Friday, June 24, 2016

Snappsy the Alligator

by Julie Falatko

If you're a fan of Mo Willems you will like Snappsy the Alligator. As in Mo Willems' Elephant and Piggie or Pigeon books, Snappsy speaks to the reader. In addition, there's a mystery narrator who we eventually meet. Basically, Snappsy did not intend to be in this book.The mystery narrator is following him around and claiming things that Snappsy does not agree with: that he likes food that begin with the letter 'P', that he likes to hunt cute bunnies and birds and his house is a "lopsided shack." The illustrations by Tim Miller are perfect for the anxious Snappsy and add to the humor of the book.Young kids will enjoy the illustrations while older kids will appreciate the "meta" of Snappsy the Alligator- the unwilling participant of a book.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Finding Wild

                                                  by Megan Wagner Lloyd

This picture book is an extended poem on the different types of wilderness to be found. Sometimes it's obvious, other times you have to look for it. And sometimes it's one extreme or another: forest-fire hot or icicle cold; smooth as the petals of poppies or as rough as the fierce face of a mountain. What does wild give us? Berries, honey and snow. How does it sound? It roars, hisses, barks and brays. Sometimes the wild hides from us (in the city), but it's never far away. The text and the illustrations in this book are nicely matched, showing a boy and girl encountering the different terrain, vegetation and creatures. A quick and lyrical read for young children.

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Twenty Yawns


                                                         by Jane Smiley

After a long day at the beach, Lucy's mom reads her a bedtime story and falls asleep. Mom manages to get to bed, but Lucy is now wide awake with the moon shining in her room. How will she ever get to sleep? Lucy sneaks past her sleeping dad on the living room chair to get her bear Molasses. The other stuffed animals with Molasses look lonely; can they come too? She carries the whole group to her room. Tucked into bed, the animals yawn sleepy yawns with Lucy. This is a familiar tale of a long day, turned into a sleepy series of yawns. Lauren Castillo's simple and cute illustrations show the basic emotion for the story.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Love is My Favorite Thing

By Emma Chichester Clark

Plum has lots of favorite things—catching sticks, her bear, her bed—but really, LOVE is her absolute favorite thing. She loves her family and all the things they do together. Sometimes, however, Plum’s exuberance causes trouble, and she just can’t help being naughty. But fortunately, love is such a great thing that even when she makes mistakes, Plum’s family still loves her.

Strictly No Elephants

By Lisa Mantchev

“The trouble with having a tiny elephant for a pet is that you never quite fit in." Even though today is Pet Club day the members have decreed "Strictly No Elephants". They don't seem to understand that pets, just like friends, come in all shapes and sizes. That won't stop a boy and his tiny elephant from showing them what true friendship means.  

How to Catch a Mouse

By Philippa Leathers

Gorgeous watercolor and pencil drawing along with a clever and quick story make this make this an excellent storytime read. The little ones will enjoy looking for the mouse on every page as it sneaks past the unsuspecting cat, Clemmie. Will Clemmie ever catch that pesky mouse?

Friday, April 22, 2016

Grandma in Blue with Red Hat

                                                   by Scott Menchin

A boy is taken to a museum art class by his grandmother. Each child in the class gives the teacher a reason why a piece is in the museum. "It's beautiful," says one. "It tells a story," says another. And "It's unique," says a third. The boy realizes his grandma is all these things and more. He's inspired to donate her to the museum, but soon finds that's not possible. Instead, he paints and sculpts portraits of his grandma and has an exhibit. While that's a lot of work for a child, it's wonderful to think that he would be thoughtful, talented and diligent enough to pull it off! Nonetheless, there's humor in the illustrations by Harry Bliss and the book provides an introduction to art appreciation for younger children.

If You Want to See a Whale

by Julie Fogliano
This picture book is a sweet and quiet book about looking for a whale. But really, it's about more than that. A boy and his dog are depicted throughout, looking for the whale but get distracted by things: pelicans, roses and pirates among them. The text is poetic and somewhat nonsensical while the sparse illustrations match the book's tone perfectly. At the end, the boy and his dog meet the whale, a reward for being so patient and focused. Even large creatures (and objects) are sometimes hard to find.

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild

                                                            by Peter Brown

Mr. Tiger is "bored with always being so proper." All the other animals are so stuffy and formal. Slowly, Mr. Tiger loosens up and starts to get wild. He goes down on all fours, climbs, runs and roars until finally he loses his clothes all together. His friends are annoyed and suggest he go to the wilderness if he wants to be wild. And so he runs to the wilderness where he gets to do all his wild activities. But Mr. Tiger becomes lonely and misses his city friends. He returns to civilization to find that his friends have loosened up a bit, giving Mr. Tiger the best of both worlds: friendship and freedom. The illustrations in this book are brown and slightly drab in the beginning, and get colorful toward the end as the animals get wilder. The subtle and humorous message is for kids to be themselves.