Month: September 2014

Take Away the A

Take Away A

When ML saw Take Away the A: An Alphabeast of a Book! by Michael Escoffier and Kris Di Giacomo book, she said, “I’m getting too old for these kind of books.” She thought it was a traditional alphabet book.  I assured ML, “It’s not an ABC book for preschoolers.  You have to be in 1st grade or higher to understand this complicated alphabet book.”

On each page spread, one letter is removed from a word to form another word.  When you take away the letter “b” from bride? The new word is ride.  More specifically, “the BRIDE goes for a RIDE.”  The illustrations comically portray phrases created.  For example, the bride is pictured riding a ferris wheel with her veil flowing in the wind.  The groom is in the chair behind her.  It’s unclear if she is running away or not.  I’ll leave the decision up to you.  Pay careful attention to the facial expressions before determining your answer.

I don’t want to give away too many of the clever subtractions; but ML loved the “the MONKEY makes MONEY.”  My favorite was “PLANTS wear PANTS”

Read this book.  Then, create your own word play.  My first letter subtraction attempt… “PLAY this game. No need to PAY.”  What’s yours?

The Mermaid and The Shoe by K.G. Campbell

Mermaid and Shoe


ML loves to draw mermaids.  I find them in her backpack, on her desk,and  all over her bedroom floor.  I even saw one when I peeked inside her messy school cubby.  When The Mermaid and the Shoe by K.G. Campbell arrived, I knew I had to take it home.  A combination of watercolor and crayon pencil are used to create the enchanting illustrations.

The story itself reminds me of a certain fairy tale without the prince or wedding.  Instead, the young mermaid learns about herself on an exciting journey.

Campbell was born in Kenya and raised in Scotland.  He’s now living in California; so he’s eligible for the Caledecott award.  I’m adding this one to our mock list for 2015.  One word describes this book.  Majestic.

ML said, “I want to say goodbye to Donna Washington!”

Little Shiver

Yesterday, ML attended the 32nd Annual Storytelling Festival, a joint effort between the Wake County Public Library and Wake County Parks and Recreation Department, at a beautiful venue called Historic Oakview Park.

While I worked, ML’s babysitter carted her to a birthday party.  Then, brought her to the festival.  They arrived just in time for my break and to hear my favorite storyteller in the world perform… Donna Washington.

We ran into friends at the event.  They loved Donna Washington too.  I explained one of my goals for ML’s elementary career is Donna Washington performing at her school.  My friend’s on board.  Her daughter is in 4th grade.  We’ve got to get on the stick for this to happen before Amelia moves on to middle school.

And I have to get on the stick to learn the scary story, “Red, Red Lips.” I promised ML I would tell a scary story at her upcoming birthday party.  Watch Donna Washington’s version at Bookhive.  ML viewed it, gave the story a thumbs up, and asked to hear it again and again.

My version will be different.  In honor of ML’s eighth birthday, I’ll tell it in first person.  The main character?  An eight-year-old me.

Underwear Books

One Big Pair UnderwearUnderpants DanceLazy Daisyfroggy


ML is not alone. Most kids love books featuring underwear.  When One Big Pair of Underwear by Laura Gehl and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld arrived at the library, I remembered my”Underwear Books” post in draft form.  After a post about poop a few weeks ago and Captain Underpants on Monday, it’s only fitting I share the underwear post.  I’m not giving summaries of the books, just a quick reason we love each book.

One Big Pair of Underwear by Laura Gehl and illustrated by Tom Lichentheld – A book about sharing and underwear.  I know.  Sounds gross; but it’s a funny way to talk about sharing with children.  A clever, delightful story which might result in a piggyback ride.  I know what your thinking.  “What does underwear have to do with piggyback rides?” Read the book, it will make perfect sense.

Underpants Dance by Marlena Zapf and illustrated by Lynne Avril – I cannot tell you our favorite part of this book.  It would spoil the ending.  Get it? ENDing?

Lazy Daisy, Cranky Frankie by Mary Ellen Jordan & Andrew Weldon – A chicken dancing in purple underwear.  Need I say more?

Froggy Gets Dressed by Jonathan London and illustrated Frank Remkiewicz –  I consider this the classic underwear book.  ML loved it even before she wore underwear.


Trains! by Judi Abbot


Judi Abbot knows her audience well.  The back of her book Train! states, “For toddlers who LOVE trains, planes, cars and diggers!”  Toddler’s are obsessive, stubborn, and every once in awhile open to a new idea.  Judi Abbot captures what I refer to as the “first adolescence” adorably in this book about trains… an obsession many toddlers experience. ML did.

What was your child obsessed with during toddlerhood?


Louise Loves Art

Louise Loves Art

This summer, I learned a book called Louise Loves Art by Kelly Light would be published in the fall.  I’ve eagerly awaited it’s arrival.  Why?  ML said it best last night, “Hey that book’s about me.”  The L in ML stands for Louise; and ML loves art.

ML loved the book and compared it to her life several times.  “Louise has brown hair.  So do I.  Louise wears stripes.  So do I.”  I pointed out, “You don’t have red glasses.”  ML said, “Yes, I do.”  Then, ran to her room and brought back a pair of red rimmed sunglasses.  Halfway through the book, ML exclaimed,”Oh no.  I’m going to cry.  Louise’s brother ruined her artwork.  My brother destroys mine too.”

There’s more to this story than a girl who loves art and her annoying little brother.  I’m betting you’ll understand why Louise Loves Art is the perfect title for this book quicker than I.  It hit me hours later… right before I drifted off to sleep.  I feel a little silly it took so long.  My excuse… I was pouring over the illustations created by “many black Prismacolor pencils and Photoshop.”

Louise Loves Art is a masterpiece.  Looking forward to the next Louise book set for publication in 2015.

Captain Underpants – Number 1 in Most Challenged Book Category for 2 Years Running

Captain Underpants

This week is Banned Books Week.  For the past two years, the Captain Underpants books by Dav Pilkey have received the most challenges.  This series has been around for over fifteen years.  I’m curious why there’s a new found interest in keeping them off library shelves.

Admittedly, I’ve never read one.  It’s hard to find one on the library shelf.  Kids love them.  Recently, I noticed our copies were almost in shreds.  I requested new copies be ordered.  They went out like hotcakes as soon as they arrived.

Guess I need to get on the list for a Captain Underpant’s book…  see what all the fuss is about.