Posted tagged ‘Animals’

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.

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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.

 

 

 

Goodnight Everyone

November 30, 2017

We’ve all had those nights when our kids just don’t want to go to sleep. Well, Chris Haughton knows how to solve that. He’s the author/illustrator of many award-winning books, including my favorite, Shhh! We Have a Plan.

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In his book, Goodnight Everyone, the forest animals are sleepy – the mice, the hares, the deer, and Great Big Bear. However, Little Bear is wide awake. He wants to play, but all of his friends are too tired. Soon Little Bear gives a huge yawn and decides it’s time to go to sleep like everyone else. The story is simply told, but the techniques used by Chris Haughton are what make this book so likable. The color palette is vibrant and reminiscent of the evening sky after the sun sets. The cut pages will delight readers as they see the animals get bigger with each page turn. As the size of the animals grows, so do their yawns and their sleeping sounds. The endpapers are another treat to behold. The beginning of the book depicts the southern night sky and its constellations and the placement of the planets, moon, earth, and sun. The end of the book depicts the northern night sky and the placement of the planets, moon, earth, and sun and the constellations where Little Bear and Great Bear are easy to pick out. This charming book is sure to get your wide-awake youngster yawning and ready for some zzz’s.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

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.

Have You Seen A Cat?

October 20, 2016

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Have you seen a cat? If you haven’t, then it’s time you take a look at Brendan Wenzel’s latest picture book, THEY ALL SAW A CAT. It’s a simply told tale about a cat walking through the world and the creatures who see it. What makes this picture book unique are the illustrations. Each creature sees the cat from its own distinctive perspective. The mouse sees a cat with sharp teeth and claws. The bee sees a cat from many different lenses. The bird sees a cat from high above. And so it goes with the other animals. Brendan Wenzel uses a wide variety of media to create his illustrations. His artistic approach and his double-page spreads will surprise and dazzle readers. And how does the cat see himself? You’ll have to get this book and find out!

This picture book, along with many other admirable books, has been nominated for the 2016 Cybils Awards (Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards).

 

Busy, Busy, Busy!

October 6, 2016

We’ve all had busy weeks, and it can be very exhausting. If you’re like me, you may even lose track of the days. I have just the book for you and your little ones to help you keep those days in order.

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Busy Builders, Busy Week! written by Jean Reidy and illustrated by Leo Timmers will keep everyone on their toes. There’s an important job that must be completed by the end of the week. The work crew has something to do each day to make sure things get done on time. Leo Timmers’ delightfully silly illustrations show the animal crew hard at work. Reidy’s fast-paced rhyming text keeps readers turning pages as they follow the day-to-day jobs. When Saturday arrives, there’s a fun ending for both animals and readers. This book is not only amusing, but it’s also a great way to introduce and teach the days of the week. Youngsters won’t want to miss this one!

 

 

My Holiday Favorites

December 10, 2015

For years, I’ve collected holiday books that intrigue and entertain me. The words within each book, the touch and smell of the pages, and the emotional high they deliver are the many things that help make my holiday experience magical. During the year, I keep those special books in my office library. During the holiday season, I display them in all the nooks and crannies of our home. My hope is that a family member or a visitor will pick one up and feel the same emotions I do when they read them.

Here are three of my picture book favorites.

Santa’s Favorite Story written by Hisako Aoki and illustrated by Ivan Gantschev. Soft watercolor illustrations help Santa tell the forest animals about the first Christmas and its true meaning – the gift of love.

An Ellis Island Christmas written by Maxinne Rhea Leighton and illustrated by Dennis Nolan. The Petrowski family has left Poland to travel to America to join their father. They arrive at Ellis Island on Christmas Eve and must go through the entry process before being reunited with their father. To young Krysia, the sights, sounds, and food are a new and, sometimes, frightening experience. A feeling of joy embraces Krysia when Papa arrives to take them to their new home. The illustrations, done in subdued colors, do an admirable job in depicting the immigrant experience of coming to America.

We Were There: A Nativity Story written by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Wendell Minor. Bunting’s lyrical text and repetition provide readers with a look at some of the unusual creatures that might have traveled to see the Christ Child on that special night. Combined with Minor’s amazing paintings done in gouache and watercolors, author and illustrator have created a simple but memorable Nativity story that will captivate readers and keep them guessing where the creatures are headed.

 

Seasonal Board Books

December 3, 2015

If you’re in a quandary as to what to get those little kiddos for the holidays, here are a few book suggestions you might consider. After all, a book is a gift you can open again and again.

