Friday, October 31, 2014

31 Days of NEW Kids Picture Books: Day 31

I was originally hoping to offer one final amazing new book to end my series with, but quite honestly I am all out of ideas! I have been specifically choosing kids picture books from my NEW BOOKS shelves at the library where I work, and everything that's left that I haven't written about either a) was published more than a year ago or b) just isn't all that exciting to me. So here you have it, just a final wrap-up post on Day 31.

Some observations from the past 31 days:
  • Writing posts ahead of time and scheduling them is the best idea ever. Some days I would whip out 4-5 book reviews in a single sitting, and some days I struggled to create one.
  • I'm glad I chose something simple to write about - the majority of my time was spent copying and pasting info from Amazon. "My thoughts" took very little time to write, which was key to making this a successful project.
  • I became very familiar with my new books. I don't always take the time to read new books as they come in, but this project forced me to. I feel I could confidently "book talk" any of the 30 books in this series to interested patrons.
  • This could very easily be a series I do again next October. It's not like it's a topic that exhausts itself in 31 posts. There will be tons of great kids picture books that come out between now and then.
  • I'm ready to take a break from book reviews.
For those of you who have joined me the past 31 days specifically for these book reviews, thank you!!! The content of my blog is typically more library-oriented, with plans for storytimes and crafts and events that I do with the kids and teens at my library. I will continue to throw in the occasional book review, but after today I will head back to a little more regularly-scheduled-programming. :)

It's been a fun month, I hope you've enjoyed it as much as I have! Remember my giveaway ends at 11:59pm EDT tonight, so hop over to that page and leave a comment to be entered. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

31 Days of NEW Kids Picture Books: Day 30

Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio.  June 2014.

From Amazon: "A bulldog and a poodle learn that family is about love, not appearances in this adorable doggy tale from New York Times bestselling author Kelly DiPucchio and illustrator Christian Robinson. This is the story of four puppies: Fi-Fi, Foo-Foo, Ooh-La-La, and Gaston. Gaston works the hardest at his lessons on how to be a proper pooch. He sips—never slobbers! He yips—never yaps! And he walks with grace—never races! Gaston fits right in with his poodle sisters. But a chance encounter with a bulldog family in the park—Rocky, Ricky, Bruno, and Antoinette—reveals there’s been a mix-up, and so Gaston and Antoinette switch places. The new families look right…but they don’t feel right. Can these puppies follow their noses—and their hearts—to find where they belong?"

My thoughts: Wow this is a really sweet book! Any kid who loves puppies will be drawn in immediately, and the book teaches an important lesson in the end. One should not be ashamed of the things they like to do, and even if they don't look like the rest of their family (an important concept in adoption), family really is about relationships and the ones who love them.

Age: Preschool and up

**Don't forget to enter my giveaway! It ends tomorrow night!!!**

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

31 Days of NEW Kids Picture Books: Day 29

Here Comes Santa Cat by Deborah Underwood.  October 2014.

From Amazon: "Cat took on a bunny in Here Comes the Easter Cat, but now Christmas is coming, and Cat has a hunch he's not on Santa's 'nice' list. Which means? No presents for Cat. So he tries to be good, but children, it seems, aren't wild for his brand of gift-giving. Still, Cat might surprise himself, and best of all, he may just get to meet the man in the red suit himself—and receive a holiday surprise of his own. Fans of Pete the Cat, Splat the Cat, and Bad Kitty will delight in this holiday treat."

My thoughts: At first glance this seems like a thick book (it is - 88 pages). But when there are many pages with no words, and almost all the other pages with only a single short sentence, it is a fast read. In the style that reminds me of Mo Willems and Jan Thomas, there is a narrator interacting with the Cat. It's a fun story of learning to give rather than receive.

Age: Toddler and up

**Don't forget to enter my giveaway!**

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

31 Days of NEW Kids Picture Books: Day 28

A Thirst for Home: A Story of Water Across the World 
by Christine Ieronimo.  May 2014.

