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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Curious George

"Curious George" by H.A. Rey

Many of you are probably familiar with the character Curious George, and there are dozens of subsequent Curious George tales and a recent movie. But have you read the very first book and remember what happens?

George lived in Africa and saw a man with a yellow hat. George was a very curious monkey which led to the man with a yellow hat to capture him and take him to a city zoo.

Being a curious monkey leads George into many predicaments like falling off of the ship into the water and accidentally calling the fire department when playing with the telephone. He ends up in jail! George escaped jail and was accidentally whisked away with a bunch of balloons that carry him over top of the city where George spots the man with the yellow hat! The man with the yellow hat takes him back to the zoo.

If your child loves the Curious George series, be sure to include the original story!

Friday, June 28, 2013

AA is for Aardvark

"AA is for Aardvark: Double the Letters! Double the Fun!" was written by Mark Shulman (2005).

Parents and teachers this is a great resource for you! This picture book highlights many of the common words in the English language with double letters. There are a two or three examples for each letter of the alphabet.

"AA is for aardvark. Aaron Aardvark loves playing with Isaac Aardwolf. BB is for rubber band. No grabbing. And I'm not fibbing."

I think that elementary age children will find this fascinating to have these words compiled into one picture book. It's fascinating to ME! (I still continue to spell "vacuum" wrong!)

"Ahh...please don't make noise while I take my bath. Shh! HH is for shh! II is for Hawaii. It's where I love to go skiing!"

Thursday, June 27, 2013

On Market Street

"On Market Street" by Arnold Lobel, illustrated by Anita Lobel, is a 1982 Caldecott Honor picture book.

This beloved book takes the reader through a child's stroll down Market Street. Each merchant the child encounters is dressed or decorated with the items he or she is selling. The book's popularity is due to the creativity and detailed illustrations that invite children to use their imaginations.

Some of the things the child encounters are apples, books, clocks, doughnuts, eggs, and flowers. They only words in the book are those given for each letter of the alphabet. The illustrations explain all of the rest.

Expose your children to beautiful art, examples of goods sold in markets, and of course, the alphabet!

Read this book and then visit your local farmer's market!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Fabulous Fair Alphabet

"A Fabulous Fair Alphabet" by Debra Frasier, 2010

I was quickly drawn to this picture book in the library because of the less common topic of "fair". I like the book not because of the use of the alphabet or illustrations but the content used to describe what one would see at a typical American fair. Clearly, one could read this anytime, but I think it would make a great summertime book to read before and after going to an actual fair.

The illustrations are very bold and colorful. At times, I think they are a bit distracting. The only words used are the words linked to each letter of the alphabet.

The words used are arena, barn, cotton candy, dill pickle, eat everything, Ferris Wheel, games, Holstein, ice cream, judging, kids, large lemonade, Midway nights, outstanding, pigs, quilts, roller coaster, slide, tractor, unbelievable, vegetables, win, eXit, yawning, and zucchini.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Babies on the Bus

"The Babies on the Bus" by Karen Katz, 2011

Although the title is different, this picture book is an illustrated version of the song called The Wheels on the Bus with a few additions I have never heard before like "The babies on the bus fall fast asleep, fast asleep, fast asleep.", "The motor on the bus goes zoom, zoom, zoom", and "The driver on the bus says, 'Everyone up!, Everyone up!, Everyone up!.'"

The illustrations are very similar to many other Karen Katz toddler books which are really colorful, bright, and cheery. The targeted audience is children ages 1-3 which is why the focus is on the "babies".

For other Karen Katz books click on these titles: "Baby at the Farm" and "Where is Baby's Belly Button?"

Monday, June 24, 2013

Hop, Hop, Jump


Hop, Hop, Jump!” by Lauren Thompson

This picture book shows children at a summer camp moving and grooving!

“Wing it (elbow), wave it (hand), upside-down it (bottom), hop, hop, JUMP! Squint it (eye), Grin it (mouth).”

So not only does it give actions to perform, it tells the reader which body part to use. 

This is a great preschooler book to get them moving and reinforce names of body parts.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Curious George at the Fire Station

"Curious George at the Fire Station" by Margret and H.A. Rey

George and the man with the yellow hat visited a fire station. The fire chief showed them all around and even let George wear a fireman's hat! He showed them the fire truck and the bell on the truck they ring to clear a path. There was even a family of Dalmatians there!

George became curious and slide down the pole. He began to play on the fire truck and wondered what would happen if he rang that bell the fire chief showed them?

Read this book to find out what happens when George rings that bell!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Me on the Map

"Me on the Map" by Joan Sweeney is a picture book told in the first-person by a young girl who explains her place in this world geographically.

"So here's how I find my special place on the map. First I look at the map of the world and find my country. Then I look at the map of my country and find my state. Then I look at the map of my state and find my town."

