ML Loved This Picture Book

Pictures After Storm

My first love were picture books; and it’s still my number one love when it comes to books.  ML’s past sitting down, snuggling and reading picture books with me.  However, I want her to appreciate picture books her whole life.  Every once in awhile, one arrives I know she will love.  Instead of insisting she read it.  I lay it on the couch.  Eventually, she picks it up and reads it.

My Pictures After the Storm by Eric Veille is one of these books.  ML thought it was clever and hilarious.  You will too!  A book for all ages.

Women in Science

I took a poll of friends on Facebook.  “Who is the first scientist that pops in your head besides Einstein?”  There were a variety of men named; but only two women.  Marie Curie and Rosalind Franklin.  My friend, Liz, who graduated from MIT response was Rosalind Franklin.  (Liz’s daughter’s name is Rosalind.)  I hadn’t heard of Rosalind Franklin.  Luckily, she was included in the book Women in Science:  50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky.

I’m appalled; but not surprised by what I learned.  “We should all know it was Rosalind Franklin who discovered the double helix structure of DNA, not James Watson and Francis Crick.”  For too long female scientists’ contributions have been overlooked.  Thankfully, publishers are taking notice.  A variety of beautifully illustrated biographies about female scientists have been published in the past few years.

I INSIST YOU SHARE THESE WITH YOUR CHILDREN AND YOURSELF.  YOU WON’T BE DISAPPOINTED.

Grace Hopper:  Queen of Computer Code by Laurie Wallmark and illustrated by Katy Wu

Caroline’s Comets:  A True Story by Emily Arnold McCully

Mae Among the Stars by Roda Ahmed and illustrated by Stasia Burrington

Out of School and Into Nature:  The Anna Comstock Story by Suzanne Slade and illustrated by Jessica Lanan

Ada Lovelace:  Poet of Science:  The First Computer Programmer by Diane Stanley and illustrated by Jessie Hartland

Marie Curie by Demi

 

 

Not So Different

Not So Different:  What You Really Want to Ask About Having a Disability by Shane Burcaw and photographs by Matt Carr is a must read.  If I was in charge of the world, every third grade teacher would be required to read it to her class.

Shane answers questions kids are curious about; but may not ask out of fear of offending someone.  You know . . .  how one eats, poops showers and moves.  The crisp photographs show Shane’s just another guy who needs to do some things differently.

However, don’t wait until third grade to read it with your child.  I want it required reading in third grade because this is when children start becoming more self-conscious about appearances.

Shane is awesome.  The sooner you meet him the better.

 

Mock Newbery 2018

Last year, I read many books that were included on various Mock Newbery 2017 lists.  This year, I haven’t read as many books.  Usually, the awards are presented in January.  This year, they will be presented February 12th.  So I still have a 18 hours to read.   One’s I’ve read and finished from Mock Newbery 2018 lists are below.  I’ve tried to read around 10 books I’ve seen on many lists.  However, I only have so much time between work, home and hoursmothering.

The book I most want to win is The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley.  It’s a sequel; so I doubt it will.  The first book, The War That Saved My Life,  was robbed in my opinion.  It received a Newbery Honor last year.  It should have received the Gold.  Everyone I recommended this book to from age 9 to 92 loved it and couldn’t wait for the sequel.

The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Her Right Foot by Dave Eggers

I’m Just No Good at Rhyming:  And Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-Ups by Chris Harris

Real Friends by Shannon Hale

Wishtree by Katherine Applegate

Refugee by Alan Gratz

Real Friends by Shannon Hale

 

Book I Will Finish

Undefeated:  Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team by Steve Sheinkin

 

Books I Want to Finish

See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng

Train I Ride by Paul Moiser

Vincent and Theo:  The Van Gogh Brothers

Family Game Night and Other Catastrophes by Mary Lambert

Undefeated:  Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team by Steve Sheinkin

Tumble and Bumble

Patina

Siren Sisters by Dana Langer

Here We Are: Notes For Living on Planet Earth

Here We Are:  Notes for Living on Planet Earth by Oliver Jeffers is spectacular.  I want to buy a copy for everyone in the world to remind each one we are different but the same.

And we should follow the advice of Oliver’s Dad, an all-round good human.  “There are only three words you need to live by, son:  respect, consideration and tolerance.”

