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!
“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.
“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.
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.
The state legislature has declared 12/12/12 “Aaron Rodgers Day” in Wisconsin, in honor of the Green Bay Packers star quarterback with the uniform number 12. Young readers can celebrate the success of this remarkable athlete with two books added to the library’s collections this past year.
Logan suspects that missing pet dogs are being dognapped by invading aliens and forms the Intergalactic Canine Rescue Unit with his friends. He communicates with a female alien who speaks for the big Boss alien, is kidnapped himself, and through quick thinking and clever negotiating, Logan becomes a hero. Dognappers is a fast read appealing to middle-graders with its gross humor, surprising adventures with aliens and mysteries.
May Elizabeth Bitterly lives on the Kansas frontier with her family. May wants to study and become a teacher, but her father needs her to earn some money for the familiy by living and working on the neighboring Oblinger homestead, but just until Christmas. Mr. Oblinger has made a rustic sod house for his new young bride, who is not use to the roughness of life on the frontier. May cooks, washes and offers Mrs. Oblinger lessons of life on the frontier. Mrs. Oblinger does not return May’s kindness.
The cover photo of the chocolate brown pit bull puppy with soulful amber eyes drew me to this book. Saving Audie is a straighforward but heartwarming true account of this dog, one of many rescued from almost certain death in an illegal dogfighting organization co-owned by NFL player Michael Vick. Kept for many months in shelters as evidence against the wrongdoers, with only numbers instead of names, the dogs faced an uncertain future. While many people thought the dogs were dangerous and damaged
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.
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.
Newbery medalist (for A Year Down Yonder) Richard Peck pens an exciting, humorous mouse adventure - - a nonstop entertaining run of mice at sea, sailing with their people, the Cranstons, to England in search of a husband for daughter, Olive Cranston. Helena, the eldest mouse sister, and her family fear discovery, the perils of open water, and the menace of the ship’s cat. Helena narrates the story from mouse perspective (“. . . We mice dream of nothing but cheese and time running out.” p.
This first book in the new Ghost Buddy series by authors Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver will capture readers with its genuine, good guy, but clumsy, protagonist Billy Broccoli. Moving into a new house, Billy finds teenage ghost Hoove in his room and learns to accept him and his suggestions. Hoove is determined to help Billy gain confidence and become cool. When Billy is totally embarrassed by the school bully, Hoove conspires with Billy to get even, yet Billy manages to maintain his ethics while coming out ahead.
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.
Illustrator Ed Young, winner of the Caldecott Medal for his book Lon Po Po, tells the unique story of his childhood in wartime China through award-winning author Libby Koponen. Young’s father, Baba, an engineer, devises a way of protecting his wife and five children and numerous other relatives and friends by constructing a bomb-proof house that becomes a playground for the children complete with a swimming pool.
What young boy wouldn’t want a dog? Rufus, a fifth grader, argues persistently to justify his need for a dog. His dad stubbornly lists the many reasons why dogs are forbidden in their house: “They infest the house with blood-sucking fleas” and “They drag dead animals into the house” (p. 3). In an attempt to compromise, Mom brings home a guinea pig. “Fido” turns out to be no ordinary guinea pig. In fact, she does everything a dog would do! She plays Frisbee, obeys commands, licks faces and fetches sticks.
Fredle, a small house mouse, indulges in a delicious peppermint pattie, becomes ill, and is pushed out of the family nest. Tossed outside from the farmer’s wife’s dust pan, he is left to die or survive on his own. He befriends Sadie the dog (Sadie, a simple-minded border collie from Voigt’s earlier book, Angus and Sadie in the Davis Farm series) and a few field mice, who become valuable allies. New dangers await—owls, the barnyard snake, and an outlaw gang of raccoons planning to fatten him for their feast.
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,
Heart-warming story of eight year old Johnny’s love for his grandparents’ Connecticut tree farm and a very special antique toy horse. He dreams of giving the toy horse to his little brother, Liam, but the horse is lost. Wishing for a Christmas miracle, Johnny realizes that no gift will equal that little white horse, but he searches for another just in case. A loving, family story to share during the Christmas season.
In a red stocking cap, Baby Owl is playing with his sled in the snowy woods. Baby Hare comes along, sees him, and mistakes him for Santa Claus. Baby Owl tries to convince Baby Hare that he isn’t Santa, but Baby Hare doesn’t believe it and starts crying. Baby Owl does his best to calm Baby Hare down, but things go from bad to worse. Who can save the day?
One of the “My First” holiday series by popular author/artist Karen Katz, this picture book is told in the first person by a perky, round-faced little girl as she describes the many ways her family, friends and neighbors celebrate the seven days of Kwanzaa. The book is divided in seven sections, with a Swahili word or phrase for each of the principles that give meaning to the celebration, along with a pronunciation guide, and clear, simple descriptions of the activities. Brilliantly-colored folk art illustrations and borders add to the liveliness of the family’s festivities.
Oother is a big, gruff, widowed mountain man who lives with his small, gentle, pigtailed daughter, Pyn. While he loves Pyn, Oother is not the kind to soften for anyone; when Pyn calls him “Papa,” he responds with a grunt, “My name is Oother.” Patient, uncomplaining Pyn cooks and keeps house while Oother works all day in the woods. As Christmas draws near, Pyn longs for a tree to decorate, to help bring cheer into their humble cottage.
Young Liz is excited to be on her first hunting adventure with her dad who has just returned home from war; but she is also uneasy: her father has been gone so long that he and she are practically strangers. There are other things to get used to also: her new, too-large plaid flannel shirt from the dry goods store, the unfamiliarity of the breakfast fare on the menu at the diner, and the chilling changes that November brings to the woods Liz walks with her father, who, with gun in hand, is intent on killing the crows who have been eating the farm crops.
The perfect summer adventure for curious readers who love nature and daring explorations. Owen Jester catches the biggest bullfrog in the pond in Carter, Georgia, and locates the lost Water Wonder 4000 submarine, but must keep both events secret. He miraculously discovers how to drive the sub to explore pond life underwater with the help of his friends. He must learn to trust their annoying acquaintance, Viola, whose knowledge proves crucial to success.
Fudge and Einstein, two charming, raisin-loving pet ferrets, are in trouble! Their owner, Andrea, is cat-sitting for a friend, and Marvel, the visiting cat, mistakes the ferrets for tasty rats! Fudge and Einstein must come up with a plan to save themselves from being Marvel's "ferret fritters fur-ever."
The middle child between two sets of twins, Miri feels overlooked and out of place even in her own family. Not only that, but, unlike most of her friends, she still likes to play pretend games and still wants to believe that magic is real even though nothing magical has ever happened to her. Miri and family have just moved into an old house, and her small bedroom, with its worn and ugly wallpaper, seems strange to her. Sent to her bedroom after hitting her brother, Miri discovers a glasses lens taped to one of the walls.
When little Betty Bunny has chocolate cake for the first time, it’s love at first taste. “I want to marry chocolate cake!” she says to her family. Betty Bunny longs for more. But, being "a handful," as her mother puts it, she has trouble behaving and being patient enough to earn her next serving.
Baby Bat never wants to leave his cozy cave where thousands of little bats and their mothers sleep together like a huge furry coat and where Mother Bat provides warmth and milk. But Baby Bat grows bigger and must soon practice wing-flapping to learn to fly and hunt in the outside world. One night when he practices wing-flapping, he takes to the air, but falls down into the nest of Pluribus Packrat. P.