Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Flashback Tuesday: Meanwhile Back at the Ranch by Trinka Hakes Noble illus by Tony Ross

Today's book is not the book I originally wanted to write about.   I was going to do a Steven Kellogg title but that will have to wait because I realized that I had forgotten about one of my all time favorite books.

Meanwhile Back at the Ranch (Reading Rainbow)

Meanwhile Back At the Ranch by Trinka Hakes Noble and illustrated by Tony Ross has to be one of the funniest books ever written. I used to love to read this during story times ---which always tended to be difficult because I would be laughing so hard I could barely get through.  I love the expressions on the faces of the farmer and his wife as things go on around them.   It was also great to read aloud with because it is quite the audience participation kind of a book.   I loved having the kids scream: "Meanwhile Back at the Ranch....."  when it was appropriate.   I am sorry to say that I never realized that I had met the author a few years ago.   She did a historical picture for Sleeping Bear Press as did my sister Ann.... I met my her and my  sister after they both had dinner with their publisher and we rode the train together afterwards.   She was really sweet and very genuine....I only wished I had realized how many books of hers I loved.   

Anyway this is the perfect read aloud for a group of kids....I wouldn't recommend for a bedtime story because the laughter might just wind a child up more....and I mean that in a good way.   A perfect classic that should be on every child's shelf.  

Monday, July 26, 2010

Three Ladies Beside the Sea by Rhoda Levine illus by Edward Gorey

Three Ladies Beside the Sea

I am not sure if it comes across in all my blog posts or if I have mentioned it before but I love quirky children's books.   Most of the time I think the quirkier the book the more it is not meant for children.  Today's book I think is an exception. It really is for everyone!

Three Ladies Beside the Sea by Rhoda Levine and illustrated by the wonderful Edward Gorey is at first glance an adult book.   It will definitely appeal to all the Edward Gorey fans in the world.   At second glance the poems are wonderful....so perfect to read with little children and even a few older ones.   I love the word play and the way Ms Levine matched her poems to Mr Gorey's art.   This is the kind of book that is for all ages.   It would make a perfect family gift~especially for any off beat family you might know.   This is the kind of book that makes me laugh when no one is around......

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Reference Sunday: Toad Cottages and Shooting Stars: Grandma's Bag of Tricks by Sharon Lovejoy

When I saw today's book I was immediately drawn to it.   I loved the title.   When I flipped through it I was even more impressed.

Toad Cottages and Shooting Stars: Grandma's Bag of Tricks

Toad Cottages and Shooting Stars: Grandma's Bag of Tricks by Sharon Lovejoy and published by Workman Publishers is a great book for anyone to use when confronted with the task of entertaining children on a summer's day.

While it is geared towards spending time with Grandma I think anyone can benefit from using this book. The projects are fun and not too difficult---and coming from me that is an accomplishment.   Mostly it has outdoor activities but there is also rainy day suggestions and indoor fun as well.   Like I said it might be geared for Grandmas (or Grandpa's) but anyone can enjoy it.    Here is to making fun summer memories with family and friends!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Flashback Tuesday: Many Luscious Lollipops by Ruth Heller

Many Luscious Lollipops (World of Language)

Today is apparently National Lollipop Day.   I have always liked lollipops~ I especially like orange flavored lollipops.

Many Luscious Lollipops by Ruth Heller is also one of my favorite Ruth Heller books.  I think it is because I love the cover and I love using adjectives.    Her use of words and images are really great in helping kids learn about language.   I always felt that her 'World of Language' series is a great way to teach even outside the classroom.   Don't you just love the cover....this book begs to be opened and read!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Reference Sunday: Camp Out!: The Ultimate Kids' Guide by Lynn Brunelle

Camp Out!: The Ultimate Kids' Guide
Here we are in the middle of summer.  This is vacation time for so many.    Today's book celebrates the kind of vacation I never had but always wished to try.   Although I have never been one to enjoy roughing it if I had this book I might have liked it better.