Pashmina

pashmina

I stopped making New Year’s Resolutions years ago.  However, this New Year’s Day I read the graphic novel Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani.  At some point each day since, I’ve remembered the quote below.

“Do not look at the dirt.  Look at the people.”

This quote is in reference to a visit to the slums in India; but I’m using it as a reminder in my daily life that people are people.  All with a story and deserving compassion.

 

Awesome Authors of the Triangle

triangle

I’m fortunate to live in an area with so many people interested in children’s and young adult literature… including authors of fantastic books for kids and teens.  From board books to YA books, the Triangle is filled with amazing writers.  Here’s what I read from local authors published in 2017.  I’m sure there are others.  If you know of an author who published a book this year, post it in the comments.

This Little Trailblazer

This Little Trailblazer: A Girl Power Primer by Joan Holub – Learn all about influential women who changed history in this engaging and colorful board book perfect for trailblazers-in-training!

Paving the way
to a future that’s bright.
Helping the world
with their skills, smarts, and might. 
Little trailblazers cause great big changes.

In this follow up to This Little President and This Little Explorer, now even the youngest readers can learn all about great and empowering female trailblazers in history! Highlighting ten memorable women leaders who paved the way, parents and little ones alike will love this girl power primer full of fun, age-appropriate facts and bold illustrations.

 

Williams Winter

William’s Winter Nap by Linda Ashman and illustrated by Chuck Groenick – Just when William is ready to fall asleep in his cozy cabin, there is a tap on his window. A chilly chipmunk asks to stay, and Will scooches over in bed. “There’s room for two–I’m sure we’ll fit.” The chipmunk is just the first in a parade of mammals, each bigger than the last, until the bed is full. Then a note is slipped beneath the door: “Do you have room for just one more?” William tugs the door to see who’s there . . . only to find a great big BEAR! Is there enough space to spare? Will the other animals be willing to share?

Kids will delight at each new guest’s arrival and enjoy counting along as the animals keep scooching over to fit in William’s bed. Linda Ashman’s clever rhymes set up each page turn with suspense and humor, and the expressions on Chuck Groenink’s characters are perfect. This is must reading for the dark time of year when everyone wants to hibernate!
Jada Jones

Jada Jones:  Rock Star by Kelly Starling Lyons and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton – Fans of Princess Posey and Ivy and Bean will enjoy engaging with science-loving Jada Jones in this easy-to-read chapter book.

When Jada Jones’s best friend moves away, school feels like the last place she wants to be. She’d much rather wander outside looking for cool rocks to add to her collection, since finding rocks is much easier than finding friends. So when Jada’s teacher announces a class project on rocks and minerals, Jada finally feels like she’s in her element. The only problem: one of her teammates doesn’t seem to like any of Jada’s ideas. She doesn’t seem to like Jada all that much, either. Can Jada figure out a way to make a winning science project and a new friend?  (publisher’s site)

 

Unicorn in Barn

The Unicorn in the Barn by Jacqueline Ogburn and illustrated by Rebecca Green – For years people have claimed to see a mysterious white deer in the woods around Chinaberry Creek. It always gets away.  One evening, Eric Harper thinks he spots it. But a deer doesn’t have a coat that shimmers like a pearl. And a deer certainly isn’t born with an ivory horn curling from its forehead.  When Eric discovers the unicorn is hurt and being taken care of by the vet next door and her daughter, Allegra, his life is transformed.  A tender tale of love, loss, and the connections we make, The Unicorn in the Barn shows us that sometimes ordinary life takes extraordinary turn. (publisher’s site)

 

Nyxia

Nyxia by Scott Reintgen – What would you be willing to risk for a lifetime of fortune?
 Emmett Atwater isn’t just leaving Detroit; he’s leaving Earth. Why the Babel Corporation recruited him is a mystery, but the number of zeroes on their contract has him boarding their lightship and hoping to return to Earth with enough money to take care of his family.  Forever.  Before long, Emmett discovers that he is one of ten recruits, all of whom have troubled pasts and are a long way from home. Now each recruit must earn the right to travel down to the planet of Eden—a planet that Babel has kept hidden—where they will mine a substance called Nyxia that has quietly become the most valuable material in the universe.

