Wednesday, July 26, 2017

I’m Big Now by Anthea Simmons and Georgie Birkett

I’m Big Now by Anthea Simmons and Georgie Birkett (2017)
It’s always refreshing to find a new sibling book that is positive, and this one does a great job of honoring the feelings of the older sister, while still framing things in a positive helpful manner. To deal with her feelings of jealousy and displacement, she pretends to be a baby. In each case, a loving family member affirms her feelings and reminds her that she’s a big girl now in rhyming text.

Themes/topics: siblings, new baby, growing up, pretending

Sample text from two spreads:
The baby’s got his mushy food, he gets it in his hair. But I’ve got crunchy cereal and I sit on a chair.
“Would you like breakfast all mashed up?” Mummy teases me.
“No!” I can eat my big girl food with big girl teeth you see.

The baby’s on the changing mat and he’s not very happy.
I’m up on my potty. I don’t have to wear a nappy.
“This was you, once,” Daddy says.
“You hated diapers, too.”

“I’m a big girl, now,” I say. “I do what big girls do.”

Friday, July 21, 2017

Priscilla Gorilla by Barbara Bottner and Michael Emberley

Priscilla Gorilla by Barbara Bottner and Michael Emberley (2017)
Fans of “Miss Brooks Loves Books” won’t be disappointed with Priscilla, a similarly spirited youngster who clashes with her teacher over her exuberant love of gorillas. Certain that gorillas get their way, Priscilla resists following instructions in her class, and keeps ending up in the “Thinking corner.” A great read for class visits and older storytime groups, Priscilla learns her lesson, but inspires others as well.

Themes/topics: being yourself, behavior, school, gorillas

Sample text from one spread:
“Why do you love gorillas so much?” Her mother asked.
“They always get their way,” said Priscilla.
“Hmmm,” said her mother. “You already get your way a lot.”
“Not in Mr. Todd’s class. I was teaching lily my gorilla dance during nap time and Mr. Todd invited me to the Thinking Corner,” Priscilla explained.
“Did you do any thinking?”
“I was thinking how I don’t like the Thinking Corner.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

If Your Monster Won’t Go to Bed by Denis Vega and Zachariah Ohora

If Your Monster Won’t Go to Bed by Denis Vega and Zachariah Ohora (2017)
When it comes to putting monsters to bed, don’t rely on parents—they’re no help with it comes to monsters. A series of tongue-in-cheek do’s and don’ts for getting your unruly monster off to bed include many asides and some body humor that will induce giggles with older listeners. Good for class visits and storytimes with older readers.

Themes/topics: monsters, bedtime, humor

Sample text from two spreads:
Step 6: In the key of screech, sing “Shock-a-Bye, Monster” and listen to those gigantic monster snores (along with the snores of your family and maybe even the whole block!).

Congratulations, you’ve done it! Your monster has officially gone to bed. You are the Master of Monsters, the Captain of Creatures, the Baron(ess) of Boogie Men! You’re so good, everyone in the neighborhood will start asking you to help with their monsters. 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Love is a Truck words by Amy Novesky pictures by Sara Gillingham (2016)

This board book is a great choice for baby and toddler storytimes. The simple rhythmic text combines love of a favorite toy,  the love shared between siblings, and different kinds of vehicles--a winning combination that is just the right length to introduce some complex vocabulary and concepts without losing the audience. Sweet as pie, this is one your audience will love.

Themes/Topics: Trucks, love, siblings, bedtime, play time, vehicles, firetrucks, board books

Sample text from the first two spreads:

"Love is a truck, shiny and new.
Lights and sirens that go woo! woo! woo! 

Love is a fire engine, red as a heart. 
A ladder truck, spotted dog in the back" 

Friday, July 14, 2017

If I Had a Gryphon by Vikki Vansickle and Cale Atkinson

If I Had a Gryphon by Vikki Vansickle and Cale Atkinson (2016)

This is a fun confection of a storytime book. Our glum bespectacled protagonist is unhappy with her mundane pet hamster, and dreams of more exotic pets. She explains why each mythical creature would make a great choice but then remembers a flaw and moves on to her next choice. As the book goes on, each new creature seems less and less desirable, until she concludes that a hamster makes a pretty good pet after all. The final reveal shows the girl with her nose in a book and the hamster grinning out at readers with batwings and antlers. The verse flows well, pets are an ever-popular theme, and the main character is cute as a button--this one is a no-brainer to add to storytime.

