After Ivy + Bean – A Booklist for Eleanor

My friend requested some series ideas for her daughter, Eleanor, when she finishes the Ivy + Bean books written by Annie Barrows and illustrated by Sophie Blackall.  Eleanor is on book nine.  Time is of the essence  as there are only ten books in the series.  All the books I recommend below are on similar reading levels and include illustrations.  I’ve featured picture books by illustrators of most of these series.  The combination of high quality stories and engaging illustrations make an early grades chapter book desirable to children bridging the gap from picture books to chapter books.

Like Pickle Juice On Cookie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like Pickle Juice on A Cookie by Julie Sternberg and illustrated by Matthew Cordell – I don’t think ML and her friends will be able to resist a book where the first chapter states, “I had a bad August.  A very bad August.  As bad as pickle juice on a cookie.  As bad as a spiderweb on your leg.  As bad as the black parts of a banana.  I hope your August was better.  I really do.”  The main character’s name is Eleanor just like ML’s friend.  There are two more books in this series with equally funny titles.  Like Bug Juice on a Burger and Like Carrot Juice on a Cupcake.

 

Nikki Deja

Nikki and Deja by Karen English and illustrated by Laura Freeman – Nikki and Deja are best friends who happen to live next door to each other.  As a former teacher, the author understands the trials and tribulation of being a third grader.  Along with the importance of friendship.  With only five books in this series, I hope another is published soon.

Judy Moody

Judy Moody by Megan McDonald and illustrated by Peter Reynolds – Judy Moody has been around for 14 years, and she continues to resonate with elementary school students.  She’s funny, fiesty and always in a mood.  The illustrations are authentic.  Just like Judy Moody’s brother Stink, I’ve seen ML lie upside down on the couch with her head touching the floor and her legs against the back of the couch.  There’s a reason titles continue to be published.

Gooney

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gooney Bird Greene by Lois Lowry and illustrated by Middy Thomas – I’ve posted about Gooney Bird before.  Click on Gooney Bird Greene to see the post.

Clementine

Clementine by Sara Pennypacker and pictures by Marla Frazee – No series post for a second grade girl is complete without mentioning the Clementine books.  All you have to do is read this quote from page one.   “Someone should tell you not to answer the phone in the principal’s office, if that’s a rule.”

Looking forward to seeing which books Eleanor decides to try.  ML’s on an Ivy + Bean kick right now, wanting to read all of them.  I’ll put Eleanor in charge of recommending ML’s next series.

 

I Got the Rhythm

I Got The Rhythm

Recently my friend shared a Huffington Post article titled Pediatricians Call For Parents to Read Aloud To Their Children Every Day.  My response to my friend…

“I first noticed this at our last well visit. The doctor made a big deal about it. Unfortunately, ML took it a little too seriously. She’s more interested in me reading to her than reading a book on her own. Last night, I tried to get her to start a new chapter book by giving her a variety of choices. She batted her eyes and said, “But I want us to read these together.” Since I was coughing uncontrollably, I was able to convince her to read a few picture books to her stuffed animals. She made me close the door. But of course I stuck my ear to the door to listen.”

The book I overheard ML reading was I Got the Rhythm by Connie Schofield-Morrison and illustrated by Frank Morrison.  “On a trip to the park with her mother, a young girls hears a rhythm coming from the world around her and begins to move to the beat, finally beginning an impromptu dance in which other children join her.”

ML had the rhythm; and I can’t wait to get the rhythm at story time.  I guarantee you I Got the Rhythm will be a story time hit.  Tomorrow, the preschoolers at my library will sniff, sniff.. snap, snap… knock, knock and more. I anticipate smiles on the faces of the children in story time as big as the smiles on the beautifully illustrated children in this book.

Hands & Hearts: With Fifteen Words in American Sign Language

Hands & Hearts

 

My first experience with sign language was watching my grandmother and her brother communicate.  He lost his hearing at a young age due to a childhood illness.  He moved in with my grandparents later in his life.  I don’t know when.  As long as I can recollect, he was always there.  I remember Grandmommy and Uncle Ed’s conversations in the kitchen, living room and dining room.  You could always tell if one of them was frustrated with the other.  The hands sped up; and when the hands connected for a sign it was a noisy clapping sound.

Now that I am older, I can imagine the conversations.  “Your five granddaughters are driving me crazy running around the house while the Braves game is on TV.”  Uncle Ed was an avid fan.

