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.

 

 

Basketball Belles: How Two Teams and One Scrappy Player Put Women’s Hoops on the Map

Have you filled out your March Madness bracket yet?  I’m not asking about the men’s bracket.  That’s a no brainer.  It’s going to be a UNC Tarheels – Duke Blue Devils matchup in Phoenix.  It’s the WOMEN’S BRACKET you need to fill out and follow.  Our sons and daughters need to understand women play basketball too.  Their games are awesome, exciting and affordable.  Tickets for women’s basketball  are manageable, even on a librarian’s salary.  Men’s basketball tickets, not so much.  I know because I organized a mother/daughter excursion to watch the UNC – NC State Women’s basketball game.  There were twenty-three of us.  Half UNC fans.  Half NC State fans.  All the mom’s agreed we should make it a yearly tradition.

Basketball Belles:  How Two Teams and One Scrappy Player Put Women’s Hoops on the Map by Sue Macy and illustrated by Matt Collins chronicles the first women’s intercollegiate basketball game in 1896.  Stanford and Berkeley played at a neutral site.  In celebration of this historic event, I’ve picked Stanford and Berkeley to be the last teams standing in the 2017 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship Game.  Stanford will win the game as they did in 1896.  Rules and uniforms have changed these past 121 years.  The thrill of watching scrappy women fight it out is the same.

As most things in history, opportunities for men developed sooner than women.  The Olympics hosted the first men’s game in 1936.  Forty years later, women were given the opportunity to play at the Olympics.  In 1946, the first NBA game was played.  It wasn’t until 1997 the WNBA began.  That’s 51 years.  I’m thankful ML is being raised in a time where women have more choices for athletic opportunities.  Playing basketball is not her thing; and that’s ok.  But it’s some of her friends’ favorite activity.  I’m glad they can have Olympic dreams like ML does for gymnastics.

 

Anything But Ordinary Addie: The True Story of Adelaide Herrman Queen of Magic

Anything but Ordinary

Anything But Ordinary:  The True Story of Adelaide Herrmann Queen of Magic by Mara Rockliff and illustrated by Iacopo Bruno is ENCHANTING!  After reading it, I realized I couldn’t name a contemporary female magician.  I did a little web search.  It appears women are still a minority in the magic field.  Do not miss this book.  The story is empowering and the illustrations are captivating.  Next, read the interesting articles linked below.

Why Are There So Few Female Magicians?

Why Are There No Female Magicians?  Maybe Because We BURNED THEM ALL TO DEATH

Adelaide Herrman:  Queen of Magic

Wikipedia:  Adelaide Herrman

Adelaide 2

Adelaide

 

The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activitist

I’m back to writing about books for children.  I’ll devote the rest of this month to books about Amazing Women and Girls.

I’m embarrassed to say I’d never heard of the 1963 Birmingham Children’s March until I read The Youngest Marcher by Cynthia Levinson and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton.  Or if I did, I don’t remember it.  Which is worse than not knowing about it at all.  But I know now and plan to share this book with ML tonight.

The children of Birmingham in 1963 were strong, amazing children.  I can’t imagine agreeing to march, when I was in elementary school, knowing I would probably end up in jail.  Audrey was one of over 3000 brave children who marched.  Thank you Cynthia Levinson and Vanessa Brantley Newton for bringing this story to today’s children and ignorant adults like me.

The next book I plan to read is by Cynthia Levinson.  It provides more details about the march.

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

Back to School 2016

Steamboat School

School started this week.  I decided I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions very well.  So I’m doing New School Year’s Resolutions.  ML and and I selected three chapter books we would read together this summer.  We didn’t read any of them.  I don’t think we even read a picture book together.  One of my resolutions is getting back to our reading time.  Another is cooking something on the weekend for Monday night; so I don’t have my usual after work scramble.  Every year ML gets a new responsibility.  Last year, it was packing her lunch.  This year, it’s folding and putting away her laundry.

Reality set in and I returned the books we planned to read this summer weeks ago.  I’m waiting for one of them to arrive at my library.  However, I wanted us to start school on the right foot.  Laundry is folded and put away.  Dinner is ready for tomorrow night.  This left the reading resolution.  I didn’t want to start a chapter book; so I looked through my pile of picture books from the library.  Steamboat School:  Inspired by a True Story by Deborah Hopkinson and illustrated by Ron Husband was sitting there waiting to be read.

