Saturday, May 31, 2014

Life with Father

DADDY'S ZIGZAGGING BEDTIME STORY by Alan Sitomer with illustrations by Abby Carter. Disney/Hyperion, 2014.

Daddy's stories are
Our very fav'rite ones cuz
They zig and they zag.

Friday, May 30, 2014

THE NIGHT BEFORE COLLEGE by Sonya Sones and Ava Tramer. Grosset and Dunlap, 2014.

College tours, dorm rooms, admissions essays: all of the hoopla associated with college is here in a jaunty rhyme.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

NAKED by Michael Ian Black with illustrations by Debbie Ridpath Ohi. Simon and Schuster, 2014.

An exuberanttoddler delights in being naked. Naked eating a cookie, naked in the bath, naked doing the Hokey Pokey. Illustrations zig and zag and follow this zany story beautifully. Tie to NO, David!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Board Books

CREATURE COLORS by Andrew Zuckerman. Chronicle Books, 2014.

Simple colors, simple drawinghs of various animals. PINK flamingo, YELLOW canary, BLACK bear. Great concept book for toddlers.

DADDY WRONG LEGS by Nina Laden. Chronicle Books, 2014.

Mix and match the tops and bottoms of a dog, a rooster, , an octopus, and other critters. This is certain to be one toddlers will want to interact with again and again.

PEEK A ZOO by Nina Laden. Chronicle Books, 2014.

Peek through the die cuts and try to guess which animal is hiding on the next page. The last critter is YOU!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tools Rule!

TOOLS RULE by Aaron Meshon. Atheneum, 2014.

The tools need a place
To be out of the weather
And so they build one.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Firefly in July

FIREFLY IN JULY: A YEAR OF VERY SHORT POEMS selected by Paul Janeczko and illustrated by Melissa Sweet. Candlewick Press, 2014.

Short poems galore
To celebrate each season
Shared aloud to kids.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Dalia's Wondrous Hair

DALIA'S WONDROUS HAIR by Laura Lacamara. Arte Publico, 2014.

Dalia's wondrous hair
Can be a home to creatures
Such as butterflies.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Dale Dale Dale!

DALE DALE DALE! HIT IT! HIT IT! HIT IT! A FIESTA OF NUMBERS by Rene Saldana with illustrations by Carolyn Flores. Arte Publico/Pinata Books, 2014.

It's time for birthday
Fun and festivities. It's
Time for a party!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Animal fare take 4

HOPPER AND WILSON FETCH A STAR by Maria Van Lieshout. Penguin, 2014.

Hopper and Wilson
Want a star for a nightlight
So head into space.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Animal fare take 4

TIPPY, TIPPY, TIPPY SPLASH! by Candace Fleming with illustrations by G. Brian Karas. Atheneum, 2014.

Mr. McGreeley
Needs a vacation. Bunnies
Manage to join him.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Animal Fare take 3

THE ALMOST FEARLESS HAMILTON SQUIDLEGGER by Timothy Basil Ering. Candlewick Press, 2014.

Squidlegger is brave
By day, but at night, he is
Afraid of the dark.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Animal Fare take 2

BABAR ON PARADISE ILAND by Laurent De Brunhoff. Abrams, 2014.

Babar, family
Are stranded on an island
Who comes to rescue?

Monday, May 19, 2014

Animal Fare

SHOE DOG by Megan McDonald with illustrations by Katherine Tillotson. Atheneum, 2014.

Shoe dog chews all shoes
They are just so darned tasty
How can he be stopped?

Sunday, May 18, 2014

in the oral tradition take 3

THE SIX SWANS by the Brothers Grimm with illustrations by Gerda Raidt. North South Books, 2014.

Seven children flee
From a wicked stepmother
Who wishes them dead.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

In the oral tradition take 2

THE WORST PRINCESS by Anna Kemp and Sara Ogilvie. Random House, 2014.

No fancy clothes, no
Boring sessions at court, no
Need for Prince Charming.

Friday, May 16, 2014

In the oral tradition

THE LION AND THE MOUSE by Jenny Broom with illustrations by Nahta Noj. Templar Books/Candlewick, 2014.

Peek through the windows
And guess what will happen next
In this old story.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

New NF Take 4

GRANDFATHER GANDHI by Arun Gandhi and Bethany Hedges with illustrations by Evan Turk. Atheneum, 2014.

