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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Terrific Tuesday

Train! by Judi Abbot is a delightful book about a toddler elephant and boy does he LOVE trains.  His mom and dad take him on a train ride and he meets lots of other toddlers.  They each have their own favorite toy and elephant has a bit of a meltdown.  When the train goes in the tunnel everything changes.  Each toddler ends up with another's toy and they learn that other trains can be fun too.
This will be a great book to us in my Toddler Time or Storytime for Preschoolers.  The bright, cheerful art appears to be acrylic paints.  I'm sure this book will become some human toddlers favorite.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Marvelous Monday

Where's Tim's Ted? It's Time for Bed! by Ian Whybrow, illlustrated by Russell Ayto is a comical lost and found story.  Tim doesn't have his favorite stuffed friend, Ted.  He goes looking all over the farm.  Most of the animals are helping and follow along.  
The cartoon art is is perfect for this silly tale. It was first published in 1999, but the art and story hold up well for 15 years later.  The story and art are timeless. The illustrations seems to be pen and ink and watercolors.  The characters have wonderful expression and I love the story.  When they find little Ted, the answer to where he's been makes sense to me.  I'll use this in Preschool Storytime. With all the rhyming, this is a natural pick for Phonological Awareness and Narrative Skills.  When asking the children the beginning, middle and end of the story, this title will lend itself very well for retelling.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Friday Favorites

Turtle Island by Kevin Sherry is one more fascinating story from him.  First of all, I love his watercolors!  The salt added to give interesting ocean scenes, how he makes the water and sun work together, and those goofy characters he draws.  They make my heart happy and me smile.  Turtle Island is all about friends and loneliness and growing.  
The art was penciled, inked, then painted with watercolors. The dedication page is just wonderful using salt in watercolors.  The page with the sun going down, and with the shipwreck because of the storm, and the fireworks page are my very most favorites.  
I'll use this with preschoolers in Storytime and with Kindergarten to Second Graders.  I'd love to use this book with my Afterschool Scholars group and teach how to use salt with watercolors.  Hmmmm, I think I have a good idea.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Throwback Thursday

Hula-Hoopin' Queen by Thelma Lynne Godin, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton brings back memories from my childhood so that makes it a Throwback Thursday book.  
The modern hula-hoop was invented in 1958 and I was never any good at it.  This story is about two girls that are in competition and about an elderly friends birthday.  Kameeka gets distracted from helping get ready for Miz Adeline's party preparations because she wants to be the Hula-Hoop Queen of 139th Street. 
The art was hand drawn and colored digitally.  The illustrations give more dimension to the story, although the story is outstanding.  
I'll use this book with Kindergarteners and older.  I can see using this with a group of kids to introduce a 'Hula-Hoop' day during our summer lunch program.  We're done with it for this year, but I'm always looking for ways to bring a story to children that will turn it into an activity and fun time.  I'm all about showing kids how to have fun with books and stories.  Reading for pleasure is key to getting kids to want to read and read and read.  I am also a big believer in children seeing themselves in books.  This has a diverse group of people in it and we need more diversity in books.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Wonderful Wednesday

Who's in the Tree? and other lift-the-flap surprises by Craig Shuttlewood is a rhyming romp.  This pick which one doesn't belong is a lively habitat story. This kind of pig doesn't live in the desert, the octopus lives in water, not in a jungle, a peacock does not fit in well in the ocean.
Shuttlewood is a graphic artist, but I'm not sure that means the art is done digitally or not.  I love the cheerful characters, the bright colors, and friendly story.  I'll use this in Storytime and with Kindergarteners and recommend it to parents. And I need to purchase a copy for my branch.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Terrific Tuesday

Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems selected by Paul B. Janeczko, illustrated by Melissa Sweet is my favorite kind of poetry - short and oh, so Sweet!  (OK, yes pun intended on the illustrator's name.)
This is a picture book, although quite long for one, the pictures and poems work in tandem as one.  I see another Caldecott looming with this one.  The wonderful way that Sweet has with a collage look and groupings as she wields the watercolor, gouache, and mixed media is magic. 
Some of my favorite poems and art pairings: The Island, the one about the gulls, The Window, Little Orange Cat, and well OK, all of them are my favorite.  The poem selections are great, but Sweet adds more in the illustrations to extend the poem in the art.  How she can use one illustration for three very different poems is amazing.  The only other thing I can add is: Enjoy!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Marvelous Monday

The Way to the Zoo by Jon Burningham is filled with imagination.  What a fun story!  Kids and adults will love The Way to the Zoo because the way is in Sylvie's bedroom.  There is a secret passage to the zoo and one-by-one the animals make their way to keep Sylvie company and to stay over night.  Until the day Sylvie forgot to make sure the door to the zoo was shut.  Lots of animals are in her living room making a mess.  
The pen and ink and watercolor pictures are terrific.  They show the action, the zoo animals and Sylvie and her room with lots of white space to give the art room on the page.  For me, plenty of white space is where kids can fill in the gaps and let their imagination grow and add to the story.  I especially love the penguins in the bathtub and when Sylvie gets mad at the animals sneaking in while she's at school. 
Burningham has been around for a long time.  There are a lot of teacher resources out there.  I'd suggest TeachingBooks to get started using his books in the classroom or Storytime.