Posted in Uncategorized

Great books for Toddler Storytime!

Just Like Me, by Joshua Seigal/Illustrated by Amélie Falière, (Sept. 2017, Flying Eye Books), $13.99, ISBN: 9781911171119

Recommended for readers 2-4

Can you rub your tum? Can you stretch up high? Join a little girl and her fuzzy friend as they play a game of Just Like Me with colorful animals! Tap your foot like a rabbit, stretch your neck like a giraffe, or spin like a dog: this book is made for a storytime activity or an animal storytime. I’d pair this with Eric Carle’s Head to Toe, Sandra Boynton’s Barnyard Dance, and Lindsey Craig’s Dancing Feet for an interactive, physical toddler time. The colors are bright and the bold, black text makes it easy to read along as you show off the story.




Posted in Non-fiction, Non-Fiction

Crazy About Cats? You’ll love this book!

Crazy About Cats, by Owen Davey, (Sept. 2017, Flying Eye Books), $19.95, ISBN: 9781911171164

Recommended for readers 5-12

Smart About Sharks’ author-illustrator Owen Davey returns with a look at cats big and small in Crazy About Cats. The illustrated infographics give kids visuals to help them relate to age-appropriate scientific text.Did you know that the Fishing Cat has webbed paws to help it catch fish? Or that a Sand Cat’s furry paws help keep it from sinking into the desert sand?

The artwork is beautiful and bold, with just enough factoids throughout to keep feline fans happy. A nice add to nonfiction collections, especially ones that are heavy on animals.


Posted in Animal Fiction, Early Reader, Fiction, Preschool Reads, Toddler Reads

Boo! Who’s biggest? Who’s bravest?

boo_1Boo!, by Ben Newman, (Apr. 2017, Nobrow), $12.99, ISBN: 9781911171058

Recommended for ages 3-6

A cute little mouse claims to be the bravest animal around, but he has no idea what’s coming up behind him… BOO! Each animal in Boo! is ready to brag about being the bravest, but there’s always a shadow lurking, waiting to pounce in the next spread in this fun cumulative story. This is a fun story about size and how being the biggest may not always mean being the bravest. It’s a fun, interactive read, giving kids the opportunity to call out when there’s a rising shadow that the current bravest animal doesn’t know about, and to yell, “BOO!” in each reveal. You can make animal noises, ask kids to predict what animal is in shadow, and what animal could be scarier as you progress.

There’s a nice rhythm to the story: animal states that he or she is the bravest; the opposite page shows a shadowy antagonist rising up behind the current star of the story, and the following spread features the jump scare reveal. Kids will love the suspense and the chance to be part of the story. Ben Newman’s retro art is fun and bright, with exaggerated scale and reactions for his characters. This is an especially great read-aloud, yell-along book for toddler and pre-k audiences! Fun endpapers show the progression of the scare chain.





Ben Newman is an award-winning illustrator who also works on the Professor Astro Cat children’s books with Dr. Dominic Walliman; also published by Nowbrow/Flying Eye Books. His website has a podcast, some great artwork and a trailer for Boo!, which is currently released in the UK.



Posted in Adventure, Fantasy, Fiction, Fiction, Graphic Novels, Intermediate, Middle Grade, Tween Reads

Hilda’s newest adventure: The Stone Forest!

hilda-and-the-stone-forestHilda and the Stone Forest, by Luke Pearson, (Oct. 2016, Flying Eye Books), $19.95, ISBN: 9781909263741

Recommended for ages 6-12

The blue-haired adventure-seeker is back in her sixth installment! The time out, Hilda’s grounded, but that’s not stopping her. The only problem is that when she sets out for her latest adventure, her mom catches her and ends up along for the trip. Hilda and her mom are at each other while lost in Trolberg, the land of the trolls, and Hilda has to figure out how to get them both home safely – as a troll!

The Hilda series is such a good graphic novel series for all-ages readers. There’s fun, adventure, and a strong Scandinavian influence that draws readers right in, takes hold of their imaginations, and doesn’t let go. The cartoony art is fun and vibrant and Hilda’s sense of adventure is great. I love that Mom got into the act in this adventure, and I love that she and Hilda bicker through a good portion of this adventure, because it’s fun and yet it’s real. Yes, you’re in a land of trolls with your daughter, but she was grounded is disobeyed you, and now you’re both in this mess? I’d be giving my son grief all the way home.

