Monthly Archives: August 2017

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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