When Hands & Hearts: With Fifteen Words in American Sign Language by Donna Jo Napoli and illustrated by Amy Bates arrived at the library, I immediately thought of Uncle Ed.  I rarely interacted with him.  I wish I’d tried to learn some sign language, other than finger spelling my name, so I could have developed a relationship with my great uncle.

Hands & Hearts is both a beautiful introduction to fifteen words in American Sign Language and a lovely story of a mother and daughter’s day at the beach.  Each page spread introduces a word to sign.  The clear instructions make it easy to try the signs.  Don’t miss the letter at the end of the book written by the author.  It explains her  interest in sign language and provides a link to an online dictionary for American Sign Language.

ML is currently on the way to the beach with her Dad.  She spends a week each summer hanging out with her Oregon cousins.  It’s been several years since ML and I visited the beach together.  I hope she remembers the few times we’ve frolicked at the beach.  Nothing is sweeter than watching a mother and daughter explore the beach together.  Amy Bates depicts it perfectly in her illustrations.  It’s motivated me to make certain ML and I visit the beach this summer.  Even if it’s only one overnight.

 

The Lightning Catcher – A Middle Grade Novel

Lightning Catcher

I describe The Lightning Catcher written by Anne Cameron and illustrated by Victoria Jamieson as “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs meets Harry Potter.”  Below is a blurb from the publisher comparing it to other well known books.  No matter the comparison, it’s a unique book deserving a following.

According to Harper Collins…

“The first book of a funny fantasy and adventure series about three friends who discover they have the ability to control the weather. It’s Storm Chasers meets The 39 Clues, in a story that Booklist called “fascinating . . . mixing serious science with full-on fantasy.”

Eleven-year-old Angus’s world is turned upside down when he is mysteriously whisked away to become an apprentice at the Perilous Exploratorium for Weather and Vicious Storms. At Perilous, the world’s most dangerous weather is studied to protect mankind from its ravages. There, Angus discovers that his parents aren’t boring government workers after all—they are actually famous Lightning Catchers, and they’ve been kidnapped. With the help of two loyal new friends, Angus intends to find them. This fast-paced, action-packed, funny story of friendship, adventure, science, and mayhem begins a high-octane four-book series.”

I’ll end with a Trivia Question…

The idea for this book formed after the author read an article about fulgurites.  Do you know what fulgurites are without googling it?  The Utah Geological Survey provides an easy to read explanation of this fascinating lightning related phenomena.

What Is A Middle Grade Book?

Under The EggMeaning Of Maggie

While branching out and exploring juvenile fiction, I’ve noticed the terms “middle grade novel” popping up.  It’s not a term I learned in library school; nor saw when I was a librarian prior to ML’s birth.  So I went to an expert, my colleague who is responsible for the school age books and programs to find out what that term means.  She said, “It’s books written for kids who want something more than simplistic elementary books but aren’t ready for young adult books, which often include serious issues.”  Her theory is this term came out of the tween movement.  Before this books were marketed to children or teens.  Nothing specifically marketed to the sophisticated; but not too sophisticated middle grade students

To get a better handle on what a middle grade novel is I read a few articles.  I liked An Introduction to Middle Grade and Young Adult, Part 1 – Definitions by Malinda Lo.

From time to time I will post about middle grade novels.  I’ve read three excellent ones in the past month. I already blogged about one of them. . . A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd.  The covers pictured above are two books I can’t wait to tell you about.

The Birds Have Flown the Nest

Nest

Last year we had two broods of bluebirds in our bluebird box.  This spring sparrows built a nest in the box.  Three little sparrows were hatched from three teeny tiny eggs. While the sparrows were building a nest, a bluebird couple was flying around interested in the box.  Around the time we discovered the sparrow eggs, the bluebirds disappeared.  I accepted it would be a sparrow spring instead of a bluebird summer.  Then, the sparrows fledged.

Nest by Jorey Hurley shows why birds love our yard.  Easy access to nest building materials, lots of worms, and berries for a feast.  The subtle illustrations show the excitement and challenges birds experience.  Luckily, we don’t have a cat.  Though one does visit our yard when the butterflies arrive.  Check out this video to see how the illustrations were created.

