Sunday, April 3, 2016

Daniel Finds a Poem by Micha Archer

I love Poetry Month...especially when I find find new books to read and uncover.  This one jumped out at me because one of my favorite people is my nephew and godson Daniel.  He is a bit old for this book as he is in college but it still reminds me of him when he was a little boy.  I remember our walks with his constant monologue and questions about all that we encountered....from cars to the pond and animals we met along the way.

Daniel Finds a Poem written and illustrated by Micha Archer is a wonderful introduction of poetry for a child.  What is Poetry? This sweet book is the story of a little boy who wants the answer to that question.  He discovers it all around him as he walks through the park from the animals and creatures that he meets.  At the end of the book Daniel presents all he has discovered in the form of a poem.  This book is not only an introduction to poetry but to nature as well.  I love the lyrical way in which it is written alongside it's sweet illustrations.  This is a perfect book for a classroom, library or a child's bookshelf.  A great book to be read again and again.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Good Morning Yoga by Mariam Gates illustrated by Sarah Jane Hinder

Good Morning Yoga: A Pose by Pose Wake Up Story written by Mariam Gates and illustrated by Sarah Jane Hinder is a sweet new book that teaches Yoga to the very young.  It does so by incorporating yoga poses into a little story filled with imagination.  Last fall I recommended another children's yoga book called I Am Yoga. At that time I had only taken one yoga class myself.  Since then I have been taking classes run by my sister in law. I have found them to be very soothing and inspiring.  I have another friend who teaches yoga to children.  When I found Good Morning Yoga I thought of her.  This is a perfect companion book to I Am Yoga.  I love the soothing way this new book is written.  Each pose is written as a little adventure.  I personally liked Mountain Pose and the way Downward Facing Dog is presented.  In today's world children tend to not get up and move as much as they should. This would be a perfect practice for a child first thing in the morning or anytime.  A way for them to stretch and move in a gentle manner.  At the end of the book there is even a bit about meditation....which can be very calming.  I think any book that instills a feeling of calm and focus can only be a good thing.  At the link there are additional links to videos of the book...Something to enjoy!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

All We Know by Linda Ashman illustrated by Jane Dyer

I love Springtime!The days are longer and the earth smells sweet. Spring brings the promise of new things.

All We Know by Linda Ashman and illustrated by Jane Dyer shows that same promise of the beauty of Spring.  Jane Dyer's illustrations always touch my heart and make me feel warm and fuzzy. They also remind me of my niece when she was little.  My niece has a little boy of her own now and so they remind me of him too.  The sweet illustrations combined with Linda Ashman's tender prose make a perfect match.  I love this new book.  It is the perfect read aloud for either a story time or bedtime.  It is more than just a story of a mother's love for her child but it is the story of the beauty of the natural world around us.  A perfect new baby gift.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Tree in the Courtyard: Looking Through Anne Frank's Window by Jeff Gottesfeld illustrated by Peter McCarty

It is March so it is Women's History Month. Today is also International Women's Day. I thought it would be appropriate to write about a girl who never got the chance to grow up and become the woman she was meant to be. Her memory has inspired many by her example and story.

The Tree in the Courtyard: Looking Through Anne Frank's Window by Jeff Gottesfeld and illustrated  by Peter McCarty is the touching story of Anne Frank as told by the tree that stood outside the Annex where she hid.  I love the concept of this book.  I remember reading about the tree (yes it was real) when it fell during a storm.  Anne Frank mentions the tree three times in her diary.  I love how Jeff Gottesfeld has poignantly written this picture book from the perspective of the tree.  Mr McCarty's illustrations are also such a beautiful match to the poetic words that we cannot help but truly see Anne Frank from a different stand point.  This is a wonderful way to introduce a difficult subject to a younger audience.  A must have new book....

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Popcorn Astronauts and Other Biteable Rhymes by Deborah Ruddell illustrated by Joan Rankin

Happy World Read Aloud Day!  That's right today is the day we celebrate the joy and importance of reading aloud to children.  I love the idea of this day because I truly believe that reading aloud to children will help them become readers when they grow up.  To all those who love to read to children I salute you......

In honor of the day I was going to recommend some great read aloud picture books....but then I thought that is usually what I do anyway.  My blog is filled with books that I know would make a great read aloud. I decided to do something a bit different---at least to me.  I am not recommending a picture book per-se but a poetry book.  This was one of the Cybils finalists in poetry that I was privileged to judge.  While it didn't ultimately win it still has great merit and distinction.

Popcorn Astronauts and other Biteable Rhymes by Deborah Ruddell and illustrated by Joan Rankin is one of the most fun books I have recently read.  This is such a quirky and lively book that it begs to be read aloud.  This would be a fun story time book with a group of children because there are so many possibilities.  If I was still running a story time I would bring in all kinds of foods---as mentioned in the book and do all sorts of projects.  The popcorn itself is either a great snack or project source.  I also think children need to hear poetry as it helps the creative mind.  

This is a must have poetry book......

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Just a Lucky So and So The Story of Louis Armstrong by Lesa Cline-Ransome Illustrated by James E. Ransome

I was visiting my sister this past weekend when I saw a new book on her coffee table.  She is friends with Lesa Cline-Ransome who had given her a copy of her new book about Louis Armstrong.

While my baby nephew was dancing and singing around the room I read this really great picture book biography.

Just a Lucky So and So The Story of Louis Armstrong by Lesa Cline-Ransome and illustrated by James E. Ransome is a new picture book biography of one of my favorite musicians. I love how right from the very first page we sense the joy that is Louis Armstrong.  Even though he grew up poor it never took away his natural exuberance.  He had such  a fascinating and storied life and career.  This book has a beautiful flow that makes it very readable in a lyrical way.  I love how the illustrations match the vision of this bigger than life iconic figure.  This is a great book for children to learn about the history of music in America. It would be great to read at a story time with Louis Armstrong music playing in the background.   It is a must have for any library and child's bookshelf. 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton

The winner of the 2015 Cybils were announced yesterday.  The winner was the book Flutter and Hum: Aleteo Y Zumbido by Julie Paschkis which I blogged about last October.  It is a wonderful book with great potential.

Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton was one of the finalists for  Cybils 2015.  As with all the finalists we discussed this book at length.  This is a verse novel set in 1969.  A historical novel that at sometimes felt more prose than poetry.  Still it is very good read that has a lot going for it.  This is a book that makes for a great discussion about diversity.  It is the story of a girl with an African-American father and a Japanese mother who  has to deal with not only two different cultures at home but feeling different in her new school.  Not only are there race issues but gender issues as well.  The main character Mimi wants to be an astronaut but is basically scoffed at because she is a girl. The issues of not fitting in and being true to oneself is still very relevant in today's world.  Ms Hilton's words convey the inner feelings of her characters beautifully.  I enjoyed getting to know each and every one of them.  This is a great read for middle grade readers ages 9-12.  It should help to foster discussion at home and in the classroom.