But Babel’s ship is full of secrets. And Emmett will face the ultimate choice: win the fortune at any cost, or find a way to fight that won’t forever compromise what it means to be human. (publisher’s site)

What’s Coming in 2018?

I’m eager to see what is published by authors in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill next year.  Most especially, Brave Girl by Kati Gardner.  It’s being published in the fall of 2018 by Flux Books.  I had the honor of reading one of her drafts.  Prepare to be wowed.

Brave Enough by Kati Gardner – Cason Martin is the youngest ballerina in the Atlanta Ballet Conservatory. She’s never really had a choice on if she wanted to dance or not, her mother the artistic director, has made all the decisions in Cason’s life. It’s all changing. Cason has been hiding an injury and it’s much worse than anyone imagines. Davis Channing understands all too well what it is like to give up all control in your life. He’s survived cancer, but it was his addictions that nearly killed him. Now he’s been sober for seven months and enjoying his community service at the hospital.
But it all changes. Davis’ ex-girlfriend, who is still battling her addiction, barrels back into his life bringing with it a type of carnage he hadn’t expected. Cason and Davis are not friends. But now they will start to depend on one another. Can they both be brave enough to beat the odds? (Goodreads)

2018 Goal

Life Hacks

I’ve been very slack this year sharing great books.  I’ve learned the older your child gets the less mental capacity you have to write.  In 2018, I plan to share brief posts about new books arriving at the library.  At least three a week.  If I have time to elaborate on the titles, I will.  If not, I’ll include the publisher’s summary.

We received a big shipment today.  I immediately checked out one title.  It’s certain to be a hit with my DIY girl.  I’ll probably stock up on the supplies for the Groovy Lava Lamp before showing her the book.  Otherwise, she’ll drive me crazy begging to drive to our nearest grocery store for supplies.  I need to stock up on ear wires for Duct Tape Earrings too.  I can see it now.  A new trend will start at her school  because she loves to make gifts for people.  Luckily, I read the Let’s Get Pranked Hacks chapter.  She “gets me good” all the time.  No new ideas needed.   Maybe I’ll try one on her before I give her the book.

Life Hacks for Kids with Sunny Keller – Packed with 35 popular “hacks” from the top rated YouTube show Life Hacks for Kids, this book is sure to be a hit with fans of the show as well as kids who love to make something out of nothing. Featuring original photographs and behind the scenes insight from show’s star, Sunny Keller. (publisher’s summary)

Claymates – My Favorite Picture Book of 2018

When Claymates by Dev Petty and illustrated by Lauren Eldridge arrived at the library, all the Youth Services staff loved it.  Then, I used it at a program for Kindergarten – 2nd graders.  They loved it even more.  This summer, I’ll share it with 3rd-5th graders.  I should warn the library staff before the program.  I know the kids will scream with laughter while I read the book.  When I share the book trailer video, there will probably be a noise complaint from the apartments across the street.

 

The activity for this book was fun. We viewed this Book Chat first.

 

Then, each child received a paper plate with a generous pinch of two colors of play dough and googly eyes.  They were encouraged to create characters.  Around ten minutes later, toothpicks were added to the mix.  Ten minutes after the toothpick distribution, colorful plastic straws and scissors to cut the straws were placed on the tables for use.  They spent half an hour molding a variety of  creatures.  The parents loved this program as much as the children.  Many asked if there were extra materials so they could participate.  Parents and children alike created their very own Claymates.

 

 

 

Happy Birthday SJ – 11 Books and One to Grow On

ML’s best friend moved a little over a year ago.  It was hard for ML.  There have been times when she was in tears over various things this past year.  The only thing she wanted was to talk to SJ.  Some were friendship issues.  Some were when she was mad at me.  One was when her hand was pouring blood from squeezing a wine glass.  That’s a blog post in itself.

ML and SJ became friends without parent involvement.  Which is unusual for 5-year-olds.  They met at Y Camp the summer before kindergarten.  SJ’s mom says it best; “People search their whole lives for the kind of friendship ML and SJ have.”

