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

Tell Me What to Dream About by Giselle Potter

This is a very sweet, whimsical book that will delight kids.  It's also a sweet book about sisters and the relationship between them.  The little sister has trouble sleeping, so the big sister comes up with increasingly outlandish suggestions to dream about. The illustrations are cute and colorful.

Also Try:
Rude Cakes by Rowboat Watkins
Wild by Emily Hughes
Home by Carson Ellis

Saturday, July 18, 2015

I Will Never Get A Star On Mrs. Benson's Blackboard by Jennifer K. Mann



This cute, whimsically illustrated children's book has a message for kids with unconventional talents. Rose is artistic, but her teacher Mrs. Benson only seems to notice her messiness and daydreaming. When desk inspection day comes, Rose has so much anxiety she gets a tummy ache. In the end, Rose has her chance to shine when the class makes cards for another teacher. Mrs. Benson looks past her messiness and praises Rose's card, even allowing her to make her own unique star on the backboard.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Meet the Dullards by Sara Pennypacker



This is an amusing book about parents who try to keep their kids in their dull world. The Dullards stare at blank tv's, watch paint dry and eat plain ice cream with no cones. Little exciting intrusions keep happening to the Dullards and they're forced to move their children, Blanda, Borely and Little Dud to another location. Of course, excitement follows them: one room has bright yellow floral walls and the kids are caught doing acrobatics outside. To avoid further excitement, the Dullards move back to their old town. At the end of the book, Mr and Mrs. Dullard are blissfully unaware that their kids have joined up with the circus that's visiting town. The illustrations are funny and show the extent of the family's dullness with their grey, plain outfits, blank walls and "pragmatic moving container".

Wherever you go by Pat Zietlow Miller


This poetic book about a rabbit and his owl friend who take to the roads on a bicycle is gorgeously illustrated. The watercolors are vivid and creatively used. Their journey flows along from page to page, over rivers and through woods, cities and mountainous terrain. They hitch along with bus-riding friends until they part ways and home is once again in sight.

Snoozefest at the Nuzzledome by Samantha Berger




Snuggleford Cuddlebun, the sleepy sloth protagonist wants to go the the Snoozefest at the Nuzzledome. She and other good sleepers are taken by bus to the Nuzzledome, carrying all their blankets, pillows and lovies. At the Nuzzledome there's a pj parade, food booths, posters and t-shirts for sale. Various animals play quiet sleepy music on stage and Snuggleford sleeps in her hammock only to wake up and realize the festival is over. That's okay with Snuggleford since she's a sloth, but she can't wait until next year's festival. The colorful, pattern-y illustrations are adorable with all the different animals snuggling in their blankies. A cute, kiddie version of festival-going and naptime.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Peace is an Offering by Anette LeBox




This book is basically an illustrated poem about ways to celebrate or express peace and walk away from a fight. The rhyming is relatively simple yet touching and the illustrations are adorably sweet.

                  "Peace is a joining not a pulling apart.
                   It's the courage to bear a wounded heart.....
                   Sing a quiet song.
                   Catch a falling star.
                   May peace walk beside you
                   Wherever you are."

Peace is an Offering has a classic, timeless quality which will help children see ways to be a friend and enjoy the quiet strength of peace.

Julia, Child by Kyo Maclear



"Julia, Child" is subtly deceptive. Though it has Julia Child's name in the title, it isn't a picture book biography of Julia as a child. The preface states that the book was inspired by, but not about Julia's childhood. However, the main character does love to cook. Julia and her friend Simca shop, take classes and whip up meals. They begin to notice that adults are too busy to savor food and life. So they decide to make some meals for them. The first foray turns out badly, since most adults "don't have the proper ingredients" and start fighting over the food. Julia and Simca's next effort fixes that: they make "smaller portions....just enough to feed the sensible children from whom these senseless grown-ups grew." This dinner party does the trick; the adults have a wonderful time and are more generous. In a nod to the other Julia, the girls write a book, "Mastering the Art of Childhood" for grownups. Overall, the book has sweet vintage illustrations and the message is a positive one, though more understandable for older kids.