I’m not giving a summary of this book because I want you to discover the beauty of the loophole yourself.  Often, when people talk about loopholes it’s because someone is greedy.  The loophole highlighted in this book is selflessness at it’s  purest.

 

The Gallery

The Gallery

I cannot let another day go by without sharing The Gallery by Laura Marx Fitzgerald.

I don’t have time to write about it so I’ve put the publisher’s summary below.  I need to spend my limited time googling the paintings featured in the book.

“A riveting historical art mystery for fans of Chasing Vermeer and The Westing Game, set in the Roaring Twenties!

It’s 1929, and twelve-year-old Martha has no choice but to work as a maid in the New York City mansion of the wealthy Sewell family. But, despite the Gatsby-like parties and trimmings of success, she suspects something might be deeply wrong in the household—specifically with Rose Sewell, the formerly vivacious lady of the house who now refuses to leave her room. The other servants say Rose is crazy, but scrappy, strong-willed Martha thinks there’s more to the story—and that the paintings in the Sewell’s gallery contain a hidden message detailing the truth. But in a house filled with secrets, nothing is quite what it seems, and no one is who they say. Can Martha follow the clues, decipher the code, and solve the mystery of what’s really going on with Rose Sewell?

Inspired by true events described in a fascinating author’s note, The Gallery is a 1920s caper told with humor and spunk that readers today will love.”

Hamilton is All the Rage

Duel

Last October a book titled Aaron and Alexander:  The Most Famous Duel in American History written and illustrated by Don Brown arrived in the library just in time for me to take it to Georgia for Thanksgiving.  I’ve known about this duel far longer than most.  As a child, we would sometimes drive by the jail where Aaron Burr was jailed in Warthen, GA. (pronounced Wur-then) on the way to my grandparents.  My grandfather’s name was Warthen.  My mother lived in Warthen when she was a child.  Add in a history buff of a brother and you can see why I’ve know about the duel for so long.

The Friday after Thanksgiving, my brother’s family, ML and I packed up the car and headed toward Tennille, GA.  Along the way, I read Aaron and Alexander:  The Most Famous Duel in American History to ML, my niece and nephew.

We stopped at our favorite roadside barbecue restaurant.  It serves the same barbecue and brunswwick stew, I’ve loved for 40 years.  The building hasn’t changed either.  There’s still sawdust on the floor.  And the brunswick stew is the best in the world.  Before September 11th, I was known to carry a quart of it on the airplane from Atlanta to Raleigh.

After filling up on barbecue, we stopped at the jail in Warthen.  I have a mug shot to prove it.

We arrived in Georgia last weekend to the cd of Hamilton on full blast in my brother’s car.  Seeing that his US History paper in high school was titled “Hamiltonism vs Jeffersoniasm,” I was not surprised.  What did surprise me is how much ML loved it; even with my brother stopping the music every five seconds to give us a history lesson.  She demanded I order a copy for us; not that I hadn’t already planned to get one as soon as we arrived home.

For the past two weekends, we’ve been jamming to Hamilton with three people who most deserve front row tickets to Hamilton.  Last weekend, my brother.  This weekend, our friend and her son.  All were experts on Hamilton before Hamilton was cool.  My friend refers to Hamilton as her “historical boyfriend.”  There’s nothing like driving your child to camp with three kids in the back singing Hamilton at the top of their lungs.

I confess. I’ve been playing it full blast on my way to work this week.  It’s left me in a historical frame of mind.  Expect to read about more illustrated, nonfiction books about historical times and places in the very new future.

mugshot

Even More Picture Books

Summer at the library is CRAZY.  We continue to get great new books, but I’m too tired to write about them when I get home.  Here’s a list of my recent favorites with a very small sentence about each one.  When life calms down, I’ll link to the books and authors but I wanted to get these titles out to you because summer is the perfect time to read great books.

Dog Chicken

My Dog’s a Chicken by Susan McElroy Montanari and illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf – Lula Mae’s chicken is a mighty good dog.  Herding, watching and rescuing.  Delightful illustrations.

Hector

Hector and Hummingbird by Nicholas John Frith – Love the artwork. Love the story line.  Love the book!

Blocks

Blocks by Irene Dickson – As a child, I loved playing with blocks.  So any picture books about blocks make me happy.  The added bonus of this book is it teaches about sharing in a not too preachy way.

Hoot and Peep

Hoot and Peep by Lita Judge – Some of us sing to a different hoot.  An entertaining book about differences in siblings.  A great read aloud with phrases like “Schweep dingity dong, schweep dingity dong.”

