Sunday, June 30, 2013

Dad and daughter

THE FAVORITE DAUGHTER by Allen Say. AAL/Scholastic, 2013.

Artist Allen Say tells the story of Yuriko, a young girl who aspires to many things, and who loves art class until her new teacher calls her "Eureka" instead and the kids all tease her. Yuriko's father does his best to comfort her. The two spend a day together ending in a drive across the Golden Gate Bridge in the fog and clouds. Combining his exquisite illustrations with some real photographs, Say walks a fine balance between fiction and nonfiction in his latest picture book.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Fly Guy returns

FLY GUY PRESETNS SHARKS by Tedd Arnold. Scholastic, 2013.

Nonfiction, fiction
Blend seamlessly with Fly Guy
At aquarium.

Friday, June 28, 2013


GOOD NIGHT, SLEEP TIGHT by Mem Fox with illustrations by Judy Horacek. Orchard/Scholastic, 2013.

Great babysitters
Know great stories for bedtime
Tales from their childhood.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Bath time fun

THE GREEN BATH by Margaret Mahy with illustrations by Steven Kellogg. AAL/Scholastic, 2013.

No ordinary
Bath time with a magic tub
Adventures galore.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

tooth fairies

THE DINOSAUR TOOTH FAIRY by Martha Brockenbrough with illustrations by Israel Sanchez. AAL/Scholastic, 2013.

Dino tooth fairy
Bereft because teeth are scarce
Might collect kid's teeth.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Argue to win

HOW TO NEGOTIATE EVERYTHING by David Spellman with Lisa Lutz with illustrations by Jaime Temarik. Simon and Schuter, 2013.

Want to win every
Argument? Here is simple
Advice to follow.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Palindrome Adventure

OTTO'S BACKWARDS DAY by Frank Cammuso with illustrations by Jay Lynch. Toon Books, 2013.

This series from Toon Books combines GNs for young readers. Otto travels to Backwards Land when his birthday cake and presents are stolen. Learn about palindromes and being backwards!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Eat Your Veggies!

PATRICK EATS HIS PEAS AND OTHER STORIES by Geoffrey Hayes. Toon Books, 2013.

Patrick does not like peas. Fortunately, his mother allows him to "cook" them so he will eat them, too. Join Patrick through his day: taking a bath, getting ready for bed, helping his Mom and Dad. This series from Toon Books provide terrific graphic novels for young readers.

Saturday, June 22, 2013


TEH PERFECT HUG by Joanna Walsh and Judi Abbott. Simon and Schuster, 2013.

Finding perfect hugs
Is not that simple to do
Worthwhile reward, though.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Copy That!

I AM NOT A COPYCAT by Ann Bonwill with illustrations by Simon Rickerty. Atheneum, 2013.

Please do not copy
All that I do because I am
Original ME!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

On the street where you live

ON MY STREET by Koos Meinderts and Annette Fienieg. Lemniscaat, 2013.

All of the houses
In the neighborhood and their
Different owners.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Parody at its best

BATTLE BUNNY by Jon Scieszka, Mac Barnett with illustrations by Matthew Myers. Simon and Schuster, 2013.

Pushing the envelop is nothing new to Scieszka and Barnett, but they have upped the ante considerably with this collaboration. Imagine the most vapid children's book ever published. Now, imagine what would happen if two wisecrackers attacked text and illustrations to pump up the volume so to speak. Voila! Here is BATTLE BUNNY, formerly known as BIRTHDAY BUNNY. Take a look inside to see what Scieszka and Barnett and Myers created and then deconstructed. Funny, profane, and perfect, BATTLE BUNNY demonstrates that there is still more territory to explore in children's books.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


WHN MERMAIDS SLEEP by Ann Bonwill with illustrations by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher. Random House, 2013.

Mermaids, giants, and
Pirates slumber beneath stars
With giants snoring.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Taffy Saltwater

TAFFY SALTWATER'S SUMMER DAY by Michael Paraskevas. Random House, 2013.

Taffy wants perfect
Place to build her sand castle
With her friends helping.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Surviving Southside

FULL IMPACT by Suzanne Weyn. Darby Creek, 2013.

Norval and Arnie are good friends on and off the football field. But the coach is worried about all the hits Arnie is taking. He asks Norval to keep his eyes on his friend and look for signs of concussion injuries. Norval feels like that is the coach's job, and he does not like spying on his friend. And the, the unthinkable happens.

OVEREXPOSED by Susan Korman. Darby Creek, 2013.

Sexting causes one high school teen considerable trouble.

These are Hi-Lo books, part of the Surviving Southside series. The issues they tackle are topical and of interest to readers. Siple text makes for easy access to the stories.

Saturday, June 15, 2013


GRASSHOPPER MAGIC by Lynne Jonell. Random House, 2013.

Abner and his family live on a piece of land that contains a great deal of magic. That is the only way they can explain some of the strange occurrences that have happened since they moved there. When a neighbor roasts the grasshoppers the kids have captured, Abner decides to bite the bullet, well the grasshopper. He shoves handsful of the crispy insects into his mouth. So does his sister Tate. Now, the two of them can suddenly jump high, travel long distances in bounds. The grasshoppers must contain a great deal of magic since they live within the dirt that surrounds the house. Bounding kids, famous relatives, and other events conspire to create a funny and frenetic story. Tis is book #3 in the series.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Dogs and Dinos

TOMMYSAURUS REX by Doug TenNapel. Graphia, 2013.

