Category Archives: Ages 4-8

Pug and Pig Trick-or-Treat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pug and Pig Trick-or-Treat
by Sue Lowell Gallion, illustrated by Joyce Wan
Beach Lane Books, 2017

Pug and Pig, the best of friends, try on their Halloween costumes. Pig loves hers and can’t wait for Halloween to come.  Pug hates his, it’s too tight and no one can see him.  He claims he doesn’t care about Halloween.  But he does care about Pig.  When Halloween arrives, he finds a costume that suits him and he shares Halloween with Pig.

A true story of friendship, compromise, and being there for your friend, no matter what.

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The Too-Scary Story

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Too-Scary Story
by Bethanie Deeney Murguia
Arthur A. Levine Books, 2017

Walter and Grace get Dad to tell a scary story.  Grace, the oldest, wants a real scary one, for she has a magic wand to protect her.  Walter wants a scary story, but not too scary.  They enter a forest which is dark.   “The spookiest, creepiest kind of dark!” says Grace.  “Too scary!” says Walter.  But then fireflies appear and Walter cheers. And so Dad balances scary with not too scary.  A fun, scary story where Graces uses her magic to save the day!

Dark and scary illustrations balance out the safe ones as Grace and Walter imagine a walk through the forest making the story the perfect scary story.

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The Memory Box, A Book about Grief

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Memory Box, A Book about Grief
by Joanna Rowland, illustrated by Thea Baker
Sparkhouse Family, 2017

A book to help a child coping with a death. Inspired when the author’s family was coping with two separate deaths.

The story opens with a child losing a balloon, then smoothly transitions into a how that compares with losing a person. It addresses, “Does love die?” as well as the fear many have that they’ll forget the person who died. Thinking of activities once shared, the story seamlessly moves into creating a memory box. As she recalls old dreams and as she does those things she and the person gone had once dreamed of doing, she creates new memories that she shares with the loved one.  The book ends gently with, “You’ll always be with me…” and “… I’ll never forget.”

Illustrations show child activities and friends and family gatherings to comfort the reader.

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Zoo Scientists to the Rescue

Zoo Scientists to the Rescue
by Patricia Newman, photographs by Annie Crawley
Millbrook Press, 2018

Written in kid-friendly terms, this book provides a fascinating, in-depth look at how zoo scientists are helping orangutans, black-footed ferrets and black rhinos, three animals on the Critically Endangered list.

Meredith Bastian studied orangutans in the field for several years, observing behaviors from the moment they woke, until they laid down to sleep. Her data has helped orangutans in both the wild and in zoos. She later worked at the Philadelphia Zo to integrate conservation into its operation.

Jeff Baughman helps manage the revival of the almost extinct black-footed ferret. In 1981 130 ferrets were discovered and Jeff is instrumental in expanding the population and returning it to the wild.

Rachel Santymire studied black rhinos in Africa to learn how to help them in zoos and in the field.  Rachel specializes in studying ‘poop’, which provides invaluable information about their lives.

The book also provides zoo history, conservation, and career information about zoo scientists.  The photos are outstanding and draw in both young and adult readers.

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Go Sleep in Your Own Bed!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Go Sleep in Your Own Bed!
by Candace Fleming, illustrated by Lori Nichols
Schwartz & Wade Books, 2017

Kids will love this poetic, interactive, guess which animal comes next story about animals on the farm. The story opens with a girl snuggled in her bed on the farm. Then, when pig “toddled to his sty, waddley-jog, Mooo!, Who do you think he found?”  When each animal found goes to his/her own bed, they find another, until the house cat snuggles in bed with the girl.  Filled with light humor, like when the horse was found in the tiny chicken coop!

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Found Dogs

 

Found Dogs
by Erica Sirotich
Dial Books for Young Readers

A counting book and a book about adopting pound dogs.  This clever story using simple rhymes to count up to ten dogs, then counts from ten to one, as the dogs leave for new homes.  Ever so clever, ever so perfect for young readers.  It can be read to the youngest, and read by those learning to read.  Author/illustrator Erica Sirotich matches dogs with new owners where spotted dogs go to firehouse workers and quick and thin dogs go to ballerinas.

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Here Comes Teacher Cat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here Comes Teacher Cat
by Deborah Underwood, illustrated by Claudia Rueda
Dial Books for Young Readers, 2017

There’s just something charming about Here Comes Teacher Cat.

Cat gets woken up to help out Ms. Melba, the Kitty School teacher, who goes away for the day.  Cat does not want to help.  Reluctantly he goes.  First he tries to get out of it.  When that doesn’t work he goes to the supply cabinet.  Using signs, he tells the class they will do music—until they become too loud. Then he decides to build a fish fountain, and the kids take over and build it.  Then he decides art is the next subject, and pour large tubs of paint and models how to get in one and paint the walls and floor.  But then Ms. Melba is about to return!  Told with minimal words, readers just wait for Cat to get in trouble.  Ink and color pencil drawings with lots of character make it fun to read the pictures.

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Big Sister, Little Monster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big Sister, Little Monster
by Andria Warmflash Rosenbaum, illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham
Scholastic, 2017

The splashy, alive and kicking illustrations drew me in and kept me turning the pages on this delightful story, with a monstrously exciting twist.

Big Sister complains of her little sister, the monster, until her little sister disappears.  But what fun is putting on a show starring one?  Suddenly concerned, she searches her little sister’s usual hiding places, to no avail.  She spots a strange door draw on the wall—and it opens!  Dozens of monsters are playing with her little sister.  They don’t like Big Sister and send her away.  But Big Sister calls upon her Inner Monster and demands the monsters give her sister back.  I did not see the monsters coming and did not see the ‘inner monster’, but loved both.  A story that will stick in the hearts of sisters.

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Hilde Cracks the Case: Hero Dog!

 

Hilde Cracks the Case: Hero Dog!
by Hilde Lysiak
Scholastic, 2017

In the first of the series, we follow the adventures of Hilde as she is told of seemingly unrelated actions happening in her neighborhood.  Stolen eggs.  Smashed cupcakes.  Broken plates.  Are they related? Why would anyone do these things? Are there suspects?  Readers follow each clue as it’s discovered and think through the clues to help solve the mystery.  Will Hilde figure out the mystery, and will she get the story out on time?  A riveting read!

Author Hilde Lysiak, a real-life reporter since she was seven, turns her reporting adventures into early reader chapter books. In real life, local reporters, police and other professionals don’t take her seriously, but her neighbors, who watch her meticulously follow through on clues, do!

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A Cat is Better

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Cat is Better
by Linda Joy Singleton, illustrated by Jorge Martin
Little Bee Books, 2017

Readers meet ‘confident’ cat at the pet store when a young boy picks him up.  Cat knows he is the most perfect pet and gives the boy permission to take him home.  But wait!  The boy is getting a dog, too?!  The cat knows this is a big mistake.  Readers will laugh as the cat points out all his attributes and all the dog’s foibles, while insisting he is the perfect pet.  But lo, readers will also see the side of the cat that makes mistakes and concessions.  A well balanced, tongue-in-cheek funny story asserting cats are better than dogs.

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