We’ve worked hard to make certain the girls see each other every few months.  Tomorrow, we’ll drive four hours to spend Labor Day Weekend celebrating SJ’s birthday.  I’m fully prepared to hear “Are we there yet?  How much longer?” every five minutes.  I’m excited as ML because SJ and her family are like family to us.

Last fall, we picked up SJ on our way to a wedding in Georgia.  I wish I had a video of their hug when they first saw each other after almost two months apart.  In January  SJ, her mom and brother came for the Woman’s March.  They came up for a portion of spring break too.  (Note to self.  Check to see if they have the same spring break this year).  Then, SJ came for a week this summer.  ML and SJ met at a YMCA Day Camp the summer before elementary school; so they spent their days at the camp.  At night, I enjoyed watching these two make slime, eat at Moes, and the one that made me smile the most… lying on the bed reading books before lights out.

At the beginning of last year, ML put in words how hard it was at school without SJ.  “SJ’s the one who helps bring people together.  When people are mad or disagreeing, she helps find a solution.”  To celebrate this amazing girl, who should be president… and very well may be one day.  I’ve put together a list of 11 books for her to read this year.  It’s based on books I know she loved, her interests and to grow her already compassionate self to see a variety of viewpoints.  This might seem like a lot of books to “assign”  I feel confident several of these books she will read in one night.  I’ve purposely included a variety of genres and writing styles.  I’ve read all but one.  I’ll write a post soon about the one I’ve yet to read; but I already know it’s a winner.  I’m not going to quiz SJ on these books next year; but I do hope she gives each book at least 30 pages.  In the meantime, I’ll be thinking about her Birthday Book List for when she starts middle school next year.

 

bubble

Bubble by Stewart Foster

Crossover

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

 

George

George by Alex Gino

Awful Falafal

It Ain’t So Awful, Falafal by

Long Walk to Water

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

march

March, Book 1 by John Lewis with Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell

moo

Moo by Sharon Creech

nine ten

Nine, Ten:  A September 11 Story by Nora Raleigh Baskin

Roller Girl

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

 

Summerlost_BOM.indd

Summerlost by Ally Condie

Under The Egg

Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitgerald

And one to grow on; because not only did SJ meet Cassie Beasely when she came to our local bookstore to promote Circus Mirandus, she and her mom read it aloud and loved it.

Tumble Blue

Tumble and Blue by Cassie Beasely

 

 

KidLit Cares – ML Does Too

On Sunday, I posted a picture of an abandoned lemonade stand on Facebook with the comment.  “I know some local entrepreneurs who will soon realize one of the first rules of making money. Don’t leave your cash box unattended.”  Last night, I picked the two entrepreneurs up  from gymnastics.  I was going to wait and see how long it took for them to realize their lemonade cash was missing.  Then, the devastation of Hurricane Harvey happened.  Knowing these girls’ sweet spirits, I chose a different route.  To set the scene there were two sweaty girls in leotards sitting in the back seat surrounded by backpacks, binders and lunch boxes.  Our conversation went like this.

Me:  Where’s the money you made from the lemonade stand?

ML:  In the box.

Me:  No, it’s not.

ML:  Did you spend it?

Me:  No.  I stole it.  You shouldn’t leave your cash box unattended.

ML:  MOM!!!

Me:  I had an idea.  Would you like to donate it to the Red Cross to help the victims from Hurricane Harvey?

ML and Friend:  YES!!!

Their $13 won’t buy anything from the auction KidLit Cares is holding.  But it might if I add to it.  I’m thinking about approaching parents from fifth grade to see if any of them want to join in a bid for a Skype visit with an author.   I have my eye on a few and feel certain their ELA teacher wouldn’t object.  Especially one who is having her students read so many wonderful books this year.

People who write children’s books don’t do it for the money.  Writing is hard work and takes lots of time.  I already knew authors of books for children were amazing.  But their willingness to share their time and promote the love of reading while benefiting Hurricane Harvey victims speaks volumes.

Kate Messner says it best on the KidLit Cares Auction site.

“People who write children’s books and work in this industry have a wide range of interests and talents. As authors, illustrators, agents, and editors, we do different jobs, and we love and create different kinds of books. But one thing we all tend to agree on is using your powers for good in the world.