We read this book the night after ML asked if brother and sister birds can get married.  I said, “I don’t think birds get married.”  ML’s response, “I know that Mommy.  You know what I mean.”  Innocently, I said, “Oh.  Can they have babies together?”  ML responded, “Yes, that’s what I am wondering.”  I responded, “No”  and was afraid the next question would ask for specifics on how birds reproduce.   I admit, I didn’t know.  Based on a link my friend sent from a piece performed at a Listen To Your Mother Show about going to the internet with your child to find an answer to a question like this, I panicked.  Luckily, she didn’t ask… giving me time to research the answer.

Since writing the first draft of this post. . . a new development.  Last weekend ML noticed the bluebirds return.  She discovered they were building a nest on top of the sparrow’s nest.  Friday night I checked the box.  No eggs.  Saturday morning ML checked the box.  One egg.  Sunday morning we checked the box.  Three eggs.  Sunday evening I checked the box.  Four eggs!  I’m thinking we will have five eggs.  ML thinks six.  No matter what we are happy our bluebirds returned.

Check out the sparrow eggs from this year and the bluebird eggs from last year.  It’s hard to tell from the pictures but sparrow eggs are much smaller than bluebird eggs.

Sparrow EggsBluebird Eggs

 

 

 

 

Goldi Rocks and The Three Bears – We Think You Rock

Goldi Rocks

When I say we think you rock, I’m talking about all the kids and adults at preschool story time last week, ML and myself.  Another great modern day version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

The three bears start a band in Goldi Rocks and The Three Bears by Corey Rosen Schwartz and Beth Coulton and illustrated by Nate Wragg.  Unfortunately, none of them are talented singers.  So they go searching for a singer who can hit high C.  While away, Goldi enters their studio enchanted by the smell of porridge.  She immediately forgets about being hungry when she sees the musical studio.  She tries out each bears’ mike stand and instrument.  Then, in true Goldilock fashion falls asleep until the bears…

ML picked a good one for my “Music” story time theme.  It goes without saying the illustrations are fantastic.  My main requirement for picture books read at story time are books with spectacular illustrations.

Happy Father’s Day – Send For A Superhero

 

Send For Superhero

Recently, ML forbade me to read the new picture books before bringing them home.  Last night, we plowed through a pile of them  Until we read Send For A Superhero! by Michael Rosen and illustrated by Katharine McEwan, I didn’t plan to post on Father’s Day.

The book is about a Dad reading a comic book to his children.  There is text with illustrations showing the family’s interactions during the story.  Other pages are filled with the actual pages of the book the children are being read.

I loved the various superhero names… Steel Man, Super-Flying-Through-The-Air-Very-Fast Man and Incredibly-Big-Strong-Green Man.  None of these conquer The All-Around-Bad Guys… Filth and Vacuum.  An expected superhero saves the day.  You’ll have to read the book to find out who.

For me the real superhero of this book is the Dad.  Dad’s who read to their children are the biggest superheros around in my book.  Which means my dad is a superhero.  I have fond memories of him reading to me.

The author and illustrator live in the United Kingdom.  Do they have a specific day to celebrate fathers there?  Just researched it.  They do and it’s today.

ML’s Book Club This Summer

I’ve learned this year ML’s book club meeting will be a quarterly event.  Anything more doesn’t work with my schedule.  I’m trying to model a life to ML where one is not over-scheduled.

Here’s the message I sent the parents of the members:

Knowing summers are busy, I am planning to have a book club in August.  Below are three books we will talk about.  It’s not a problem if your daughter doesn’t read all of them.  Just wanted to give a few choices.  All are available at the library.

The Trouble With Chickens by Doreen Cronin and illustrated by Kevin Cornell
The Stories Julian Tells by Ann Cameron and illustrated by Ann Strugnall
What is the Statue of Liberty? by Joan Holub and illustrated by John Hinderliter

As soon as I nail down my work schedule for August, I’ll throw out some possibilites.  In the mean time, I am happy to create a list of books for any of your children based on their reading preferences and reading level.  Let me know.  I’ll “interview” your daughter to learn what she likes and find 5-9 titles she may enjoy.  Looking forward to another year of reading with your girls.
                                                                                                                                                               ***I am happy to report two parents have already taken me up on the offer to put together books ideas for their daughters.  Hopefully, their daughters will read the books.  Like them.  Then, encourage ML to read them.  I don’t want to say my offer had ulterior motives.  I think of it more as a fringe benefit.  I love connecting books to readers, especially ML’s friends***
Trouble With ChickensStories Julian TellsWhat Is Statue of Liberty

Italian Picture Books

I Wish I HadBig Book of Slumber

Recently, I discovered two picture books written by Giovanna Zoboli and illustrated by Simona Mulazzani.  Both live in Italy.