Opposite Zoo

The Opposite Zoo by Il Sung Na – I get asked for books on opposites frequently.  There aren’t enough out there.  And non of them are as beautiful as this one.

Brave Bear

A Brave Bear by Sean Taylor and Emily Hughes – Seeing that it’s already reached over 90 degrees this summer, I could relate to the beginning line of this book.”The sun was hot.  The air was hot.  Even the shade was hot.”  A fun read aloud with beautiful illustrations.

 

Little Bitty Friends by Elizabeth McPike and Patrice Barton – A perfect book for baby storytime.

Quackers

Quackers by Liz Wong – A cat who thinks he’s a duck, until he meets some cats.  This cat merges the best of both worlds.

Dylan Villian

Dylan the Villain by K. G. Campbell – First line of the book, “Mr. and Mrs. Snivels were minding their own business, when they happened to have a baby.”

Maggie and Wendel

Maggie and Wendel:  Imagine Everything! by Cori Doerrfeld  – I love this brother/sister combo.

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.

How I Met Mr. Pants

Mr Pants

I love how my library system runs it’s Summer Reading Program.  Children aren’t required to keep track of the amount of time they read or the number of books they read throughout the summer.  It’s a low stress program to make reading and visiting the library fun.  Children are rewarded for visiting the library and telling us about favorite books.  Each child receives a sturdy plastic bag and a reading log.  On one side of the reading log is a place to write favorite books read over the summer.  The other side has a maze featuring our library mascot.  Children receive stickers for their maze when they tell us about their favorite books, bring their bag to carry books home and attend programs.  If they check out books, they get what we call a “Weekly Wow.”  Something different and special every week.  Bubbles, bookmarks, tattoos. . . you get the idea.

Last week, a girl around ML’s age told me about a book she loved.  It was a graphic novel about a cat named Mr. Pants.  It sounded great so I immediately found the first book in the series when she left, Mr Pants:  It’s Go Time by Scott McCormick and illustrated by R. H. Lazzell.  Even though ML tells me weekly, “I don’t like comic books.”  I’ve come to realize it’s not graphic novels she doesn’t like, it’s superhero graphic novels.  She devoured El Deafo by Cece Bell a few weeks ago.  So I knew she’d enjoy Mr. Pants.  I read a bit of the first book to her before bedtime.  She asked if she could take it to bed and finished it before she went to sleep.  Then, I finished it the next morning.  We were both eager for the next book in the series.  I did something I rarely do on a day off.  We visited our local library.  Sadly, the next Mr. Pants book wasn’t on the shelf.  Luckily, I found the other two this morning at my library.

Our semi-annual trip to visit ML’s cousins is coming soon.  We always take books.  Luckily, our local bookstore had a copy of Mr. Pants:  It’s Go Time.  ML’s with her dad this week.  It’s going to be really hard for  me to hold out reading the next two titles in the Mr. Pants series without her.  The only way to resist this temptation is to put them back on the shelf.  They won’t stay there long.  I’m certain to throw them in the hands within the first hour I work tomorrow.

PS:  If you happen to order books for my library system, a new Mr. Pants book was released June, 7th.  Mr Pants: Camping Catastrophe.  I only mention this because I know children are eager for another Mr. Pants book.  It has nothing to do with me wanting to read it.

More New Picture Books

Best of today’s batch. . .

Hare Tortoise

Hare and Tortoise by Alison Murray – I love this rendition of the famous Aesop fable.  A fluid, interactive text for story time and beautiful illustrations.

Peep and Egg

Peep and Egg:  I’m Not Hatching by Laura Gehl and illustrated by Joyce Wan – A perfect book for story time.  Every child will want to shout “I’m Not Hatching” at the top of their lungs.  I’m eager for the second in this series to arrive,  Peep and Egg:  I’m Not Trick-or-Treating.

 

Rules of House

Rules of the House by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Matt Myers – Just read what the book jacket says.  You won’t be able to resist…

Follow the rules.
BRUSH YOUR TEETH.
MAKE YOUR BED.
AND NEVER
EVER
OPEN THE RED DOOR.

 

Ten Hungry Pigs

Ten Hungry Pigs by Derek Anderson – A book about counting and food with a twist at the end.  Another perfect story time book.

 

Hensel

Hensel and Gretel:Ninja Chicks by Corey Rosen Schwartz and Rebecca J. Gomez and illustrated by Dan Santat – Forget Hansel and Gretel and the temptation of a gingerbread house..  Hensel and Gretel and the cornbread cottage is where it’s at.

