Nerdy Birdy Tweets

Nerdy Birdy Tweets
by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Matt Davies
A Neal Porter Book, 2017

Young and old will delight in this story that works in humor, as well as real-life social media issues, on many levels.

Nerdy Birdy discovers a new online game (social media) called “Tweetster”. In a short time he has fifty new Tweetster friends.  The more excited Nerdy Birdy gets, the gloomy his best friend Vulture gets. Vulture reminds Nerdy Birdy he could eat him in one bite, but Nerdy Birdy is so attached to the game, he absently says, “Mm-Hm. That’s nice.”  Vulture left, and that’s when Nerdy Birdy started to miss his friend.  The next day Vulture surprised his friend with a tweet!  They tweeted together all morning. After lunch an embarrassing picture of Vulture appeared. Nerdy Birdy thought it was funny, but Vulture was so mad, he left.

This story is a delight to read and, if parents or teachers like, could open the door to discussions about social media and the value of “real” friends.  The illustrations, rendered in pen and ink and watercolor, humorously features tiny Nerdy Birdy juxtaposed with humongous Vulture.

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I Love Dad with the Very Hungry Caterpillar

I Love Dad with the Very Hungry Caterpillar
by Eric Carle
Grosset & Dunlap, 2018

An adorable board book for infants and young toddlers and a perfect companion book to The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

The brief story tells of a youngster who shares good times with dad, a couple prickly times with dad, as well as how dad comforts the youngster.

Delighting readers, a very hungry caterpillar appears on each page inviting young readers to find it.  It’s Eric Carle at his best in his latest book.

Young readers will meet colorful parrots, seals, gorillas, prickly porcupines, and more in this simple tale.

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Pet Dad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pet Dad
Elanna Allen
Dial Books for Young Readers, 2018

For every child who wants a pet—or another pet—this is the perfect book.

Plum wants a pet, but dad is firm that he doesn’t want a pet, so Plum does only what a little child can do, pretend his dad is her pet!  Her new pet loves to have its tummy rubbed and his ears scratched, but he refuses to roll over, eat her meals or be ‘paper-trained’ for his business.  Her pet just won’t do the tricks she wants, until she comes up with a new approach, that works every time!

Moving illustrations are done in muted colors and accented with Plum’s bright greens and blacks and bright orange for the “No’s.”  An imaginative, ‘what if dad were a pet’ story filled with humor.

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The Rabbit Listened

The Rabbit Listened
by Cori Doerrfeld
Dial Books for Young Readers, 2018

This is a book I wished I had written; it shares with kids and parents how listening goes a long ways in allowing another to be themselves.  In our busy world where we quickly solve the problem and move on to the next, we forget to slow down and listen, allowing the person to resolve the situation in their own way.

The story opens with Taylor deciding to build something new and great with his blocks, and he does. But then birds fly by and crash down his magnificent structure.  Taylor is sad.  First chicken comes by and consoles Taylor, suggesting he needs to talk it out, but Taylor doesn’t want to talk. Then bear comes by and suggests Taylor let out his anger, but Taylor doesn’t feel like shouting. Other animals come by suggesting other things be done, but Taylor didn’t want to do their suggestions and remained alone when they all left.  Until a rabbit showed up. A rabbit who listened to Taylor, instead of telling Taylor what he should do.  And indeed, once someone listened and Taylor felt heard, he ran through, on his own, many of the things suggested.  Someone needed to listen.

The simple artwork showing Taylor, each animal, and his blocks emphasize the emotions Taylor feels.

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Monster & Son

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monster & Son
by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Joey Chou
Chronicle Books, 2016

Written in rhyme, lavished in humor, and set in monster land where ghoulish friends abound, monster & son enjoy a boundless day of fun together.  They transform into a new kind of monster on every page. They become sea monsters swimming in the ocean, skeletons playing bone in the cemetery, alien monsters with their dog, waiting for the spaceship.  They have tickle fights, tackle fights, and battle castle knights; they enjoy doing guy things together.

Illustrator Joey Chou uses muted, child-like haunting colors in the background, but the monster faces are always playful, laughing or loving.

