Posted in Preschool Reads, Toddler Reads

Animal Board Books!

Everyone doing the Tails and Tales summer reading program will love these board books – heck, anyone who loves board books will!

Pigs at a Party, by Hans Wilhelm/Illustrated by Erica Salcedo, (June 2021, Chronicle Books), $9.99, ISBN: 9781797203751

Ages 0-3

It’s a party, and you’re invited! A magnetic bow opens to let readers in to this rhyming story of manners and parties as three piggies are invited to their friend, Bunny’s, birthday party! They’re so polite, greeting each of their friends, saying “please” and “thank you”, and playing nicely with the other guests. The third book starring Hans Wilhelm’s Piggies, kids will enjoy seeing this group spend more fun time together, modeling the best behavior. Digital illustrations are bright and cheery, and the magnetic bow closure adds a little bit of fine motor play.

 

Sophie’s Seashell Scramble, by Educational Insights/Illustrated by Lucia Gaggiotti, (May 2021, Candlewick Entertainment), $11.99, ISBN: 9781536218480

Ages 0-3

Help Sophie the Otter find the matches to the seashells she’s collecting by lifting the flaps and identifying the patterns! Colorful, cartoon illustrations and bold fonts lead little explorers through the story, and descriptions of each shell help readers identify the lost treasure; Sophie holds the matching shell in each spread, helping new learners link the description to the appearance of an object. Kids can lift three flaps on each page that guide them to the right answer. Turn the wheel at the end, to help Otto the Octopus juggle all the shells together! Based on a board game, this would be a cute idea to pair with the board game for preschoolers as either a gift or, if your budget allows, a library purchase for game time and post-storytime activities. (Educational Insights has several lift-the-flap board books and companion games; something to keep your mind on when you get your annual budgets.)

123 Cats: A Counting Book, by Lesléa Newman/Illustrated by Isabella Kung, (April 2021, Candlewick Press), $7.99, ISBN: 9781536209952

Ages 0-3

Learn to count with this rhyming story about adorable kitties! Award-winning children’s author Lesléa Newman weaves an adorable story, counting cats from 1 to 12, where the cats interact with each other as the story progresses: “Cat Number One has nothing to do… / until she makes friends with Cat Number Two”; “Cat Number Two is a sweet as can be… / but not quite as sweet as Cat Number Three”. Colorful numbers are easy to read on each spread, and the cats multiply, letting readers count the felines as they increase. Absolutely adorable, this is a perfect counting story that begs for snuggly plush friends for readers to read along with.

 

ABC Cats: An Alpha-Cat Book, by Lesléa Newman/Illustrated by Isabella Kung, (April 2021, Candlewick Press), $7.99, ISBN: 9781536209952

Ages 0-3

Lesléa Newman and Isabella Kung bring the magic of cats to the alphabet with their Alpha-Cat story, ABC Cats. Precious cats sleep, play, and doze, curled around oversized letters of the alphabet as a gentle rhyme, with adjectives describing each cat, run across the bottom of the pages: “Adorable cat with eyes of gold / Baby cat just two weeks old”. Isabella Kung’s ink and digital illustrations are so playful and delightful that they’ll enchant readers of any age. These two cat books are a must add to your collections, especially where you have animal lovers.

Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

I Got You a Present is the best gift of all!

I Got You a Present!, by Mike Erskine-Kellie and Susan McLennan/Illustrated by Cale Atkinson, (Apr. 2020, Kids Can Press), $16.99, ISBN: 978-1525300097

Ages 4-7

It’s your birthday, and your buddy Duck got you a present! Well… kind of. He had the best of intentions; he wanted to get you something you’d really love. But do you know how hard it is to knit socks? Or carry a 10-scoop ice cream cone? Magic kits disappear, and since you don’t know how to drive yet, a race car was out of the question… poor Duck! What can he get his best friend? Maybe… something includes all these wonderful ideas, in one place? A story to remind you of what great friends you are? I Got You a Present! is a gleefully funny story about going into something with the best of intentions, and not quite having things go right. Adults and kids alike can relate as Duck comes up with wackier, funnier ideas to get that showstopper gift… and, of course, there’s a sneak peek at next year’s gift.