From Amazon: "Alemitu lives with her mother in a poor village in Ethiopia, where she must walk miles for water and hunger roars in her belly. Even though life is difficult, she dreams of someday knowing more about the world. When her mother has no choice but to leave her at an orphanage to give her a chance at a better life, an American family adopts Alemitu.  She becomes Eva in her new home in America, and although her life there is better in so many ways, she’ll never forget her homeland and the mother who gave up so much for her. Told through the lens that water connects all people everywhere, this eye-opening, emotional story will get readers thinking about the world beyond their own."

My thoughts: This is a tug-at-your-heart kind of story about both water and adoption. It is fairly short, though the concepts are big. I wouldn't choose to read it to my young children quite yet (maybe my preschooler, but I'd have to explain a lot), but it would be great for kids in elementary school who maybe are going to be doing a service project or fundraiser for clean drinking water, or children who have been adopted.

Age: Elementary and up

**Don't forget to enter my giveaway!**

Monday, October 27, 2014

31 Days of NEW Kids Picture Books: Day 27

Otis and the Scarecrow by Loreen Long.  August 2014.

From Amazon: "On the farm where Otis the tractor lives, the farmer has introduced someone new—a scarecrow to shoo away the pesky crows. But when Otis and the animals greet the scarecrow with friendly smiles, the scarecrow’s frown never leaves his face. So everyone leaves him alone. Then one day, when a cold autumn rain sets in, Otis and the animals snuggle close and play Otis’s favorite game: the quiet game. Otis knows the puppy and ducks can’t sit still for long, and soon the farm friends begin to giggle and squirm, feeling warmed by one another’s friendship . . . but on this day, Otis can't seem to take his eyes off the lonely figure in the cornfield. A deeply resonant book about subtle acts of compassion and standing up for others, featuring everyone's favorite tractor, Otis."

My thoughts: My girls discovered Otis not too long ago, with the book Otis and the Puppy. Beautiful pictures and a feel-good story captured all of us. This one highlights Otis's compassion once again as he befriends the farm's scarecrow, even though the scarecrow is a little different than the rest of his friends.

Age: Preschool and up

**Don't forget to enter my giveaway!**

Sunday, October 26, 2014

31 Days of NEW Kids Picture Books: Day 26

Mix It Up! by HervĂ© Tullet.  September 2014.

From Amazon: "Accept HervĂ© Tullet's irresistible invitation to mix it up in a dazzling adventure of whimsy and wonder. Follow the artist's simple instructions, and suddenly colors appear, mix, splatter, and vanish in a world powered only by the reader's imagination. Tullet—who joins such greats as Eric Carle and Leo Lionni as a master of his craft—sets readers on an extraordinary interactive journey all within the printed page. Tullet prompts plenty of giggles in addition to a profound understanding of colors, and once again displays his unique genius and vision in a work that is a glorious and richly satisfying companion to Press Here."

My thoughts: If you enjoyed the NYT Bestseller Press Here, you'll also enjoy this book. I think I might actually like this one even more! This one is also interactive, asking you to tilt the page or rub the colors, and shows the new colors you can make by mixing them together. The paint dots and blobs look so real it seems like I could touch them and feel the bumps and ridges. The opening sentence made me smile - "It's that time again." (alluding to fans of the first book that we're going to touch the pages here too!)

Age: Toddler and up

**Don't forget to enter my giveaway!**

Saturday, October 25, 2014

31 Days of NEW Kids Picture Books: Day 25

Froggy Gets a Doggy by Jonathan London.  February 2014.

From Amazon: "A pet! Mom has agreed:  Froggy can have a pet.  Off to the pet store they go.  Mom would prefer a bunny or some mice, but Froggy and his little sister, Pollywogilina, have their hearts set on a doggy.  And when Froggy sees the little dog with big brown eyes, he begs to take her home. Mom cautions Froggy about all the new responsibilities he will have taking care of Doggy, but Froggy’s sure there will be no problem.  He doesn’t count on Doggy being more difficult to train than he expected. Froggy always lands himself in a pickle, but he always bounces back.  That’s why everyone loves him!"