Books for a Rising 4th Grade Dog Lover

I’m taking orders for personalized summer reading lists.  My first request was for a rising 4th grade girl who LOVES dogs.  There are 238 chapter books with the subject heading of dogs at my branch alone.  Below are my recommendations for AB.  I’ve added a story about a cat and another about a sassy girl to provide a little variety to AB’s summer reading.

rain reign

Rain Reign by Ann K. Martin – “Rose Howard is obsessed with homonyms. She’s thrilled that her own name is a homonym, and she purposely gave her dog Rain a name with two homonyms (Reign, Rein), which, according to Rose’s rules of homonyms, is very special. Not everyone understands Rose’s obsessions, her rules, and the other things that make her different – not her teachers, not other kids, and not her single father.  When a storm hits their rural town, rivers overflow, the roads are flooded, and Rain goes missing. Rose’s father shouldn’t have let Rain out. Now Rose has to find her dog, even if it means leaving her routines and safe places to search.” (from publisher’s website)

Handful Stars

Handful of Stars by Cynthia Lord – “When Lily’s blind dog, Lucky, slips his collar and runs away across the wide-open blueberry barrens of eastern Maine, it’s Salma Santiago who manages to catch him. Salma, the daughter of migrant workers, is in the small town with her family for the blueberry-picking season.  After their initial chance meeting, Salma and Lily bond over painting bee boxes for Lily’s grandfather, and Salma’s friendship transforms Lily’s summer. But when Salma decides to run in the upcoming Blueberry Queen pageant, they’ll have to face some tough truths about friendship and belonging. Should an outsider like Salma really participate in the pageant-and possibly win?” (from publisher’s website)

Honey

Honey by Sarah Weeks -“Melody has lived in Royal, Indiana, for as long as she can remember. It’s been just her and her father, and she’s been okay with that. But then she overhears him calling someone “Honey” and suddenly it feels like everyone in Royal has a secret. It’s up to Melody and her best friend, Nick, to piece together the clues and discover why Honey is being hidden.  Meanwhile, a dog named Mo is new to Royal. He doesn’t remember much from when he was a puppy, but he keeps having dreams of a girl he is bound to meet someday. This girl, he’s sure, will change everything.” (from publisher’s website)

dog diaries

Dog Diaries by Kate Klimo – “For anyone who has ever wanted a puppy, the DOG DIARIES series tells a dog’s story in a new way–from a dog’s point of view! Focusing on a different breed for each book, starting with a Golden Retriever and a German Shepherd, these stories are based on true dog stories or on true-to-life situations.” (from publisher’s website)

Cat Who Came In Off the Roof

The Cat Who Came in Off the Roof by Annie Schmidt – “An act of kindness brings shy reporter Mr. Tibble into contact with the unusual Miss Minou. Tibble is close to losing his job because he only writes stories about cats. Fortunately, Minou provides him with real news. She gets the juicy inside information from her local feline friends, who are the eyes and ears of the neighborhood. Tibble is appreciative, but he wonders how she does it. He has noticed that Minou is terrified of dogs and can climb trees and rooftops with elegance and ease. . . . It’s almost as if she’s a cat herself. But how can that be?” (from publisher’s website)

When Mischief Came to Town

When Mischief Came to Town by Katarina Nannestad – “When Inge Maria arrives on the tiny island of Bornholm in Denmark to live with her grandmother, she’s not sure what to expect. Her grandmother is stern, the people on the island are strange, and children are supposed to be seen and not heard.   But no matter how hard Inge tries to be good, mischief has a way of finding her.     Could it be that a bit of mischief is exactly what Grandmother and the people of Bornholm need?” (from publisher’s website)

Save Me a Seat

Save Me a Seat

I LOVED Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan!  It includes the funniest scene I’ve read in children’s literature.  Let’s just say karma happens to a kleptomaniac, bully in such a way that you can’t help but cheer and laugh out loud.  I will be nominating this book to be included on the 2017-2018 North Carolina Children’s Book Award contenders.  Plus forcing it into the hands of every 4th-6th grader I know; especially boys.  First stops, Cole and Eli

Here’s a synopsis from the publisher:

“Joe and Ravi might be from very different places, but they’re both stuck in the same place: school.

Joe’s lived in the same town all his life, and was doing just fine until his best friends moved away and left him on his own. Ravi’s family just moved to America from India, and he’s finding it pretty hard to figure out where he fits in.