Colorful artwork features cheery animal friends and wacky situations that make this a good birthday readaloud choice (substitute other gift-giving events and get creative), and remind listeners that sometimes, just having a great friend to make memories with is the best present. Honest! (Or you could ask readers what they’d like to give their best friends. Let them get as outrageous as possible.)

Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

#SummersCool: Picture Book Party!

Want to keep the kiddos reading and learning this summer? Picture books are the way to go! Fiction, non-fiction, a great mix of the two, picture books have them all and they’re fun to read with and to your littles. Give some of these a whirl:

Rover Throws a Party, by Kristin L. Gray/Illustrated by Scott Magoon, (March 2020, Knopf Books for Young Readers), $17.99, ISBN: 9780525646488

Ages 3-7

I get such a kick out of the Rover books that have been hitting shelves, introducing the Rovers as kid-friendly robots wandering around Mars. This latest one, Rover Throws a Party, inspired by the Curiosity Rover, is a great mix of fiction and non-fiction for preschoolers and early elementary learners. Rover is planning the best party in the universe to celebrate an anniversary on Mars, and there is so much to do! Will someone – or something – join Curiosity to celebrate? As the Curiosity trundles through each spread, there’s a fun story to read; a step in the party planning, and a fact about Mars or the Curiosity, related to the storyline. As Curiosity captures a sunrise, the accompanying fact tells readers that Mars sunrises and sunsets appear blue; Curiosity invites NASA to the party, and we discover that it takes about 20 minutes for a radio transmission to reach Earth from Mars. The digital artwork is bright and fun, instantly eyecatching, and just adorable: Curiosity wears a party hat on the cover; how can you pass that up? Endpapers feature NASA Mission Control and the Mars landscape, with party invitations and confetti strewn about. An author’s note, a bibliography, and Rover fast facts make this a storytime, science time pick.

Visit illustrator Scott Magoon’s website for some more info on Rover Throws a Party, including a link to fun printables (and storytime videos)! Author Kristin L. Gray’s website has link to her blog, information about her other books, and author fun facts.

 

The Blunders: A Counting Catastrophe!, by Christina Soontornvat/Illustrated by Colin Jack, (Feb. 2020, Candlewick Press), $16.99, ISBN: 9781536201093

Ages 3-7

The Blunder Kids are driving their mom CRAZY. The 10 brothers and sisters “blundered” the laundry, the bathtub, and let the hamsters out and the dogs in. Momma Blunder needs a break, so she sends them out to go play, telling them to be back by sunset. No problem! The kids go play outside by the creek, but when it’s time to go home, the headcount doesn’t quite match up. No matter who’s counting -and each and every kid takes a shot at counting! – there are only 9 Blunders! Can you figure out where the mistake is? Thank goodness, Mom saves the day.

This is a sweetly fun story, based on a favorite folktale. Teachers and parents responsible for headcounts will get a big kick out of this, as (spoiler alert!) each child leaves themselves out of the counting, always leaving them one short. It’s great for interactive storytelling, because you can get kids counting along with you and asking them if they can figure out who’s missing and why. The digital illustrations are bright, bold, and characters have expressive faces that kids can easily read. The different headcounting methods are good for a laugh (“Raise your hand if you’re lost”), and the excuses for being late are just hilarious. Great for counting storytimes, and if you have Loud House fans, sign them up as Reading Buddies to read this one to younger readers; I got a real Loud House vibe from the big family and the general mayhem that goes along with them. So much fun for math-type reading.

Author Christina Soontornvat has a great author website with more info about the author herself, all of her books, and videos with book trailers and interviews. Illustrator Colin Jack has worked on books and for Dreamworks; check out his Instagram for more of his illustration.