My thoughts: Froggy's adventures are always so much fun. I like how this one teaches kids that there are certain responsibilities that go along with owning a dog. Plus the family goes to an animal shelter to get the dog, instead of a pet store - good thinking on the author's part! This is a great installment in the Froggy series.

Age: Toddler/Preschool and up

**Don't forget to enter my giveaway!**

Friday, October 24, 2014

31 Days of NEW Kids Picture Books: Day 24

Ladybug Girl and the Dress-up Dilemma by David Soman.  August 2014.

From Amazon: "It is Halloween and Lulu must decide on a costume. Should she be Ladybug Girl or something new? She tries many different costumes, but nothing seems right. Maybe she'll think of the perfect costume as she enjoys the autumn day with her family by pumpkin picking and going on a hayride. But it isn't until Lulu and Bingo help a little girl who is lost that Lulu discovers who she was meant to be for Halloween..."

My thoughts: One week until Halloween! In this newest book in the Ladybug Girl series, Lulu has trouble deciding how she wants to dress-up for trick-or-treating, since she's Ladybug Girl every day. I'll admit this wasn't my favorite book in the series (my kids have Ladybug Girl and Bingo and LOVE it), though I do love the illustrations.

Age: Preschool and up

**Don't forget to enter my giveaway!**

Thursday, October 23, 2014

31 Days of NEW Kids Picture Books: Day 23

P is for Pirate by Eve Bunting.  August 2014.

From Amazon: "The word pirate means one who plunders on the sea, and piracy has been around for as long as men and women have longed for adventure and lusted for riches. But it wasn't all fun and pillaging! Being a pirate was not an easy life. Written by award-winning author Eve Bunting, poetry and expository text are used in this alphabetical examination of the history of piracy. Topics include legendary ships, fabled hideouts, and notorious villains like Edward Teach, also known as Blackbeard. Includes the pirate code of conduct as well as the different occupations aboard ship."

My thoughts: There are so many books by Sleeping Bear Press in the __ is for ______ series, and they're all so well written! They're so informative they could be considered non-fiction, yet they are almost always featured as picture books. This one really does tell a lot about pirates, from ships to specific pirates, to even the execution dock and flogging... Because of the detail, I don't think even my preschooler would be interested in this one, but pirate-loving kids in elementary school would eat it up!

Age: Elementary and up

**Don't forget to enter my giveaway!**

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

31 Days of NEW Kids Picture Books: Day 22

Everything's Better with a Beard by The Robertsons.  March 2014.

From Amazon: "The Duck Commander family is known for their long, flowing beards. In this photographic picture book with whimsical, rhyming text, objects both animate and inanimate are given the Duck Commander family treatment—with beards! Whether it’s a dog, a truck, or a duck, one thing’s for sure: Everything’s better with a beard!"

My thoughts: Yes, my husband and I are fans of Duck Dynasty. This book uses real photographs (Photoshopped of course!) and flowing rhymes to create a silly little poem fitting the style of the Duck Commander clan. "Behind every beard you'll find a great guy: like Lincoln, and Moses, and Santa, and Si!" It's very lighthearted and just plain goofy. It's great if you just need a little laugh!

Age: Toddler and up

**Don't forget to enter my giveaway!**

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

31 Days of NEW Kids Picture Books: Day 21

Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories by Dr. Seuss.  September 2014.

From Amazon: (No real description of the book itself, it just gives praises to Dr. Seuss's writing)

My thoughts: This is a collection of four short stories that Dr. Seuss wrote but never made their way into book format. It features characters that we know already - Horton, Marco, Officer Pat, and the Grinch. The contributor (Charles D. Cohen) writes an introduction about how he came by these stories, which is great background information for parents who love Dr. Seuss. A great addition to the library of any Seuss fan!

Age: Preschool and up

**Don't forget to enter my giveaway!**

Monday, October 20, 2014

Storytime: Owls

Age: 2-5 years
Time: 30 minutes + play and craft

1) I use the same opening and closing songs each week. Click here to see what I do.

2) Little Owl's Night - Divya Srinivasan
I told the kids that owls are special because they sleep in the daytime and come out to play at night. This cute little book introduces what other things are out in the nighttime.

