Category Archives: Poetry

Grandma’s Tiny House

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grandma’s Tiny House, A Counting Story!
by JaNay Brown-Wood, illustrated by Priscilla Burris
Charlesbridge, 2017

This counting story is perfect for large families, where everyone piles into Grandma’s house for the holidays.  Author JaNay Brown-Wood creatively crafted a story starting with one grandma, two turkeys and three neighbors and with scrumptious smells, slapping high-fives, and mini stampedes, she cleverly moves up through “Nine chatting aunties”, “thirteen thrilled nieces” and “fifteen hungry grandkids”.  But, “How will they all eat in this too-tiny place?”  One of the clever grandkids has just the answer!  A fun, family story kids will want to hear again and again, if only to find themselves in the pictures!

Read more reviews and purchase on Amazon.

Thelma the Unicorn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thelma the Unicorn
by Aaron Blabey
Scholastic, Inc., 2017

Thelma yearns to be a unicorn, while her friend Otis says she’s perfect the way she is.  When she ties a carrot on her head, an accident sprinkles pink paint and sparkles on her and she looks like a unicorn.  Suddenly all her dreams come true and she is famous.  But when the crowds never leave her alone, so she can just be herself, she rethinks the importance of being a unicorn and what being a unicorn can bring.

Written in rhyme it’s almost sugary sweet, almost a lesson, but not quite on either.  It’s a full rounded story that does deliver a message in and among all Thelma’s excitement and challenges. A fun read.

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My Thumb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


My Thumb

by Karen Hesse, illustrated by Rich Deas
Feiwel and Friends, 2016

Written by Newbery Award winning author Karen Hesse, this story covers the many, many ways a young girl loves her thumb—and it’s all in rhyme!  Delightful to the ear it shares positive and affirming words for any young readers who love their thumb.

I love my thumb.  I truly do.
It tastes of pears and carrot stew.
It’s like a hug, an “I love you.”

Of course, loving her thumb as much as she does, she sometimes finds it difficult to do certain things, like run, play music or eat gum.  But she knows she’d feel glum without it and accepts any limitations.  It ends with all the positive attributes the thumb provides her.

This book is perfect for both child who enjoy their thumbs and parents who think thumb-sucking should go away.  It reassures the child that thumbs are good and reminds the parent that the thumb means something to the child and they are not yet ready to depart from that bit of reassurance or nurturing that they receive.

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The Pomegranate Witch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Pomegranate Witch
by Denise Doyen, illustrated by Eliza Wheeler
Chronicle Books, 2017

This haunting tale of the Pomegranate Witch will be appreciated by adults as well as titillating for children.  Written in ‘dense’ rhyme, each word contributes to the story’s ambiance and action.

On the edge of town stood the spooky pomegranate tree where kids scared themselves with made-up tales, daring each other to grab the trees treasure.  Finally, five brave adventurers take on the task. Surprising them, the Pomegranate Witch challenges them to a duel, the next day, at noon.  While their second plan of attack, plan B, is in progress, their youngest member sneaks in a back gate and steals a treasure.  They won!  Then Kindly Lady, whose sister is the witch, or so she says…, invites them over for Halloween cheer.  The perfect tale for a late night scare.

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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.

Read more reviews on Amazon.

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.

Read more reviews and purchase on Amazon.

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.

Read more reviews and purchase on Amazon.

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.

Read more reviews and purchase on Amazon.

Rolling Thunder (A Memorial Day story)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Rolling Thunder

by Kate Messner, illustrated by Greg Ruth
Scholastic Press, 2017

The story is of a boy who rides with his Vietnam vet grandfather on the 30th Rolling Thunder Ride for Freedom, done on Memorial Day each year.  The story captures the importance the ride is for the grandfather who rides to honor friends lost.  Riding in on a motorcycle, they arrive at a campground and meet up with others.  In the morning, a long motorcycle convoy arrives at The Wall, where names are touched and prayers are said. The story is written in perfect rhyme and emphasizes the importance of Memorial Day and honoring those who fought for our freedom.  The illustrations tell many other stories, featuring other soldiers, family members at the wall as well as a star-lit sky signifying the vastness of the lives lost and honor earned.  A fresh story about the importance of the holiday.

Read more reviews on Amazon.

Monster’s New Undies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Monster’s New Undies

by Samantha Berger, illustrated by Tad Carpenter
Scholastic, 2017

An endearing story of undies?  It’s true!  In this rhyming story we meet little monster who dreads shopping for new undies.  When his mom takes him to Undie World, he is soon overwhelmed.  He vetoes polka-dots, tiny whales and racing car undies for him!  In despair he’s about to leave, when he spies the perfect pair.

Filled with all the words for undies and what they cover, it’s clean fun and a fun read-aloud for both parents and kids.

Read more reviews on Amazon.