Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Picture Book Round-up, Part One

AWESOME DAWSON by Chris Gall. Little Brown, April 2013.

NOTHING goes to waste in Dawson's house. When Dawson wants to build something, he heads out and finds things others have discarded. Reuse, repurpose, recycle: Dawson knows how to do it all. <626>

WASH A BYE BEAR by Thomas Docherty. Templar Books (Candlewick), 2013.

When Bear becomes too stained and smelly, Mommy washes him. Flora is not happy with the outcome. Bear does not look or smell right any more. What can she do? <627>

HERE COMES, DR. HIPPO by Jonathan London with illustrations by Gilles Eduar. Boyds Mills Press, 2012.

It is tough when your patients include a giraffe who likes to lick your face, a crocodile whose mouth is more than a little intimidating when he opens wide, and a lion who is rather intimidating just sitting still. Perhaps, little Hippo needs to find a new calling? <628>

Monday, November 26, 2012

Over the Moon!

MAGGOT MOON by Sally Gardner. Candlewick Press, 2013.

Warning: do not begin reading this book unless you have several hours to spend within its pages. Once undertaken, you will not be able to put this one down. Meet Standish Treadwell, he of the two different colored eyes. He whose parents have "disappeared" along with so many other residents of his almost deserted neighborhood. He whose friend Hector and Hector's parents have also "disappeared." Now it is Standish and his grandfather and the Moon Man living, barely living, and trying hard not to be noticed. Short chapters speed by in this bleak landscape that houses Standish and some bullies (including one unforgettable teacher who rivals any bully ever encountered) and a mysterious house on the top of a hill. Take care for the secrets are deadly. <625>

Yikes, I am so far behind!

You go out of town for a conference for a week, and look what happens! The blog fairies did not post anything for me even though I have a kajillion books read and unblogged. They are summarily dismissed! I will try to post some new entries forthwith.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Monster Mash

GHOST IN THE HOUSE by Ammi-Joan Paquette with illustrations by Adam Record. Candlewick Press, 2013.

A ghost is joined by some of the other creatures of the night in this cumulative story told in poetry. A monster, a mummy, a skeleton, and a witch join the ghost as they travel through the house tracking down a noise. Who or what could be causing it? <623>

ROMPING MONSTERS, STOMPING MONSTERS by Jane Yolen with illustrations by Kelly Murphy. Candlewick Press, 2013.

A day in the park for monsters includes all of the ordinary things: swings and slides, ice cream, and fun. Simple rhyming text will make this a terrific choice for emerging readers. <624>

VAMPIRE BABY by Kelly Bennett with illustrations by Paul Meisel. Candlewick Press, 2013.

When Tootie gets her first teeth, they are her canines. Her older brother is convinced that Tootie is a Vampire Baby because of the teeth and because Tootie loves to bite. Can he help Tootie find a new home? <625>

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

JOKER ON THE HIGH SEAS by Bright, McManus, Loughride. Capstone, 2012.

The Joker is trying once again to succeed in his dastardly plans, this time to highjack fireworks and explosives from a ship steaming into the harbor. Can Batman and Robin foil his plans? <620>

THE POISONED PLANET by Manning and Vecchio. Capstone, 2012.

Poison Ivy finds a plant growing from a chunk of kyrptonite. She knows this just might be her way to defeat Superman once and for all. Can Superman manage to fight back when he is growing even weaker from the plant now growing all over the building housing the Daily Planet? <621>

SWAMP THING VS THE ZOMBIE PETS by Sazaklis and Baltazar. Capstone, 2012.When Swamp Thing heads off to help Batman, the swamp is left open to invasion by the Zombie Pets headed by Solomon Grundy. Will the Home Critter Gang be able to get along with the Zombie Pets? <622>

Monday, November 19, 2012

Old friends in new places

CAVEMICE: THE STONE OF FIRE by Geronimo Stilton. Scholastic, January 2013.

Geronimo Stilton is back, back in time, that is. Meet Geronimo, cavemouse, an ancient ancestor of Geronimo Stilton. Though his primary job is running the newspaper, he also manages to help solve prehistoric crimes. One of the Mouseum has been stolen. The Stone of Fire must be found and so Stilton joins Hercule Poirat on the case. <619>

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Guilty Pleasure


Here is entry #9 in the much loved series featuring George and Harold and Captain Underpants, their school principal who reverts to a superhero when they snap their fingers. As we left George and Harold in the last installment, they ended up in prison. Now they are free. However, some time travel might just destroy all they know and love, including themselves. Pilkey's fans will delight in the humor. Flip-o-rama is back, too. <618>

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Journeys Inside and Out


Jealousy, that green eyed monster, awakens in Chamelia when the new kid manages to upstage here with everything he does. Chamelia vows revenge, but then has to reconsider her reactions in light of some hurt feelings. <616>

A LONG WAY AWAY by Frank Viva. LBYR, 2013.

Here is a book that invites readers to travel one way through the book and then to go backwards on the journey as well. Pair with Ann Jonas' ROUND TRIP for an interesting text set. <617>

Friday, November 16, 2012

Playing with Books

HIDE AND SEEK by David Carter. Tate (Abrams), 2012.