3) If You're an Owl and You Know It
From Librarian Lisa

If you're an owl and you know it flap your wings
If you're an owl and you know it flap your wings
If you're an owl and you know it, and you really want to show it
If you're an owl and you know it flap your wings

Blink your eyes...
Turn your head...
Hoot like this...

4) 5 Little Owls 
From Sunflower Storytime

Five little owls sitting in a tree, one flew away - how many do you see?
Four little owls...

I created a set of flannel owls to use for this and the next rhyme, based on Leah's hoot owls.

5) 5 Colorful Owls
From Storytime Fun

One blue owl when the moon was new,
Along came a green one and that made 2.
1 - 2

Two little owls perched high in the tree,
Along came a white owl and that made 3.
1 - 2 - 3

Three little owls flew past the barn door,
Along came an orange owl and that made four.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4

Four little owls sitting side by side,
Along came a red owl and that made five.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5

Five little owls hooted, "Whoo, whoo, whoo,"
And they all flapped their wings and away they flew.
5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1

6) Wow! Said the Owl - Tim Hopgood
I pulled out some colored flannel pieces and handed them out to the kids, so when the colors came up in the story, the kids brought their pieces up to the board. I love how this book ends - the owl seems to be missing out on so many beautiful colors during the daytime because he's usually asleep, but he discovers there's beauty at night too.

7) Twinkle Twinkle (traditional) & Moon Moon Moon (Laurie Berkner)
What are two things in the sky at night that owls get to see? The stars and the moon... (here's a link to my moon storytime, where I explain the motions I use for the song)

8) I'm Not Sleepy! - Jonathan Allen
I hadn't seen the Baby Owl series before this storytime. Wow they are so cute! I love this one because every single family at storytime could relate. :)

I use the same opening and closing songs each week. Click here to see what I do.

10) Playtime/Craft
I brought out the blocks and instruments again, as well as the fake leaves to throw around, but the kids all wanted to just do the table activity. I printed an owl outline on cardstock and put out watercolor paints.

Other owls ideas:
Owl Babies - Martin Waddell
Little Owl Lost - Chris Haughton
I'm Not Cute! - Jonathan Allen
I'm Not Scared! - Jonathan Allen

31 Days of NEW Kids Picture Books: Day 20

Dog vs. Cat by Chris Gall.  May 2014.

From Amazon: "Dog and Cat do not get along. But when they're forced to share a room, they agree to be on their best behavior...until Dog won't stop sniffing. Cat won't stop primping. Dog won't stop howling. Cat won't stop scratching. And when it comes to the litter-box...sharing is not an option! What will it take to bring Dog and Cat together? Find out in Chris Gall's comic clash that brings out the best (and worst) in two very different pets."

My thoughts: This book was really funny to me - as an adult who has had both cats and dogs, as well as children who can't seem to share. Some things might go over the heads of younger children, though I'll admit I have not read this to my own kids yet to see. The illustrations are great and really enhance the story.

Age: Preschool/Elementary and up

**Don't forget to enter my giveaway!**

Sunday, October 19, 2014

31 Days of NEW Kids Picture Books: Day 19

Fancy Nancy and the Wedding of the Century by Jane O'Connor.  April 2014.

From Amazon: "Not only does Nancy help out the bride in this wonderful story, she also gets to attend a fabulous party reception! Fans of Fancy Nancy and weddings alike will laugh along with Nancy as she discovers how truly special even the simplest wedding can be. Little girls will delight in learning about bridal traditions with their favorite fancy girl, and as in all Fancy Nancy books, Nancy's wisdom and creativity shine through to spark the joy of imagination in young readers."

My thoughts: Most girls will go through a Fancy Nancy phase (or at least a dressup/princess phase) when they are young. This book talks about one of the fanciest things of all - weddings! It's very interesting how the author delicately talks about traditional and nontraditional wedding details - which is great for me, as my own wedding reception was held in a barn. :) I read this one just after it came out to the girls at my annual Fancy Nancy party and they loved it.