Camp Out!: The Ultimate Kids' Guide by Lynn Brunnell is the perfect book for the first time camper.   It has great activities and even recipes to try.   It is just the right book even if you are only "camping" in your own backyard.   It has games and activities too!  I also liked the fact that it reminds us to clean up before we leave the campsite...very environmentally sound advice.  It is marked for ages 9-12 but I think younger kids can learn from it too!  Have fun camping!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Princess Says Goodnight by Naomi Howland illus by David Small

Princess Says Goodnight

Princess Says Goodnight by Naomi Howland and illustrated by Caldecott winner David Small is the perfect book for any little girl who loves to play dress up and has a really big imagination.   I loved this book when I saw it because it is a great read aloud and the pictures are priceless.   I love how images in the mirror reflect the imagination of the child.   I have always been a fan of David Small and this book confirms to me that he really has the pulse of the child on the tip of his paintbrush!

This is a great new book that begs to be read every night to the 'princess' in your life!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Doodlebug: A Novel in Doodles by Karen Romano Young

Doodlebug: A Novel in Doodles

Storytelling comes in many forms.   There is the direct story told in prose, there are verse novels and comic book style stories.   I have always found it hard to read comic books.   I am a much more straightforward type of person.   That being said my nephews love to read books like the Diary of a Wimpy Kid and are much more in tune with that kind of writing.   Just when I think no one can come up with a new way to tell a story, I get the surprise of my life.  

Doodlebug: A Novel in Doodles by Karen Romano Young is a  great new book that kids will love to read.    She has written  a wonderful novel about a girl named 'Dodo' and her new life in a new town and new school.   I was immediately captivated by this character and the way she expressed her feelings.   I felt as if I was reading her diary.   It is a fun and sweet book that  quickly gets the reader involved in the story. I would recommend this book to almost anyone but especially to kids who are considered "reluctant" readers.   

(I also love the title----cleverest one I have read in a long time.)   

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Lyle, Lyle Crocodile: Lyle Walks the Dogs by Bernard Waber illus by Paulis Waber

Lyle, Lyle Crocodile: Lyle Walks the Dogs

I have been dog sitting my brother's dog for the past few days.   Little Bear is a cute little Yorkie Poo who is really sweet.   I hate leaving him home when I need to go out.   My sister said "welcome to parenthood".

I love going on walks with him because for a little dog he can really move.   When I saw that Bernard Waber had come out with a new Lyle book about walking dogs I felt it was kismet....I love Lyle!   Lyle has always been one of my favorite characters.   No matter what kind of day I was having as a kid if I read my Lyle book I felt better.   He makes me smile.  

Lyle, Lyle Crocodile: Lyle Walks the Dogs by Bernard Waber and illustrated by Paulis Waber (his daughter) is a great addition to the Lyle series of books.   It is written for the younger child but still captures the character we know and love.   It is a great counting book too!   

When I was in the stores we sometimes did school visits.   I remember going to a school with my co-worker and friend Lindsay where we read Lyle books.   She was a trooper because as I read she sat there dressed as Lyle....it was a very big and heavy costume that was also very hot to wear.   The kids loved it and that made it worthwhile.   

No matter what Lyle is a great classic character and this is a great book to add to the collection.   

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Flashback Tuesday: Pretend Soup by Mollie Katzen & Ann L. Henderson

Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes: A Cookbook for Preschoolers and Up

Today is the first rainy day in awhile.   It is quite refreshing after the heat wave we have just been through. Today is the perfect day to stay inside and do some indoor activities.  One of the best thing to do with kids is cook.   They love to help and they can eat the finished project.  Back in January I highlighted another Mollie Katzen title Honest Pretzels but just mentioned today's book in passing.  I figured it was a good time to remember this book fully.

Pretend Soup by Mollie Katzen & Ann L. Henderson was one of the first cookbooks to come along that was geared toward the preschool set.   There may have been others but this one really stood out because it's authors were well known and the book was really packaged well.   It was written before all the Food Network stars started branching out to kids books.   It had celebrity attached to it before celebrity became popular. If your child likes to help in the kitchen then this is a must have book to be enjoyed by all.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Walking with Henry: Based on the Life and Works of Henry David Thoreau by Thomas Locker

Walking with Henry: Based on the Life and Works of Henry David Thoreau

Today is Henry David Thoreau's birth anniversary.   I always found his life fascinating...I would wonder what he would think of the world today.   So much of what he did and said during his lifetime reflects what  the feelings of so many people today.  