In 2013, the English language version of Vorrei avere was published under the title I Wish I Had.  The translation is lyrical and the illustrations enchanted ML and I.  I liked the lemur “apartment trees.”  ML liked the whale which looked like it was covered in tattoos.  She named it Tattoo.  When we reached the last page, Ml gasped and said, “I’m naming the Elephant Tattoo Too.”  Or maybe it was “Tattoo Two.”  Phonetically it’s hard to tell the difference.  You’ll understand when you read the book.

The Big Book of Slumber’s Italian title is Il grande libro dei pisolini.  This book’s title page includes the words Translated by Antony Shugaar, which helped me explain to ML the author wrote the book in Italian and someone changed the words to English so we could understand the book.  There are many funny details in the illustrations.  Ml’s favorite. . . the dolphin’s pajamas.  I laughed at two different animals’ bedroom slippers.  See if you can find them.  Hint:  bear and lion.

A beautifully illustrated book enchants no matter the language.  My guess is Simona Mulazzani is a national treasure in Italy’s children’s book world.  She’s receiving recognition on this side of the pond too; winning Society of Illustrators Original Art Silver Medal.

I’m trying to get the Italian versions through Inter Library Loan so we can compare the books.  I like how the illustrations on the covers are the same for both the Italian and English version.  That is not always the case.

VorreiavereIl grande libro

Ms. Shaw’s Moving to Fourth Grade – We’re Starting A Classroom Library For Her

Tomorrow is the last day of school.  The wonderful teacher ML had for kindergarten and first grade is moving to 4th grade.  When I heard the news, it made me happy.  In a few more years, ML will have a chance to have Ms. Shaw again.

Last week, Ms. Shaw asked if I would give her ideas for good books for 4th graders.  She wants to expand her personal classroom library.  Teacher’s aren’t given money for things like this.  So I decided to buy Ms. Shaw books for her fourth grade classroom.  My colleague reads a lot of juvenile fiction so I enlisted her help.  I’m pleased with the variety of books I bought.  There should be something there to tempt even the most reluctant of readers. Below is a list of the books and a summary from the publication information page.

ArtemisFowl

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer – When a twelve-year-old evil genius tries to restore his family fortune by capturing a fairy and demanding a ransom in gold, the fairies fight back with magic, technology and a particularly nasty troll.

 

Hatchet

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen – After a plane crash, thirteen-year-old Brian spends fifty-four days in the wilderness, learning to survive initially with only the aid of a hatchet given by his mother, and learning also to survive his parents’ divorce.

 

JamesGiantPeach

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl – A young boy escapes from two wicked aunts and embarks on a series of adventures with six giant insects he meets inside a peach.  When a mysterious old man gives James some magical, tiny green things, he certainly never imagines they will grow into a giant peach.

 

Lemonade War

The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies – Evan and his younger sister, Jesse, react very differently to the news they will be in the same class for fourth grade and as the end of the summer approaches they battle it out through lemonade stands, each trying to be the first to earn 100 dollars.  Includes mathematical calculations and tips for running a successful lemonade stand.

 

Love That Dog

Love That Dog by Sharon Creech – A young student, who comes to love poetry through a personal understanding of what different famous poems mean to him, surprises himself by writing his own inspired poem.

 

Mysterious Benedict Society

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart – After passing a series of mind-bending tests, four children are selected to go on a secret mission that requires them to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules.

 

Smells Like Dog

Smells Like Dog by Suzanne Selfors – When farm boy Homer Pudding’s explorer uncle dies and leaves him a droopy dog with a mysterious coin hidden on its collar, it leads him to the City where they meet Madame Le Directeur, the conniving head of the Natural History Museum, who is trying to steal the coin and take Homer’s place in a secret society of adventurers.

 

Savvy

Savvy by Ingrid Law – Recounts the adventures of Mibs Beaumont, whose thirteenth birthday has revealed her “savvy” – a magical power unique to each member of her family – just as her father is injured in a terrible accident.

