Who What Where?

Who What Where?
by Olivier Tallec
Chronicle Books, 2016

This interactive book is made for young detectives!

Each two-page set asks a question, like “Who left a jacket at home?”  On the second page, 4-5 choices are offered and the reader must play detective, examining the clues, to figure out the answer to the question. Whether the clue is the height of the character, the color of clothes or the fact that they are now wearing a bandage on their head, the readers have to use their thinking power to figure it out.  The clues aren’t always obvious either!  Don’t worry, the answers are provided on the last page, just to be sure you have it right.

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If You Were the Moon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If You Were the Moon
Laura Purdie Salas, illustrated by Jaime Kim
Millbrook Press, 2017

A quiet bedtime story that introduces all the things the moon does, like “Tease the Earth: peek-a-boo!” (no moon to full moon) and “Challenge the ocean to a tug-of-war.” (gravity) Each page explains how the moon ‘plays peek-a-boo and ‘tug-of-war’.  Personifying the moon, children will see the moon as their friend.  Adults will likely learn a little about the moon, too.

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There, There

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There, There
by Tim Beiser, illustrated by Bill Slavin
Tundra Books, 2017

As half the work of a picture book is the illustrations, this book’s textured, rich acrylic pictures, kept me turning the pages, again and again.  I was not familiar with Bill Slavin‘s books, but I’m reading them now.  A Canadian artist, he’s won numerous awards.

The text, written in well-done rhyme also pulled me in.  The story features a whiney rabbit who complains of just about everything, and a patient bear who accepts his friend’s quirks up to a point.  Tired of all his complaining, he marches his friend out and show’s him an earthworm who spends all his time in dirt, has no arms or legs and gets happy when he mistakes his own rear end for a friend!  Fortunately, rabbit gets it, and suddenly the day turns warm.  But the worm, tossed into the dirt was insulted!  The story ends on a humorous note in perfect rhyme.

A fresh story with a good lesson.

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Have you Seen my Trumpet?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you Seen my Trumpet?
by Michael Escoffier, illustrated by Kris Di Giacomo
Enchanted Lion Books, 2016

It’s a treat and surprise to discover what creature lurks in every word when each page poses a question that contains the answer, like, “Who is playing frisbee?” The illustration shows a bee riding a frisbee.  Then a girl appears asking the creatures if they have seen her trumpet.  Together the girl and creatures ask more questions while looking for the girl’s trumpet, until they ask, “Who is robbing the elephant?” and the girl finds her trumpet.  A clever play on words book with a heartwarming ending.  The artist is very creative in telling other stories with all the animals throughout the book.  For who has seen an alligator water ski?  One of the kid’s favorites will be seeing a bat sitting on a toilet in the bathroom.

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Plankton is Pushy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plankton is Pushy
by Jonathan Fenske
Scholastic Press, 2017

Humor and tension run high in this story when Plankton tries to strike up a conversation with Mussel.  Mussel gives no reply.  Plankton considers this behavior just plain rude and proceeds to explain to Mussel how social rules are when someone says hi.  He gives Mussel another chance, but still no response from Mussel.  First Plankton gets angry, then he gets desperate and begs Mussel to speak.  The clam begins to open his shell, and Plankton gets excited that he is about to speak and leans in closer.  And closer, until, you guessed it—Snap!  Find out what Plankton thinks about Mussel.

While this shtick has been played out in many different scenarios, it remains funny in this sea world adventure.  Award winning author and illustrator Jonathan Fenske uses contrasts to the delight of readers in this story.  A small, salmon-colored plankton trying to push around a large, gray mussel clam sets the stage. The very emotional plankton moves up and down, forth and back, while the stoic mussel that just sits on the ocean bed.  A fun read.

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A New School Year, Stories in Six Voices

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A New School Year, Stories in Six Voices
by Sally Derby, illustrated by Mika Song
Charlesbridge Publishing, 2017

Author Sally Derby uses short poems in an in-depth look into many of the emotions of ‘starting a new school year’.  This book looks at six children, one each in kindergarten through fifth grade, as they progress through the phases: The Night Before, In the Morning, At School and After School.