 

Creature Features, by Big Picture Press/Illustrated by Natasha Durley, (March 2020, Big Picture Press), $17.99, ISBN: 9781536210439

Ages 3-8

This is a fun animal book for younger kids: preschoolers to kindergarteners are the sweet spot, with older kids enjoying the cool animals that they may not see in animal books. Vibrant colors set off the pages, and each spread features animals with unusual, alliterative, characteristics: Enormous Eyes; Nice Noses; Excellent Ears; Terrific Tails; Dreaded Defenses; Huge Horns; Wonderful Webbed Feet; Lovely Long Necks; Tremendous Tongues, and Fantastic Fur. There’s an introductory paragraph about how these characteristics help the animals, and questions for observant readers to discover and answer. There is always something new to discover here, and the larger size and heavy cardboard pages make this a great transitional book for kids moving from board books to picture books. I enjoy books that give kids a look at different animals, and this has a bunch of good ones, including a sea hare (doesn’t look like a rabbit), an aardwolf (not in the Nice Noses section!), and narwhal, who’s become a popular picture book subject over the last few years. Worth the purchase for your animal book collections.

 

Ocean! Waves for All (Our Universe), by Stacy McAnulty/Illustrated by David Litchfield, (May 2020, Henry Holt), $18.99, ISBN: 9781250108098

Ages 4-8

Stacy McAnulty’s Our Universe books have been home runs here at home. My kiddo – who just turned 8 in quarantine! – has asked me to get each one as it comes out, ever since I introduced him to Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years at a bookstore a couple of years ago. Ocean: Waves for All is the fourth book in the series; this is the nonfiction STEM series to spend your budget dollars on. Plus, it’s written in the voice of a surfer, which opens up amazing storytime readaloud possibilities for me. Win-win.

Ocean is the dude. Atlantic, Pacific, Arctic, Indian, it’s all excellent Ocean. Ocean is super laid-back, proud of itself – and why shouldn’t it be? Ocean covers over 71% of our world. Ocean is free: “no flag. No nationality. My waves are for all.” But DUDE! People visit outer space more than Ocean; what’s up with that? And Ocean is in some serious trouble, too; people are filling Ocean up with garbage; Ocean’s creatures are struggling to survive, and glaciers and icebergs are melting too fast. Loaded with amazing facts, Ocean is gorgeously illustrated and superbly written, and comes with a serious message: take care of our planet. Take care of our ocean. Ocean is drawn with a friendly face, big, blue eyes, and a smiling (and sometimes scared) mouth. Endpapers are bursting with color, giving readers a glimpse of the underwater landscape. Slip off the book’s cover to see a different view of Ocean. Don’t miss it.

Illustrator David Litchfield’s website has more of his artwork and links to his blog. Author Stacy McAnulty has a great author website with info about her books, activity sheets, and curriculum guides. It’s a great reference resource and storytime resource (SO MANY COLORING SHEETS).

Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

Prepare for a fiesta with The Piñata That the Farm Maiden Hung!

The Piñata That the Farm Maiden Hung, by Samantha Vamos/Illustrated by Sebastià Serra, (Jan. 2019, Charlesbridge), $17.99, ISBN: 9781580897969

Ages 4-8

This adorable companion to 2011’s The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred is another bilingual, cumulative story. A girl heads to the market while the farm maiden and her friends pull together a piñata for a surprise celebration! Like Cazuela, The Piñata That the Farm Maiden Hung features Spanish words in bold font, with words identifiable using context clues, and the illustrations are colorful and bright, with friendly, soft character faces and festive touches like papel picado pennants and a bright piñata. Back matter includes the lyrics to “The Piñata Song/La Canción de la Piñata”, instructions on making your own piñata, a glossary, and list of Spanish translations. Charlesbridge offers the piñata instructions available for free download on their website.

This is a cute companion to The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred, and a fun addition to storytime. It begs for a felt board storytelling, so make a trip to the craft store!