The girl goes on to explain her street, her home and her bedroom! I love this geography resource book because it makes geography fun, makes it personal for each reader who will no-doubt be thinking about his/her own place on the map, and it encourages a sense of positive self-worth.

This picture book is best for elementary-age children.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Super Hungry Dinosaur


 “The Super Hungry Dinosaur” by Martin Waddell

Young Hal encounters a very hungry dinosaur who comes and tells him he’s going to eat him. Hal tells him that is not fair. Then he got really angry when the dinosaur threatened to eat his family members. Then Hal was able to tie up the dinosaur! 
“Apologize to us and fix our backyard and promise not to eat people or dogs ever again!” Hal told the Super Hungry Dinosaur.  ‘I’m sorry,’ gulped the Super Hungry Dinosaur…and it cleaned up the mess it had made.”

The dinosaur was still very hungry, so Hal’s mother made him a large meal. He felt much better. Billy saved everyone from the Super Hungry Dinosaur. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

My Big Rig

"My Big Rig" by Jonathan London

A little boy imagines what it would be like if he were a truck driver as he plays with his toy trucks at home.

"Wouldn't it be fun to drive a truck across the country? I climb into my big rig and wave good-bye. I blast my horn. My engine roars. My big rig rolls through the city...across a bridge..and out to the country."

Follow this boys imagination as he stops off for donuts and sleep and as he announces his handle over the CB radio.

Other similar books by Jonathan London are "A Plane Goes Ka-Zoom!", "A Truck Goes Rattely-Bumpa", and "A Train Goes Clickety-Clack".

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

F is for Fireflies

"F is for Fireflies: God's Summertime Alphabet" by Kathy-Jo Wargin

"A is for Anchor. Lift up your Anchor; the sunshine is here. It's time for the blessings of God's summer cheer. B is for Boat. Summer brings Boats that set sail in the breeze. The water reminds us that God calms the seas. C is for Castle. Let's find a beach to build Castles of sand. God tells us kindness means lending a hand."

This book has bold and colorful illustrations, great summertime words for each letter of the alphabet, and little messages about God to remind children that he is the Creator.

This is such a great book, I am off to research some of her other similar books.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Sleepy ABC

"Sleepy ABC" by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Karen Katz.

This colorful picture book describes many things associated with bedtime for each letter of the alphabet.

"J is for Jump and don't bump your head. K is for Kissing your mother goodnight. L is for Listening when they turn out the light. M is for Mother who tucks you in tight. N is for the dark and starry Night."

Children will enjoy this fun bedtime story and may find the illustrations familiar from many of the toddler lift-the-flap books illustrated by Karen Katz like "Where is Baby's Belly Button?"

The companion book to this is called "A Child's Good Morning Book" by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Karen Katz.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Pippa at the Parade

"Pippa at the Parade" by Karen Roosa

 "Pippa's toes tap, feel the beat. Music starting down the street. Clapping hands! Clappity-clap. Band is coming! Tippity-tap. See them marching, strutting along, stepping lively to the jazzy song."

This is just a great, great picture book about parades. You could read it around Independence Day or any other event when there is a parade. So many towns have parades around Memorial Day and other special occasions through the summer months. Although there are fireworks at the end, this book doesn't mention any holiday. It can be read anytime because parades are very memorable with the loud music, loud fire sirens, candy-throwing and floats. Kids may even remember watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade on television.

"Toss a ball, win a prize. Pippa throws. Big surprise! Cotton candy, sticky sweet, on Pippa's fingers--Yellow! Orange! Fireworks flare. Boom, ka-boom in the evening air. Light is fading. Sunset red. Parade is over. Time for bed."

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Red, White and Boom!

Red, White and Boom!” by Lee Wardlaw, 2012

This summer-fun, 4th of July-themed picture book tells a story using short poetic phrases and bold illustrations full of people from many cultures. This is fitting for preschool and elementary.
“Fireflies flit, sparklers spit.
Pinwheels spin, Goosebump skin.
Peacock plume, Sunburst bloom.
Star flakes spill, Heart-thump thrill.
Rockets wing, Crackles, sing, Burst and zoom, Red, White, boom!”

I will be adding this to my Independence Day book collection. 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Captain Bob Sets Sail

"Captain Bob Sets Sail" by Roni Schotter is a picture book about a boy who pretends he is the Captain while he takes a bath.

"It was a crowded bay. There were ducks and deep-diving dinosaurs and boats bobbing and banging and splashing and crashing. It was a soap-sinking sea, but Bob only laughed--'Ha ha!'--for he was Captain."

Join Captain Bob's adventure as he wrestles with Faucet Falls, escapes the ruby-ringed Sea Hand, and swims across Bath Bay.