It's tough to be calm
When someone is bullying
Grandfather can help.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

New NF Take 3


Separate not equal
Was the law of the land that
Needed to be changed.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

New NF take 2


The food pyramid
Helps us to eat more healthy
Foods every day.

Monday, May 12, 2014

New Nonfiction

MUSIC EVERYWHERE! by Maya Ajmera, Eloise Hoffer Derstine, Cynthia Pon. Charlesbridge, 2014.

Music everywhere
Across the country and globe
Music everywhere.

Sunday, May 11, 2014


REVOLUTION by Deborah Wiles. Scholastic, 2014.

The anticipated sequel to COUNTDOWN delivers a solid punch to our collective consciousnesses. Wiles picks up the story in 1966 as Sunny is dealing with all manner of issues. She is living now with her father and his new wife and her kids. She still longs to know where her own mother is, but that might never happen. In Sunny's home town, the Civil Righters have invaded. Sunny is resentful of their efforts; their actions have caused town officials to drain and close the swimming pool rather than let "others" in to swim. The same is true all over town. But it is a summer of change for Sunny who comes to see the truth behind all of the propaganda. Perhaps it is time for a revolution? This documentary novel combines traditional narrative with photos, song lyrics, and so much more to deepen the understanding of the time and place and events. History teachers should consider this as their "textbook" for this period of time in history.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Happy Birthday, BabyMouse

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABYMOUSE by Jennifer and Matthew Holm. Random House, 2014.

BabyMouse is back (this is #18) and getting ready for the best birthday party ever. The only problem is that Felicia Furrypaws plans an awesome party for the exact same day. Even with help from Squish and his pals, BabyMouse's party is destined for disaster.

Friday, May 9, 2014


COMICS SQUAD: RECESS. Random House, 2014.

Jenni and Matt HOLM, Dave Roman and Raina Telgemeier, Dav Pilkey, Jarrett Krosoczka, and Gene Yang combine their talents ith several other authors of graphics novels for this collection. BabyMouse and Lunch Lady are here along with Harold and George of Captain Underpants fame writing their own GNs. This will be one that is in great demand from tons of fans. It will also create some new fans of the books by these stellar graphic artists.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

A Snicker of Magic

A SNICKER OF MAGIC by Natalie Lloyd. Scholastic, 2014.

Take one girl who has a mother who loves to move from town to town. Add in a new school, fold in a love interest. Blend in some ice cream and maybe a soup├žon of magic (actually a snicker is a better measurement). Natalie Lloyd treats readers to sumptuous feast of words and phrases as she tells us the story of Felicity, the Threadbare Brothers, and a mystery that perhaps only she can solve.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Wipeout of the Wireless Weenies


This collection of short stories follows in the worthy footsteps of LAWN WEENIES, RED HOT PEEER WEENIES, and NINJA WEENIES among others. Teddy bears, cat literal and faxes might all seem innocuous. But hand them to David Lubar and the results are creepy and often hilarious stories of comeuppance, justice, and irony. Perfect for reading aloud to kids, teachers will also find them valuable for a discussion of author style and process.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


STAY WHERE YOU ARE AND THEN LEAVE by John Boyne. Macmillan Audio, 2014.

Alfie is only 5 when WWI breaks out. His father heads off to enlist; his mother begins to work outside of the house to make ends meet. And Alfie becomes a shoe shine boy, trying his best to help out, too. When the letters from his father suddenly stop coming, Alfie is concerned about the fate of his father. Eventually, Alfie learns that his father is in a local veteran's hospital suffering from shell shock. The "ordinary" horrors of war from the perspective of a young boy bring to life what day to day like was like for those affected by the fighting.

Tie this to Boyne's THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS and to other stories of children during way such as Anita Lobe;s NO PRETTY PICTURES: A CHILD OF WAR by Anita Lobel. I read this one with my ears. he narrator struck a perfect "pitch" with his reading of the novel.

Monday, May 5, 2014


UNDER THE EGG by Laura Marx Fitzgerald. Dial, 2014.

When Theo's grandfather is dying he whispers to her, "under the egg." Theo does search under the egg and eventually discovers a painting hidden underneath another painting. It looks ancient and perhaps famous, but who can Theo trust to help her? Her mother is off in her own little world, and her grandfather was the one who took care of the family. How are they to survive? Enter a new neighbor, a friend to Theo who is determined to help. CHASING VERMEER is a logical connection for the book. Also consider adding in the Red Blazer Girl Mysteries.