 

Origami Yoda

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger – Sixth-grader Tommy and his friends describe their interactions with a paper finger puppet of Yoda, worn by their weird classmate, Dwight, as they try to figure out whether or not the puppet can really predict the future.

 

Three Times Lucky

Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage – Washed ashore as a baby in tiny Tupelo Landing, North Carolina, Mo Lobeau, now eleven, and her best friend Dale turn detective when the amnesiac Colonel, owner of a cafe and co-parent of Mo with his cook, Miss Lana, seems implicated in a murder.  (Sheila Turnage is a NC author. I was able to buy an autographed copy at my local bookstore.)

 

True Confessions Charlotte Doyle

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi – Thirteen-year-old Charlotte Doyle, the only passenger and the only female aboard a seedy ship on a transatlantic voyage from England to America in 1832, becomes caught up in an a feud between the murderous captain and his mutinous crew.  Accused and convicted of murder, Charlotte decides to reveal what really happened aboard the Seahawk.

I’m also going to create Ms. Shaw another list of books.  I couldn’t afford to buy her all the books I wanted.  This list will provide ideas for books she might want to purchase in the future.  I’ll post the list before school starts back in late August.

Goatilocks and the Three Bears

Goatilocks

Last night I bribed ML and her friend Sarah to do a heavy duty cleaning of ML’s room.  Between out of town guests, a street party and the end of school it was a real mess.  While preparing their dinner, I showed them a fun book that arrived at the library yesterday. . . Goatilocks and the Three Bears by Erica S. Perl  and illustrated by Arthur Howard.  I enjoyed hearing the girls howl while I cooked meatballs, butter beans and pasta.

When a small goat takes over the three bears’ house there is alot of eating going on. . .  porridge and spoon, baby bear’s chair and the cushions too, the bed, the blanket, two pillows and a pair of pajamas.  ML and Sarah shouted, “She ate it” every time it appeared in the book.

The bold outlines of each animal’s facial expressions highlight the personalities.  The first page shows Goatilocks looking like a naive, happy go lucky kid.  Other illustrations prove she isn’t.  Look at her eyes in the illustrations throughout the rest of the book.  From sneaky, to perplexed, to content. . . her emotions run the gamut.

As for the room cleaning, the girls earned $3 each with the understanding this was a special occasion.  Anytime they have a play date, they are responsible for cleaning up afterwards without payment.  Before they started, I explained a good job would earn them $2 each.  A great job $3 each.  Above and beyond $3.50.

ML’s friend is $3 closer to buying pet gerbils.  You’ll hear more about that in a later post.

Hide and Seek Harry

HarryAtTheBeachHarryAroundTheHouse

Recently my preschool story time was on the letter H.  I read stories about hippos; and some stories about hide and seek.  A few days after the H themed story time, I found a set of board books called Hide and Seek Harry by Kenny Harrison, which fit the theme perfectly.

Luckily, I can use  Hide and Seek Harry:  At the Beach in my upcoming story time about summer.  I’m thinking about creating a Around the House theme for my fall story times so I can use Hide and Seek Harry:  Around the House.

Any ideas for books for an Around the House theme?

The Blog Continues to Evolve – A New Look at Picture Books

ML is growing and sometimes doesn’t enjoy picture books like she did before.  I love picture books and don’t won’t us to stop reading them.  So I have a plan.  ML’s going to help me plan preschool story time.  All books will be approved by her before I read them at story time.  Free expert advice from someone who was a preschooler not too long ago.

Below are the first three books she approved.

SomeBugs

Some Bugs by Angela DiTerlizzi and illustrated by Brendan Wenzel – A perfect book for active participation in story time.  Fluttering, gliding, hiding, curling up in a ball… It’s all there.  The illustrations are my favorite in any bug picture book I’ve seen.

OrangeAardvark

It’s an Orange Aardvark! by Michael Hall – At first, ML was confused looking at the title and cover illustration.  She said, “Um, I thought it was a bug story time.”  When she opened the book, she understood.  A howling adventure of a bold carpenter ant and his friends.  A hit with preschoolers and ML.

BugAndBear

Bug and Bear:  A Story of True Friendship by Ann Bonwill and illustrated by Layn Marlow – Bug and Bear are the best of friends; but bear doesn’t want to play.  She wants to take a nap.  Bug keeps following Bear thinking they are playing; when in fact Bear is trying to hide from Bug.  ML liked the muted color scheme of brown, rust, purple, green and yellow.

