Thursday, November 12, 2015

Waiting by Kevin Henkes

This is a simple book about figurines sitting on a windowsill, each waiting for things to happen outside. There's little text and soft, basic images but it's an adorable tale. In Waiting, the windowsill proves to be a perfect stage for the various animals and their tale. Good for young children 3-8.

When Santa Was A Baby by Linda Bailey

This picture book shows Santa before we all knew him, as a baby. Just like everyone, Santa was a kid once and this cute book has Santa showing early preferences for the color red, reindeer (aka hamsters), giving things away, cooler temperatures, soot etc. Toward the end of the book, Santa's transition  from ordinary life to the North Pole is a bit abrupt (and seems to lack a scene or two). However, Santa's parents realize this is the perfect job for Santa so all is well. The illustrations by Genevieve Godbout are soft and retro which fits nicely with the nostalgic theme of the book.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Ally-Saurus and the First Day of School by Richard Torrey

This is a cute book about a little girl named Ally who loves dinosaurs and wants to be one. For the first day of school Ally shows up as her dinosaur-self, roaring and stomping. The illustrations show her dinosaur outline, scales and tail colored in pink. At first, none of her classmates want to hang out with a dinosaur like her.  Instead, a group of girls want to be princesses and a boy dreams of outer space. Feeling left out, she's alone at lunch until some other children show up to sit with her. One girl wants to be a dragon, a boy wants to be a lion and the other boy just loves his new lunchbox. They make fast friends and Ally is made to feel part of the class. All the children are depicted with their fantasy characters outlining them in crayon. At the end, Ally's class takes a trip to the library where she discovers that there's more characters she can be.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

My Cousin Momo by Zachariah Ohora

A family of squirrels eagerly await the arrival of Momo, their cousin who's a flying squirrel. Momo is not what they expected, however. He dresses funny, is shy and has odd ideas about fun activities. When Momo overhears his cousins complain about him, he cries and starts to pack for home. Afterward, they try to have fun Momo's way and the rest of the visit goes well. So well in fact, that they are left counting the days until Momo's return. The illustrations from the book are adorable: primitive and bold with funny details (the family's tree house is charming). This book is fun, yet has a lesson in compromise. For those who enjoy his style, Zachariah Ohora illustrated No Fits, Nilson! and Wolfie the Bunny.

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Monkey and the Bee by C.P. Bloom

This book is a great introduction to the style of a comic book. It's not a comic book, but there are elements that make it similar.  There are very few words, and you have to really look at the illustrations to figure out what it going on, but it should be easy for kids as young as 3 to follow along. Wordless books, or nearly wordless, in this case, are fantastic for fostering discussion, imagination and early literacy.  The Monkey and The Bee is also funny and kids will enjoy it. 

Also Try:
I Yam a Donkey by CeCe Bell
Whose Shoe by Eve Bunting
Betty Goes Bananas by Steve Antony

Little Humans by Brandon Stanton

A fun version of Humans of New York for young kids.  This book highlights all kinds of children and has an empowering message about all of the thinks little humans can do.

Also Try:
One World, Obe Day by Barbara Kerley
To Be a Kid by Maya Ajmera
Shoe Shoes Shoes by Ann Morris

Monday, August 03, 2015

Boom Snot Twitty: this way that way by Doreen Cronin

This is the second book featuring the bear (Boom), a snail (Snot) and a bird (Twitty). Once again, the trio have differing agendas. The three animals are all packed to go on an outing, but none of them are packed for the same place. Boom wants to go splash in the water, Twitty wants to go hike in the mountains and Snot could go anywhere but all he has is snacks. Of course, it's up to the one with snacks to solve the dilemma. The illustrations by Renata Liwska are fuzzy, soft and simple and match the spare text. A good introduction to compromise for younger kids.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Peace is an Offering by Annette LeBox

Peace is an Offering is a short but nicely illustrated book about peace and kindness.  It gives many examples of peace, all of which kids can relate to. There is a lot of detail in the illustrations, so parents can expand on each page and talk about the various topics.

Also Try:
One Family by George Shannon
Whoever You Are by Mem Fox
Old Turtle by Douglas Wood

Pine and the Winter Sparrow retold by Alexis York Lumbard

Pine and the Winter Sparrow is a retelling of a traditional Native American tale.  In the book a sparrow with a broken wing seeks shelter during the winter. All of the trees refuse him, except for Pine.  As a reward the pine tree becomes the only tree to not lose her leaves in the winter.  This is a nice book that teaches kindness, as well as a little bit about the rhythms of the seasons. 

Also Try:
The Magic Boat by Demi
A Grain of Rice by Helena Clare Pittman
Zomo the Rabbitt by Gerald McDermott