Themes/topics: pets, contentment, wishing, mythical animals, unicorns

Sample text from two spreads:
"If I had a unicorn, 
I'd braid her silky mane. 
I'd make her silver horseshoes 
That tinkled in the rain. 

We'd prance through fields of posies
And nibble nectarines. 
I'd shine her horn with candy corn
To get a starry sheen. 

Unicorns are pretty, 
but they're also very shy. 

On second thought, 
I'd like to give a 
a try."


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Zoo Day: A My First Experiences Book by Annie Rockwell and Lizzy Rockwell

Zoo Day: A My First Experiences Book by Anne Rockwell and Lizzy Rockwell (2017)
I probably don’t need to tell you how great Anne Rockwell’s books are for storytime, and this one is no different. A perfect, realistic, and gentle narrative that shows what a trip to the zoo is like for a family (aside from the lack of crowds, that is). A perfect example of narrative nonfiction for storytime.

Themes/topics: zoo, family, parrots, maps, events, nonfiction, firsts

Sample text from one spread:
When the zookeeper comes to feed them, the sea lions gather around, barking even louder. She throws a shiny fish up in the air. A sea lion catches it and slaps his flipper on the rock. Another catches a fish and dives underwater.
“Now they’re making me hungry,” I tell my mom.
“Me too,” she says. 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Sam Sorts by Marthe Jocelyn

Sam Sorts by Marthe Jocelyn (2017)
Every once in a while I find a book that doesn’t really work for storytime, but works so well for programs and extension activities (and presumably classroom use) that I just have to include it. Sam sorts is one of those books. Probably best shared one on one or in small groups, it’s a wonderful exploration of similarities, differences, sorting, counting, and grouping. So it’s great for encouraging both early literacy, and numeracy. Sam’s things are in a messy heap—time to sort them out!

Themes/topics: counting, messes, organization, cleaning your room, mustaches

Sample text from a page that shows a Venn diagram and the following spread:
Spider rock joins the other rocks.  Sam’s favorite rock is the round one. He looks for more round things. Two of the buttons are exactly the same. What else comes in twos?

Another way Sam makes a pair is by finding a rhyme. Some things match because they have stripes. A few have dots or holes. Only one has checks. The snake is striped AND green...

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Harry and Clare’s Amazing Staycation by Ted Staunton and Mika Song

Harry and Clare’s Amazing Staycation by Ted Staunton and Mika Song (#ownvoices)
Trapped inside at home due to rain, Harry and Clare use their vivid imaginations to have lots of fun adventures—well, fun for Clare who has a lot of opinions about how the adventures should go and somehow manages to find a way to eat Harry’s snack every day. On the day they get to go the park, Clare realizes they forgot snacks and wants to go home, but Harry has squirreled snacks away in his pockets, and uses them to negotiate a more equal partnership in their playtime. Clever, imaginative, and fun, but probably best for older groups who will understand the dynamics of the story.

Themes/topics: snacks, imagination, siblings, playtime, bossiness

Sample text:
“Watch out for umpire bats,” whispered Clare, “and hop quietly. The hippo is sleeping.” She jumped, clunk, over the sandbox. Harry had an idea. He kept it to himself.
“We are looking for a sunken ship guarded by a monster octopus,” Clare went on. “We’d better ride our Kimono dragons so we can go faster.” Harry rode hard to keep up. He held on to his idea.

“Duck,” Clare cried. “Elephant hummingbirds!” Then she reined in her Kimono dragon. “Oh-oh. We forgot snacks. We have to go back.”
Harry didn’t say a word. He climbed off his dragon, took something from his pocket and began to munch.
“Is that a baby carrot?” asked Clare. Harry didn’t answer. His mouth was full.