 

Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

We totally party when you sleep: Duck on a Disco Ball Blog Tour and Giveaway!

In a book that plays on a kid’s night time FOMO (fear of missing out), Duck on a Disco Ball parts the bedtime curtain to show readers exactly what we parents do when we finally get kids down for the night. No, not the exhausted collapse onto the couch to fall asleep 10 minutes into our DVR’d backlog of The Flash, I mean THE PARTYING.

Duck on a Disco Ball, by Jeff Mack, (Nov. 2018, Two Lions),
$17.99, ISBN: 978-1-5039-0292-3
Ages 4-7

In what could be a scene directly out of my evening, a little boy stalls his bedtime with a litany of questions: “What if my duck needs a snack?” “What if there’s a huge party and I miss it?” Mom and Dad stand firm, and our little friend finally gives in – we think. See, he’s no one’s fool – he notices that “something is always just a little weird” in the mornings, so he decides to check out exactly what his parents are getting up to at night. Sure enough, Mom and Dad – and, in a stunning betrayal, Duck – are party animals, couch diving, throwing a party, and rocking out. A giant boulder sends the boy’s parent flying, cartoon-style, sky-high, and they land in their bed. By now, the boy falls asleep, too, and wakes up in the morning, not sure if he’s dreamed all of this… but he spies his duck behind the couch, near an electric guitar.

Duck on a Disco Ball is a companion to Duck in the Fridge (2014), and is way too much fun! Kids will laugh at the premise, because they will see themselves – and so will my fellow tired parents! Who hasn’t been asked for the 8th glass of water, 4th trip to the bathroom, 6th round of Piggies, and 3rd “just one more story/song/kiss”? Go ahead: let the kids know what we do at night! The cartoony artwork and bright colors draw readers right in, and it’s a perfect storytime read. Get as silly as you want here – heck, make this a stuffed animal sleepover storytime selection, and set the kids up to see pictures of their stuffed animals getting into all sorts of mischief. Duck on a Disco Ball is fun, punny, and most of all, gives us grownups the chance to wink at our kids when we say that 15th goodnight to our kids. Always leave ’em guessing.

Jeff Mack is the award-winning author and illustrator of Duck in the Fridge; Mine!; Ah Ha!; Good News, Bad News; and the Hippo and Rabbit series. He has also illustrated many books, including If My Love Were a Fire Truck by Luke Reynolds. His books have been awarded the Texas 2×2, a Junior Library Guild award, a Colorado Bell Award, a Pennsylvania Family Literacy Award, a New York Public Library Best Book of the Year Award, and a Bank Street Best Book of the Year award. Jeff lives in Massachusetts. Visit him online at jeffmack.com. Jeff Mack_offers a free lesson in how to draw the duck right here!

Twitter: @jeffmackbooks
Facebook: JeffMackBooks

 

 

Want a shot at winning your very own copies of Duck in the Fridge and Duck on a Disco Ball? Enter this Rafflecopter giveaway (U.S. addresses, please!)

Posted in Preschool Reads

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2018: Down in the Subway #ReadYourWorld

Take a tropical vacation… in the New York Subway!

Down in the Subway, by Miriam Cohen/Illustrated by Melanie Hope Greenberg,
(2003, Star Bright Books), $16.99, ISBN: 978-1-932065-08-4

Recommended for ages 4-8

Oscar and his mom are on a hot subway train, when a fellow passenger – a brightly outfitted Island Lady – reaches into her bag and pulls out a magical Island Party, complete with food, cool island breezes, a Calypso singer and steel band, even the green Caribbean sea! You can just hear the music and feel the energy coming from this story as you read it; it’s a wonderful New York story that embraces our multicultural surroundings and shows how a hot, sticky summer subway ride can turn into a great time with a little imagination.