I have had a collection of pop up books for as long as I can recall. I would place them around the classroom back when I was teaching middle school. As I was filling out forms and collecting monies from the kids, they were free to roam around and interact with the books. At first, they were a little shy: too cool, I suspect. But little by little they would begin to manipulate the tabs, giggle, and then share books with one another. And now we have HIDE AND SEEK, a book with pop-ups but also with objects hidden inside the pop-ups. This is one to share with kids in laps or during story time. <416>

Thursday, November 15, 2012


THE TABLE THAT RAN AWAY TO THE WOODS by Stefan Themerson. Tate (Abrams), 2012.

What happens when a table dons two pairs of shoes and runs off from the house and into the woods? How will the table morph and change in its new environment. In illustration reminiscent of some of the classic books from the 20s and 30s, Themerson's rhyming text and mostly black and while illustrations combine for a strange adventure indeed. <615>

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Gross and Loving It!

A Z OF DANGEROUS FOOD by Rebvik. Tate (Abrams), 2012.

From the fuzzy feel of the spider on the cover to the gaping maws of the crocodile and on to poisonous fruits, vegetables, and fish, there is much to be feared in this slim book. From A to Z, the authors caution about foods that might be toxic. <615>

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Martin and Mahalia

MARTIN AND MAHALIA: HIS WORDS AND HER SONGS by Andrea Davis Pinkney with illustrations by Brian Pinkney. LBYR, 2013.

Two titans of the Civil Rights Movements are together in this lustrous book by Pinkney and Pinkney. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahalia Jackson both lent their voices during the struggle. The story moves back and forth between the two life stories and unites there at the Washington Monument. Here is a picture book which should be shared with readers of all ages. <614>

Monday, November 12, 2012


CRANKENSTEIN by Samantha Berger with illustrations by Dan Santat. LBYR, 2013.

Meet Crankenstein, but BEWARE! This is one of the grumpiest monsters ever to grace the pages of a book. Crankenstein seems never to have a good day. First there is school (UGH!), then weather and icky tasting cough syrup. No matter the trouble, it is certain to get a rise from Crankenstein. Will someone ever be able to coax a smile from this monster? What would it take? Santat's bold, outsized illustrations scream off the page as does our reluctant "hero." <613>

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Dynamic Duo!

THE DARK by Lemony Snicket with illustrations by Jon Klassen. LBYR, 2013.

Okay, so as soon as word leaked about the F&G on my desk, the book traveled from one end of the office hall to the other (where I retrieved it having put an alarm on it). When you see the names on the cover, is much more necessary to get you to read it? Probably not. Yet, read it you must. The perfect blend of word and image, the seamless storytelling in both aspects of the the picture book medium/form/format create a book that demands to be read, especially to be read aloud. And more than once. <612>

Saturday, November 10, 2012


PERIOD 8 by Chris Crutcher. Greenwillow, April 2013.

A new book by Chris Crutcher is always cause for celebration. Teens will find much to love in his latest offering, PERIOD 8. Meet Paulie. He's basically a good guy. But he has just messed up big time. When Paulie tells his girlfriend Hannah he has cheated on her, he hopes she will at least hear him out. has no intent to hear more from Paulie and storms off. Thankfully, Paulie has someone else to turn to for advice. His teacher Mr. Logsdon (Logs to all) is always there to listen. And then there is Period 8 when the whole class can speak their minds without fear of betrayal. Of course, there is much more to the story than one teen being unfaithful to his girlfriend. Life is more complicated than that, after all. And Crutcher has put this book on steroids (his own words, not mine) as it shines light into some pretty dark places. Mystery, politics, and more play a role in this fast paced thriller, sports story, novel about being friends. What does it mean to be fully human? What is truth? Does anyone know how to tell the unvarnished truth? Should they? Lots of questions. Crutcher leaves the reader to provide the answers. <611>

Friday, November 9, 2012

Opposite of Hallelujah

THE OPPOSITE OF HALLELUJAH by Anna Jarzab. Delacorte, 2012.

Carolina (call her Caro) is facing changes. Her older sister, Hannah, is returning from the convent she entered when Caro was only 8. Carol is breaking up with her boyfriend, and she wants to be sure she is the one in the relationship to bring it to an inevitable end. Things do not go according to plan. Derek dumps her first. Hannah arrives home, and to Caro, a stranger. And so begin the lies. tells friends her sister is back from a stint in the Peace Corps. Jarzab tackles some familiar territory but the terrain is a bit more foreign with the complications of faith and religion, friendship and enmity. Add in science, Escher, a priest who turns confidante, and the possibility of new romance, and you have a book bound to pull readers in. Complex and complicated: just like life. <610>

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Oh very young...


by Megan Bryant with illustrations by Luciana Navarro Powell. Chronicle Books, 2012.

Here are two concept books in board book format. Count dinosaurs. See dinosaurs interact with shapes. Both are terrific to use with young children as they are beginning to explore concepts of shape and numbers.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Hats Off to Jon Klassen!

THIS IS NOT MY HAT! by Jon Klassen. Candlewick Press 2012.