We are heartbroken that Hurricane Harvey and related flooding is having such a devastating effect on those in the storm’s path. Today and in the weeks to come, the Red Cross will be serving thousands of families displaced by Hurricane Harvey and related flooding. Those families include so many kids who read our books. We’d like to do what we can to help, and that’s what KidLit Cares is all about.”

199 authors, illustrators, editors and agents have donated their time or books.  Take a look and consider bidding if you can.  If you can’t, consider giving what you can to the Red Cross.  Small amounts from many people add up quickly.

Follow the link below for more information.

http://www.katemessner.com/kidlit-cares-our-hurricane-harvey-relief-effort/

 

The Solar Eclipse Is Over – Time to Read

A few weeks ago, I started reading The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon.  I was captivated by it; but was busy preparing for an interview.  Then, what I will refer to as The Solar Eclipse of 17 frenzy started.  It will live in infamy with librarians throughout the country.  After answering calls and in person questions about eclipse glasses all day, the last thing I wanted to do when I got home was read a book with sun in the title.  Actually, the last thing I wanted to do at all was read.

Now that the eclipse is over, the world hasn’t ended and my book holding arm wasn’t injured passing out eclipse glasses at our program, I can start reading again.

All this sun and moon conversation reminded me I’ve yet to read the 2017 Newbery Award winner, The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill.  Once I finish The Sun is Also a Star, I’ll start The Girl Who Drank the Moon.

 

 

Rain Wizard by Larry Dane Brimner

I need to connect with the dead tonight.   Charles Mallory Hatfield, to be exact.  I read a fascinating biography about him a year or so ago.  It was titled The Rain Wizard by Larry Dane Brimner. The book jacket description said, “Renowned nonfiction writer and longtime Sand Diego resident, Larry Dane Brimner delves deep into the life of the man who carried his rainmaking secrets to the grave.  Was this man of mystery a scientist as he claimed or simply a fraud playing on people’s desperation?”

For weeks, I’ve been trying to figure out how to make it rain on August, 21, 2017.  Six weeks ago, I didn’t even know there was going to be a solar eclipse.  One week ago, I started having nightmares about it.  I dug myself in a hole without knowing what I was getting into.  Around six weeks ago, it was mentioned my library system might order solar eclipse glasses for a program.  If they did, how many would our location need?  Based on previous program attendance, I sent in a number and didn’t think anything more about it.  Until a few weeks ago.  The PR arrived and I put it up in the library.  I did not set up registration for the event because the number of glasses we ordered were plenty for the number of families that usually attend our special programs.  Then, an evil person provided the media with fake news.  (Sorry my anxiety took over the keyboard for a sentence.) I don’t think it was a conspiracy just poorly written headlines.

Here’s an example from one news source.

Need Solar Eclipse Glasses?  They’re Free at Libraries Across America

weather.com/science/news/free-eclipse-glasses-available-at-libraries-across-america

Most people probably only read the headline.  Knee deep in the article was important information.  “The Space Science Institute’s National Center for Interactive Learning and STAR_Net Libraries have teamed up to provide more than 2 million solar-viewing glasses at 4,800 public library locations across the nation, partially funded through the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.”

Across the nation, library phones started ringing off the hook.  From the beginning, we told people we weren’t doing registration.  We’ve never needed to do registration in the past at my location.  It would be first come first serve, one pair of glasses per family.  Then, the phone kept ringing.  We realized we needed to order more.  We did.  I even ordered a pack of ten for my daughter planning to donate the rest to the library.  With the extra order and mine, we would have more than enough.  Then, I received the Amazon email informing me they were recalling the glasses I ordered.  Seeing that we ordered the extra glasses for the library from Amazon, this did not bode well.  That afternoon, my manager received the illustrious Amazon email.

Librarians across the nation have been having online group therapy… sharing their experiences and ideas.  Here are some of my favorites.

needed: brilliant ideas for keeping eclipse glasses seekers as lifelong patrons
My Favorite Answer:  Winter Solstice Glowstick Party?

*ring ring*
*Coworker picks up*
“Sarah, it’s your mom”
“Omg, she never calls me at work, I hope everything is ok!”
*I pick up*
“Hi Mom, is everything alright?”
“Hi honey, I heard libraries have free eclipse glasses…”
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO…. E TU BRUTE???

so … what happens to all these eclipse glasses on tuesday?
My Favorite Answer:  I heard on the radio that libraries are glad to accept them as donations (along with the M – Mil volume of a 1986 encyclopedia set)!