Miriam Cohen’s story invites readers in for a magical afternoon, and Melanie Hope Greenberg’s art is colorful and loaded with movement and expression, from the swirling island breeze that winds its way through the subway car, to the group of passengers jumping up to dance and eat together. I love the spread that illustrates three of the train cars moving and grooving along the track with palm trees sticking out of the windows and an island breeze carrying it along its path. Down in the Subway shows New York at its best: a gathering of cultures, enjoying a trip together.

I’ve enjoyed this book for a few years now, so I was thrilled to receive this for my MCBD review. I had a great Subway Storytime using this book, plus Karen Katz’s Subway, and I gave kids little laminated (play) Metrocards of their own to wave around as we sang songs. (That was a laptop or two ago, so I’ll have to dig into my portable hard drive for that storytime plan and put it up.)

Thanks so much to Star Bright Books and MCBD!

 

cropped-banner2018 multicultural book

Multicultural Children’s Book Day (1/27/18) is in its 5th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.

Current Sponsors:  MCBD 2018 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board.

2018 MCBD Medallion Sponsors

HONORARY: Children’s Book Council, Junior Library Guild

PLATINUM: Scholastic Book Clubs

GOLD: Audrey Press,Candlewick Press, Loving Lion Books, Second Story Press, Star Bright Books, Worldwide Buddies

SILVER: Capstone Publishing, Author Charlotte Riggle, Child’s Play USA, KidLit TV, Pack-n-Go Girls, Plum Street Press

BRONZE: Barefoot Books, Carole P. Roman, Charlesbridge Publishing, Dr. Crystal BoweGokul! World, Green Kids Club, Gwen Jackson, Jacqueline Woodson, Juan J. Guerra, Language Lizard, Lee & Low Books, RhymeTime Storybooks, Sanya Whittaker Gragg, TimTimTom Books, WaterBrook & Multnomah, Wisdom Tales Press

2018 Author Sponsors

Honorary Author Sponsors: Author/Illustrator Aram Kim and Author/Illustrator Juana Medina

Author Janet Balletta, Author Susan Bernardo, Author Carmen Bernier-Grand, Author Tasheba Berry-McLaren and Space2Launch, Bollywood Groove Books, Author Anne Broyles, Author Kathleen Burkinshaw, Author Eugenia Chu, Author Lesa Cline-Ransome, Author Medeia Cohan and Shade 7 Publishing, Desi Babies, Author Dani Dixon and Tumble Creek Press, Author Judy Dodge Cummings, Author D.G. Driver, Author Nicole Fenner and Sister Girl Publishing, Debbi Michiko Florence, Author Josh Funk, Author Maria Gianferrari,Author Daphnie Glenn, Globe Smart Kids, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, Author Quentin Holmes, Author Esther Iverem, Jennifer Joseph: Alphabet Oddities, Author Kizzie Jones, Author Faith L Justice , Author P.J. LaRue and MysticPrincesses.com, Author Karen Leggett Abouraya, Author Sylvia Liu, Author Sherri Maret, Author Melissa Martin Ph.D., Author Lesli Mitchell, Pinky Mukhi and We Are One, Author Miranda Paul,Author Carlotta Penn, Real Dads Read, Greg Ransom, Author Sandra L. Richards, RealMVPKidsAuthor Andrea Scott, Alva Sachs and Three Wishes Publishing, Shelly Bean the Sports Queen, Author Sarah Stevenson, Author Gayle H. SwiftAuthor Elsa Takaoka,Author Christine Taylor-Butler, Nicholette Thomas and  MFL PublishingAuthor Andrea Y. Wang, Author Jane WhittinghamAuthor Natasha Yim

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Scholastic Book Clubs: MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual Twitter Party will be held 1/27/18 at 9:00pm.

