Category Archives: Uncategorized

Julian is a Mermaid

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Julian is a Mermaid
by Jessica Love
Candlewick Press, 2018

A loving story of accepting our differences.

When Julian sees other mermaids, he falls in love with them and dreams of being one.  When he dresses up as one, his abuela is at first surprised, but offers him a necklace and they leave for a surprise.  They go for a walk to the beach … where Julian can wear his mermaid costume with other mermaids.

Abuela shows complete acceptance for the Julian’s unusual preferences and supports his dreams.  Illustrations provide creative, colorful seaside costumes. A wonderfully, warm story.

Read more reviews and purchase on Amazon.

Eavesdropping on Elephants, How Listening Helps Conservation

Eavesdropping on Elephants, How Listening Helps Conservation
by Patricia Newman
Millbrook Press, 2018

Patricia Newman has done it again.  She’s written another compelling science story, this time on elephants. A must read for elephant lovers.

The story opens in a tropical forest in Central African Republic where readers learn the many ways in which elephants are “a keystone species…that helps the forest flourish.”  Readers also learn about an elephant’s “infrasound”, communication so low it is not detectible by humans.  And they learn about forest elephants’ behaviors, through studies conducted over decades. Exploring the difficulties scientists faced, Patricia invites readers to almost participate in the thinking used to resolve challenges experienced while learning about elephant culture.  Readers are invited to walk through science technology used, hypothesis set and studies that led to strategies to help save elephants. Readers learn to think like a scientist.

The book also includes several QR codes readers can use to help readers practice their elephant-sound identifying skills, watch a rarely seen birthing celebration, and watch a standoff between two male elephants.

The book is sure to inspire in many readers a passion for elephants as well as a deep curiosity and appreciation about the science of studying animals in the wild.

Ms. Newman’s 2017 book, Sea Otter Heroes, The Predators that Saved an Ecosystem, received the Sibert Informational Honor Award for Non-Fiction, an honor rarely given to science books.

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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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Hilde Cracks the Case: Hero Dog!

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

Author Hilde Lysiak, a real-life reporter since she was seven, now, at age ten, 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!

In the first of the Hilde Cracks the Case series, Hero Dog!, 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!

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Let’s Clap, Jump, Sing & Shout; Dance, Spin & Turn it Out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Let’s Clap, Jump, Sing & Shout; Dance, Spin & Turn it Out!

Games, Songs & Stories from an African American Childhood
collected by Patricia C. McKissack, illustrated by Brian Pinkney
Schwartz & Wade Books, 2017

“Our earliest toys are our hands, feet, and voices,” says Patricia C. McKassack who collected dozens of hand clap songs and jump rope rhymes, hymns, parables and even performance pieces inspired by African American writers.  Each one comes with a history, some Patricia’s history and most others of where and when they came from or how they came to be.

Her research shows that Aesop is thought to be an Afro-Greek storyteller who lived as a slave more than twenty-five hundred years ago.  The book shares how original songs were reshaped while people were in slavery.  Spirituals originated in the fields and slave quarters of the plantation South.  She writes how the songs came to be written down and are still enjoyed today, songs like Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho.  The song, Follow the Drinking Gourd, was taught to runaways to help lead them to freedom.

A rich collection of history brought together in one book.

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The Monstructor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Monstructor
by Joanna Rowland, illustrated by Melissa Goodman
Clear Fork Publishing, 2017

A silly story of monsters who are so un-monster-like, the school brings in a professional “Monstructor” to teach them monsterly ways. She teaches them to boo, to hiss and be messy.  She teaches them to roar, float to the ceiling and splash paint until at last they get it! With chaos, disruptions and dripping in messes, the monsters learn to be monsters.  Written in not-so-perfect rhyme, for how un-monster-like would perfect rhyme be? Readers will delight with outrageous monsters and their disaster messes, perfect for LOL Halloween fun.

Read more reviews and purchase at Amazon.

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.

Read more reviews on Amazon.

Dog Rules

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Dog Rules

by Jef Czekaj
Balzer + Bray, 2016

Two dogs fall for a cat’s wild goose chase when they find an egg in a nest with a note, directing them to ‘teach baby to be a good dog’. Baby (bird) calls (boy) dog ‘mama’.  The dogs try hard to teach their baby to be a good dog.  They teach him to growl, roll over and bark, but all the baby does is tweet.  The cat finds all this hilarious.  Find out what Baby does to defend his family.  A silly book for fun reading and lots of laughs.

Read more reviews on Amazon.

The Monster Next Door

monster
The Monster Next Door

By David Soman
Dial Books for Young Readers, 2016

A boy builds a tree house in a great field and a monster builds a tree house nearby.  They play well together until the monster’s tuba playing is louder than the boys flute playing.  When the boy asks him to stop, the monster continues to play.  They call each other names, have a water balloon fight and become enemies.  The boy writes a note, “Not Friends” and goes to the monster’s house to deliver it, when he notices things.  You’ll have to read the story to find out what he learns and how the two become friends again.

Watercolor, charcoal and colored pencils offer spacious drawings, allowing plenty of space in which to dream.  The music is expressed with splashes of color that fill the page and excite the eyes.

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Top 10 Picture Books of 2016

I easily read more than 1,000 picture books a year to find the very best which I share with you.  The one’s that make this list are those, that at year’s end, I’ve verbally promoted to dozens of people, that I purchased, or that still bring a smile or make my heart skip a beat when I just look at the title.  These are the ones that have stuck with me.  Looking over the titles, I see some are chosen because of the story’s words, some are chosen because story’s art.  Either way, they are my favorites.

Click on the title to read the review.

dadcat     ella

 

 

 

 

How to Cheer Up Dad                     Little Night Cat                    Ella and Penguin Stick Together

edgar

morechimp  

 

 

Edgar’s Second Word             Henry wants more!                        Chimpanzees for Tea!

chef2piratenorthstarMountain Chef                     Pirate’s Perfect Pet                     One North Star, A Counting Book

winnie1

 

 

 

 


The Best Bear in All the World,
A new collection of Winnie-the-Pooh stories

Read more reviews on Amazon.