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.

I’m On My Own – Twenty Picture Book Arrivals

Looks like I’m on my own for a bit with picture books.  ML wants us to read chapter books together.  I thought I could sneak a few picture books into our bedtime reading.  It didn’t work, she’s adamant.  We’ve decided to start the first Harry Potter book.

So I’m on my own until I convince her that picture books are great for every age.  In twenty words or less, I’m sharing my favorite part of the following seventeen??? picture books

Little Red's Riding Hood

Little Red’s Riding Hood by Peter Stein and illustrated by Chris Gall – “Why, Granny!  What a big GRILLE you have!”

Yeti and the Bird

Yeti and the Bird by Nadia Shireen – Worm Jam

 

Hoot Owl

Hoot Owl:  Master of Disguise by Sean Taylor and illustrated Jean Jullien – Pay attention to the eyes.

Nobody's Perfect

Nobody’s Perfect by David Elliott and illustrated by Sam Zuppardi – “This is my room before I clean it.  This is my room after I clean it.”

Backwards Birthday

The Backwards Birthday Party by Tom Chapin and John Forster and illustrated by Chuck Groenink – “We blindfolded the donkey, and he pinned the tail on us.”

You Are Not Small

You Are (Not) Small by Anna Kang and illustrated by Christopher Weyant – I loved the big gray-green, hairy monster leg and the parachuting pink monsters.

No, Silly

No, Silly! by Ken Krug – “I like to sleep on cookies.”

Glamourpuss

Glamourpuss by Sarah Weeks and illustrated by David Small – The cat says “ME” and the dog says “WOW.”

Little Puffin's First Flight

Little Puffin’s First Flight by Jonathan London and illustrated by Jon Van Zyle “a puffling will eats as many as 2,000 fish in its first six weeks of life.”

Big Tractor

Big Tractor by Nathan Clement – A unique book about seasons sharing the life of a farmer and various farm equipment used throughout the year.

You Nest Here

You Nest Here With Me by Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple and illustrated by Melissa Sweet – Who knew cowbirds don’t make nests? “the uninvited guest, Leaves her egg in a foster nest”

I Don't Want to Be a Frog

I Don’t Want to Be a Frog by Dev Petty and illustrated by Mike Boldt – “You are a Wet, Slimy, Bug-Eating very luck Frog.”

In

In by Nikki McClure – Don’t miss the Owl Guide at the end of the book.

 

Counting Crows

Counting Crows by Kathi Appelt and illustrated by Rob Dunlavey – Fun words throughout the book. . . by jango, smackers, grackle, yeppers.  Who knew crows could look so delightful?

My Pen

My Pen by Christopher Myers – A book celebrating drawing in creative illustrations and words.  “My pen tap-dances on the sky.”

Nana in the City

Nana in the City by Lauren Castillo – “I felt brave in my cape.”  what a great line.

Room for Bear

Room for Bear by Ciara Gavin – I love Bear’s problem solving and the “Eat Quack Love” sign in his den.

Little Bird Takes a Bath

Little Bird Takes a Bath by Marisabina Russo – I broke out in song throughout the book, “Rain, Rain Go Away” “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” and many other classics.

P.Zonka

P. Zonka Lays an Egg by Julie Paschkis -I love this chicken that marches to a different drummer and lays eggs on her own terms.

If I Had Triceratops

If I had a Triceratops by George O’Connor – The illustrations for “I’d be sure to clean up after her” and the one of her playing fetch.

 

 

2015 Caldecott Winners… According to ML and Calvin

BeekleNoisy Paint Box

Last year, ML and Calvin chose winners for their 2014 Mock Caldecott in record speed.  This year, they delved a little deeper.  However, once again they couldn’t reach a consensus.

Today, I gave them a stack of books for their 2015 Mock Caldecott.  I asked both of them to individually chose five favorites.  Then, I encouraged them to reach a consensus on five books to go to the next round.  They did it.  Friends since the age of two, I love watching them grow and mature together.  After whittling the list to five, they had a thoughtful and respectful discussion on which book should win.  They weren’t in agreement.  If I pushed it, they might have reached a consensus.  I decided to save it for next year.

Calvin’s Winner
The Adventures of Beekle: The UnImaginary Friend  by Dan Santat

Mary Louise’s Winner
The Noisy Paint Box by Barb Rosenstock and Mary Grandpre

Honor Books
The Troublemaker by Lauren Castillo
Where’s Mommy? by Beverly Donofrio and Illustrated by Barbara McClintock
Three Bears in a Boat by David Soman

The TroublemakerWhere'sMommyThreeBearsInBoat

Wintry Weather

OutsideSnowmans StoryFirst SnowBlizzardThe Reader

Last year we were inundated with 2 hour delays, 2 hour early releases, and school cancelled due to weather.  Today, was our first brush with winter weather for 2015.  (No snow.  Icy roads and trees.)  This delay wasn’t anxiety producing like it usually is for me.  We learned of the delay early last evening.  I don’t work until noon on Wednesdays.  So ML and I slept late, ate a leisurely breakfast and enjoyed each other’s company.

