Ellen—School Age Librarian

  1. Here Comes Santa Cat

    Here Comes Santa Cat

    In “Here Comes Santa Cat”, we meet a cat dressed up in a Santa suit that is having a conversation with an unseen narrator.  After viewing Cat’s “current year to date” pie chart showing a ratio of his naughty to nice behavior, we learn why he wants to be Santa—he wants a present.  Maybe if Cat does some nice things, Santa will give him a present after all.  Cat’s attempts at niceness go terribly awry over and over, until finally he does it right.  And Cat meets Santa after all.  The ink and colored pencil illustrations show Cat with a multitude of emotions, and the u

  2. Shooting At the Stars

    Shooting At the Stars

    Shooting at the Stars is a fictionalized account of the Christmas truce that occurred in the trenches between British and German troops during World War I in 1914.  The story is told conveyed through a letter by a British soldier to his mother.  He tells of December 24th, when the British soldiers heard singing coming from the opposing trench 30 paces away.  Stille Nacht--Silent Night.  The next morning, they woke up to calls from the German soldiers.  Warily, soldiers from both sides began to step out into “No Man’s Land”.  They first buried their d

  3. Take Away The A

    Take Away The A

     

    This innovative and unique alphabet book takes a basic word like "beast", take away the "a" and "the BEAST is the BEST". "Without the B, the BRIDE goes for a RIDE."  Reading the book straight through would be fun for preschool and kindergarten, but for older students and their teachers, its a great excuse for wordplay!  Highly recommended.

  4. The Vanishing Coin

    The Vanishing Coin

    This is the first book in a promising series about a fourth grade boy named Mike whose school year is not off to a good start.  Mike struggles to sit still and pay attention, and ends up in the principal's office at least once every week.  And this year, he has to spend every afternoon after school with new neighbor gifted Nora.  Mike's not looking forward to it, until he and Nora discover an antiques store called "The White Rabbit".  This store also is a little magical.

  5. Smile, Pout-Pout Fish

    Smile, Pout-Pout Fish

     

    This simple board book stars a sad looking fish and a pink sea creature who tells him not to be worried, not to be sad, not to be scared and not to be mad. It turns out all the fish needed was a little smooch, and he becomes a smiley fish again.  This basic book is perfect for babies and toddlers, and teaches that smiles can be found with just a little encouragement. 

  6. The Day I Lost My Superpowers

    The Day I Lost My Superpowers

     

    This charming picture book originally published in France in 2013 is about a little girl who believes she has "superpowers".  She can make things disappear (like cupcakes), make plants stop moving, and become invisible when something breaks in the house.  One day she falls while "flying" and her superpowers disappear.  Just like that. And her knee starts to hurt and she starts to cry.  Then she learns that her mom has superpowers too!  Magic kisses can make things all better again.  A very pleasant book about a child and love for a parent.

  7. Surprise

    Surprise

     

    This picture book first published in the Netherlands is a gem.  I loved it from the very first spread--a drawing of a bird opposite of the word yearning.  Followed by hoping, expecting, marveling--each showing a beautiful bird in a stage of parenting.  Each spread consists of a word opposite a bird--and the pages with words become increasingly more complex in design.  When I got to the final page, letting go, I was so impressed with the beauty of the book.  Mies Van Hout is becoming one of my favorite author/illustrators. 

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