Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Flashback Tuesday: Frog & Toad by Arnold Lobel

The summer is almost over so I thought I would go to the pool with my nephews.   Since I hadn't thought of what to write about today I asked them for suggestions.   I asked them what books they liked when they were younger and my nephew Michael V immediately said "Frog & Toad".....I thought that was a great suggestion.

I always loved the Frog & Toad books by Arnold Lobel.   They were such simple stories of friendship and acceptance.   Here were two friends who were in a way such opposites and yet they got along so well.
These are more than just books to teach children how to read but are great read aloud story books as well.   They make wonderful gifts and are great reminders of the simpler things in life.   These are must have classics that every child should read.   Thanks to Michael V !

Frog and Toad Are Friends (I Can Read Book 2)Frog and Toad Are Friends 

Frog and Toad Together (I Can Read Picture Book)Frog and Toad Together

Frog and Toad All Year (I Can Read Book 2)Frog and Toad All Year 

Days with Frog and Toad (I Can Read, Level 2)Days With Frog and Toad

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Reference Sunday: Hurricane Katrina - 5 Year Anniversary~

Today is the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.   I remember watching the news and staring in disbelief that this should happen here.   Children today might not have an understanding of what went on.  Here are a list of books that I think will help a child understand the gravity of this terrible event.
Story of a Storm: A Book About Hurricane Katrina
Story of a Storm: A Book About Hurricane Katrina by Reona Visser for ages 4-8.  What I liked about this book is that it by a group of children and their teacher who actually lived through the storm.

Hurricane Song
Hurricane Song by Paul Volponi is for older children ages 10 and up.  I think it is also a wonderful books for adults to read....one of those "not just for children" titles.   I love the voice in this book.  This is a fictionalized account of what happened to one family after they were trapped by the storm.   The descriptions of the super dome are very powerful.   There is some language in it that might not be appropriate for younger children but it is a very powerful read for older ones.  I know this is Reference Sunday and this is a book of fiction, but the events are true.
Hurricane Katrina (Disaster Alert!)
Hurricane Katrina (Disaster Alert) by Ellen Rodger is for ages 7-14 but I think can be shown to younger children with some supervision.  This book not only talks about the cause and effects of hurricanes, what happened during Katrina but also talks about the rebuilding of New Orleans and other communities affected by the tragedy.   While this might be considered a 'school' type book I think it would help explain this event to children.

These are just a few recommendations to help lead you to what may be needed to explain this historical event.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

One Year!

Today is the the one year anniversary of this book blog.   I have been reading some of my old posts and have a feeling I have strayed from my original mission.   I am going to try and rectify that.   I started this blog because I wanted to help people find good books for kids.    I thought if anyone had a book question I could help answer it.   I still want to do that.   I have said it before but it bears repeating that I do not want this to be a book review site.  I think recommending books is different than reviewing books.   Some books don't need recommendation nor do they need reviews they will get bought or read no matter what.   I want to recommend titles that have a purpose, even if that purpose is just a good bedtime story.    My primary concern is getting the right books into the right hands.   I just want to be helpful...

I have greatly enjoyed writing this blog.   I love finding new titles to suggest as well as reintroduce some older titles I have loved.    No book really goes out of style.....they may get a bit dated but sometimes that is their charm.   I love my Reference Sundays and my Flashback Tuesdays.....they are really fun to write.   I also hope that whoever reads this is enjoying my suggestions as well.  Hears to hoping that this blog continues to bring enjoyment to all who read it.   Thanks too to my followers and everyone else who has supported my efforts.   I truly appreciate you all!  

