Posted tagged ‘Friendship’

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.

 

 

 

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Mary Had a Little…What?

May 17, 2018

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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?

A Gift of Imagination

December 7, 2017

If someone asks me what I want for Christmas, I’d say a green umbrella. Why?  Because it’s much more than an ordinary umbrella. It’s an object that tickles your imagination and takes you on extraordinary adventures.

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The Green Umbrella is written by Jackie Azúa Kramer and illustrated by Maral Sassouni. On a rainy day, Elephant is taking a walk with his umbrella when he meets Hedgehog who insists Elephant has his boat and tells him of his boat adventures. When Elephant says Hedgehog is mistaken, Elephant offers to share his umbrella with Hedgehog. Along comes Cat who insists Elephant has his tent and tells of his tent adventures. Elephant says Cat is mistaken but offers to share his umbrella. The story continues as Elephant meets different animals who are convinced his umbrella is not really an umbrella but something else. In the end, despite their differences, they all become friends. Maral Sassouni’s illustrations are whimsical and rendered in soft pastels. The Green Umbrella is a delightful book of imagination, sharing, and friendship.

Get me that green umbrella!

 

 

Get Ready to Turn these Pages

September 14, 2017

 

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If you’re looking for a book to get your toddler/preschooler moving, take a look at Lucy Cousins’ picture book, Hooray for Birds. This book is filled with bold, bright colors and invites the child to imagine he/she is a bird and do what the birds do. The fast–paced rhymes begin with a “Cock-a-doodle-doo!” in the morning and continue throughout the day until it’s time to say good night. Don’t be surprised if your little one insists you read the book again and again, and you’ll oblige because this book is fun for everyone!

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Bird, Balloon, Bear written and illustrated by Il Sung Na is quite the opposite of Hooray for Birds. This is a gentle story about finding the courage to make a new friend. The text is spare and the illustrations in the book are muted and soft with a fun double page spread. What makes this book special is it lends itself to cuddling together as you turn the pages to reveal how a friendship blossoms.

These two books are looking for a space in your library.

 

A Great Middle-Grade Summer Read

July 6, 2017

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The year is 1959. It’s a time when American Bandstand, 45 RPM records, saddle shoes, and transistor radios are popular. The Warden’s Daughter written by the talented Jerry Spinelli takes place during this era. The story is about Cammie O’Reilly nicknamed Cannonball because of her unpredictable personality. She lives in an apartment above the county jail with her father, the warden. Her mother died in a tragic accident after saving Cammie when she was a baby — an accident that is well-known by everyone in town. The summer Cammie turns thirteen she aches more than ever to have a mother like everyone else. Cammie decides that Eloda Pupko, an inmate at the prison who takes care of her and keeps the apartment clean and running smoothly, should be that mother, but things are not as easy as Cammie thinks. Consumed with unhappiness and anger, Cammie lashes out when an unexpected event occurs, and her life begins to spiral out of control. It’s Eloda who steps in and provides the elusive motherly love and support that Cammie needs to face her inner turmoil. Jerry Spinelli weaves a story of an unhappy young girl that tugs at your emotions and keeps you turning the pages to a satisfying ending. If you have someone looking for a good book to read this summer, I recommend The Warden’s Daughter.

 

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.

 

 

Break Out!

October 13, 2016

Creativity can only go so far in in your little writing hidey-hole. Maybe it’s time to break out! Stretch your wings, breathe the crisp fall air, and enjoy the beauty surrounding you.img_1498

Last week, I did just that. We took a trip to the Midwest to see friends and attend a wedding. It included a little history, a little culture, a little nature, and a lot of love and friendship.

A little history …

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James J. Hill:  Builder of the Great Northern Railway

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A little religious culture at the Cathedral of St. Paul …

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A little pop culture … a Prince-ly site.

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The Capital in Madison, WI

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Nature

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 Minnesota:  Land of 10,000 Lakes and big pumpkins!

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Love

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Friendship

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This is a fabulous time of the year to feed your inner self with the beauty that’s all around you. It’s a perfect way to spark creativity.

And don’t forget to take time and read!

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