I met Hilda when I found her first adventure on the shelves at the first library I worked at about two years ago. I need to catch up on more Hilda, though; she’s great fun, and I love introducing graphic novel fans to her adventures. Booktalk this with your other Hilda books, plus other great girl-power graphic novels like Zita the Spacegirl, Cleopatra in Space, and Phoebe and Her Unicorn. For tween readers , talk up the Zaria Fierce books, which also incorporate Scandinavian myths (trolls!) and stars another strong, smart heroine.

Have a look at some of the art from Hilda and the Stone Giants, courtesy of the Nobrow website.







More great news! Hilda is coming to Netflix in 2018!



Posted in Early Reader, Fiction, Fiction, Intermediate

A microraptor’s adventure; Neffy and the Feathered Dinosaurs

neffy_1Neffy and the Feathered Dinosaurs, by Joe Lillington, (Oct. 2016, Nobrow), $17.95, ISBN: 9781909263895

Recommended for ages 4-10

Neffy the Microraptor is about to go for her first flight – but she doesn’t know what to do after she spreads her wings! Her brothers and sisters have flown ahead, and she needs to catch up! Join Neffy on her adventure, as she meets other dinosaurs and tries to figure out how to get airborne.

This is such a fun combination of fact and fiction. We have Neffy’s fictional story, where a young microraptor tries to learn how to fly and meets feathered dinosaurs along the way. Each dinosaur she encounters has a profile at the bottom of the page, where readers learn the dinosaur’s name and scientific name, size and weight, habitat, diet, family of dinosaurs it belongs to, geographic location and era in which the dinosaurs lived. An author’s note mentions that this isn’t supposed to be a linear book – eras are mixed and matched for fun and to introduce a number of feathered dinosaurs to readers.

Neffy is a good book for a wide range of readers. Kids love dinosaurs, and feathered dinosaurs are a fairly recent discovery, so it’s exciting to read. Younger readers will enjoy Neffy’s story and the bright, fun artwork. Older readers will also enjoy going a little deeper an learning more about these dinosaurs, thanks to the additional information on such dinos as the sinosauropteryx, troodon, and gallimimus. A spread at the end of the book shows readers the scale of a range of dinosaurs – and some humans!

neffy_6Image courtesy of Nobrow Press

Display this one with Brenda Z. Guiberson’s Feathered Dinosaurs, and show off some more feathered dinos at the American Museum of Natural History’s site. Older readers will get a kick out of the Time for Kids article, “Fuzzy, Was He?”, that discusses the T Rex’s feathered relatives.





Joe Lillington is a UK-based author and illustrator. Check out more of his illustration at his website.

Posted in Non-Fiction, Non-Fiction

Get Smart About Sharks!

smart about sharksSmart About Sharks, by Owen Davey (Aug. 2016, Nobrow Ltd), $19.95, ISBN: 9781909263918

Recommended for ages 5-10

Kids love sharks. Owen Davey’s Smart About Sharks is going to jump off the shelves and demand to go home with these kids. What’s not to love? There are great infographics giving out wild information (wait until you see all the different kinds of teeth found in sharks across the world), bright, brilliant artwork with a retro feel to it, and tons of facts about sharks, including a debunking of their status as maneaters: if you’re on a surfboard, you look like a seal, and the book has the artwork to prove it.

I love Nobrow/Flying Eye books. They produce beautiful art books that appeal to kids. They manage to find amazing authors and illustrators who know how to attract a reader’s attention and provide facts in a way that is exciting, interesting, and fun. I’ll add this to my nonfiction collection, and I’m buying one for my own home. My 3 year old can’t get enough of this book, and can tell me which shark is a basking shark, and that a megalodon tooth is as big as a person’s head. No, he didn’t read that by himself, but he remembers it every time he sees the basking shark picture, and the infographic that shows the sizes of a great white shark and human being in proportion to a megalodon. Like I said: kids love sharks, and this book knows it.

Add this to collections where animal books are popular.