From a wild day of fun clear into quiet bedtime, where the two hang like vampire bats, this is a fun book to share with dad.

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Little Leaders, Bold Women in Black History

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Leaders, Bold Women in Black History
by Vashti Harrison
Little, Brown and Company, 2018

Little Leaders celebrates 40 well-known and little-known women who changed history in little or big ways.  From currently popular women, like Oprah Winfrey, to little-known women like Alma Woodsey Thomas.  Like other collections of women  who made a difference, I’m amazed at the variety and caliber of careers, especially those in history where women having careers wasn’t allowed.  From medical researchers, to physicians, to spies, to astronauts, engineers, filmmakers and more.  For many of these women, they made their mark against all odds, just quietly going about their work. An inspiring and eye-opening collection for girls and boys from all backgrounds.

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Guess Who, Haiku

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guess Who, Haiku
by Deanna Caswell, illustrated by Bob Shea
Abrams Appleseed, 2016

A perfect introduction to haiku for preschoolers and kindergarteners!  Starting with introducing a cow, each haiku introduces a new animal common to young readers. Each haiku includes word clues and illustrations include picture clues.  The first haiku is:

new day on the farm
muffled mooing announces
a fresh pail of milk

The readers turn the page to discover (or confirm) the answer!  Then that animal recites the next haiku.  This simple-to-read and comprehensive format will help make learning about haiku fun and help first time haiku writers be brave enough to attempt their own haiku.  After a child has mastered Old MacDonald Had a Farm, this will follow beautifully to introduce them to poetry.

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Please Please the Bees

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please, Please the Bees
by Gerald Kelley
Albert Whitman & Company

A delightful story of how a bear takes things for granted, mixed with a bit of being kind and responsible, without any heavy-handedness.

Benedict, the bear, was a creature of habit. Each morning he woke, retrieved the honey the bees left, ate breakfast, played music, baked, knitted and ran errands. At days end, he’d end with honey tea.  Life was sweet, until one morning nothing was the same. The bees had gone on strike! Nothing went right that whole day. Finally, one of the bees had a serious talk with Benedict. Bear pointed out he ‘let’ them be in his field and they should be grateful. The bees pointed out that they do all the work, while their hive was in ruins. Benedict saw the hive and saw the way of his error. After some hard thinking, he decided maybe he had been too selfish. He changed his habits and learned life was even sweeter for everyone.

Gentle colors accent Benedict’s gentle demeanor and earnestness and make this a heartwarming story showing a change of disposition. A simple, yet grand, lesson disguised in a story.

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Step Right Up, How Doc and Jim Key Taught the World About Kindness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step Right Up, How Doc and Jim Key Taught the World About Kindness
by Donna Janell Bowman, illustrated by Daniel Minter
Lee and Low Books Inc., 2016

This little known history story is about a former slave who had a way with animals. Because of his abilities, people soon started calling him Doc. When the Civil War ended, he started a horse hospital. He owned a horse who birthed Jim, part Arabian.  The horse was so sickly, Doc kept him in his house until he got better. Doc soon discovered just how smart Jim was and began teaching him the alphabet—which Jim learned!  Doc and Jim began touring the US.  In time Jim worked with the Human Society and helped promote kindness towards animals. The compelling story keeps the pages turning and an afterword includes photos and more details about Doc and Jim.

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Love Is

Love Is
by Diane Adams, illustrated by Claire Keane
Chronicle Books, 2017

This touching story features a little girl who learns about love when she rescues a little lost duck. She takes the duck home and soon discovers, “Love is noisy midnight feedings,”  “Love is waking up together…beak to nose.” But it’s also early mornings, messy bath times, and tidying up after the duck.  But soon the duck is ready for a bigger pond and the girl senses it’s time for the duck to travel on.  She returns it to the park’s pond to join her mother and the girl becomes ever so sad.  Then one day she meets up with her duck and the duck’s new family and she learns love lasts.

Sweet friendship story, written in a gentle rhyme little one’s will want to hear again and again.

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