Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Flashback Tuesday: Dinosaur Roar! by Paul & Henrietta Stickland

Yesterday I finally fulfilled a birthday promise to my nephew Michael V.   I had promised to take him into NYC ----ride in a cab, buy him lunch and most importantly take him to the American Museum of Natural History.   It turned out to be a really fun day.    We saw lots of different exhibits  but one of the main things was the fourth floor filled with dinosaurs.  It was the most crowded exhibit and one of the most impressive, even for me---a grown up.   It was also where all the little kids seemed to gravitate towards.   There are many books that I could talk about but today I wanted to highlight one of my favorites.

Dinosaur Roar (Picture Puffins)
Dinosaur Roar! by Paul and Henrietta Stickland is not really a book about dinosaurs but about teaching children about opposites.   The wonderful thing about the book is that it gives a child characters that they love, i.e: dinosaurs and pairs them with sounds rhymes.    This is a way to teach children.   It is a colorful book that is fun to read aloud, especially in a story time setting.   This is a classic book that never goes out of style.  Perfect for the little dinosaur in your life....

(Oh and check back soon for my picks and recommendations of some great dinosaur books for kids. )

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Reference Sunday: Happy Memorial Day!

Tomorrow is actually Memorial Day ....May 30th was also the original day we celebrated until it was moved to the last Monday in May.   I also never knew that Memorial Day was once called Decoration Day and has been celebrated since the Civil War.   I like the idea of "Decoration Day"  ----I think it is wonderful that so many people go out and put flags on the graves of all who have served in our military.  

Last year I recommended two books that show children the importance of this special holiday.   It is not just a day to play.   Here is my post from Memorial Day 2010 as a reminder.   Today I am suggesting 2 more books that would also be a great way to explain this holiday to children.

Stars and Stripes Celebrate Memorial DayAmerica's White Table

Stars and Stripes Celebrate Memorial Day by Madeline Collins is a book for younger children that explains the holiday in a simplified way, delving into it's history and traditions.   I love the fact that the author wrote this as a Girls Scout project and that the proceeds are donated to the Bob Woodruff Foundation which helps  wounded soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

America's White Table by Margot Theis  Raven and illustrated by Mike Benny is a beautifully illustrated story that deals with honoring those who have served and died for their country.   A moving picture book that really cuts to the heart of what Memorial Day is all about.

Let's not forget what this holiday is all about....please join me tomorrow and take a moment to remember the men and women who gave their lives fighting for our country...let them never be forgotten.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Helping Children Deal with Trauma

Yesterday I spent all day at Book Expo in NYC.   I had forgotten how nice it is to talk about books all day with other people who love them.   While I was there I came across a publisher of self help books for children.   I was very interested in this subject.   There has been so much horrible news of late that I have been wondering how children are dealing with it.   If the images from the floods and tornados are making me cry than I am sure it is affecting them too.   I have wanted to recommend some books that would help children deal with natural disasters, sadness or trauma but hadn't been able to find books I liked.   Luckily I stumbled across Magination Press and found they have the perfect books to deal with just these situations.  

A Terrible Thing Happened - A story for children who have witnessed violence or traumaJenny Is Scared: When Sad Things Happen in the WorldI'll Know What to Do: A Kid's Guide to Natural Disasters

A Terrible Thing Happened by Margaret M. Holmes and illustrated by Cary Pillo is described as "a story for children who have witnessed violence or trauma".   The book is written in a language children can understand with a character they can relate to.   Because it doesn't say specifically what the child witnessed, it can be used for any type of situation.  Which makes it more universal.

Jenny is Scared When Sad Things Happen in the World by Carol Shuman, PhD and illustrated by Cary Pillo is also a perfect book to help children deal with what they see on television.   We can try to hide the images but kids have a way of noticing things we don't want them too.  

I'll Know What to Do A Kid's Guide to Natural Disasters by Bonnie S. Mark PhD and Aviva Layton with illustrations by Michael Chesworth  is book that not only deals with facts about hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes etc but it also talks about the feelings and emotions these natural disasters can incur.   This is for an older child but I think younger children can also get some good information from it.

I hope these suggestions can help a child deal with the world and events going on today~

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Flashback Tuesday: Peppe the Lamplighter by Elisa Bartone illus by Ted Lewin

Peppe the Lamplighter

Peppe the Lamplighter by Elisa Bartone and beautifully illustrated by Ted Lewin is a wonderful immigration story that takes place in the early days of the 20th century.  This book always reminded me of my Dad's family.   Well actually both my parent's families.  I was reminded of this book at a family wedding this weekend.  Talking to my cousins made me think of all the times I visited Greenwich Village growing up.   My father's family settled in NY at around the same time this book takes place. My Mom's family also started out in this same area before moving to Brooklyn when my Mom was a very young.   Plus I always liked that Peppe had 8 sisters while my Mom had six girls in her family.  This book is a nice way to teach children about living in a time before electricity, when the nights were lit up by gas lamps that gave a hazy glow.  

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Flashback Tuesday: Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet & Allan Ahlberg

Before I ever started working in bookstores I worked in a library.   Even then I loved working in the children's section.   I liked to shelve in the picture book section because I got to read the books before I shelved them.   This is probably where I discovered my love of fractured fairy tales or in this case nursery rhymes.

