Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Picture Books about Friendship

Bloom, Suzanne. A Splendid Friend, Indeed.
Can a goose and a polar bear be friends? Find out how a curious goose wins over a polar bear who can't be bothered.

Dunrea, Olivier. Gossie & Friends: A First Flap Book.
Your child will enjoy reading about Gossie, Gertie, BooBoo, and Peedie. Lift the flaps to learn about colors, seasons, countings, and more!

Ford, Miela. Bear Play.
Two polar bears have a great time playing in the water.

West, Colin. "Buzz, Buzz, Buzz," Went Bumblebee.
The bumblebee buzzes from one animal to the next, hoping to find a friend. He finally lands on a butterfly who doesn't mind a bumblebee on his wing.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Exciting historical fiction

Kathryn Lasky's The Last Girls of Pompeii.
184 p. Gr. 6-8
In the year A.D. 79, 12 year old Julia is the youngest child in the Petreius family who was born with a deformed arm, which she refers to as the “Curse of Venus.” The summer has been a busy one for Julia, because her sister Cornelia is to be wed. Both their parents are consumed by the wedding preparations and Julia gets dragged from one augur to the next. While her family is preparing for the upcoming wedding Julia and her slave Sura begin to notice strange things happening in Pompeii. First they notice that the water from the fountain is not flowing as freely as usual and then they smell sulfur, which has an odor like rotten eggs. Little do they know that beneath Mount Vesuvius there is a volcano that is ready to erupt and destroy the lives of the ones they love.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

For Young Mystery Lovers!

Pearson, Susan. The 123 Zoo Mystery. 88 p. Gr.1-3
Classroom 123 has sixteen pets, including Mrs. Lettuce, the rabbit who will soon have baby rabbits. One morning Ernie’s class arrives and finds that someone has let all the pets out of their cages, but who? It is up to “Eagle-Eye” Ernie and the Martian club to solve the mystery.

Napoli, Donna Jo. Sly the Sleuth and the Pet Mysteries. 92 p. Gr.2-4
Join Sylvia, also known as “Sly the Sleuth,” in solving three mysteries about the pets in her neighborhood. Black and white illustrations portray the characters and pets in the story.

Sharmat, Marjorie. The Sly Spy. 44 p. Gr.K-2
From the same author as “Nate the Great” comes Olivia Sharp, Agent for Secrets. Olivia Sharp solves secret problems, but this time Olivia has a problem. Another agent is covering up her ads and impeding on Olivia’s business. In addition, Olivia is hiding a feathery birthday present in her apartment. Read the book to find out what it is!

Stefanec-Ogren, Cathy. Sly, P.I.: The Case of the Missing Shoes.
48 p. Gr. K-2
Help Sly, P.I. solve the mystery of the missing ballet shoes. On opening night, Miss Lotta Oink’s ballet slippers mysteriously disappear and it is up to Sly P.I. to solve the case.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Counting Monkeys and Crocodiles

Alborough, Jez. Tall.
This is a great picture book for infants through preschool. Using very few words, Alborough depicts how various jungle animals help a very little monkey to feel that he is tall.

Christelow, Eileen. Five little monkeys jumping on the bed. Your little one will enjoy reading or singing this silly story about five monkeys who jump on the bed until they fall off and bump their

Ochiltree, Dianne. Ten Monkey Jamboree.
Rhyming text and colorful pictures show how many monkeys it takes to make a jungle jamboree and how many combinations of numbers will add up to ten.

Sierra, Judy. Counting crocodiles.
Find out how one monkey outsmarts hungry crocodiles with her counting ability and gets to a banana tree on an island across the sea.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Books to Read about Martin Luther King Jr. and Civil Rights with children from Pre-school to Grade 8.

Johnson, Angela. Sweet Smell of Roses. PreS-Gr.1

Johnson portrays the crucial involvement of youth in the Civil Rights movement with a story about Minnie and her sister who join the march with Dr. King. The text of the story is interspersed with words from Dr. King’s speech. Illustrated with beautiful black & white pencil drawings and a hint of red throughout the book.

Patrick, Denise Lewis. A Lesson for Martin Luther King, Jr. 31 p. Gr.K-2
This story focuses on a specific incident from Martin Luther King, Jr.’s childhood, when his best friend's father said they could no longer play together because "colored and white can't mix!"

Weatherford, Carole Boston. Freedom on the Menu. Gr.1-4
In this picture book, Weatherford portrays the 1960 civil rights sit-ins at the Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, through the eyes of a young Southern black girl.

Shore, Diane ZuHone. This is the Dream. Gr.2-5
Shore presents the events of the Civil Rights movement through
lyrical verses and distinguished illustrations. Archival photos, newspaper clippings, and paintings are used throughout the book.

