Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Fox by Kate Banks Illus by Georg Hallensleben


So for a second time while on my morning walk I spied a fox in the middle of the street.   It is quite disconcerting to see a wild animal like that in the midst of suburbia.   We looked at each other for quite a bit of time then he ran behind some houses.   I spoke to a man walking his dog and he explained that there is a family of five foxes that have been around for a number of years.   He also mentioned a coyote...which makes me more nervous than the fox.   I really hadn't any idea what I was going to write about today...I have been needing to go to the bookstore to do research when I remembered a sweet book from a few years ago.   The cover really captures the essence of what I saw today.

Fox by Kate Banks and illustrated by Georg Hallensleben is a sweet story with wonderfully soothing illustrations.   It is the story of a baby fox and how he is nurtured as he grows older.   It is about how the Mama fox is always there for him but then knows the right time to send him out on his own.   A perfect parenting story...

This is a beautiful book to read again and again without growing tired of it.   Oh and the cute fox on the cover doesn't hurt.  

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Flashback Tuesday: William Shakespeare & the Globe by Aliki

William Shakespeare & the Globe (Trophy Picture Books)

On June 29th, 1613 The Globe Theatre in London burned to the ground.   This theatre was built by Shakespeare in 1599.  It was rebuilt the next year but was closed 28 years later.   It wasn't until 1997 that a new Globe Theatre was opened on the same was rebuilt in the same style as the original.   I went there many years was a lot of fun.   I saw The Merchant of Venice...a truly memorable night.

William Shakespeare & the Globe by Aliki is the perfect introduction to Shakespeare.   Aliki is a wonderful author and illustrator who really brings her works to life.   This is perfect for the classroom or for any inquisitive child you might know.   It might inspire them to put on their own plays.    

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle

The Very Busy Spider (Board Book)

In honor of the  author Eric Carle's birthday today I thought I would recommend one of my favorite books.   Most people will mention his book The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which is a wonderful picture book which is a shame because he has written and illustrated countless other classics.

The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle is my favorite of his "Very" series because it is the first book my niece Celia "read".    When she was only about two years old she this was the book she constantly picked up to for anyone to read to her.   She heard it so much that she was able to "read" it herself.   Now I put "read" in parenthesis because what she really had done was memorize it and just recited it back to anyone who would listen.   The funny part is she imitated her mother's intonations perfectly.   Whenever I would read this book at story time I always read it like "Celia".....

This is a must have for any child in your life.

Thank you Mr Carle for the great memories and wonderful books ~ Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Flashback Tuesday: The Best-Loved Doll by Rebecca Caudill Illustrated by Elliot Gilbert

The Best-Loved Doll (An Owlet Book)

It is amazing how long it has been since the first Toy Story came out in movies.   In the third movie that just came out the little boy from the first movie is now going to college.   I loved the concept of Toy Story that toys came alive and interacted with each other when no one was around.   As with most things in life this is not a new idea.

The Best-Loved Doll by Rebecca Caudill and illustrated by Elliot Gilbert was first published in the early 1960's.   I discovered at a Scholastic Book Fair at my school (many years later) where it immediately became one of my favorite childhood books.   I think I also liked it because it was dedicated to "Ann Elizabeth" which is my sister's name.   This is the story of a little girl who gets invited to a birthday party and is told she should bring her favorite doll.   She decides to take her oldest and raggiest doll and is rewarded for the love she shows for it.   It ties into Toy Story because whenever the the little girl is not in the room the dolls talk to each other.   It is probably one of the sweetest books I have ever read but it is not overly sappy.   I think of this book whenever I see an umbrella in a drink because it reminds me of an image in the book where all the dolls are placed around a table with tiny drinks and umbrellas.

This is a classic book that is perfect for any little girl who loves her dolls and has a great imagination.   A must have book in my eyes.  

Monday, June 21, 2010

Summertime by Gershwin & Heyward illus by Mike Wimmer


Happy first day of Summer!   In honor of this fun season I thought I would recommend a book that illustrates one of my favorite songs.    I am a huge Gershwin fan and loved this book when it first came out.