All were hits.  Story time finished with an insect rendition of The Wheels on the Bus.

The grasshoppers on the bus go hop, hop, hop.
The caterpillars on the bus go munch, munch, munch.
The butterflies on the bus go flutter, flutter, flutter.

… you get the idea.

I do many adaptations of The Wheels on the Bus for puppet shows.  The kids love every single one of them.

 

 

Short and To The Point – The Farmer’s Away! BAA! NEIGH!

Farmer's Away

The Summer Reading Program started at my library on June 1st, which means life is super busy.  So you will see lots of super short and too the point postings throughout the summer.

The Farmer’s Away!  BAA!  NEIGH! by Anne Vittur Kennedy is the perfect book to start these short posts.  The text of the book is animal sounds only.  Even with the “foreign” language, there is a strong narrative ML loved.  Hilarious doesn’t begin to describe the illustrations.  Farm animals floating down the stream in fancy inner tubes.  Snakes, bees, a dog, a duck, and a bird sneak off to the roller coaster.  Other animals put on a fancy water skiing show.  There’s even a blimp ride before a fancy soiree.  The animals aren’t caught by the farmer in their revelry.  Why?  A good watch dog, of course.

This is not your typical animal sound book written for young children.  It appeals to a  sophisticated first grade reader I know.

 

The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend

Beekle

ML’s never had a specific imaginary friend, but many children do.  My brother did.  His name was Mr. Erp and any mischief in our house was all his fault.  ML and I read The Adventures of Beekle:  The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat fifteen minutes ago.  Immediately after she went to bed, I sat down to write this post.  I didn’t want to forgot to share this imaginative book.

Somewhere on a faraway island is a place where imaginary friends wait for a a child to choose them and give them a name.  A fluffy white monster waits and waits and waits, but his friend never comes.  So he decides to take a boat to the real world.  It’s a very strange place until he sees something familiar.  He follows this familiar thing and ends up at a playground where their are lots of children with imaginary friends.  It’s a lonely place for him because everyone already has an imaginary friend.  Finally when he’s at his loneliest sighing in a tree, a girl finds him and  names him Beekle.

My synopsis doesn’t do the book justice.  The words of the book are paced perfectly.  They are also hand lettered. Dan Santat’s handwriting is much better than mine.  (First and only C in my life was in 3rd grade for handwriting.) You may be wondering how I know the letters are handwritten.  When you read the page with all the publication information you learn interesting things.

The mixed media illustrations using pencil, crayon, watercolor, ink and Adobe Photoshop evoke all the worlds experienced with a perfect palette for each scene.  From the colorful world of the island… to the blah black and white city filled with adults rushing here and there… to the exciting playground featuring exotic imaginary friends… to the muted fall colors of the lonely time in the tree… and finally to the kaleidoscope of adventures Beekle has with his friend after she names him.

I have no memory of a specific imaginary friend.  Do you?

Turtle Island

TurtleIsland

When I emailed Kevin Sherry my post on his book I’m The Biggest Thing in the Ocean, he emailed a sneak peak of artwork for an upcoming book, Turtle Island.  The book arrived at the library recently.

Due to a shipwreck Owl, Bear, Frog and Cat end up making a home on Turtle’s shell.  Each of the animals excel in something. . . Turtle catches fish,  Owl knits.  Bear builds.  Frog cooks.  Cat draws.  Working together, they build a lovely, comfortable village on Turtle’s shell.  All is well, until the animals realize they miss their friends and families.  Turtle is heartbroken when they leave.

One day Turtle’s friends surprise him bringing all their family and friends to live on Turtle’s shell.  They create an island with everything a person (or animal) needs to survive and flourish.  Food, art, music and plenty of opportunities for fun.  Flying kites, playing tetherball, looking through telescopes, drumming the bongos, flying paper airplanes… an island utopia.

ML loved how the squid from I’m The Biggest Thing in the Ocean made an appearance in Cat’s painting. I liked the blurred watercolors on the page where turtle is missing and daydreaming about Owl, Bear, Frog and Cat.

This book is best enjoyed with one or a few children so they have a chance to really focus on the humorous illustrations.  This summer it’s going to be one of my top, “You should check out this book” when I see families looking for books.

I hope Kevin Sherry will send me a sneak peak of his next project.