Stripes/ Rayas

STRIPES OF ALL TYPES/RAYAS DE TODAS LAS TALLAS by Susan Stockdate. Peachtree, 2014.

Animals with stripes
Use their stripes in many ways
Come learn about stripes.

The Great Greene Heist

THE GREAT GREENE HEIST by Varian Johnson. AAL/Scholastic, 2014.

Jackson Greene is trying to keep out of trouble, but it seems as though trouble finds him instead. He is trying to help his friend Gaby get elected as class president. However, there is stiff competition from Keith, a wealthy boy who seems determined to be elected at ANY cost. Enter Jackson and his buddies who create an elaborate con to ensure the election is fair and square. Totally believable characters, great good humor (including some fun poking at a corrupt principal) and a romance gone wrong combine to make this a fast paced and absorbing read.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Voices that must be heard

SILVER PEOPLE by Margarita Engle. HMH, 2014.

Newbery Honor Medalist Engle tells the story of the building of the Panama Canal in her latest novel in verse. Using voices of some of the workers (the silver people as they were paid with silver), some of the inhabitants of the forest that was being lost in the construction efforts, as well as some of the local voices. Alternating among these different perspectives, Engle provides readers an in-depth view of the issues surrounding the construction. The novel could easily be adapted as readers theater with students giving voice to the different characters of the novel.

Logical tie-ins include Engle's other books such as THE SURRENDER TREE, LIGHTNING DREAMER, and FIREFLY LETTERS. Consider building a unit or ladder with novels in verse to include Helen Frost, Eirann Corrigan, Paul Janeczko, and Sonya Sones.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

More Picture Books

BIG by Coleen Paratore with illustrations by Clare Fennell. Little Pickle Press, 2014.

What does it take to
Be big? Is it size, age? Big
Is how we do things.

WHAT DOES TO MEAN TO BE GLOBAL? by Rana DiOrio with illustrations by Chris Hill. Little Pickle Press, 2014.

Being global means
Understanding cultures and
People and much more.

THE GRUDGE KEEPER by Mara Rockliff with illustrations by Eliza Wheeler. Peachtree, 2014.

Filling his house with
Grudges has kept him busy
What will happen now?

PRICKLY ROSE by Shelley Gill with illustrations by Judy Love. Charlesbridge, 2014.

Tall tale Prickly Rose
About sibling rivalry
Set in Alaska.

THE VERY TINY BABY by Sylvie Kantorvitz. Charlesbridge, 2014.

When the baby comes
Too early, the family
Is very worried.

SUGAR HILL: HARLEM'S HISTORIC NEIGHBORHOOD by Carole Boston Weatherford with illustrations by R. Gregory Christie. Albert Whitman, 2014.

Who might you meet on
Streets in Sugar Hill? Maybe
Lena, Miles, Paul, Faith?

Friday, May 2, 2014

Potpourri of Picture Books Reduz

BIG PIGS by Leslie Helakoski. Boyds Mills Press, 2014.

Big pigs in contest
To see who is the biggest
Surprising results

THE GREAT BIG GREEN by Peggy Gifford with illustrations by Lisa Desimini. Boyds Mills Press, 2014.

What is big and green?
It is the Earth which is green
Except where it's blue

LOVE MONSTER by Rachel Bright. FSG, 2014.

Who loves a monster
When there are puppies, kitties
And more cuddly things?

LOST FOR WORDS by Natalie Russell. Peachtree, 2014.

Tapir can't find words
Like all of his friends. How can
He tell a story?

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Animal Fare

LET'S DANCE, GRANDMA by Nigel McMullen. Harper, 2014.

Why won't grandma dance?
She's lots of fun otherwise.
Just a cuddle, then?

EARLY BIRD by Toni Yuli. Feiwel and Friends, 2014.

Does the early bird
Catch the worm? Then is
Worm so unlucky?

MAMA BUILT A LITTLE NEST by Jennifer Ward with illustrations by Steve Jenkins. Beach Lane, 2014.

Birds build nests for eggs
Lots of different birds and eggs
Take a look and see.

MATILDA'S CAT by Emily Gravett. Simon & Schuster, 2014.

Matilda's cat does
NOT like boxes, bikes, climbing
But loves Matilda.