And most importantly – What’s the best way to hand out glasses?
My Favorite Answer:  Make it like an Easter Egg Hunt

I’ve let every person working Monday know they are welcome to send all unhappy people to me.  I’ve lived long enough to know that admitting your mistakes is usually the best way to handle difficult situations.  I just need to remind myself throughout the event that this too will pass.  If that doesn’t work, there’s always bourbon.  I’ll be too busy with crowd control to see the eclipse.  Luckily, someone has a bottle of bourbon on hand for me to have a post eclipse drink or four.

As for me, I learned a lesson.  Our Slime Fest in September is a Registration Required event.

 

 

Catching Up on Picture Book Reading

June and July at the library is comparable to retail’s November and December.  Things are calming down so I’m catching up on my picture book reading.  Last Friday, I read around ten new picture books I’ve missed when they arrived at the library this year.  My favorites are below.

ML is starting fifth grade.  I’m no longer invited to be a guest reader; and if I was she wouldn’t let me do it.  I need to find a kindergartner or first grader to adopt so I can read these books to a group that’s old enough to enjoy the humor; but not too old to turn their nose up at picture books.

Moo Moo in a Tutu by Tim Miller

Samson The Piranha Who Went to Dinner by Tadgh Bentley

The Green Umbrella

The Green Umbrella by Jackie Azua Kramer and illustrated by Maral Sassouni is perfect for this rainy day.  I’ll understand if you don’t run straight to the library to get it today.  However, you should request it immediately; so its waiting on a shelf to be picked up the next sunny day.

This book celebrates creativity; and the illustrations are delightful.

 

 

Snow White: A Graphic Novel

snow-white

I often say, “I’m not really a graphic novel reader.”  I can’t say that anymore.  A more appropriate comment would be,  “I don’t really read superhero graphic novels or manga.”

This weekend, I experienced an amazing graphic novel, Snow White, by Matt Phelan.  I use the word experience, instead of read, because there were not many words.  There didn’t need to be.  The setting of this version was 1928 in New York City.  To say it’s a modernized version of Snow White is both true and a little weird.  Afterall, we’re about 90 years out from the roaring twenties and the onslaught of the great depression.

I’m not going to tell you anything more about the book, except the ending.  Well, not really the ending because we all know what happens.  It’s the way Matt Phelan creates a historically accurate and appropriate ending that makes this book a must read.

Matt Phelan has written three other graphic novels.  I have requested all of them, and feel certain there will be a blog post about them in the near future.

Penguins Love Colors

penguins-love-colors

Finding a book about colors that is simple enough for toddlers to grasp each individual color is hard; which is unfortunate.   It’s one of the first types of books little ones adore.  Penguins Love Colors by Sarah Aspinall does exactly that.

Here are some other titles about colors ML enjoyed as a toddler.  All of which were written in the last millennium.  Actually, they were all written before I graduated from high school.

Freight Train

Freight Train by David Crews

planting-ranibow

Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert

brown-bear

Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr

 

 

Blue Penguin

blue-penguin

Currently, I’m planning a program comparing and contrasting the Arctic and Antarctica.  I know. . . sounds boring.   After a very brief lesson on Geography, the fun will begin.  I’ll start with sharing a photo collage I created of animals which live in the Arctic vs Antarctica.  From there, we will play Arctic Animal Bingo.  We’ll finish off the event making snow animals out of clay.  When a program includes clay, it’s always a winner!  Children and parents alike join in the fun.

I learn a lot when I plan programs for kindergarten – 5th graders.  Did you know there are 17 types of penguins?  None of which live in the Arctic.   As for Antarctica, there are the true Antarctic species, which breed on or near continental Antarctica. . .  Adelie, Chinstrap, Emperor and Gentoo penguins.  Sub Antarctic species are one’s where the furthest south they go is the sub-Antarctic islands.  These include King, Macaroni and Rockhopper penguins.  I’m curious where the other ten types of penguins live.  The kids will be too.  I need to research that before the first week of January.

In the meantime, I’ll practice reading Blue Penguin by Petr Horacek.  A beautiful book with a timely message.