Thursday, August 26, 2010

It's a Book by Lane Smith

It's a Book

It's a Book by Lane Smith is one of those books that is really more for adults than kids.    That being said I would love to read this at a story time just to see parents and kids reactions alike.    Author/Illustrator Lane Smith has not subtly explained why "books" are still relevant.   The fact that it isn't subtle is what makes it so charming.    I love how the characters interact and their facial expressions are priceless. This is the kind of book that had me laughing out loud ~ which always brings stares from the people around me.   Like I said this is not really meant for kids but they can enjoy it too.   This is, for me, very reminiscent of Mr Smith's The Happy Hockey Family in style and tone.   I know so many people I can give this to and none of them are children.   I love books like this ~ it shows how not all "children's" books are meant to be enjoyed by children alone.   Oh and the message is great too!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Flashback Tuesday: The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr

The Tiger Who Came to Tea

The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr was originally published in 1968.   I remember having a mini version available when I was working in the bookstore.   I was so happy to see a reprint of it come out last year.   This is the iconic story of a Tiger who visits a little girl named Sophie and her Mother one day for tea.   It can feel a bit dated but still quite a wonderful read aloud.  Kids love to see what the Tiger eats next.  I have also felt it is a nice subtle way to discuss proper manners with children.   This is a classic story that would be a fun addition to a child's repertoire of books.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Word After Word After Word by Patricia MacLachlan

Word After Word After Word

Word After Word After Word by Patricia MacLachlan was such a wonderful read.   I started to read it one day but had to put it down because it made me cry.   When I finally picked it up again it only took me 20 minutes to finish.   For such a short book it is very powerful.

I am not sure if it is a book a child would pick up but it most certainly is a great book to be read in class.   Having taught fourth grade Sunday School I could relate to the kids in the book.   I am not sure if kids really talk this way or as sensitive as these kids are but part of me wishes there were more like them out in the world.

What is so great about this book is how in simple terms Ms MacLachlan teaches us that words are power.   I love the way that she shows us how words can be real or unreal....and that being unreal doesn't mean it isn't the truth.   I almost felt that Ms MacLachlan had channeled my sister Ann.   Ann has always been about words and truth....how they intertwine and teach us about ourselves.

This is a must read for any age.....like I said I cried through the whole book.....which is always a litmus test for me.   The more I am touched by the words in a story the more I love it!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Flashback Tuesday: Bartholomew and the Oobleck by Dr Seuss

My friend Joe S. recommended this book to me yesterday.   I always seem to forget how brilliant Dr Seuss was early in his career.

Bartholomew and the Oobleck: (Caldecott Honor Book) (Classic Seuss)

Bartholomew and the Oobleck by Dr Seuss  received a Caldecott Honor in 1950 the year my parents got married.   It is a sequel and one of his few titles that is told in prose not rhyme,  although there are quite a few rhymes in the book.  This is a timeless tale and fits in quite nicely with today's popular books as it is all about magic!

I love a story that teaches a lesson without being preachy.   There are actually many lessons in the book but the one that strikes me the most  is the lesson that simple words and truths can be very powerful.   This is the story of a king who thinks he can get anything he wants just because he wants it.   His sense of entitlement is amazing.   When disaster strikes because of this sense of entitlement,  it takes a little boy to tell him the truth.   Of course the king doesn't hear the truth and only see's what he wants to see.   By then it is too late.    Once the king understands it is his mistakes that caused the pain of the Oobleck's and is truly sorry for what he has done is the disaster averted.   Bartholomew is a great character because he told the truth even if it wasn't a popular thing to hear.   He has a strength of character that all kids (and some adults)  should emulate.   Everyone makes mistakes but if we realize that something is our fault and own up to it and can say the simple words "I'm Sorry" things can always get better.

Thanks Joe S.  for reminding me of this wonderful book! It is not one of Dr Seuss' more popular titles but it should be.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Reference Sunday: Time for Kids Big Book of Why: 1,001 Facts Kids Want to Know

TIME for Kids BIG Book of Why: 1,001 Facts Kids Want to Know (Time for Kids Magazine)

Time for Kids Big Book of Why: 1,001 Facts Kids Want to Know by the editors of Time for Kids Magazine is a great new book for all those inquisitive kids out in the world.  This is the kind of book I would have liked as a kid.   Each page has lots of information told in a succinct way.   There are lots of great photos too.

