Ame Dyckman and Zachariah Ohora Do It Again


I’ve yet to read a book written and illustrated by this duo which hasn’t resulted in me laughing out loud.  Ame Dyckman’s writing and Zachariah OHora’s illustrations are always a perfect match.

You must read, Read the Book, Lemmings – “The team behind the New York Times bestselling Wolfie the Bunny and Horrible Bear! is back with with new Arctic characters in this hilarious learning-to-read adventure!

Aboard the S.S. Cliff, First Mate Foxy reads an interesting fact: “Lemmings don’tjump off cliffs.” But Foxy can’t get the lemmings on the Cliff to read his book, too. They’re too busy jumping off.

After a chilly third rescue, exasperated Foxy and grumbly polar bear Captain PB realize their naughty nautical crew isn’t being stubborn: The lemmings (Jumper, Me Too, and Ditto) can’t read. And until Foxy patiently teaches his lemmings to read the book, he can’t return to reading it, either!” (publisher’s summary)

And if you haven’t read Wolfie the Bunny or Horrible Bear, check them out today.



I Hit The Jackpot Today. . .

Four new picture books and one juvenile nonfiction book were waiting for me when I arrived at work.  I’m about to read all of them and tell you what I think.

Are We There Yet

Are We There Yet? but Dan Santat – A problem has been solved.  I’ve been searching furiously for a book to read to 3rd-5th graders for my “On the Go” program.  I’ll teach games to play in a car, train or airplane.  Thankfully, I have lots of third-graders to help me decide which games to share.  Although, it’s possible we might spend the entire 45 minutes pouring over the delightful illustrations in this book and not get to the games.

Horrible Bear

Horrible Bear! by Ame Dyckman and illustrated by Zachariah OHora – My job responsibilites have changed; and I’m not doing a lot of story times.  One Saturday a month, I’ll have the honor.  The first book I want to read is Horrible Bear!  Ame Dycman books are always hilarious and startling.  Zachariah OHora’s illustrations are awesome.  So much so that it’s the first book I’m adding for a Mock Caldecott in 2017.

Twenty Yawns

Twenty Yawns by Jane Smiley and illustrated by Lauren Castillo –  Can an author of many novels for adults, one of which won the Pulitzer Prize write a great picture book?  The answer is yes.  This is a perfect bedtime story about a day in the life of a preschooler.  We need diverse books is an important plea by those who love children’s books.  This book meets the need in a very subtle way.  The family includes a father with lighter skin and a mother with darker skin.  This is how ML described people in preschool before learning labels based on race.  The love of this family for eachother is apparent in every illustration.  Another for the 2017 Mock Caldecott.

have a look

Have a Look, Says Book. by Richard Jackson and illustrated by Kevin Hawkes – This book is a must to help children learn about adjectives in a way that will resonate with them.  The page which will resonate with ML the most is “I am scratchy says tutu.”  It appears the scratchiness of ballet costumes has not changed since I was a child.  ML can vouch for that.

Worms for Breakfast

Worms for Breakfast:  How to Feed a Zoo by Helaine Becker and illustrated by Kathy Boake – My little animal loving chef is going to love this book.  A creative way to share information about the zoo, what animals eat and ways to take care of our earth which benefit animals.  I’d write more but I really want to read all the recipes from Platypus Party Mix to Midnight Mealworm Mush.  I’m seeing a program for kindergartners through fifth on graders on what animals eat in my future.

Why Picture Books are Important

PictureBook Ambassador

Today, a friend alerted me to a post called Why Picture Books are Important by Sophie Blackall at  Who knew November was Picture Book Month?

Each day, the site shares a post “from a picture book champion explaining why he/she thinks picture books are important.” I haven’t had a chance to read all the posts; but two have jumped out already.  Sophie Blackall’s post brought me to tears.  ML and I are fortunate to have access to so many picture books.  Not everyone does.  Ame Dyckman’s post eloquently explains why I think you should keep reading picture books to your child even after they can read.

Picture books transcend time and place.  If I were a famous picture book author/illustrator asked to write about why picture books are important, the following story would be included.

One day, while working at the library, a woman in her sixties approached me.  She asked for picture books to read to her eighty-five-year old mother who suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease.  Her mother was no longer able to communicate verbally.  The daughter explained, “I read her one of the books she read to me as a child recently.  Mom hung on every word and poured over the pictures.”  I hope ML and I are never in this situation.  If we are, I hope she continues our tradition of reading picture books.  Eight years so far; and I have no intention of stopping anytime soon.

Why are picture books important?  Five words… picture books help people connect.


Tea Parties

This is not a political piece.
However, I do have advice for all politicians –
Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Independent, Socialist, etc.
Read picture books about tea parties.
Your manners are lacking.  The books below will teach you etiquette.


Tea Party Rules by  Ame Dyckman and and  K. G. Campbell – This one begins by the hostess demanding her guests follow all the rules.  Very slowly the story develops a friendship that is more give and take, instead of dictatorial.

Tea Rex by Molly Idle – Mr. Rex is invited to tea at Cordelia’s house.  Even though he’s big and clumsy, he’s treated with respect.  At the end of the book, Cordelia is invited to sit down at the table with Mr. Rex and his dinosaur friends.  What a concept.  Sitting down at the table and treating others with respect.

Mind Your Manners, B.B. Wolf by Judy Sierra and illustrated by J. Otto Seibold – B.B. Wolf’s song says it best “Even in a house of bricks, big bad wolves can learn new tricks.  Sip your tea and never slurp, say “excuse me” if you burp.  Smile and have a lot of fun, But don’t go biting anyone!”

Miss Spider’s Tea Party by David Kirk – A classic from 1994.  Miss Spider invites various insects to join her for tea.  For obvious reasons, they refuse.  Until a fragile moth soaked from the rain accepts Miss Spiders hospitality.  The moth told the other insects about his experience.  So the other insects joined Miss Spider for tea.  Sometimes it only takes one to make a difference and get the conversation following a different path.

***I wrote this post during the government shutdown.  My hospitalization got in the way of my posting it.  The shutdown is over.  It’s only a matter of time before the next crisis.  Here’s hoping politicians will learn manners between now and then***