Monday, March 31, 2014

Looking great at 50!

WHO WANTS A CHEAP RHINOCEROS? by Shel Silverstain. Simon and Schuster, 2014. 50th anniversary edition

Rhino for sale cheap
Good for all manner of things
Put him to good use.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Pete the Cat heads to the farm

PETE THE CAT: OLD MACDONALD HAD A FARM by James Dean. Harper, 2014.

Join in this song
With an E-I-E-I-O
And Pete the Cat, too.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Odd One Out

THE ODD ONE OUT: A SPOTTING BOOK by Britta Teckentrup. Big Picture Press, 2014.

Can you spot the odd
One out? The seal with a fish?
Or corss-eyed lemur?

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Promise

THE PROMISE by Nicola Davies. Illustrated by Laura Carlin. Candlewick, 2014.

A young girl steals a bag of what she thinks are groceries from an old woman. Tyhe woman exacts a promise from the girl to plant what she has taken. What she has are acorns. And plant them she does, all over her dark, ugly neighborhood. The neighborhood is changed by the trees, and the girl continues to travel to other places, to plant, to make changes. What a lovely allegory for how to make the world better. Tie to MISS RUMPHIUS for a terrific text set.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Baseball Is...

BASEBALL IS... by Louise Borden. Illustrated by Raul Colon. McElderry, 2014.

This homage to baseball covers all the bases (pun intended) from leagues, to ballparks, to fans, and players. Colon's earthen tones are perfectly suited for a game played on grass and dirt.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Ah, grasshopper

GRASSHOPPER JUNGLE by Andrew Smith. Dutton, 2014.

From the glowing neon green cover with fluorescent yellow accent, this book demands attention. Attention must be paid. Just ask Austin and Robby, two teens who skate the Grasshopper Jungle, who are the target of some bullies, whose parents have checked out for various reasons, and who look to each other for friendship and comfort. Their nemeses, the town bullies, accidentally unleash a virus of Unstoppable Soldiers, giant praying mantises that want only to devour and reproduce. End of the world scenario? Let Austin, the self-appointed historian, tell you in his own inimitable style. Smith has created a science fiction world firmly grounded in the lives of teen boys, one populated by horrendous creatures not all of which are insects. Suspenseful, hilarious, dark, and most of all unique in its approach to telling the story.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

How to save a life


Elise seems to have never fit in. Despite spending the summer studying fashion and music and trying to copy styles, she is still an outcast. And the target of some of the mean girls at school. Elise considers suicide, even going so far as to pick up the sharp blade and cut herself. Her failed attempt makes her a bigger target than ever. Her only escape seems to be heading out at night and walking until she is tired enough to fall asleep. And then she discovers an underground party, a couple of girls who seem to accept her for herself, and a DJ who lets Elise try out her skills. Maybe things are looking up?

call for nominations


Do you know a young person who is doing great things to help other people or the planet? Nominate him/her for the 2014 Barron Prize! The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes celebrates inspiring, public-spirited young people ages 8 to 18 who have made a significant positive difference to people and our environment. Each year, ten to fifteen winners each receive a $5,000 cash award to support their service work or higher education. Nomination deadline is April 15. For more information and to nominate, visit

Monday, March 24, 2014


MAY THE STARS DRIP DOWN by Jeremy Chatelain. Illustrated by Nikki McClure. Abrams, 2014.

A lullaby now
As a book and song download
A perfect package.

EXTRAORDINARY JANE by Hannah Harrison. Dial, 2014.

The circus has some
Extraordinary acts
Where can Jane fit in?

A DANCE LIKE STARLIGHT by Kristy Dempsey. Illustrated by Floyd Cooper. Philomel, 2014.

To be a ballet
Dancer is her dream, but much
Can stand in her way.

Sunday, March 23, 2014


Weasels by Elys Dolan. Candlewick Press, 2014.

When the machine they need to complete their scheme for world domination breaks, the weasels have to scurry to find a fix. Panels spanning the double page spreads will suggest to keen-eyed readers, various scenarios for what has gone wrong. Great good humor, intricate detail, and weasels: a winning combination.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

A Miscellany of Picture books

THE BOOK OF BABIES by Il Sung Na. Knopf, 2013.

What can babies do?
How do they grow up to be
Just like their parents?

FLY, BUTTERFLY by Bonnie Bader. Penguin, 2014.

Caterpillar now
Butterfly soon. The process
Is plain to see here.

CHICKENS DON'T FLY by Laura DiSiena. Little Simon, 2014.

Chicken do not fly
And other weird facts about
All kinds of creatures.

HIPPOS CAN'T SWIM by Laura DiSiena. Little Simon, 2014.

Hippos cannot swim
Chickens cannot fly. What else
Can we discover?

LMNO PEAS by Keith Baker. Beach Lane, 2010.

Board book alphabet
Sure to be hours of fun
Sharing and reading.

WEEDS FIND A WAY by Cynthia Jensen-Elliott. Illustrated by Carolyn Fisher. Beach Lane, 2014.

Weeds grow everywhere
Finding their way through seams, cracks
Any place they can.