We all fell head over heels for I WANT MY HAT BACK last year. Now, Klassen offers another book that centers on a hat, in this case, a hat theft. A small fish darts through the water admitting that the cap he is wearing is not his own (or her own). He stole it. From a bigger fish who was sleeping and did not notice the theft. Of course, soon we see the fallacy of this assertion as a much bigger fish begins to track down the thief. Surprise ending? You bet. <607>

And here am I in the cool cap that Candlewick sent me to go along with the book. Love being able to hide, especially in a cool cap (which I did not have to steal).

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Hearth and Home and Family

KATE AND NATE ARE RUNNING LATE by Kate Egan with illustrations by Dan Yaccarino. Feiwel and Friends 2012.

Kate and Nate slept late
And now have to hurry off
But it's Saturday! <602>

HOW TO BICYCLE TO THE MOON TO PLANT SUNFLOWERS by Mordecai Gerstein. Roaring Brook, April 2013.

It's an easy plan
Bike to the moon, plant flowers
And pedal back home. <603>

IT'S TIME FOR PRESCHOOL by Esme Raji Codell with illustrations by Sue Rama. Greenwillow 2012.

Preschool can be fun
Lots to do and learn all day
And every day. <604>

NELLY MAY HAS HER SAY by Cynthia deFelice with illustrations by Henry Cole. FSG, march 2013.

Nelly May Nimble
Needs a job, but her master
Has some strange demands. <605>

MISS LINA'S BALLERINAS AND THE WICKED WITCH by Grace Maccarone with illustrations by Christine Davenier. Feiwel and Friends 2012.

It was just a wish
But it seems to be coming
too true. Can it change? <606>

Monday, November 5, 2012

Dog Blaikus

AVA AND THE REAL LUCILLE by Cari Best with illustrations by Madeline Valentine. FSG 2012.

She is sure she'll win
A big brown dog of her own
Her friend forever. <598>

KATIE AND THE PUPPY NEXT DOOR by John Himmelman. Holt, March 2013.

Katie does not share.
She needs to learn more manners
Be a better dog. <599>

A VACATION FOR POOCH by Maryann Cocca-Leffler. Holt, February 2013.

Vacation is here.
Time to head to Florida
The whole family. <600>

WHEN YOU WANDER, A SEARCH AND RESCUE DOG STORY by Margarita Engle with illustrations by Mary Morgan. Holt, April 2013.

If you are lost, stay
In one place and hug a tree
Know I will find you. <601>

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Animal Blaikus Continue

CHESTER'S COLORFUL EASTER EGGS by Theresa Smythe. Feiwel and Friends, February 2013.

Chester colors eggs
As Easter gifts for his friends
What will they give him? <595>

OH SO TINY BUNNY by Daniel Kirk. Feiwel and Friends, February 2013.

Tiny Bunny dreams
Of fields of giant carrots
And big adventures. <596>

TUMFORD'S RUDE NOISE by Nancy Tillman. Feiwel and Friends, 2012.

Tumford giggles and burps
And makes other rude noises
All for attention. <597>

Saturday, November 3, 2012

More Animal Blaikus

BUSY BUSY LITTLE CHICK by Janice Harrington with illustrations by Brian Pinkney. FSG, February 2013.

Busy chick is cold
He needs a home to keep warm
But mama's busy. <591>

CONSTRUCTION KITTIES by Judy Sue Goodwin Sturges with illustrations by Shari Halpern. Holt, February 2013.

Construction kitties
operate all the machines
Building a playground. <592>

DOODLE WITH MAISY by Lucy Cousins. Candlewick Press, 2013. (note: cover not available yet)

Color, doodle, draw
Join Maisy and friends
To complete pictures. <593>

PAUL THURLBY'S WILDLIFE by Paul Thurlby. Templar Books/Candlewick Press, 2013.

Lots of facts to learn
About lots of animals
Great illustrations! <594>

Friday, November 2, 2012

Molly By Golly


Molly Williams was the cook for the local firefighters. They would often argue about which of her recipes was the best. One snowy evening, as Molly was preparing dinner, she grew worried about a fire breaking out. How could the firefighters make it through the snow? When the fire alarm sounds, Molly rushes out to help the firefighters save the house on fire. Little is known about Molly Williams personal life, but the author does provide what is known as well as some additional resources for young readers. <590>

Thursday, November 1, 2012


LEVEL UP (PASO DE NIVEL) by Gwendolyn Zepeda with illustrations by Pable Torrecilla. Pinata, Arte Publico, 2012.

David loves his new video games and refuses to do anything else in his attempts to Level Up! It is not until his televsion set goes ofn the fritz that he realizes how much he has been missing by staying inside and playing. The text is presented in English and in Spanish. <588>

MY BIG SISTER (MI HERMANA MAYOR) by Samuel Caraballo with illustrations by Thelma Muraida. Pinata Books/Arte Publico, 2012.

Anita takes care of her younger brother Pablito, getting him up for school, meeting him at the bus, helping him with his homework, and even reading him a bedtime story. Pablito knows he has the best big sister in the world. She will take care of him so his parents can work. Text is in English and in Spanish. <589>