Walking with Henry by Thomas Locker is a perfect introduction of his life for children.   I actually think it is a great way for any one, young or old, to appreciate this renaissance man.   It is also my favorite book by Thomas Locker.   Mr Locker's illustrations are so beautiful that I feel so relaxed looking at them.   There are other great books for kids about Henry David Thoreau but I find this one to be a collectors dream....the best of both worlds....something for everyone.  

Thursday, July 8, 2010

If You Give a Pig a Pancake by Laura Numeroff illus by Felicia Bond

If You Give a Pig a Pancake (If You Give...)

Every year while down the shore we go to breakfast at a place called Uncle Will's Pancake House.   It is usually crowded and we need to wait for a table because there are so many of us.   We used to spend our time waiting in the bookstore next door but that moved to another street.   The thing about Uncle Will's that reminds me of this book is that they have these ceramic giant pigs that they will place at your table.   As a matter of fact a "pig" is there mascot.   They even sold this book for awhile.

If You Give a Pig a Pancake by Laura Numeroff and illustrated by Felicia Bond is one of my favorites in the If You Give....series of books.   I think it is because I have always loved pancakes and totally could relate.   These books are perfect for story times.....the kids love them.   It is also a great way to have a theme party......

Off to Uncle Will's!!!!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Flashback Tuesday: Heat Wave by Eileen Spinelli illus by Betsy Lewin

Heat Wave

Here on the Jersey Shore (where I am on vacation) we are in the midst of a heat wave...it is already 100 degrees outside.   It is so hot that it is hard to walk on the sand without running to the ocean for relief.  I usually like to just sit and read on the beach but with this heat I may be too hot.  

When we first started coming to the shore we didn't have  air conditioning.   I remember one summer where even sitting by the water was no relief and the house was so hot we couldn't breathe.   At least now we can look at the beautiful waves of the sea from the comfort of a cool room.   

Heat Wave by Eileen Spinelli and illustrated by Betsy Lewin really conveys the summers of my childhood.   Where the sidewalks seemed to shimmer and the it was so hot that we longed for a snowstorm to cool off. I love how this book reads....the words are great and the illustrations are a perfect blend of nostalgia and warmth.

This is a great book to read during the hot summer months....or as a reminder of warm days during the cold of winter....keep cool!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy 200th Birthday P.T. Barnum

Twenty-One Elephants
The Great and Only Barnum: The Tremendous, Stupendous Life of Showman P. T. Barnum

Today is the 200th anniversary of the great P.T. Barnum....the man who is considered the Greatest Showman of all time.   He is an interesting subject for kids because of his extraordinary life and all that he contributed to history.   I have always felt he was a fascinating person because he turned the mundane into spectacular....

Here are some books I think kids would enjoy about P.T. Barnum:

The Great and Only Barnum: The Tremendous, Stupendous Life of Showman P. T. Barnum by Candace Fleming illustrated by Ray Fenwick  from Random House is great for older children, although younger ones who read well will also enjoy it.   It has lots of photos and interesting information.  

Twenty-one Elephants by Phil Bildner illustrated by LeUyen Pham from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers is a picture book based on a true story of when Barnum marched 21 elephants over the newly built Brooklyn Bridge.  It fun story with great illustrations for the younger child.

There are also many biographies for children on P.T. Barnum but these are a great introduction to his life.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Amelia Earhart: The Legend of the Lost Aviator by Shelley Tanaka illus by David Craig

Amelia Earhart: The Legend of the Lost Aviator

It has been 73 years since Amelia Earhart disappeared over the pacific ocean.  On July 2, 1937 she and her navigator Fred Noonan were last heard from during there attempt to go around the world.  I found this terrific book that tells the story of this trailblazing adventurer.

Amelia Earhart: The Legend of the Lost Aviator by Shelley Tanaka and illustrated by David Craig is a beautifully illustrated book that tells the story of famed aviator Amelia Earhart.  Even though it is a picture book the writing is geared to the older child.   I loved how photographs are used as well as wonderful full color illustrations.   I also liked the sidebars that gave more explanation and quotes.   Amelia Earhart is such a fascinating subject to read about and this book gives quite a lot to learn.