Summertime from Porgy & Bess by Dubose & Dorothy Heyward based on the music from George & Ira Gershwin with paintings by Mike Wimmer is a really beautiful book that illustrates a classic song.  This is a perfect lullaby book and is a wonderful way to end a beautiful summers day.   My Mother always sang this song to me, if only we had a book that we could use as as read along.   A great book to add to a child's collection of bedtime books.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Take Me Out to the Ballgame by Jack Norworth illus by Alec Gilman

Take Me Out to the Ballgame (Aladdin Picture Books)

Today is my nephew Daniel's 15th birthday.  When he was a baby I would babysit him and try to sing him songs like I did his cousin Celia.    Unlike my niece he never let me sing Over the Rainbow....for some reason he took a dislike to it.   It was very difficult finding songs that boys would like and the only one I remember ever being able to get through to him was Take Me Out to the Ballgame....which I sang over and over again.   So for Daniel I am recommending a great picture book version of this song.

Take Me Out to the Ballgame by Jack Norworth and illustrated by Alec Gilman is wonderful storybook about baseball.   Besides having all the words and history of this iconic song it has a wonderful setting.   It takes place at Ebbets Field during the 5th game of the 1947 World Series game between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the NY Yankees.   I am part of a family of Yankees fans but my grandfather was a Dodger fan so I always root for them too! This is the perfect book for the little baseball fan in your life....

Happy Birthday Daniel!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Happy National Fudge Day!

According to a site I follow on Twitter called Foodimentary (which is where I get all my food themed book ideas) today is National Fudge Day.   I love the fact that I can tie so many books in with my love for food.   

In honor of it being National Fudge Day I thought I would recommend a series of books that are a great read for kids: the 'Fudge' books by Judy Blume.   I love 'Fudge' because he is one of the best characters to come along in recent years.   The fact that we are first introduced to him as a two year old shows that even a toddler can be interesting.   I think kids love him because he is a 'real' kid with 'real' actions.....he is someone they can relate to.   These are perfect books to get kids into reading.   Judy Blume has always understood how children think 'Fudge' is just one example of how she does it.    These books can never go out of style.

Pure Fudge : Fudge boxed setPure Fudge : Fudge boxed set

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing  



Double Fudge

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Flashback Tuesday: My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett

My Father's Dragon

My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett is the classic story of adventure and fantasy that has enthralled children for over 50 years.   I always recommended it to reluctant readers when I worked in the stores because it was an easy and fun read.  It also makes a great read aloud....the kind of book to read to your child every night...another book for dads to read too!   Don't forget about its sequels either....these books will never go out of style which is a wonderful thing.  Enjoy!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Daddy's Home by Rosanne Parry illus by David Leonard

Daddy's Home!

Father's Day is this Sunday and I thought I would spend this week getting ready for it.   My father was a wonderful man who would do anything for anyone.   I remember waiting for him to come home just to get one of his hugs.

Daddy's Home by Rosanne Parry and illustrated by David Leonard is a really sweet board book that illustrates completely a joyous ritual of childhood.  It is the perfect book for a father to read to his child.   The rhyming is so easy to read and the illustrations are a perfect match.    This is the kind of book to be read again and again.  

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Reference Sunday: Show Off: How to Do Absolutely Everything. One Step at a Time by Sarah Hines Stephens & Bethany Mann

My nephews are so excited about the end of the school year.  They can't wait until they can get up when they want and pretty much just play.   Now while my nephews are happy my sister and sister-in-law are both dreading it.   They know that there is a good chance that by the middle of summer vacation they will start to hear whining from their kids about having nothing to do.  

Show Off: How to Do Absolutely Everything. One Step at a Time.