Farris, Christine King. My Brother Martin. 35 p. Gr.2-4
Read about Martin Luther King Jr.’s life from his sister’s perspective. She recalls the conditions in the South during segregation and how her father’s sermons taught them to stand up for justice and equality. This is a good biography for introducing young children to the concept of segregation and Dr. King’s message.

Adler, David. A. A Picture Book of Rosa Parks. Gr. 2-4
Adler presents a visual biography of the woman who famously refused to give up her seat on a bus and helped establish the civil rights movement.

Edwards, Pamela Duncan. The Bus Ride that Changed History.
Gr. 2-4
Read about Rosa Parks, a crucial figure in the Civil Rights Movement, who refused to stand up so that a white passenger could sit in her seat.

Rappaport, Doreen. Martin’s Big Words. Gr 3-5
Rappaport sums up King’s life and work with short paragraphs, which are followed by King’s own words. His book includes great illustrations made with watercolor and collage art.

Haskins, James. John Lewis in the Lead. Gr.3-5
A biography of John Lewis, Georgia Congressman and one of the 'Big Six' civil rights leaders of the 1960s. Haskins focuses on his youth through the voter registration drives that sparked 'Bloody Sunday.'

Rappaport, Doreen. Nobody Gonna Turn Me ‘Round: Stories and Songs of the Civil Rights Movement. 63 p. Gr.4-8
Rappaport uses songs, poems, memories, letters, court testimony, and first-person accounts to provide a moving portrayal of the experiences of African Americans from the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott to the Voting Rights Act in July 1965.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Rainy Weekend - nothing to do?

Bronco Charlie and the Pony Express, Marleen Targ Brill (Gr. 2-4) 46 p.
Children who love to read adventure stories and nonfiction will enjoy reading about a boy named Charlie Miller who in 1861 became the youngest rider for the Pony Express. Try other books in the “On My Own History” series, including Allen Jay and the Underground Railroad, Keep the Lights Burning, Abbie, and Saving the Liberty Bell.

Keeker and the Sugar Shack, Hadley Higginson (Gr. 2-4) 46 p.
Meet Keeker, a nine year old girl who lives in Vermont and owns a pony named Plum. In the third book of the “Sneaky Pony Series,” Keeker and Plum decide to investigate a new neighbor who has moved in next door. Keeker thinks that her neighbor might be a witch, but first impressions aren’t always right.

Today I Will Fly, Mo Willems (Gr. K-3) 57 p.
If your child loved Willems’ picture books, such as “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus” he/she will equally love Today I Will Fly. Piggie announces to elephant that she will fly, but elephant is skeptical. Despite elephant’s negative outlook, Piggie is confident and says “I will try” and asks her friends for help. This is a great story that encourages children to ask for help, but to never give up.

The Curious Demise of a Contrary Cat, Lynne Berry (PreS - Gr. 1)
The story of a cat who is always busy doing something other than what his owner, the witch, asks. Find out what becomes of this contrary cat. Kids and parents will enjoy the creative rhyming and repetitive text that is accompanied by black and white Edward Gorey-like illustrations.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Books from Baby Book Time

Fleming, Denise. Lunch. Join the mouse on his colorful eating adventure. Kids will enjoy the vivid pictures and story about a very hungry mouse.

Hubbell, Patricia. Pots and Pans. Baby explores the kitchen cupboards, pulling out pots and pans and other noisy things.

Offen, Hilda. As Quiet as a Mouse. Rhyming text describes animals making different noises, such as clapping, laughing, and snoring.

Tafuri, Nancy. Have You Seen My Duckling? A mother duck and her seven ducklings swim around the pond looking for the eighth duckling. Can you find the little duckling on each page?

Monday, January 7, 2008

Books to read aloud

Are you looking for a variety of books to read aloud to your youngsters? Here are some older classics as well as some more recent titles.

Bulion, Leslie. Hey There, Stink Bug! 45 p.
Kids will enjoy learning about different insects through poetry. The author uses different poetic styles to describe how insects capture prey, trick predators, attract mates, and have managed to survive for 400 million years. Witty and humorous poems for all ages! Includes a glossary and poetry notes. Independent reading for grades 2-5.

Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds. Patches and Scratches. 74 p.
Sarah Simpson, also known as “Idea Girl”, loves to solve problems. Her friend Peter would like to have a dog, but his grandmother won’t allow him to. Sarah tries to find a solution to Peter’s dilemma. She gives him a goldfish and then a turtle, but he is not happy with these pets. When Peter’s grandmother is given a cat named Patches, Sarah and Peter try to convince her that she should keep it. Independent reading for grades 2-4.

Seuling, Barbara. Robert and the Great Escape. 118 p.
Robert and his friend Paul go on an exciting skiing vacation, but when they return to school they find that their third grade pet, Sally the snake, has gone missing! Independent reading for grades 2-4.