"But the waters of Bath Bay were cold now-- bone chilling. 'Sh-sh-sh-shake and sh-shiver and quiver me timbers,' Bob chattered. 'It's t-t-time to go. Attention all ships. Land ho!'"



Friday, June 14, 2013

A Plane Goes Ka-Zoom!



"A Plane Goes Ka-Zoom!" by Jonathan London

Just like trucks and trains, planes can go fast or slow, they can be big or small, and they come in many different colors. Planes can carry people, trucks and even jets!

"Planes land on water. Planes land on snow. Planes land on runways...and planes come and go. If I were a pilot, I could zoom just for fun! I could race through the clouds...and follow the sun."

For other similar transportation book, see Jonathan London's "A Truck Goes Rattley-Bumpa" and "A Train Goes Clickety-Clack."


Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Truck Goes Rattley-Bumpa


"A Truck Goes Rattley-Bumpa" by Jonathan London

Trucks come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, and colors. They make different noises and carry different things.  


"A truck's horn BLASTS. A truck's wheels squeal. A truck's brakes hiss. A truck's bells peal."


Trucks carry dirt, ladders, wood, fruit, animals, trees, ice cream, and so many more exciting things. We see trucks on the road every day going downtown or across the country.


For more books like this, look for Jonathan London's "A Plane Goes Ka-Zoom!" and "A Train Goes Clickety-Clack".


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Curious George Says Thank You

"Curious George Says Thank You" by Emily Flaschner Meyer, 2011

It all started when George received a thank-you card in the mail from a friend thanking him for a birthday present. This got Curious George thinking about who he could give thank-you cards to. He began thinking and making lots of cards. One of the people George wanted to thank was the mail carrier, but he couldn't catch up to her. He ran into some trouble along the way but was finally able to give the mail carrier his thank-you.

"George proudly gave her a thank-you card. 'Wow, George!' said the mail carrier. 'I'm usually the one delivering the cards. This sure is a treat!'"

Help teach children the importance of thanking people for kindness they have shown, services they provide or gifts they have given them. This would be a great book to read right after a child's birthday before writing thank you notes to people for all of the birthday gifts.



Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Train Goes Clickety-Clack

"A Train Goes Clickety-Clack" by Jonathan London

This simplistic preschool-age picture book explains how trains can be old or new and fast or slow. It explains that some trains transport cattle, steel or people.

"A train's boiler hisses. A train's bumpers bang. Trains crawl up. Trains ROOAAAAR down. Trains blow whistles--CHOO-CHOOOOOOO--and rumble through town. If I were an engineer, I could make the train go."

Jonathan London has authored similar books called "A Plane Goes Ka-Zoom!" and "A Truck Goes Rattley-Bumpa." 

Furthermore, it reminds me of a collection of Byron Barton's books which are even more simplistic. You could use Byron Barton's transportation books for 2 or 3 year olds and Jonathan London's transportation books for 3 or 4 year olds.


Monday, June 10, 2013

Up, Down, and Around

"Up, Down, and Around" by Katherine Ayres

First they plant seeds in the ground, then they water the seeds, and then they watch the seeds grow. It is so much fun to watch and see the way different plants grow. To discover which vegetables grow under the ground, which vegetables twist around, and which vegetables grow straight up is truly intriguing.

"Corn grows up. Carrots grow down. Cucumbers climb around and around. Peppers grow up. Potatoes grow down. Pumpkins vine around and around."

Read this delightful picture book to find out what else is growing in their garden.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

It Looked Like Spilt Milk

"It Looked Like Spilt Milk" by Charles G. Shaw, 1947

This beloved picture book that encourages children to use their imaginations has been a favorite for decades. 


"Sometimes it looked like an Angel. But it wasn't an Angel. Sometimes it looked like Spilt Milk. But it wasn't Spilt Milk. It was just a Cloud in the Sky."


One of the best places to help spur on a child's imagination is in nature. When children look up into the sky, there is so much beauty, so many things that make a child wonder. I still look up at the clouds and imagine what they resemble.


Another great similar book is Eric Carle's "Little Cloud". Both books are about the same thing, and both books are equally worth reading.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Too Hot? Too Cold?

"Too Hot? Too Cold?: Keeping Body Temperature Just Right" by Caroline Arnold, 2013

This is a great elementary-age health/science resource. It is a picture book with loads of information all about how humans and animals keep their temperature under control. It reviews warm and cold-blooded animals, sweating and panting, and cooling and warming in the blood.


Fur, hair, feathers, and fat help to keep temperature right in animals or humans. It also reviews hibernation and migration.

"An animal's body shape affects its ability to stay warm. For example, on a hot day a cat stretches out its body and lies in the shade. On a cold day the cat curls up in a ball. A compact shape has less surface area exposed to the air, so the cat stays warmer when it is curled up and cooler when it is stretched out."

