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Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday Favorites

Goatilocks and the Three Bears by Erica S. Perl, illustrated by Arthur Howard is a terrific new Goldilocks and the Three Bears variant.  I simply love this version.  You know what goats do, right? Yes, they eat a lot of different stuff.  So this is no regular telling, Goatilocks eats her way through the story.  
The watercolor art is delightful, fresh and amusing. Howard is known for the art in the Cynthia Rylant Mr. Putter and Tabby series, and tons more books.  
This portrayal of the 3 Bears will lend itself very well to comparing and contrasting to the original and other versions.  
I'll recommend this to teachers, parents, and children.  And I'm going to feature it in my outreach next month.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Thoughtful Thursday

Sea by Laura Green, graphic design by Sophie Hinton is technically a board book, but it's just too fun to miss.  It's part of a new series called Peekaboo! It has a die cut hole on each page and you see that animal behind it is different than all the rest.  There are sound clues that the sea creature on the next page is not the same.  It's simple and streamlined, but still interesting enough for the youngest preschoolers.  I'll share this in Storytime and see how they like it.  I'll probably wish it was a bigger format.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wonderful Wednesday

Oliver and His Egg by Paul Schmid is sweet.  Oliver thinks he has an egg and it will hatch and he and his new friend will have all kinds of adventures.  But then one of his friends mentions that it is really a rock.  Instead of Oliver feeling deflated and disappointed, Oliver's imagination goes wilder.  I love the energy of this book and that Oliver makes lemonade from lemons.  That's a great spirit of adventure he has.  The art is created with pastel pencil and digitally colored.  I'll use this with children from preschool to third grade.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Terrific Tuesday

The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland was first published in Australia in 2008.  I'm glad it made it to the States because it is hilarious. Four animals wander into Bear's cave to play games during a rainstorm.  But they wake up that very cranky bear and it's no more games for them.  I love how zebra, lion, and moose think that making bear more like them is what will make him happy, but sheep listens and finds out what bear really wants.  Kids will love this and so will their parents. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Marvelous Monday

There Once Was A Cowpoke Who Swallowed an Ant by Helen Ketteman, illustrations by Will Terry is deliciously wild.  It's a new take on the "Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly."  I love the pairing of Ketteman and Terry.  I've shared their books in first and second grades and the kids respond so well to the stories and the art.  Probably our favorite was "The Three Little Gators" with the big bottom boar.  There is nothing so great as a wild animal that mashes other animals' houses with its butt.  This title has a distinctive southwest flavor with the roadrunner, boar, 'dillo, and lizard.  This year with my outreach I'm using variants of old tales.  There Once Was a Cowpoke... will hit if off well with the kids too.  I love Terry's use of perspective and I thought I knew where the story was going when I saw the outhouse, but I was tricked!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday Favorites

Gravity by Jason Chin is amazing.  It's a picture book, but in the non-fiction area, so teachers, heads up!  If you want to use his books in your classroom check here, for standards and ideas. The art is incredible along with the topic.  What a great book to introduce the science and then expand on it with fascinating watercolors.  It will catch your student's curiosity and encourage them to find out more about the subject.  There are author notes and a bibliography in the back.  Chin has an awesome eye for perspective and is so clever about capturing our mind with wonder.  I'll use this book with preschool to 4th or 5th graders.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Thoughtful Thursday

The Problem with NOT Being Scared of Monsters by Dan Richards, illustrations by Robert Neubecker is a silly story about how monsters have just taken over this poor kid's life. He can't study, eat, play, or do anything because once you're friends with the monsters, they just don't leave you alone.  Until you get them to want to be friends with the next guy.
The pen and ink drawings on watercolor paper were colored on a Macintosh and are just delightful. With his trademark cartoon style, the illustrations bring out the monsters character and quirkiness.  I'll use this with the preschool set to second grade.  They'll appreciate the irony of being afraid of not being afraid of monsters.