Friday, September 26, 2014

Book Review: The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat

Imaginary friends are hanging out all around us adults and we don't even notice most of the time.  They're sharing cupcakes, drawing pictures, having conversations and going on adventures with the whimsical youngsters in our lives.  (When I do a head-count during storytime, I should probably start including all the imaginary friends in the room.  That would definitely boost my numbers.)

Have you ever asked your little one where that imaginary friend came from?  In The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, author and illustrator Dan Santat offers an answer to this question.  They're all relaxing together over in the land of rainbows and misty mountains, awaiting the glorious day when a child beams them up (see page 4 for more information).  Beekle waits every day for his turn, but it never comes.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Sleepover with Beatrice & Bear

Are you looking for a sweet story that will help a child with the topic of separation? Here's your book!

Sleepover with Beatrice & Bear is a heartwarming story about two unlikely friends with very different sleep schedules. One spring day Beatrice and Bear stumble upon each other, and quickly a friendship is formed. They didn't just become friends, they became the absolute best of friends. They do everything together, but what are they to do when Bear has to hibernate for the winter? You have to read it to find out!
This story gives a great idea for how a child can cope with loved ones they see intermittently - what to do while they wait! And how to share the time they spent away from each other.

Pick up Sleepover with Beatrice and Bear, by Monica Carnesi, at your local library to ensure a fun time for all!  

~ Roller Derby Librarian

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Gifted Toddler or Preschooler?

Gravity by Jason Chin will spur your burgeoning genius in the playpen or your fledgling engineer in the sandbox to Einsteinian heights of intellectual prowess. Well, maybe not Einsteinian, but Newtonian at the very least! This visual edification of the abstract concept of "gravity" will send the Wiggles scurrying in ignominious defeat as little ones everywhere pack this mentally stimulating tome into diaper bags, strollers, and grandpa's knitting or golf bags. From the plummeting copy of the book depicted in detail-rich watercolor on the first page to the comical depiction on the absolute last page of a startled child trying desperately not to drop the jug of lemonade that suddenly falls into his hands, Chin holds young (or perhaps not so young) scientists' attention effortlessly.

The simple oversized text compels the reader to follow the star-blazing path of book, toys, and fruit as they first defy and then helplessly succumb to the law of gravity. The eye-popping view of the sun as it looms over this drifting collection of childhood flotsam successfully brings into focus the interconnectivity of the Earth, the Moon, and the Sun. A compilation of preschooler-friendly facts rounds out this exceptional foray into exploring one of the most important forces of the universe.


Friday, August 29, 2014

Haiku presented by Koo

Koo is a charming panda bear who will melt your heart and tickle your funny bone in this very delightful first introduction into the Japanese form of poetry known as haiku. Hi, Koo! A year of seasons by author and illustrator, Jon J. Muth, captures the essence of each season with simple haiku and beautiful paintings that you and your children will want to read over and over.  Very helpful is the author's note defining traditional haiku, "made up of seventeen sound parts called on (pronounced own) --- divided into three lines with five, then seven, then five on." Muth, however, does not adhere to this rigid structure because he believes..."haiku is like an instant captured in words---using sensory images."

Friday, August 22, 2014

Little Puppy and the Big Green Monster by Mike Wohnoutka

Little Puppy and the Big Green Monster by Mike Wohnoutka is a classic tale of an unlikely friendship.

Judging by the cover illustration, things at first glance don't look so good for Little Puppy.  Big Green Monster, with his stegosaurus-like spine ridges and sharp, pointy teeth, is fixing a decidedly unfriendly expression on him.  In contrast, Little Puppy, (whose head is about the size of one of those pointy teeth), smiles expectantly up at Big Green Monster and wags his tail.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Irresistible Illustrations

Never judge a book by its cover, so they say.  Though I tend to agree with the literal and metaphorical implications of the all-too-familiar saying, I have to say that I can't help myself when it comes to picture books.  Some are just so stunningly illustrated that they are irresistible.  And, on the rare occasion when those gorgeous illustrations reveal a beautiful story, we have something quite remarkable in our hands.  Such books are truly works of art, to be read again and again for years to come.  Here are few titles that have recently ended up in my "wow" collection at the library:

Sunday, August 10, 2014

My Bus

My Bus, by Byron Barton is a fun little book that's sure to become a read aloud favorite.

Joe drives a bus.  He picks up and drops off a variety of brightly-colored chunky-sized cats and dogs all over town.  As the animals board the bus the count is dog gets on at stop number one, two cats get on at stop number two, etc, until the bus is full of cats and dogs.  When the animals get off the bus, however, they do so in random groupings -(two cats and one dog, one cat and two dogs, etc.),  and with varying purposes and destinations, (some board a boat, others take a plane...) and so it goes until only one dog is left on the bus with Joe.  This is Joe's own dog, as it turns out, and the two leave the bus at the station and head for home in Joe's little car.  

More than a good little story, this book introduces the concepts of ordinal and cardinal numbers as well as different forms of transportation, a variety of verbs to convey different kinds of action, and simple counting from one to ten.  It's perfect for toddlers and a good choice for preschoolers or even beginning readers. 

-Miss Meg