Age: Preschool and up

**Don't forget to enter my giveaway!**

Saturday, October 18, 2014

31 Days of NEW Kids Picture Books: Day 18

Pete the Cat and the New Guy by Kimberly & James Dean.  August 2014.

From Amazon: "There's a new guy in town, and Pete can't wait to meet him. After all, more friends mean more fun. But who can he be? When Pete finally meets Gus, he realizes they're very different from each other . . . but that's what makes him cool. Gus is special in his own way, just like Pete and just like you, and there is something everyone can do! The message of acceptance shines through and is perfect for young readers learning to navigate the social waters. Fans of Pete the Cat will delight in the rhythmic storytelling and fun repetition throughout the book."

My thoughts: This is probably my favorite Pete the Cat book yet. It's written by the Deans, who had previously been just the illustrator for Litwin's books (which now makes for trouble when searching for Pete books at the library - they're going to be both in D's and L's! :-/ ). It's a great story of making new friends and discovering ways you can play together. Not every person is able to do everything, and kids will learn they don't have to be good at all of the same things their friends are.

Age: Preschool and up

**Don't forget to enter my giveaway!**

Friday, October 17, 2014

Favorite Books... really?!

In addition to my own posts for the 31 Days of Writing series, I'm participating in Jessica's #31bookpics on Instagram. She has given a prompt for each day, and we post our pictures of those book-ish things. She also has a linkup every Friday (here's today's). Today's photo prompt was "Favorite Books" -- and there was no way a single picture could do that topic justice today...

Do you know how hard it is for a bookworm, who also works at a library, to choose favorite books?? I started by making a list of books that have had some impact on my life, ones that I would read again (if I haven't already!). Then for my Instagram photo, I limited myself to those books we had on the shelf at my library today.

Books featured above:

  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis - I enjoyed the entire Narnia series, but this is by far my favorite. I love the metaphors and parallels to the story of Jesus.
  • The Secret of Shadow Ranch by Carolyn Keene - Again I love the entire Nancy Drew series (the originals, not the new stuff), but this is the first one I can vividly remember reading as a child. 
  • The Black Stallion by Walter Farley - Most girls go through a horse-loving phase at some point, and this series fed that passion for me. The library ladies interloaned the next book in the series each week for me before I even asked. :) 
  • The Circle Series by Ted Dekker - I had never been much of a modern fantasy/suspense/sci-fi reader before Dekker's books. There are definitely some of his that are waaaay too creepy and scary for me (I did NOT like House), but Black, Red, White, and eventually Green are an amazing, well-thought-out and written series. 
  • A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers - I love Rivers' writing (Redeeming Love anyone??), but the Mark of the Lion series is by far my favorite of hers. I ate up this story of a young slave girl in first-century Rome who is persecuted for her faith but falls in love with an aristocrat. I bawled my eyes out at the end. Sigh, I should read this one again soon...
  • The Return of the King by JRR Tolkien - I have to include Lord of the Rings. While I've only read through the series once, this story sticks with me. Yes the movies helped, they are also some of my favorite movies of all time. But Tolkien's intense, descriptive language easily makes this a classic for me.
  • Stories Behind the Best Loved Songs of Christmas by Ace Collins - The one non-fiction book featured here (see below, all my other favorites were checked out!). I love Christmas music in general - I'm one of those freaks who would listen to it year-round if I could get away with it - but every Christmas season I love pulling this book out and learning where my favorite songs came from (did you know "O Holy Night" was the first song to ever be broadcast over the radio?).

And some additional books I would have added to my picture if they'd been in stock:

  • Notes from a Blue Bike by Tsh Oxenreider - This was one of those books that when I finished it, I put it down and immediately said "I'm going to have to read that again!" Not because I couldn't understand it, but because I know I need to be constantly reminded to slow down and live my life to the fullest.
  • Serve God, Save the Planet and Go Green, Save Green by Matthew and Nancy Sleeth - In the midst of all the global warming and environmentalism of a couple years ago, these two books came out with a Christian perspective and practical ways to change our lifestyles. 
  • For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn - A small book that is packed with information. Based entirely on research surveys of thousands of men, Shaunti dives into many different topics about why my husband is the way he is, and what I can do with that knowledge to make our marriage better.