Join the conversation and win one of 12-5 book bundles and one Grand Prize Book Bundle (12 books) that will be given away at the party! http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/twitter-party-great-conversations-fun-prizes-chance-readyourworld-1-27-18/

Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta

Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teacher-classroom-empathy-kit/

Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with MCBD on social media and be sure and look for/use the official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

Posted in Fiction, Fiction, Intermediate, Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction

Ellie, Engineer: a little MacGyver, a little Rosie Revere, for intermediate/middle graders

Ellie, Engineer, by Jackson Pearce, (Jan. 2018, Bloomsbury USA), $15.99, ISBN: 9781681195193

Recommended for readers 7-10

Ellie is a 9 year-old engineer: she can take darn near anything apart and make it something even cooler. Most of the time. When she sets out to make an amazing birthday gift for her best friend, Kit, she finds herself in the middle of a friendship mess: the girls normally don’t like the “jerk boys”, but Ellie’s discovered that they’re not so bad after all. So she works with each group in secret, hoping to avoid drama. Oops. Ellie has to get both groups talking to her again, and to each other, to finish Kit’s birthday present on time!

This is such a fun story about a positive female character who wears what she wants and does what she wants: she rocks a tool belt over her skirts and matches outfits with her best friend. She draws up her own blueprints and can make anything, from a water balloon launcher to a security system that will keep annoying little brother’s out of her friend’s room. Her best friend, Kit, is a pageant girl and ballet dancer who works right alongside Ellie, and the boys in the neighborhood enjoy a good tea party as much as they do a soccer game. Get it? They’re kids. They like to play. This whole story is about bringing boys and girls together under common interests, and it does so nicely. Girls will see themselves in Ellie, especially those who find themselves confused about whether or not girls *can* be friends with boys, or wonder if it’s okay to still like pretty dresses if they can rock a screwdriver. There are some laughs: Ellie’s got a few backfires, and a few successes that will make kids laugh, and the heart of the story – cooperation and friendship – is a gratifying message. Black and white illustrations showcase Ellie’s sketches for different projects, and a section at the end provides illustrations and a guide to basic tools for burgeoning builders and engineers. Give this to the kids who have grown out of Andrea Beaty’s Rosie Revere, Engineer; Iggy Peck, Architect; and Ada Twist, Scientist. Display and booktalk with the Girls Who Code and the Lucy’s Lab chapter books. Put out paper and ask kids to come up with their own plans – what do they want to make? Leave straws, pipe cleaners, cardboard, toothpicks, glue, marshmallows – anything the kids can build with – out and let the room have at it.

Posted in Early Reader, Fiction, Preschool Reads

Spotlight On: A Halloween Scare at My House!

From the opening invitation to a Halloween Scare t0 the Halloween-motif endpapers, A Halloween Scare at My House is a perfect read-aloud for toddlers to Kindergarteners! Check out the Sourcebooks Spotlight below, with the chance to win your own copy of the book!

halloween scare

A Halloween Scare at My House Series, by Eric James/Illustrated by Marina Le Ray

Series Info:
Title: A Halloween Scare at My House
Author: Eric James
Illustrator: Marina Le Ray
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Description:
The perfect gift for every child or kid-at-heart who also loves celebrating the most eerie and thrilling night of the year, the Halloween Scare regional series offers a jaunty tale with a humorous bent—sure to ward off any creature who goes bump in the night in cities and states across the country!

Now with 78 titles highlighting different cities, states, and regions in the U.S. and Canada, each book in the Halloween Scare series features art and text created especially for a specific state or city. Fun Halloween creatures and critters haunt your favorite landmarks, including famous sites like the Statue of Liberty in New York, California’s Hollywood sign, the Mackinac Bridge in Michigan, Georgia’s Okefenokee Swamp, Churchill Downs in Kentucky, the San Jacinto Monument in Texas and the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in North Carolina.

With its bouncing rhyme, colorful illustrations, and funny story, the Halloween Scare series is a delightful Halloween adventure for everyone who loves a silly, spooky tale. It’s perfect for younger readers who can explore their state or city and little learn more about the places and landmarks that make their homes unique.

Prepare, if you dare, for a Halloween scare,
A night of pure terror to whiten your hair.
A tale full of sights that are best left unseen. You ready? You sure?
This was my Halloween.

