Saturday, May 25, 2013

Stack-Buster #9

Open This Little Book by Jesse Klausmeier, illustrated by Suzy Lee
Open the book. Then open another. And another. What do you find? This story will fascinate kids as they climb deeper and deeper into the stories, and then back out again. Suzy Lee also incorporates a vintage style to her illustration that will reinforce the notion of journeying through multiple nested books.

Oink a Doodle Moo by Jef Czekaj

A group of farm animals plays telephone, each adding their signature sound to the mix. How long can it go on before someone trips up? This one had kids yelling out animal noises and giggling as their poor storytime reader did her best with the crazy combinations. A really fun read-aloud.

Nighttime Ninja by Barbara DaCosta, illustrated by Ed Young

A ninja creeps through the night, silent as a ghost. Can he complete his mission, or will somebody come along and catch him? While the story is cute, the art is the star. Young uses traditional Japanese motifs and art techniques to make this a truly beautiful book.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Book Review: A Home for Bird by Philip C. Stead

Book: A Home for Bird
Author: Philip C. Stead
Illustrator: Philip C. Stead
Published: 2012
Source: Local Library

Vernon the toad finds a little bird while out one day, and immediately takes it under his arm. Even though Bird won’t talk to him, he takes him all around and shows off his world. But Bird is resolutely mute, and Vernon starts to wonder if his new friend is depressed. He sets off on a quixotic journey to find Bird’s home.

When I read this to kids, they immediately cottoned on to the fact that Bird was a little wooden carving. Some believed that Vernon would find Bird a home anyway, but some loudly decried such a notion. Both groups were delighted by the ending.

Whether together or apart, the Steads (A Sick Day for Amos McGee) have a quiet, gentle charm about their stories and illustrations. Philip’s solo outing is a lovely story about friendship.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Book Review: Good News, Bad News by Jeff Mack

Book: Good News, Bad News
Author: Jeff Mack
Illustrator: Jeff Mack
Published: 2012
Source: Local Library

A rabbit and a mouse go on a picnic. From the worm in the apple to the bear in the cave, a succession of disasters keep coming up. But the optimistic rabbit keeps finding something to be happy about, until the mouse can’t take it anymore.

Talk about a fun readaloud. Such simple text (each page, except the last, says either “Good news!” or “Bad news!”) means that even the most struggling of readers can manage, and it’s fun to figure out how things are going to ruined or saved next.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Reading Roundup: April 2013

By the Numbers
Picture Books: 19

Library: all

Writing: It's Monday, Mrs. Jolly Bones by Warren Hanson, illustrated by Tricia Tusa
After reading this book, I turned to my colleague and said, "Any way we can do a Days of the Week storytime theme?" This tale of everyday chores done in a crazy, silly way just made me yearn for a storytime to do it in.
Illustration: Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
As promised, this conceptual book explores all different shades of the title color, right down to "no green." Great for spring, colors, and many other themes.
Overall: The Dark by Lemony Snicket, illustrated by Jon Klassen
A beautiful story about a universal childhood fear. This was absolutely amazing.

Because I Want To Awards
Oh, the Angst!: Ball by Mary Sullivan
A dog can't find anyone to play ball with him, until his young master gets home from school. The sweetly potbellied pup will prompt "Awww"s from the stoniest heart.
Be Prepared to Read This Backward and Forward - Literally: A Long Way Away by Frank Viva
Like his first book, Along a Long Road, the art for this was created in one piece. However, this was designed to be read backward and forward. I predict that kids will trace the path with fingers and eyes over and over again.