Each Peach Pear Plum board book (Viking Kestrel Picture Books)

Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet and Allan Ahlberg was a book I discovered while shelving in the library.   I liked the rhymes and sweet illustrations plus it was fun to play the "I Spy" aspect of the book.   This book stands the test of time....it is a classic book that should be on every child's bookshelf.  

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Reference Sunday: Into the Unknown by Stewart Ross Illustrated by Stephen Biesty

I was so excited to find today's book.   I have always admired Stephen Biesty's illustrations and his attention to detail.    His books were always popular with children because of this detail.  It always amazed me how kids would just pour over the illustrations looking at each specific fact of the picture.

Into the Unknown: How Great Explorers Found Their Way by Land, Sea, and Air
Into the Unknown: How Great Explorers Found Their Way by Land, Sea and Air by Stewart Scott and illustrated by Stephen Biesty is a remarkable history book for children.   It has the wonderful Cross-sections that Mr Biesty is known for but also tells fantastic tales of true life explorers such as Marco Polo or the Apollo 11 Astronauts.   Mr Scott has a way of bringing history to life with his words which match perfectly with the detailed illustrations.   I would recommend this book for all children to help them understand how history and exploration has shaped our world.   A perfect gift for the inquisitive child in your life.  

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My Side of the Car by Kate Feiffer illustrated by Jules Feiffer

My Side of the Car
My Side of the Car by Kate Feiffer and illustrated by Jules Feiffer is a wonderful new book that  should become a classic.   I love how it is written and illustrated by a true father and daughter team and that it is based on something that really happened in their lives.   I have always been a fan of Jules Feiffer's illustrations and books but this one seems even more special.    The love the father has for his daughter is evident and sweet as is the optimism of the little girl.  I couldn't help but while reading it to myself.    This is a perfect book for any father to read to their child.   It would also make a great new Daddy kind of gift....a must have book.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Flashback Tuesday: Stuck in Neutral by Terry Truman

Stuck in NeutralThis past weekend my sister Ann Burg participated in the Hudson Children's Book Festival in Hudson NY.   Last week while she was busily preparing for the festival she mentioned some of the authors who were going to be there.   I was quite impressed by the well known authors who were attending.   I was really excited to hear that Terry Truman was also attending.  I loved his book Stuck in Neutral when I first read it.   It was brought to my attention when I was a panelist for the  Children's Book Council 2001 edition of the Not Just For Children Anymore! catalog.   It had a profound effect on me.   This story of a boy who cannot communicate to the outside world but whose mind is sharp and full of astute observations is one of the most remarkable books I have ever read.   As I wrote for the catalog copy of the Not Just For Children Anymore! catalog it is "reminiscent of the adult book The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominque Bauby.  It was also powerful to me because it made me think of my father who due to a stroke could no longer speak even though we knew he was aware of what was going on around him.  This book gave me a new perspective on what it must be liked to be trapped in your own body without a means to communicate.  It is considered a Young Adult book but I feel should and could be read by a younger student.   It is a great book to teach empathy and caring for people who are disabled.  

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

When I was little Mother's Day was a special day.   I remember my Father going outside and cutting flowers from the bushes around the house.  He liked the idea of using what we have and he always made them looked better than flowers from the florist.   My Mom loved flowers.   She loved whatever we gave her even if it was only card we wrote ourselves.  My brother Michael would write missives on how much he loved her.  He was a great one for leaving notes on pillows.....

I miss her everyday especially when I look at my bookshelves.   Here are some books she picked out for me ---she was always giving me books. 

A Garland for Girls by Louisa May Alcott
B is for Betsy by Caroline Haywood
Trina by Patricia Miles Martin
Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery (the whole series)
The Best Loved Doll by Rebecca Caudill

Thanks Mom....Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful Mother's in my life....

Friday, May 6, 2011

Favorite Mother's Day Books!

Sunday is Mother's Day and I thought I would just put out a little reminder of some great books that I loved to read at story time.   These were perennial books that reminded me of what being a Mother was all about.

Are You My Mother?PiggybookOwl BabiesA Chair for My Mother 25th Anniversary Edition (Reading Rainbow Books)

Are You My Mother by PD Eastman ----my all time favorite non Dr Seuss book.....a great read with kids.

Piggybook by Anthony Browne ----- This was one of my favorite books to read during story time.   The Moms got such a kick out it.   If you haven't read it then you must read it now....it so funny and a perfect read for Mother's Day!

Owl Babies by Martin Waddell----this is one of the most beautifully illustrated books I have ever seen.   It's simple story of three little owl's waiting for their Mother to come home is priceless.

A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams----This is such a sweet story....I could always feel the warmth and love between the characters.

These are just a few great books that I love to read aloud.....I hope you like them too.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My Cold Went on Vacation by Molly Rausch illus by Nora Krug

My Cold Went On Vacation
My Cold Went on Vacation by Molly Rausch and illustrated by Nora Krug is a clever new book that is perfect to read on a cold and rainy day such as today (at least where I am).   So many friends of mine are either suffering from allergies or fighting a Spring cold.   This is a great book to read to a child while they are sick in bed to help stir their imagination.  I love the idea that a cold "actually" travels around the world. The little boy who narrates the book sounds like all the children I know who are inquisitive and curious.    It is an easy read with really fun and quirky illustrations.  I would have loved to read this at a story time.....just to see the kids reactions and thoughts about where a "cold" goes.....