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Books to Savor

November 3, 2016

My two little cuties love books. So when I find a great picture book I think they will like, I stash them in a secret place.

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When the time is right, I pull one out for all of us to enjoy. Here are two I’m waiting to share with them.

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Petey and Pru and the Hullabaloo written by Ammi-Joan Paquette and illustrated by Joy Ang

Petey and Pru are friends, but sometimes they don’t always agree on how to spend time together. The day Petey wanted quiet, Pru was feeling tricksy. That caused mayhem and a hullabaloo. Did that ruin their friendship? Of course not because they both know friendship is something to cherish – at least until the next time Pru is feeling tricksy.

Why I like this book:  The vocabulary is a mouthful of merriment! Who wouldn’t want to use words like kerfuffle, cacophony, and hornswoggled? The illustrations are eye-catching, vibrant, and filled with fanciful fun!

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A Sick Day for Amos McGee written by Philip C. Stead and illustrated by Erin E. Stead

Amos McGee works at the zoo. He’s a very busy man, but he always makes time for his animal friends. One day, Amos wakes with chills and aches. When he doesn’t come to work, the animals worry about him. Later that day, the animals get on the bus and travel to Amos McGee’s house where each of the animals has a special way to take care of him.

Why I like this book:  This is a quiet book. It delivers a message of repaying kindness with kindness. The illustrations done in muted colors add to the calm and charm of the story. See how many times you can spot the red balloon in this Caldecott Medal book.

 


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