Below are picture books about wintry weather published in the past year.  Except, The Reader, published in 2012.  I discovered it this summer and have been waiting for the first wintry mix to share it with you.

Outside by Deirdre Gill – “In this gentle picture book fantasy, a child’s world transforms through his hard work, imagination, and persistence when he opens the door and steps outside, into to the brave new world of his imagination.”

Snowman’s Story by Will Hillenbrand – “One wintry day, a hat lands on the head of a newly made snowman and brings him to life. Hiding inside the hat is a rabbit, who listens to the snowman read a story to some animal friends. When the snowman falls asleep, the rabbit hops away with the book. But the snowman isn’t about to let his story—or the mischievous rabbit—get away. The chase is on!”

First Snow by Peter McCarty – “It’s a day of firsts for Pedro . . . First snowfall. First snow angel. First taste of a snowflake. First sled run. First snowball fight!”

Blizzard by John Rocco – “Blizzard is based on John Rocco’s childhood experience during the now infamous Blizzard of 1978, which brought 53 inches of snow to his town in Rhode Island.”

The Reader by Amy Hest and illustrated by Lauren Castillo – In this timeless picture book, a new reader trudges through deep snow with a mysterious suitcase in tow. He has something important to share with his faithful companion, who bolts ahead to wait at the top of a tall hill. Our small hero climbs higher and higher, until finally, he is there, too. Then he opens his suitcase—click, click—and soon the only sound in the world is the sound of the reader reading their very favorite book to the very last page…the very last word.”

Fun With Cousins – But Only Two Books

Peanut Butter and CupcakeThe Troublemaker

ML’s cousins visited last weekend. Forty eight hours of fun, but only two books read out loud to them. I planned to share at least five. Want to know what kept this from happening?

  • Visiting a local park to ride the train and spin around on the historic carousel built in 1911.
  • Lunch at our favorite cafe.
  • Feeding the fish in the koi pond at the local garden store.
  • An elevator ride to the top of one of the few skyscrapers in our growing city.
  • A trip to the cupcake shop riding the free bus that circles downtown to get there.
  • Dinner at a restaurant where fresh seafood has been served since 1931.
  • A sleepover with cozy blankets on the floor with lots of whispering after lights out.
  • Visiting two rival colleges roughly ten miles apart.  My brother attended one.  I the other.
  • Lunch at a famous restaurant that serves some of the best southern cooking in the world.
  • Lots of creative play by two seven-year-old girls and one four-year-old boy.

The creative play idea began in a law firm office.  My brother visited with his former colleagues.  Not much fun for three active children.  Until one of the lawyers, who has grandchildren, gave them free reign with his office supplies.  Tape, rubber bands, paperclips.  He even let them rummage through his desk drawers looking for more.

When we arrived home the first afternoon, it was raining cats and dogs.  ML found the office supplies and craft materials.  They closed the door to her bedroom and got to work.  Somewhere along the way they decided to sell their wares to their parents, aunts and uncle.  They played this game three different times.  Making items on Friday afternoon; then selling them to us.  Saturday morning they woke up first and started making items to sell.  When my brother and his wife arrived from the hotel, the store opened.  Then, they chose to go home to make and sell more things Saturday afternoon, instead of getting cupcakes or ice cream.

See why we only read two books?  Peanut Butter & Cupcake by Terry Border was a hit with them.  To get an idea of this self proclaimed Humorist, Photographer and Earthling’s sense of humor check out “My Many Tries At My First Book Cover.”  I’m mad I didn’t discover this post about the books his publisher passed up on.  A peanut butter filled take on famous children’s books before their visit.

The other book we read was The Troublemaker by Lauren Castillo which I shared with you recently.  We watched the video that sparked the idea for the book.  If you haven’t seen it, you are missing out on a huge laugh.

CarouselDSC01158The Wares

The Troublemaker by Lauren Castillo

The Troublemaker

Read The Troublemaker by Lauren Castillo!  Then, read it again.  There are so many things you will miss in the illustrations the first time around.  The publisher describes the book as “A sweet and satisfying story of a brother and a sister, a trouble maker or two, and a raccoon beautifully illustrated in a folksy vintage style.”  Satisfying is too mild a word for this book.

When you read Lauren Castillo’s blog about how she got her ideas for the book, you’ll laugh even more.  Don’t miss the video of the raccoon.  So glad to discover Lauren Castillo.  I visited her Studio 6 shop and coveted many items.

Don’t forget to watch the video of the raccoon!!!  I’ve been making people laugh all week.