Voigt, Cynthia. The Rosie Stories. 48 p.
Rosie is a dog who loves to eat everything. Read about her funny and mischievous attempts to get food from the breakfast table and even the trash when no one is home. Independent reading for grades 2-3.

White, E.B. The Trumpet of the Swan. 210 p.
Louis is a trumpeter swan just like the rest of his family. But unlike his brothers and sisters, Louis can’t make a sound! When Louis meets Serena he can’t win her affection, because he can’t trumpet his love. He thinks of other ways to win her love, including learning how to read and write. Nothing seems to work, but then his father steals him a trumpet. Will a trumpet solve his problem? Independent reading for grades 4-6.

Wilson, A.N. Tabitha. 42 p.
For children who love to read about cats! Five short stories about a cat named Tabitha, her father Pufftail, and the other cats in the neighborhood. Venture into the world of a curious kitten growing into a cat. A great set of stories to read together before bedtime or for your independent reader in grades 2-4.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Books to Read on a Winter's Day

If it’s too cold to go outside, read a book! Here are some books about winter that we read in past Storytimes.

Berry, Lynne. Duck Skates. Follow five little ducks who skate, romp, and play in the snow.

Downing, Julie. White Snow, Blue Feather. A little girl goes for a walk in the woods where she finds a blue feather and can’t wait to give it to her mother who is waiting at home.

Seuling, Barbara. Winter Lullaby. What do animals do during the cold winter months? Read about bats sleeping in caverns to fish swimming deep in the lake where the water is warm.

Thompson, Lauren. Mouse’s First Snow. Join mouse on a winter day while he finds different ways to play in the snow with his father.

Wilson, Karma. Bear Snores On. On a cold night several animal friends find shelter in bear’s cave. While they have a party and share food bear continues to sleep. When he wakes up he feels like he missed out on the fun.

Brett, Jan. The Mitten. Read Brett’s version of an old Ukranian folktale about a boy named Nicki who loses a white mitten and the animals that find shelter in it.

Carr, Jan. Frozen Noses. Playing in the snow with friends is always fun! The children in this story make snowmen, throw snowballs, and go ice skating.

Denslow, Sharon Phillips. In the Snow. What do animals eat when it is cold? A child scatters seeds for the animals that live nearby. After a freshly fallen snow the animals come out to eat.

George, Kristine O’Connell. One Mitten. What can you do with one mitten? Help the girl find her other mitten so that she can go and play outside.

Henkes, Kevin. Oh! After a snowfall, children and animals go outside to play.

Schertle, Alice. All You Need for a Snowman. Children build two large snowmen. Follow along page by page as they list everything you need for a snowman.

Shulevitz, Uri. Snow. As snowflakes slowly come down, one by one, people in the city ignore them, and only a boy and his dog think that the snowfall will amount to anything.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Diana Wynne Jones' "The Game"

Hayley has been homeschooled and raised in London by her grandparents due to her parents’ disappearance when she was a baby. She has never met her extended family, except for Uncle Jolyon, who is not very friendly. When Hayley gets into trouble, her grandmother decides to send her to her aunts in Ireland. She meets her cousins who involve her in “the game,” which involves going to a place called “the mythosphere.” In the mythosphere, Hayley discovers characters from mythology and legends. After playing “the game” several times, Hayley runs into her father and mother whom she hopes to reunite and bring back to her regular world. Ultimately, she discovers her unique role in the world. Jones introduces readers to Greek mythology and includes an appendix in which she provides background on the characters used in her book. 179 pp. Grades 5-8.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

If you enjoy reading about magic and adventure then try Jenny Nimmo's first book in the Charlie Bone Series Midnight for Charlie Bone.
In the first book the reader will become familiar with Charlie Bone who lives with his mother and two grandmothers, Grandma Jones and Grandma Bone. Charlie leads an ordinary life until one day he discovers that he can hear voices in photographs. Grandma Bone, a descendent of the ancient Yewbeam family has been waiting for the day that Charlie discovers that he is“endowed.” Each member of the Yewbeam family is“endowed,” which means that they have a specific magical power. After Charlie’s realization, Grandma Bone contacts her sisters and they agree that Charlie does have a special power and therefore should attend Bloor’s Academy for gifted children. Unhappily, Charlie agrees to attend Bloor’s Academy and discovers that there are other children who also have mysterious powers. Soon Charlie becomes involved in uncovering the mysterious past of a girl who disappeared ten years ago.
This is a great fantasy full of adventure and mysterious occurrences, similar to the Harry Potter series, but not as complex. A great book for children in grades 4-6, but also as a read aloud for younger children who may not be ready for Harry Potter. 401 pp.