Hang on to your heartstrings. Here is a wonderful and warm GN about the close relationship between a boy and his, erm, dinosaur. wn is faced with After Ely's dog, Tommy, is hit by a car, his parents decide Ely should go spend the summer with his grandfather. Grandpa is lots of fun to be around even if he sometimes forgets about Ely being a kid and not a grown up. But the coolest thing about this summer is when Ely discovers a baby T-rex hidden in a cave near Grandpa's house. It is hard to keep even a baby T-rex a secret and, before long, the town is faced with "Tommy" as Ely christens his new pet. Tuck a hanky into the pages of this GN which is filled with humor and pathos. Kids will demand more TenNapel books, too, after diving into this one.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

WATER IN THE PARK: A BOOK ABOUT WATER AND THE TIMES OF THE DAY by Emily Jenkins with illustrations by Stephanie Graegin. Schwartz and Wade, 2013.

Water in the park
Provides relief from the heat
For the dogs and kids.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Story within a story

TOYS IN SPACE by Mini Grey. Knopf, 2013.

Seven toys are left out in the garden. Night approaches. At first, the toys are mesmerized by the beauty of the night sky. Soon, though, they grow frightened. Wonderdoll calms them by telling them a story. As the story begins, the illustrations shift. Now the abandoned toys are in the borders of the pictures, and the illustrations focus on an alien searching for its own lost toy. The two stories weave effortlessly together as the toys are transported aboard the alien craft. Layers of storytelling make this a rich and complex book to share with kids. Readers will also want to revisit the text, searing for other stories, clues, and tales to tell.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Mighty Mailman

THE MIGHTY LALOUCHE by Matthew Olshan with illustrations by Sophie Blackall. Schwartz and Wade, 2013.

Lalouche was a postman. He loved his life delivering mail. But the advent of the motor car meant he had to find something else to do for a living. Though small, he possessed mighty strength in the boxing ring. Eventually, he was called back to being a mailman. Now his little apartment by the Seine River had a wonderful view of the city that gave him great happiness. Stylized illustrations add depth and whimsy to this story of the underdog.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Icky Ricky


Ricky grosses out
Teachers, family, and friends.
But he IS funny.

Sunday, June 9, 2013


FOLLWO FOLLOW: A BOOK OF REVERSO POEMS by Marilyn Singer with illustrations by Jose Masse. Dial, 2013.

Reverso poems
Read top to bottom and back
The other way, too.

Good fairies
are stirring
A poet really should
Stop writing
By dawn.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Cats and poems: what more would you want?

CAT TALK by Patricia MacLachlan and Emily MacLachlan Charest with illustrations by Barry Moser. Katherine Tegen Books, 2013.

Princess, Peony
and others meow their stories
Distinctive voices.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Do Your Part

KNIT YOUR BIT: A WORLD WAR I STORY by Deborh Hopkinson with illustrations by Steven Guarnaccia. Putnam, 2013.

Everyone knitting
Warmth for the soldiers over there
A community.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Fast friends

BEAN DOG AND NUGGET by Charise Mericle Harper. Knopf, 2013.

Bean Dog and Nugget
Play and argue and make-up
Enjoying themselves.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Bad Dog!

BAD ASTRID by Eileen Brennan with illustrations by Regan Dunnick. Random House, 2013.

Big and bad Astrid
Comes barreling down the street
Everyone scatters.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Ribbit (again)!

THE MYSTERY OF DARWIN'S FROG by Marty Crump with illustrations by Steve Jenkins and Edel Rodriguez. HMH, 2013.

Did you know there is a species of frog in which the male minds the eggs and tadpoles? Did you know the male frog slurps up the tadpoles into his vocal sac and then releases them from inside when they are fully formed frogs? And did you know this species is in danger of becoming extinct. This beautifully illustrated and simply written piece of NF will please many readers as they learn about habitat, animal behavior, and more.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Martha Speaks (and we listen)

MARTHA SPEAKS, CANINE COMICS: SIX DARING DOGGY ADVENTURES by Jamie White (adapter) based on Susan Meddaugh's picture books. HMH, 2013.

Martha, the talking dog (it all started with a bowl of alphabet soup) is back in six comical and comics adventures based on the TV show featuring her. One story has Martha sucked up into the computer when she accidentally plays with the keyboard wondering what all the fuss is about. Another story has her starstruck when a handsome TV dog comes to her town. Readers who grew up reading the picture books can now look forward to "chapter" books that resemble GNs.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Singing through the trees

FOREST HAS A SONG by Amy Ludwig Vanderwater with illustrations by Robbin Gourley. Clarion, 2013.

A variety of poetic forms share the author's love of the forest and of nature in general. Different seasons are represented in the short and spare poems. Accompanied by watercolor illustrations, this may well be a book that can serve in a multiple of capacities. Certainly it can function as a mentor text and accompany poems by Frost, Kilmer, and others. It is also perfect for daily read alouds, to spur an artistic representation of spoken words, or a book for kids to return for revisits over and over again.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Migrant Story

PANCHO RABBIT AND THE COYOTE: A MIGRANT'S TALE by Duncan Tonatiuh. Abrams, 2013.

A rabbit family crosses the border in search for a better life. However, a drought drives Pap Rabbit to head off for greener pastures. When he does not arrive home when he is expected, his son, Pancho heads off in search of his father. Along the way, Pancho meets a coyote who promises his assistance. This modern day fable cum allegory is just one example of how picture books could be used with older readers. Young readers can experience the tale at one level; older readers with different background experiences will find more within the text and themselves as they read.