Best Christmas Picture Books Published in 2016

A few years ago, I highlighted 24 of our favorite picture books in the post Christmas Books – One to Twenty Four.  I need to add two books to this list.  The best Christmas books published in 2016 are The Christmas Boot and Stowaway In A Sleigh.  ML’s reached the age where she doesn’t want to cuddle in my bed reading picture books.  However, she agreed to join me for a reading of The Christmas Boot.  Tonight, I’ll try for Stowaway in a Sleigh.

 

christmas-boot

The Christmas Boot by Lisa Wheeler and illustrated by Jerry Pinkney

 

stowaway

Stowaway in a Sleigh by C. Roger Mader

Books Are Best – A Holiday Shopping List – Picture Books for K-5th Graders

Picture boos aren’t just for preschoolers.  Here’s a list of some of my favorites this year.

 

Kindergarten – Second Graders

wise-pig

Is That Wise, Pig? by Jan Thomas

Hare Tortoise

Hare and Tortoise by Alison Murray

 

Woodpecker Waffle

Woodpecker Wants a Waffle by Steve Breen

 

88-instruments

88 Instruments by Chris Barton and illustrated by Louis Thomas

sergio-saves-game

Sergio Saves the Game by Edel Rodriguez

 

Third – Fifth Graders

bloom

Bloom by Doreen Cronin and illustrated by David Small

 

saving-pepette

Painting Peppette by Linda Ravin Lodding and illustrated by Claire Fletcher

 

water-princess

Water Princess by Susan Verde and  illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

 

hat-goldman

A Hat for Mrs. Goldman:  A Story about Knitting and Love by Michelle Edwards and illustrated by G. Brian Karas

 

Books Are Best – A Holiday Shopping List – Preschool Edition

I’ve been slack in writing for the blog this year; but I’m a firm believer every child should receive at least one book under the tree.  Below of are some of my favorites published this year which preschoolers will enjoy.

bear-on-chair

There’s a Bear On my Chair by Ross Collins

bossier-baby

The Bossier Baby by Marla Frazee

panda-pants

Panda Pants by Jacqueline Davies and illustrated by Sydney Hanson

dylan-villian

Dylan the Villain by K.G Campbell

seen-elephant

Have You Seen Elephant? by David Barrow

horrible-bear

Horrible Bear by Ame Dyckman and illustrated by Zachariah OHora

The Goblin’s Puzzle – Mock Newbery 2017

goblins-puzzle

My dear friend and mother of ML’s best friend recently asked for ideas for potential 2017 Newbery Winners.  Begrudgingly, I am making recommendations.  They moved a few weeks before school started.  ML and I were both heartbroken; but I can never resist giving book recommendations.  The fact that ML and SJ will be together next weekend is making this post easier.  A week from tomorrow… not some much.  It will be the day they have to part again.

There are plenty of Mock Newbery Lists out there.  I’ve yet to see the The Goblin’s Puzzle by Andrew Chilton on any list; but it should be.  The only books I include on my list are ones I finish.  I devoured this one.  My friend is a lawyer so the logical thinking this book encourages will make her happy.  Her son is into millitary history; so the  battles will make him happy.  The two Alice’s in the book are feisty, independent girls; just like ML and SJ.

Here’s the synopsis from the publisher:

THE BOY is a nameless slave on a mission to uncover his true destiny.
THE GOBLIN holds all the answers, but he’s too tricky to be trusted.
PLAIN ALICE is a bookish peasant girl carried off by a confused dragon.
And PRINCESS ALICE is the lucky girl who wasn’t kidnapped.

All four are tangled up in a sinister plot to take over the kingdom, and together they must face kind monsters, a cruel magician, and dozens of deathly boring palace bureaucrats. They’re a ragtag bunch, but with strength, courage, and plenty of deductive reasoning, they just might outwit the villains and crack the goblin’s puzzle.

Don’t believe me that it’s worthy of a look?  School Library gave it a starred review.