Posted in Early Reader, Non-Fiction

Follow a penguin chick’s daily adventures One Day on Our Blue Planet… in the Anarctic

antarctic_1One Day On Our Blue Planet… In the Antarctic, by Ella Bailey (April 2016, Nobrow), $16.95, ISBN: 9781909263673
Recommended for ages 3-7
Join an Adélie penguin chick as she gets breakfast from her mother and heads out into the giant world on her own! We see her jump into the water and swim, searching for food, encountering whales and seals, and making sure to avoid becoming someone else’s dinner! Along the way, readers learn about how penguins like our little Adélie friend will travel for years before returning to solid land, how penguin bodies develop to keep warm, what they eat, and meet other types of penguins and sea animals.
Adorable, child-friendly, cartoony illustrations introduce us to all sorts of sea life, including a warty squid porpoise, Antarctic krill, leopard seal, and humpback whale. This is a fun introduction to the Antarctic for young audiences, with an animal kids already love: Penguins! Books like this help turn kids on to nonfiction – pair it with some Salina Yoon for a great penguin storytime, or have a nature read-aloud by pairing with the first book in the series, One Day On Our Blue Planet… In the Savannah.

Ella Bailey is an illustrator and writer. You can see more of her illustrations at Ohh Deer, and you can see some more art from One Day On Our Blue Planet… In the Antarctic right here.





Posted in Early Reader

Do You Hear What I Hear? Vintage Art helps create a symphony!

9781909263857_e3d21Do You Hear What I Hear?, by Helen Borten (May 2016, Flying Eye Books/Nobrow), $17.95, ISBN: 9781909263857

Recommended for ages 4-8

A companion to Ms. Borten’s Do You See What I See?, Do You Hear What I Hear?, also published in 1959, introduces children to the effects different sounds can have on them.

“Loud sounds make can me feel fierce as a lion and as explosive as a firecracker. The sound of the circus fills me with excitement. I hear animals roaring, music blaring, people shouting, hands clapping, peanut shells cracking, and balloons bursting.”

Accompanied by her beautiful artwork, these images have texture that help kids unpack the sensations described in the text. The frenetic atmosphere of the circus is captured in the many lines stabbing the spread; the cords holding up the big top and the trapeze wires; the motion of the swinging trapeze artist and the balloons, and the animals walking across the pages.



Originally published in 1959, Mr. Borten’s beautiful, vintage artwork adds texture to the basics: lines, color, and shape, whether it’s by adding swirls to an ocean full of fish or wispy, thin spider webs above the thick bars of a lion’s cage. Ms. Borten artwork and evocative text inspires children to see the world around them “as a great big painting, full of lines and shapes and colors, to look at and enjoy”.

This is a great book to read out loud, then talk about the different sounds and feelings kids associate with them. I know the sizzle of a grill makes me think of summer, and I can feel the warmth on my skin and taste the tart lemonade just thinking about it, and the scent of a box of crayons makes me feel excited, like I’m ready for the first day of school all over again. Have kids draw what different sounds make them think of, or describe them. I’ll be adding this book to  my family storytime rotation for sure.

Do You Hear What I Hear? isn’t out until May, but take a look at some more of the beautiful art from the book, and pre-order from Amazon. Check out the publisher’s website for more picture books, and take a look at some of the outstanding artwork from Do You Hear What I Hear, below.



Posted in Preschool Reads

Do You See What I See? Vintage art meets children’s concepts

9781909263840_def1bDo You See What I See?, by Helen Borten (May 2016, Flying Eye Books), $17.95, ISBN: 9781909263840

Recommended for ages 4-8

One step up from basic concepts, Helen Borten’s Do You See What I See? takes children one step further, unpacking what feelings and ideas these fundamental concepts evoke in young readers:

“Lines that bend in a zigzag way seem to crackle with excitement. They make me think of thunderstorms and jagged mountain peaks. I see the huge jaws of a crocodile, wide open and bristling with teeth, ready to snap shut.”

Originally published in 1959, Mr. Borten’s beautiful, vintage artwork adds texture to the basics: lines, color, and shape, whether it’s by adding swirls to an ocean full of fish or wispy, thin spider webs above the thick bars of a lion’s cage. Ms. Borten artwork and evocative text inspires children to see the world around them “as a great big painting, full of lines and shapes and colors, to look at and enjoy”.

I’m thrilled to see this book back in print and can’t wait to introduce it to my family storytime. We can have a great discussion about what different pictures and colors make kids feel, and how changing one thing in a picture – a shape, a color, adding or taking something away – affects the whole picture. A must-have for collections where kids are ready to take the next step beyond Mouse Paint and Mouse Count.

Do You See What I See? isn’t out until May, but take a look at some more of the beautiful art from the book, and you can pre-order from Amazon. Check out the publisher’s website for some more books – they have books with amazing artwork.