ZOOM ZOOM: SOUNDS OF THINGS THAT GO IN THE CITY by Robert Burleigh. Illustrated by Tad Carpenter. Simon & Schuster, 2014.

The city always
Is in motion. Cars, taxis,
Trains, and people, too.

A HOME FOR MR. EMERSON by Barbara Kerley. Illustrated by John Fotheringham. Scholastic, 2014.

Mr. Emerson's
Home burns to the ground. Neighbors
Build him a new one.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Plethora of Picture books

Join Amelia
As she tries to solve problems
As only she can

Classic retelling
Of a familiar story
Astonishing art

Changing the world
By becoming a pilot
Earhart did much more

Easter Cat to the
Rescue. Why should bunny have
All the Easter fun?

A super chicken
Warren longs for Fame and dreams

It's hard to be a
Ninja when everybody
Needs ninja to stop

Burps? Robots don't burp!
They do when burping numbers
And alphabets, too.

Tree for all seasons
This board book will show readers
How seasons change trees.

I am falling so far behind in blogging about my reading (I have 75 books waiting to be blogged) that I am doing some bliakus so the word can get out there about these incredible books.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Stay gold

Little Golden Books
Blasts from the past that take me
Back to my childhood

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Serious about series

Just learning to read?
Grab one of these and be proud
That you CAN read it.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Original Geisel

BARTHOLOMEW AND THE OOBLECK by Dr. Seuss. Random House, 2014.

IF I RAN THE ZOO by Dr. Seuss. Random House, 2014.

Back to my childhood
With Bartholomew and friends
With Dr. Seuss books.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Richard Scarry



Perfect concept books
New editions that need to e shared with all kids.

Sunday, March 16, 2014



This finalist for the YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award chronicles the lives of Americans of Japanese descent following the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the Executive Order which removed all Japanese Americans and placed them in relocation centers.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

One Came Home

ONE CAME HOME by Amy Timberlake. Knopf, 2013.

Agatha, dead? No
Georgia is convinced that's false
And so off she goes.

When her old sister, Agatha, disappears and is presumed dead, 13 year old Georgia sets off convinced her sister is still alive. Newbery Honor winner.

Friday, March 14, 2014


NOGGIN by John Corey Whaley. Atheneum, 2014.

Travis remembers going to sleep; that is all. When he awakes, five years have passed. Travis is alive and well for the first time in a long time. The experiment to remove his head and ultimately attach it to a body not dying of cancer is a success. Well, successful from a scientific perspective. But for Travis and his family and friends, success might be too optimistic a word. How does a teen go about reforming connections to friends who are now 5 years older than he is? What will high school be like when he returns? Will the endless stream of curiosity seekers tire of following him?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Words with Wings

WORDS WITH WINGS by Nikki Grimes. Wordsong, 2013.

Gabby is at a new school, one where she is sometimes chastised for not paying close attention. How can Gabby concentrate when she has words inside her that are crying to be let out? A caring teacher, a new and unexpected friend, and her words are what will keep Gabby flying. Coretta Scott King Honor Award, 2014.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Reading with my ears

Here are some of the audiobooks that have accompanied me as I drive to and from work for the past month.

PAPERBOY by Vince Vawter. Narrated by Lincoln Hoppe. Listening Library, Books on Tape, 2014.

This Schneider Family awardee and Newbery Honor winner is beautifully narrated by Lincoln Hoppe who handles the stuttering of the main character, an 11 year old boy who has taken over his friend's paper route for the summer. This is no small feat for our protagonist who has a difficult time communicating and convincing some that he is a smart guy. Over the course of a few weeks, his life changes in immeasurable ways.

THE MISADVENTURES OF EDGAR AND ALLAN PE: THE TELL-TALE START by Gordon McAlpine. Narrated by Arte Johnson. Listening Library/Books on Tape, 2013.

Edgar and Allan Poe's lives are one big mystery. How did their parents get stranded in space? Why are they receiving coded messages on postcards and in fortune cookies? Who would kidnap their cat? All will be revealed in this funny audio.

THE GREAT TROUBLE by Deborah Hopkinson. Narrated by Matthew Frow. Listening Library/Books on Tape, 2014.

Eel becomes concerned when friends and acquaintances are struck down by cholera. What is causing so many deaths in the same neighborhood? Can Dr. Snow help solve this mystery before more die?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Chick or the Egg?

NEST by Jorey Hurley. Simon and Schuster, 2014.

What comes from a nest?
How do hatchlings grow and change?
Read and discover.

I HATCHED! by Jill Esbaum. Illustrated by Jen Corace. Dial, 2014.

Now that I have hatched,
There is much for me to do.
Time to get busy.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Tippy and the Night Animals

TIPPY AND THE NIGHT ANIMALS by Lilla Carre. Toon Books, 2014.

How does her room get
Messy each night? Does Tippy
Wander in her sleep?

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Thomas Jefferson


Thomas Jefferson
A man of many talents
Has much to offer

Kalman's incredible illustrations and her forthright text combine for a fascinating picture book biography that begs to be shared with older readers, too.