“Brimming with sarcastic, cheeky, laugh-out-loud humor, this is a smart, original, and completely engaging adventure.” —School Library Journal, starred review

Toy Inventors

Lego InventorWhoosh

Do you have a child who loves Lego, but doesn’t like to read?  I found the perfect book for them.  Awesome Minds:  The Inventors of Lego Toys by Erin Hagar and art by Paige Garrison.  Have a child who doesn’t like to read but loves Super Soakers?  Try Whoosh!  Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions by Chris Barton and illustrated by Don Tate.  Both these books have engaging text and illustrations.  No boring biographies here.  An added bonus is both books show how perseverance pays off.

What I Do When There Are No Diary of a Wimpy Kid Books on the Shelf?

Actually, they rarely make it to the shelf.  I make certain to check the carts ready to be shelved.  If there aren’t any copies on the shelving carts, I offer to put the book on request.  I don’t want children leaving the library without a book;  so I try to sell them another series.  Big Nate was once my got to series; but they are usually checked out these days too.

This blog post has been in draft for over a year.  Yesterday, I realized summer is approaching quickly.  I needed to complete this post so I could access it all summer.  Even though I hadn’t finished the post, I used it last night.  A mom asked me, “Where are the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books?”  I explained the author’s last name was Kinney; but there probably wouldn’t be any on the shelf.  Then, added I had suggestions for similar books.  Here’s my recommendations for people who like Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Big Nate books.

Terrible Two

The Terrible Two  by Mac Barnett and Jory John and illustrated by Kevin Cornell

 

CluelessMcGee

Clueless McGee by Jeff Mack 

 

Julius Zebra

Julius Zebra by Gary Northfield

 

CharlieJoe

CharlieJoe Jackson by Tommy Greenwald and illustrated by JP Coovert

 

Qwikpick Papers

The Qwikpick Papers by Tom Angleberger

 

frank einstein

Frank Einstein by Jon Scieszka and illustrated by Brian Biggs

 

Tapper Twins

The Tapper Twins by Geoff Rodkey

 

Stick Dog

Stick Dog Wants a Hot Dog:  Another Really GOOD story with kind of BAD drawings by Tom Watson

 

Vordak

Vordak the Incomprehensible by Scott Seegert and illustrated by John Martin

 

Thirteenth Story Tree House

The 13-Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and illustrated by Terry Denton

 

Just Jake

Just Jake by Jake Marcionette

The Classroom

The Classroom by Robin Mellom and illustrated by Stephen Gilpin

 

Shredderman

Shredderman by Wendelin Van Draanen

 

Frankie Pickle

Frankie Pickle by Eric Wight

 

Billy Sure

Billy Sure Kid Entrepeneur invented by Luke Sharpe and drawings by Graham Ross

Teddy Mars

Teddy Mars by Molly B. Burnham and illustrated by Trevor Spencer

 

Alvin Ho

Alvin Ho by Lenore Look and illustrated by LeUyen Pham

 

Melonhead

Melonhead by Katy Kelly and illustrated by Gillian Johnson

 

Spaceheadz

Spaceheadz by Jon Scieszka, made extra-strength by Francesco Sedita and illustrated by Shane Prigmore

 

Timmy Failure

Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made by Stephen Pastis 

 

Desmond Pucket

Desmond Pucket by Mark Tatulli

 

Justin Case

Justin Case   by Rachel Vail and illustrated by Matthew Cordell

New Picture Books for the Newly Renovated Library

There are lots of pristine books at the renovated library.  Many of which I’ve read.  So I was excited when new picture books arrived at the library yesterday.  My favorites are below.

At the Farm

On the Farm, At the Market by G. Brian Karas – This book focuses on how a variety of things are grown or made for a farmer’s market. . . vegetables, mushrooms, cheese.  There’s a lot that goes into making a fresh meal.  This a fun story that shows the farm to market to restaurant concept with great illustrations.

Playtime

Playtime? by Jeff Mack – I love Jeff Mack’s book.  I once did a story time only using his books.  This one has great story time potential.  The last page will make you laugh out loud.

Sam and Jump

Sam and Jump by Jennifer K. Mann – “This one is for my sister, who took me back to the beach to look for my lost doll.  And for my dad, who made it possible to be at the beach in the first place.”  With a dedication like that, how can you resist reading the book?

More-Igami

More-igami by Dori Kleber and illustrated by G. Brian Karas – Finally, a book about the importance of practice that doesn’t feature sports.