About the Author and Illustrator:

Eric James is a children’s book author, word tickler, and champion asparagus thrower. You can find him online at http://www.ericjames.co.uk. He lives in Bath, England, with his family.

Marina Le Ray has had success both as a children’s book illustrator as well as a greeting card designer. She lives and works in Nantes, France.

My two cents: This is an adorable book. The fact that it’s customized for different regions of the states makes it a great choice for read-alouds and for classrooms that want to incorporate some fun into their Social Studies curriculum. Leave time in a lesson to talk about Halloween in your cities, versus traditions from other cities. The rhyming text and story about a little boy who overcame his fear of Halloween and monsters will draw kids in, so don’t be afraid to read with different voices, make spooky sounds, and invite the kids to shriek and moan along with you. Halloween storytimes are the best storytimes ever!

Buy Links:
Available at all major booksellers

Don’t forget, enter this Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win your own copy!
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Posted in Humor, Preschool Reads, Uncategorized

Worms by Bernard Friot – yucky fun!

wormsWorms, by Bernard Friot/Illus. by Aurélie Guillerey (Sept. 2015, Kids Can Press), $15.95, ISBN: 9781771385718

Recommended for ages 3-8

A little boy has to attend his father’s business dinner party, but no one said he couldn’t find a way to have fun! All it takes is a handful of worms and a few bowls of salad…

Worms is funny story on two levels: you’ve got the little boy attending his dad’s dinner party and having some fun with the guests, and you have the guests’ reactions as they try to stay professional while finding worms in their salad. They all want to make a good impression, so what do they do? Eat the worm? Toss it? Each guest has a different reaction – and so does each worm! – which will crack kids up. This makes for a great storytime read-aloud, where reading the story gives you the chance to make all sorts of funny and grossed out faces. Hand out some gummy worms, or even better, have a Dirt Pudding Cup edible craft afterwards! Warning to parents: watch your salads after eating this. Just saying.

Bernard Friot creates a light, fun story that Aurelie Guillerey’s retro art works so well with. This is a fun addition for your bookshelves.

Posted in Preschool Reads

Book Review: Bumble-Ardy, by Maurice Sendak (HarperCollins, 2011)

bumble-ardyRecommended for ages 2-6

Beloved author Maurice Sendak’s Bumble-Ardy is inspired by a short, developed by Mr. Sendak and Jim Henson, for Sesame Street.

Bumble-Ardy is a young pig who has never had a birthday party because his family “frowned on fun”. When he was eight, his parents “got ate” and he went to live with his Aunt Adeline. Finally, for his ninth birthday, Aunt Adeline gives him a “hotsy tottsy cowboy costume” and leaves for work; Bumble decides to throw himself a masquerade birthday party that quickly escalates out of control, just as his aunt returns home from work. Sendak uses watercolors to illustrate his story, and the rapidly escalating party brings to mind the Wild Rumpus from Where The Wild Things Are.

The number nine is a major theme throughout the book: the party takes place at ten past nine; Aunt Adeline kisses Bumble-Ardy nine times over nine, and the number shows up in a great deal of  the artwork, from a birthday candle on Bumble’s cake to the signs partygoers make for the celebration.  Readers and listeners will enjoy the story of a little pig who wanted a birthday party so badly that he threw one for himself; they will also be reassured by the theme of forgiveness; Aunt Adeline can be angry, yet still kiss him  and tell him she loves him.

This would be a fun addition to a birthday-related read-aloud. I would set up the read-aloud like a birthday party, with mini-cupcakes rather than cake, and milk, and decorate the storytime area as I would for a birthday party, with streamers and a sign. I would ask if there were any birthday boys or girls in the room, and have birthday ribbons for any birthday children to wear. Singing the Happy Birthday is a must, and the Perry Public Library has a Happy Birthday theme that includes other birthday-related songs and rhymes. Bumble-Ardy would also be a fun book to use a flannel board with, particularly for the party scenes.