Joe and Ravi don’t think they have anything in common, but soon enough they have a common enemy (the biggest bully in their class) and a common mission: to take control of their lives over the course of a single crazy week.”

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.

 

 

ML Reads is Three Years Old!!!

I can’t believe it’s been three years since I started this blog.  I started it on a whim ML’s last month of kindergarten.  This weekend, I realized how very grown up and mature my soon to be fourth grader is.  The blog has evolved these past three years.  I’m certain it will continue to evolve each year.  Expect to see more chapter books and nonfiction books.  Maybe even a young adult book or two.  Don’t worry picture books are my first love; so I’ll continue to share my favorites.  Below are some books with three in their title.  I’ve read two out of three.  Three Times Lucky is on my to read list.  I’m embarrassed I haven’t read it.  It’s a Newbery Honor book by a North Carolina author.

Goldy Luck

Goldy Luck and The Three Pandas by Natasha Yim and illustrated by Grace Zong – One Chinese New Year, Goldy Luck’s mother asks her to take a plate of turnip cakes to the neighbors. The Chans aren’t home, but that doesn’t stop Goldy from trying out their rice porridge, their chairs, and their beds—with disastrous results.

Thre Times Lucky

Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage – Rising sixth grader Miss Moses LoBeau lives in the small town of Tupelo Landing, NC, where everyone’s business is fair game and no secret is sacred. She washed ashore in a hurricane eleven years ago, and she’s been making waves ever since. Although Mo hopes someday to find her “upstream mother,” she’s found a home with the Colonel–a café owner with a forgotten past of his own–and Miss Lana, the fabulous café hostess. She will protect those she loves with every bit of her strong will and tough attitude. So when a lawman comes to town asking about a murder, Mo and her best friend, Dale Earnhardt Johnson III, set out to uncover the truth in hopes of saving the only family Mo has ever known.

Breakthrough

Breakthrough:  How Three People Saved Blue Babies and Changed Medicine Forever by Jim Murphy – In 1944 an unprecedented surgical procedure repaired the heart of a child with blue baby syndrome—lack of blood oxygen caused by a congenital defect. This landmark operation opened the way for all types of open heart surgery. The team that developed it included a cardiologist and a surgeon, but most of the actual work was done by Vivien Thomas, an African American lab assistant who was frequently mistaken for a janitor.

 

The Bear Ate Your Sandwich

Bear Ate Sandwich

On Tuesday, I’ll be presenting my first program for kindergarten through second graders at my newly renovated library.  On Thursday, it will be for third –  fifth graders.  I’ll start the program with the clever book, The Bear Ate Your Sandwich by Julia Sarcone-Roach.  Then, we’ll brainstorm what you can put on a sandwich.  From there, its a creative mixed-media bonanza.  I have construction paper, fancy cutting scissors, colored pompoms, tissue paper, chenille stickers, feathers, buttons and more which each child can use to create their own sandwich.  Thankfully, I have artistic coworkers to compensate for my lack of visual artistry.  Below is an example sure to entice families to return to the library next week.

Hamburger

 

Meet Cody

CodyFountainCodyUniverse

There’s a new girl in town for fans of Judy Moody and Clementine.  Two books about Cody have been published.  I hope the author, Tricia Springstubb and illustrator, Eliza Wheeler are working on a third book.

I’m glad I discovered Cody before the summer reading rush.  Parents are always seeking books that are appropriate for readers who are ready for the next step from Magic Tree House books; but they aren’t ready for a more mature plot.  Think avid kindergarten – second graders.

“So many things twang Cody’s heart: her genius big brother, her new friend Spencer, and an old cat named MewMew. For her, each day brims with surprises, so grab your hat and join the fun. First book in a brand new series!” (from author’s website)

Here’s a glimpse of the first few sentences from the first two books.

Cody and the Fountain of Happiness
“In this life many things are beautiful:
Marshmallows
100% on your spelling test
Turtles, with their cute thumb-shaped head
But if Cody had to name the most beautiful thing in the world, it would be. . .
The first day of summer vacation.”

Cody and the Mysteries of the Universe
“In this life, many things are hard to wait for:
Your turn
Your birthday
Being allowed to get a real tattoo
But if Cody had to name the hardest thing of all,  it would be waiting for her best friend, Spencer.”

I read 87 pages of the first book without stopping.  That’s unusual for me in a chapter book for the younger set.  I’m eager to get home, put on my jammies and continue to read about Cody’s adventures.