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No Two Alike written and illustrated by Keith Baker. Celebrate the season with two birds who take readers on a winter wonderland journey.

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The Mitten written and illustrated by Jan Brett. A lost mitten grows bigger and bigger as one animal after another squeeze into it. To the reader’s delight, an unexpected sneeze sends the animals and mitten flying.  Will that lost mitten be found by its owner? Read on and take joy in the beautiful wintry illustrations.

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If you like Alice Schertle’s (author) and Jill McElmurry’s (illustrator) Little Blue Truck, you’ll be sure to be entertained by  Little Blue Truck’s Christmas! Enjoy the spirit of the holiday with this delightful book. It has it all – rhyming text, animal sounds, counting, one, two, three, four, five, and a tree that lights up.

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Llama Llama Jingle Bells written and illustrated by Anna Dewdney. Dewdney creates her magic once again in this holiday themed book that includes all the trimmings for a perfect celebration.

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Ten on a Sled written by Kim Norman and illustrated by Liza Woodruff. Join in the fun-filled adventure as ten animals attempt a slippery ride down a snowy hill. Count them as they fall off – 10, 9, 8, 7 … By the time they reach the bottom, there is only one animal left. But don’t despair, all ends well.

If you’re interested in a book with a learning theme, you might want to check this out. The Misadventures of Cowhead:  Cowhead’s Big Move written by Charlene Peterson and illustrations by Kalpart.

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Another Great Chapter Book from Kate DiCamillo

November 19, 2015

I recently picked up Kate DiCamillo’s chapter book, Francine Poulet Meets the Ghost Raccoon, from our local library. It’s Volume Two in Tales from Deckawoo Drive. Familiar characters from the first book in the series, Leroy Ninker Saddles Up, can be found in the second book. Both books, illustrated by Chris Van Dusen, will appeal to young readers who are looking for something more than books in the I Can Read category.

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In Francine Poulet Meets the Ghost Raccoon, Francine comes from a long line of animal control officers. She has won trophies and holds records for the most animals controlled. Her father referred to her as the genuine article and solid like a refrigerator. Francine loves her job and does it well. Nothing frightens her. When Mrs. Bissinger calls for help to round up a ghostly-looking raccoon on her roof, Francine is on the job. But when the raccoon with its sharp teeth, high-pitched screaming, and odd looks charges at Francine, she panics. Fear seizes Francine, and she loses her perfect balance. A tumble from the roof lands Francine in the hospital with aches, pains, broken bones, and a severe case of fright. Francine loses her self-confidence and resigns from her animal control job. It’s not until a young boy, Frank, convinces Francine that she must face the raccoon to end her fears and go back to being the great animal control officer she really is. Frank cheers Francine on as she attempts to capture the wild raccoon. She remembers what her father said about being the genuine article and summons all of her courage to catch the raccoon. Success! Francine wins her struggle over panic and fear and finds a kindred spirit in Frank.

In this book, readers learn that adults have fears, too. What I particularly like is that Frank, the young boy, understands Francine’s problem and convinces her to do what she must do. This is a funny and heart-warming book that I recommend.

Get on Board with Board Books

October 29, 2015

Books have always been an important part of my life, but now that I have two sweet granddaughters, I’ve become obsessed with board books.

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What better way to introduce them to the magic of words and colorful illustrations than through board books. They’re just the right size for their tiny hands. It’s never too early to begin reading to children so I’m on the prowl for some first-class board books. Here are a few I highly recommend.

You Are My I love You written by Maryann Cusimano Love and illustrated by Satomi Ichikawa. This charming book, delightfully illustrated in muted colors, can be enjoyed by both adults and children. It’s written in rhyme and follows the child and parent through various events of an ordinary day and the sweetness of daily life.

Everywhere Babies written by Susan Meyers and illustrated by Marla Frazee. If your little ones like seeing other babies, this is the book for them. Susan Meyers’ rhyming text celebrates babies being dressed, fed, kissed, rocked, making noise, and doing all the things babies do. The combination of Meyers’ text and Marla Frazee’s enchanting illustrations depicting babies from many different places makes this book one to add to your collection. 

The next two books are from the talented Sandra Boynton. You’ll get your groove on with these.

In Barnyard Dance!, the animals are having an old-fashioned square dance in the barnyard. You’ll want to grab a partner and do-si-do with the animals in this rollicking rhyming story!

And if you like Barnyard Dance!, you’ll love Pajama Time! It’s another one of Boynton’s fast-paced rhyming texts about getting ready for bed. Bedtime has never been so much fun!

I’m still on the lookout for more great board books. If you have any you’d like to share, please do.


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