Have you ever heard of estivating? "Lungfish, which live in Africa and South America, estivate by burrowing into mud and becoming dormant when rivers and water holes dry up."

Friday, June 7, 2013

Jesus Loves Me

"Jesus Loves Me" illustrated by Tim Warnes is a picture song book great for any age.

Most of us know at least the first verse of Jesus Loves Me. This book uses the first verse and then two additional verses that I've never heard before. The illustrations show a bear family beginning with the Mommy bear reading the Bible to baby bear in bed. Then they show the whole bear family doing things together like gardening, fishing for supper, and playing together.

"Jesus loves me! This I know, as He loved so long ago. Taking children on His knee, saying, 'Let them come to Me.' Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so!"

Jesus loves us and is with us where ever we go and whatever we do. Just as our mother and father love us, God the Father loves us. On the back cover is a Bible verse that correlates with this bear story:


"Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily BEARS our burdens." Psalm 68:19

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Little Quack's Opposites

"Little Quack's Opposites" by Lauren Thompson

Little Quack is a duck character in many books by Lauren Thompson. This particular book is a board book all about opposites like up and down, inside and outside, near and far, slow and fast, loud and quiet and many more. Little Duck and Puddle (another duck) learn about these opposites.

"Little Quack is big. Puddle is small. Little Quack is wet. Puddle is dry."

It is short and simple, just the way a toddler board book should be.

Another great toddler book about opposites is called "Opposites" by Sandra Boynton.

For another Little Quack book review, click here.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Some Helpful Tips for a Better World

"Some Helpful Tips for a Better World and a Happier Life" by Rebecca Doughty

"Begin each day by making funny faces in the mirror. Experiment with your hairdo. Make music and art...Try new things. Talk to somebody new. Be a hero."

This short little picture book gives some tips on how to make the world and your life better and happier. It teaches that you can't just expect that the world will do everything for you. You have to do your own part to make yourself happier. When everyone contributes to making the world better, it really is better.

"Splash in puddles whenever possible. Eat your vegetables! Find someone you can always tell your troubles to...and who can tell you theirs. Read. Dance. Be You."

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Where the Wild Things Are

 "Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak, 1963

This Caldecott Award winning picture book has been a beloved favorite for generations. This is a story about a young boy named Max who is dressed up in a wolf costume and does multiple naughty things.

"his mother called him 'WILD THING!' and Max said, 'I'LL EAT YOU UP!', so he was sent to bed without eating anything."

While in his room, Max imagines a forest, and ocean, and a boat that he sails off to where the wild things live. They try to frighten him, but Max commands them to stop. They believe he is more wild than they are, and they make him king. Eventually Max becomes lonely and hungry, and he sets off for home. When he "came back", his supper was ready and waiting in his bedroom.

At one time or another, most children feel like wild things when they are disobedient and unhappy about something. They feel like they have no control over anything, and all they want is to be able to make decisions and also have fun. Kids often fantasize about a world like Max does where he rules over all and has a good time. Eventually, however, the children want to be accepted and love right at home with their families.


Monday, June 3, 2013

Planting Seeds


Planting Seeds by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace is a counting board book.

“One brown bunny digs the soil. Two brown bunnies plant the seeds. Three brown bunnies water the sprouts. Four brown bunnies pull up weeds. Five brown bunnies welcome the rain. Six brown bunnies greet the sun. Seven brown bunnies bring out baskets. Eight brown bunnies each pick some. Nine brown bunnies make a treat. Ten brown bunnies, ‘Time to eat!’”

That is the book in its entirety. Very simple and cute!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

"A Child's Good Morning Book"

"A Child's Good Morning Book" by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Karen Katz.

Bright and early in the morning the sun wakes up more than just little boys and girls. The sun wakes up the birds, horses, squirrels, sheep, goats, rabbits and even the flowers.

"The flowers open to the morning sun. The thistles unclose, the primrose, the daisies, and the wild pink rose. And the bees begin to buzz. Wake up, bees, and buss through the murmuring day. The morning glory climbs the vine. The bugs are creeping. One bug is still sleeping. Wake up, bug!"

"Wake up everyone, this is your day!"

This is an overall cheery book for preschool age children. Help start the day off on a bright note and introduce children to some advanced descriptive words like "murmuring" or "creeping".

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Your Skin Holds You In

"Your Skin Holds You In" by Becky Baines is a National Geographic Kids book written for young elementary age children. It reviews the different colors of skin, the three layers of skin, and how temperature changes the color of our skin.

It also reviews pores, freckles and hair and describes how our skin can heal itself.

This is a great introductory book for health in the elementary years.

Another great picture book about the skin is called "Your Skin and Mine" by Paul Showers. Both books are good choices. One of the biggest differences is that this book uses photographs of people and "Your Skin and Mine" uses illustrations of people. That is a good reason to read both books to give children a different perspective.