I'm sure I'm forgetting some. And there are tons more books on my "B" list, ones that I've enjoyed immensely at the time but am not quite ready to re-read them now.

Are any of your favorite books the same as mine?

(here's a link to my Instagram page, if you want to check out my other photos for #31bookpics!)

31 Days of NEW Kids Picture Books: Day 17

I'm Brave! by Kate & Jim McMullan.  September 2014.

From Amazon: "For fans of Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site and Steam Train, Dream Train comes the perfect noisy addition to this hilarious read-aloud series from the popular creators of I'm Bad!, I Stink!, and I'm Dirty!: a fire truck. I'm Brave! is the most irresistible addition yet to Kate and Jim McMullan's hilarious read-aloud series."

My thoughts: I can never seem to keep McMullan's books on the shelf! Kids (especially boys) loooove anything to do with trucks. One reviewer said they can't believe it's taken the authors this long to write a firetruck book. The bright, bold pictures and loud words (there's just no way to read this book quietly!) help to teach children about the equipment firefighters use, as well as just how brave those people have to be to run in the direction of a fire instead of away from it.

Age: Toddler/Preschool and up

**Don't forget to enter my giveaway!**

Thursday, October 16, 2014

31 Days of NEW Kids Picture Books: Day 16

Nelly Gnu and Daddy Too by Anna Dewdney. May 2014.

From Amazon: "Drawing. Reading. Building. Painting. These are things Nelly loves to do…but they’re always better with Daddy Gnu! With fun-to-read rhyme, a little silliness, and a lot of warmth, Anna Dewdney—the creator of the beloved llama llama books—tells the story of a daughter and her daddy and their wonderful day together."

My thoughts: I have never met an Anna Dewdney book I don't like. I'd go so far as to say I've never met a Llama Llama book I don't love! With catchy rhymes, great plots, beautiful illustrations, and stories that just cover a variety of children's emotions, these are probably my favorite children's book series of all time. This installment features Nelly Gnu (whom we first met in Llama Llama Time to Share) and the adventures she has with her daddy while building a playhouse. It's very heartwarming, and reflects just how much little girls look up to their daddies. I highly highly recommend this book, along with the others in the series!

Age: Toddler and up

**Don't forget to enter my giveaway from yesterday!**

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

31 Days of NEW Kids Picture Books: Day 15 {GIVEAWAY!!!}

Yay I've made it halfway in the 31 Days of writing challenge!!! (AND I discovered this is my 100th post! Woohoo!!) To celebrate, I have a very special book to review today, PLUS one of YOU will win a copy of it!

Secrets of the Rainforest 
by Carron Brown & Alyssa Nassner. October 2014.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

31 Days of NEW Kids Picture Books: Day 14

Maisy Plays Soccer by Lucy Cousins. May 2014.

From Amazon: "Maisy and her friends can’t wait to play soccer! Maisy puts on her uniform, laces up her sneakers, and heads to the field. Charlie, Tallulah, and Dotty are on the blue team, while Maisy, Cyril, and Eddie are on the red. Let’s play! Soon enough the game heats up, with plenty of action, excitement, and suspense. Who will be the first team to make a goal? Whatever the score, it’s all in good fun, and everyone is still the best of friends at the end!"

My thoughts: Soccer is huge in our community, with many of our young kids playing on local teams as early as age 3. Our varsity teams often win well into the state playoffs. And with the excitement of World Cup soccer over the summer, this seemed like a great book to add to our collection. This book is typical of the Maisy series with bright colors and short sentences. It's great for introducing kids to some soccer terms (goal, pass, referee). My only concern is that the final score is a tie, and I am one of those parents who thinks kids need to learn about winning and losing. :) But for the target audience of this book, the ending is a good one! (though I did roll my eyes on the page where the blue team scores and the comments from the spectators are both "Whoo! Come on, blue team!" and "Yippee for the red team!")