Show Off: How to Do Absolutely Everything. One Step at a Time by Sarah Hines Stephens & Bethany Mann from Candlewick Publishers is just the book to have at the ready.   It is geared toward the older child ages 9-12 but I think younger kids can use it too...especially if they have older siblings.  This really great book is filled with activities like cooking, crafts, magic tricks and so much more.   I really think it can keep kids occupied for hours.   I also think it is great for a gaggle of children as there is something for everyone.  My one nephew likes to cook and another nephew likes to explore while a third nephew is really into like I said something for every child.   A great fun book that should keep your children least for a couple of days.  

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau by Dan Yaccarino

The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau

Today would have been Jacques Cousteau's 100th Birthday.   It is appropriate that we celebrate a man who did so much for the world's oceans.   All the turmoil in the gulf reminds us that there have always been people who so cared about our waters that they did anything to educate and preserve them.

The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau by Dan Yaccarino is a wonderful picture book that details this incredible man's life.   It is a great way to teach children about why it is important to be environmentally conscience.   I love Dan Yaccarino he is such a versatile artist and this is a great book to showcase is works.  Even though this is a picture book it is a fantastic book for all ages to enjoy and learn from.  

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Flashback Tuesday: The Wright 3 by Blue Balliett

Wright 3

Today is the iconic architect Frank Lloyd Wright's birth anniversary.   He was born June 8, 1867.  For my weekly Flashback Tuesday I thought I would talk about a great mystery book for kids that takes place in one of the homes he designed.

The Wright 3 by Blue Balliett is a great book for older kids that mixes art with mystery and problem solving.  When I was a kid I would have loved this book.  I loved it as an adult and I remember when I read it and the previous book, Chasing Vemeer, that I wished it had been around when I was young.   This is a great way to introduce history and art to children without being preachy.   It is a fun book that makes the reader use their brain.   The characters are wonderful and relatable ~ a really great read!  For all who are inquisitive and imaginative at once.....

Monday, June 7, 2010

Monday Fun Day Book: Big Nate: In a Class by Himself by Lincoln Peirce

Big Nate: In a Class by Himself

I thought I would designate Mondays as "fun day"~ I am hoping that Hoda & Kathie Lee haven't trademarked because it has a nice sound to it.  

Big Nate: In A Class by Himself by Lincoln Peirce  original format is a comic strip, all about a boy in sixth grade and his adventures.  Sometimes the world can be a cynical place because some reviews and write ups about this book complain because they say it is just a comic strip bundled up to appeal to the Diary of a Wimpy Kid fan.   I think it is brilliant.  Why not take something that is already known and bring it to a new audience.   There may be kids who don't read the comics in the paper anymore or it is not available where they live....this is a great way to expand.   I also like it because they didn't just take the strips and through them together....there is a basic storyline and plot.   I for one was happy to see it because I know a few kids who once they finished next "Diary...." they had nothing else to read.   This really cute book gives them options.  

Saturday, June 5, 2010

World Environment Day!

What is going on in the gulf is horrifying.   Not only will the economy suffer but the environment is in shambles.   I have seen the photos of the birds and can't imagine how it will be cleaned up.   A truly sad situation.  It seems fitting that in the midst of this man made disaster is a day like World Environment Day that helps remind us of how the world's environment touches all of us.   What is happening in the Gulf will ultimately effect all of us around the world.  

Everything Kids' Environment Book: Learn how you can help the environment-by getting involved at school, at home, or at play (Everything Kids Series)Clarice Bean, What Planet Are You From?

Here are some book suggestions that can help children and adults better understand and help the world around us.

Everything Kids Environment Book by Sheri Amsel~ part of the "Everything" series of books that teaches children how to get involved in saving the environment.  Ages 9-12 but younger children can also benefit with supervision.

A Child's Introduction to the Environment by Michael Driscoll includes experiments and activities to help in saving the planet.  Ages 9-12.

The Lorax by Dr Seuss ~ The classic story that helps explain to the youngest among us how we should not destroy the world around us.  All Ages

Clarice Bean, What Planet Are You From? by Lauren Child for ages 4-8 from the Clarice Bean series of books, a great storybook to read with characters kids can relate to.   Perfect for today's

This day should not go unrecognized especially because of what is happening in the world right now!