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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Thrilling Thursday

Red Is a Dragon: A Book of Colors written by Roseanne Thong, illustrated by Grace Lin is a delightful book of colors.  As we go through a rainbow of colors, we see what each means to this Chinese-American girl.  First published in 2001, it holds up being republished in 2015.  
The text is rhyming and the gouache paintings are bold.  I'll use this in my Toddlerpalooza program and my Preschool Storytime.  It's a book I'll recommend to parents and preschool teachers.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wonderful Wednesday

A Lullaby for Little One by Dawn Casey, illustrated by Charles Fuge is such a sweet story.  Daddy Rabbit takes Little One out to play before bedtime and they they have a fun romp in the meadow.  They meet their friends, race, chase, and run. They splash, play peek-a-boo, dance and sing, until Little One gets too tired.  Daddy Rabbit carries him/her back hugging and humming and they snuggle down for sweet dreams.
The illustrations were done in watercolors and there is a good mix of background washes of sky and nature with foreground details and bolder colors.  The animals are very realistically done.  The background washes give a terrific overall evening setting sun feeling as the animals cavort and play.  We see the foreground plants, bugs, and friends with up close precision.
I'll use this title with my Toddlerpalooza program and with Preschool Storytime.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Terrific Tuesday

Click, Clack, Peep! by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Betsy Lewin is the perfect book for the family with a new baby.  When Baby Duck hatches, it takes a whole barn full of animals to get Baby Duck to sleep.
The text size and story seems to be just right for an early reader.  With repetition of sentences and phrases, this title might be in the running for a Geisel. 
The illustrations are done in watercolors and show Betsy's characteristic animal personalities to a T.  I love the shadowy evening look and the faces of the animals as they try their best to help Baby Duck slow down and get sleepy.  The chickens sing a lullaby, the cows lower the shades, the sheep knit a blanket, but it takes Daddy Duck to finally get the little one to conk out.
I'll use this in Preschool Storytime and recommend it to parents and teachers.  

Monday, February 23, 2015

Marvelous Monday

Smick! by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Juana Medina is quite minimalist.  Enter Smick, a lovable dog.  Smick likes to go after a stick. Then Smick meets a chick. This sweet, rhyming story about a dog, a stick, and a chick is just right for the toddler and three year-old set.  The digital art is accompanied by photograph of a stick and a flower petal that is the chick.  It's very unique and endearing.  It's one of those characters, like Pigeon, that relates a lot of character and charm with just a few artist's touches. 
I'll use this in my Toddlerpalooza, a guided play time for toddlers and their caregivers, and in preschool Storytime.  

Friday, February 20, 2015

Friday Favorites

On the Wing by David Elliott, illustrated by Becca Stadtlander is bird poetry. Each two page spread has a poem about a bird with lovely gouache paintings.  The text captures the movements, habits, and ways of the bird and matches the art very well as it shows them in flight, mid-crow, or in a few cases just sitting pretty. 
The birds are represented from your backyard to the Andes mountains, from an Australian beach to the Amazon rainforest.  
This title would make a good companion to a primary grade research project.  When using informational texts for real info students could use a lighter note for the brain.  Each child could take a poem and then research their given bird.  I like mixing up real info, poetry, and picture books with students.  I'd use this book with Kindergarten to 3rd grade.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Thrilling Thursday

The Bear Ate Your Sandwich by Julia Sarcone-Roache is another bear book, just had one yesterday, but when you get to the end, you'll see it isn't really about the bear! There's a surprise twist that I'm not telling you about.
We start with the end papers, lots of different kinds of sandwiches. Then cue the narrator telling the reader about what happened to their sandwich, it started with the bear. And what a great story, a grand adventure that bear took.  It somehow managed to hitch a ride into the city, roam all over looking for something to eat and that's when it found your sandwich.
The illustrations in this book were created using acrylic paint and pencil.  I love the impressionistic look of the art.  The colors are done with wonderful contrasting blues, greens, yellows, and oranges.  There is a ton of movement and just the right amount of light.  
I was caught unaware by the unexpected turn at the end and I know the kids will love this one too.  They love a sudden switch and I love to catch them with a good one.  I'll use this with Kindergarten to 3rd grade. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Wonderful Wednesday

Goodnight Already! by Jory John, illustrated by Benji Davies is not your average bear hibernating book. Bear is sooooooo tired.  He's soooooo ready for bed.  But. But. But, there's always a But..... duck is wide awake and he's bear's neighbor and keeps waking bear up.  Now you and me, well, we know, don't go around waking up tired bears.  But not duck.  He doesn't seem to get it.  
This hilariously, funny story will have you and your kids falling over laughing.  I can't wait to read this aloud to a group of Kindergarteners and do the duck voice and then the bear voice. Ha! I know they will love it. I'll use this title with Prek to 2nd graders.