Age: Toddler and up

Monday, October 13, 2014

31 Days of NEW Kids Picture Books: Day 13

My Red Balloon by Kazuaki Yamada. May 2014.

From Amazon: "A little girl begins a happy bus outing with her beautiful red balloon. But when the balloon suddenly flies away, the bus driver and a passenger bear gallantly help follow the balloon. A wild chase begins and along the way a rabbit, a polar bear, a penguin, and a giraffe all join in to help as they follow the wayward balloon. And when a bird pecks the balloon with its beak, the result makes all their effort seem in vain, but the little girl’s new friends once again come to the rescue with just the right words of comfort."

My thoughts: This book is very simple, both in the storyline itself and the amount of words on a page. It's very easy for a child to point out the balloon on each page, as well as identifying the different animals. The ending makes me wish I had read it during my red storytime earlier this year!

Age: Baby/toddler and up

Sunday, October 12, 2014

31 Days of NEW Kids Picture Books: Day 12

It's Raining! by Gail Gibbons. January 2014.

From Amazon: "What makes rain? From drizzle to downpour, here's information on the different kinds of rain and how to prepare if a storm is approaching."

My thoughts: Gail Gibbons does a phenomenal job making non-fiction books appealing to young readers! This one describes everything from the water cycle to different types of clouds to how to stay safe in a storm. There are lots of call-out boxes throughout the book that give even more details, which can easily be skipped over when reading to the youngest meteorologists.

Age: Preschool and up

Saturday, October 11, 2014

31 Days of NEW Kids Picture Books: Day 11

How to Cheer Up Dad by Fred Koehler. March 2014.

From Amazon: "Little Jumbo just can't understand why his dad is having such a bad day. It couldn't be the raisins Little Jumbo spit out at the ceiling or the bath he refused to take--after all, Little Jumbo's dad knew he hated raisins and had already taken a bath that week! Luckily, Little Jumbo is such a thoughtful elephant that he decides to turn his dad's bad day around with some of his--ahem, his dad's--favorite things."

My thoughts: I chose this book to feature today in honor of my husband's birthday! :) Koehler is yet another debut author/illustrator who has created a phenomenal first book. Maybe it's because I'm right in the midst of these sorts of parenting adventures myself, but this book makes me smile and laugh and relate and say aww, as well as renewing my appreciation for the little things my own kids do.

Age: Preschool and up

Friday, October 10, 2014

31 Days of NEW Kids Picture Books: Day 10

A Cookie for Santa by Stephanie Shaw. June 2014.

From Amazon: "In this clever twist on the Night Before Christmas story, a gingerbread boy cookie is carefully crafted and placed on a plate. He was made special to serve as Santa's nighttime snack, a homemade thank-you for all the presents he will deliver. The cookie wonders if he is brave enough to face up to his holiday duty. But instead of spending the evening contemplating his fate, the gingerbread boy finds himself facing two rambunctious puppies experiencing their very first Christmas. Their mischief includes a tug-of-war with presents, leaving a big mess. And it's up to the gingerbread boy to save the day…and Christmas!"

My thoughts: Christmas will be here before we know it, and this is a cute little book to add to your collection. I like how it tells things from the cookie's point of view! Will Santa eat his arm first, or his head?! (spoiler alert: don't worry, no cookies are harmed in the reading of this book) FYI, the opening line of the book and the style of rhyming are really the only similarities to the Night Before Christmas story.

Age: Preschool and up

Thursday, October 9, 2014

31 Days of NEW Kids Picture Books: Day 9

Water Can Be... by Laura Purdie Salas. April 2014.

From Amazon: "Water can be a… Thirst quencher. Kid drencher. Cloud fluffer. Fire snuffer. Find out about the many roles water plays in this poetic exploration of water throughout the year."

My thoughts: I used this book during my Water Storytime for our Summer Reading Program this year, and spoke highly of it then. I love good rhymes!! Plus this book has a glossary of sorts in the back that gives more definition to each thing (as well as a real glossary). While some kids didn't understand everything when I read this aloud, it's great for one-on-one reading and conversing.

Age: Preschool and up