From “hiding Bear’s blue jacket in a pocket” for security, to worrying that “nobody will like me” each child has their own fears and their own voice.  Zach, first grade, worries, “Last year I knew everything…/Now I have to learn everything/ all over again./ What if I make a mistake?”  Jackie, third grade, grateful her family didn’t move, she hopes her teacher won’t think, “…it’s a big bother/ having me in her room/ a whole hour before school starts/ so Mama can catch the bus to work.”

A wonderful, easy-to-read collection of ‘new school year’ stories kids will relate to.

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The Blue Whale

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Blue Whale
by Jenni Desmond
Enchanted Lion Books, 2015

This is a perfect ‘boys’ book that, with a kid-voice of awe and excitement, introduces the greatest mammal on earth, the blue whale.  Readers learn a whale’s heart is the size of a small car, about 1,300 pounds and its tongue is three tons!  They learn 50 people could fit inside a whale’s mouth.  While a whale eats 35 million krill a day, its throat is only as wide as a grapefruit.  The illustrations cleverly show all the whale details throughout the story and features ‘whales’ wherever possible, like the kitchen table is shaped like a whale.  They even get a geography lesson thrown in.  Targeted for the 4-7 year old, they will have fun reading it over and over to learn about the gigantic whale.

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Whoops!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Whoops!

by Suzi Moore, illustrated by Russell Ayto
Templar Books, 2016

The problems are simple, the cat can’t meow, the dog can’t woof, and the mouse can’t squeak.  How can get it right?  The wise owl, sends them off to the little old lady in a house in the woods who will give them a “spell to make them well.”  (Yes, it’s all in perfect rhyme.)  But the little old lady, emphasis on old, doesn’t seem to be able to find the right spell, for the cat goes cluck!, the dog goes quack!, and the mouse goes cock-a-doodle-doo!—“Whoops!”  So she tries again, and again, and again.   Whoops!  Find out if she can cast the right spell.  Readers will enjoy the mystery story, the mix-ups with their Whoops!, and the intensely colored pages when a spell is cast.  A downright funny story.

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A Symphony of Cowbells

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Symphony of Cowbells
by Heather Preusser, Illustrated by Eileen Ryan Ewen
Sleeping Bear Press, 2017

Through heartwarming, Swiss-style illustrations and lots of clanging and jangling, readers take a trip to the Swiss Mountains.  This is best appreciated when read aloud.

Petra’s favorite cow, Elfi, wore the most booming brass bell of all the cows, but one morning the brass bell was missing.  To stay on their schedule of moving the herd to spring pastures, the family decided Elfi would have to do without, but Elfi wanted nothing to do with that idea and wouldn’t budge.  The family found a small bell, which Elfi snorted at. Without the big brass bell, the herd was “out of tune” and the entire herd would not move!  Petra had to find the big bell.  The next day she noticed a crow carrying a shiny object.  Figuring this was a clue, she chased down the crow.  Unable to reach the crow’s nest, she enlisted the help of family and neighbors and, indeed, there was the bell, along with many other missing items!  With the herd in harmony again, they moved up to the spring pastures.

The illustrations join the words to make a great family read aloud.

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Little Red Rolls Away

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Red Rolls Away
by Linda Whalen, illustrated by Jennifer E. Morris
Sleeping Bear Press, 2017

This story is perfect for children experiencing changes in life, like a big move, changing schools, etc..

In Little Red Rolls Away, Little Red is picked up, placed on wheels, then placed on a boat and doesn’t know why.  His boards shake and his nails nearly pop out, he does not like this trip!  When he reaches shore, he then travels a very long distance until he is placed on land again.  He feels better.  Soon his old friends join him and he is okay.  Readers will have to find out the ‘happy place’ Little Red goes.

An Afterward provides tips on How to Help a Child Navigate Change.

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