This is the perfect book to get a child before they return to school.   It will help them brush up on things and get them interested in learning again, although they won't know that.   It is a great little reference book too.   I think there are plenty of adults who would also have a hard time not perusing it if it were lying around.....

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Brontorina by James Howe illustrated by Randy Cecil


Brontorina by James Howe and Illustrated by Randy Cecil is one of the cutest new books I have seen in a long time.  This funny story of a dinosaur who wants to be a ballerina is really funny and heartwarming.  I just love, love, love the illustrations.   Randy Cecil so perfectly captures the expressions and feelings of the characters in this book.    This is a great story time book.   I would have loved to have  read it at my story times because I think the kids reactions would have been priceless.   I am also happy with the fact that it isn't a really girlie kind of book.   Even though it is about learning ballet I like the fact that there is a boy in the ballet class and that the colors aren't too pink.   The fact that it also teaches a subtle lesson about never giving up on your dreams is a plus.   A must have new book to read and enjoy!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Flashback Tuesday: Petunia by Roger Duvoisin

While on my walk today I was thinking of what I would write about on my blog.   I look forward to Flashback Tuesdays because I get to reach back into the past to find a book.   It had just started to rain and I was sort of following the street sweeper truck.   I didn't feel like following the all the way so I cut down a street I don't usually walk on.  It was as I was turning the corner that I noticed a really lovely house that I hadn't noticed before.   On the front porch was a statue of a goose with a wreath of flowers around it's neck.    At that moment Petunia popped into my head. 


Petunia by Roger Duvoisin is the classic story of a goose who finds a book and immediately thinks she knows everything...even though she hasn't read it.    I can't believe this book is 60 years old this year....it is such a timeless story.  This was always a great read aloud because the kids would get  really get into the story.   There are a lot of discussion points too.   The best books transcend time....this is certainly one of them.   A must have for your child's bookshelf.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Reference Sunday: Bite-Size Science: Everything You Need to Know About Science in Small, Easily-Digestible Portions by Robert Dinwiddie

Bite-Size Science: Everything You Need to Know About Science in Small, Easily-Digestible Portions

I found this book at the bookstore and really liked the concept.   It was in a small local independent store where they had put it in the children's section.   It was such a cute book---I like cute and small.   I didn't realize until I went to the publisher's website that the book was written for grown ups and not kids.   How silly that is.   I know so many kids who would love this book....namely kids like my nephew Alex who loves books about facts and figures.   He would rather read this kind of a book than a novel or story book.  I figure he is reading so it is ok.  

Bite-Size Science: Everything You Need to Know About Science in Small, Easily-Digestible Portions by Robert Dinwiddie is a nicely packaged book with around 400 illustrations that explains science to the unscientific.   I enjoyed the explanations of things like the solar system, earthquakes even human body stuff because I could understand what it.  The language is simple and jargon free.   This is a great book for any one who likes to keep up on things without being overwhelming.   Like I said it isn't meant specifically for kids but it would be great for them too!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Quiet Book by Deborah Underwood illus by Renata Liwska

Sometimes a book comes along that speaks to me without being flashy.   Today's book is just that kind of a book.

The Quiet Book

The Quiet Book by Deborah Underwood and illustrated by Renata Liwska seems to be the perfect bedtime story book.   While that is a true statement I think it is much more than that.  I was instantly drawn to this book when I saw it on the shelf.   The illustrations are sweet and comforting.   When I read it I immediately felt calm and soothed.   I could imagine myself reading this to a child not just at bedtime but during the day, especially if that day has been chaotic.   It is the perfect book to help calm overly excited children and to give a nice respite before excitement begins again.   I would have loved to read this at story time......especially if the kids have been a bit rambunctious and loud.    It is surely to be a new classic and would make a great gift to new parents.   Just thinking about the beautiful and calming words makes me smile....