Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes

By Mem Fox; illustrated by Helen Oxenbury


This book is a celebration of babies all over the world. The story is told in a simplistic, repetitive rhyme, which makes it appropriate for children learning to read. It features babies from different races and lands, but no matter where they are from, they each have "as everyone knows, ten little fingers and ten little toes." The pages feature one baby on the left and a second baby on the right, and when you turn the page, both babies are together. This continues throughout the story, connecting the poem from start to finish with the illustrations. With its rhyming text and soft, colorful illustrations, this is a great book for sharing with your little one.

Peg Leg Peke

By Brie Spangler


Have you ever had a boo-boo? I've had several, and they can hurt, especially those dreaded paper cuts, which can be a daily occurrence in the life of a librarian. This story is about Peke, a cute Pekingese puppy, who has a boo-boo - a broken leg! Ouch! But, this fun-loving dog doesn't let a little boo-boo come between him and adventure. With a little imagination, he transforms into a pirate with a peg leg in search of buried treasure. Ahoy matey! Will Peke find the treasure? What do you think it will be? You'll have to read this cute story to find out. The format of the book just begs to be read aloud. One page is the reader asking questions and the facing page is Peke replying. The illustrations are simple, but adorable.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Owly: The Way Home & The Bittersweet Summer

By Andy Runton

GRAPHIC NOVEL (all ages)

This is the perfect novel for someone who has never read a graphic novel, but was wondering what they were all about. Owly is a kind-hearted owl who knows the meaning of friendship. This graphic novel has two stories. In the first story, Owly saves a little worm, appropriately named Wormy, from a terrible rainstorm. Wormy has lost his family in the storm, so Owly helps Wormy find his home. Owly and Wormy both find out what it means to be a friend. In the second story, Owly and Wormy have a wonderful summer when they befriend two hummingbirds. But, they are very sad when the weather gets colder and their friends have to fly south. This book is very heartwarming and Owly is drawn with such expression, that you can't help but fall in love with him and the story. This graphic novel is wordless, but the illustrations portray the character's emotions perfectly. This is a wonderful story!

Friday, August 15, 2008

What Pet to Get?

By Emma Dodd


Wow, Jack's mom actually said he could get a pet! Now, the big question is what pet should he get? He suggests an elephant, but that's "not practical." How about a polar bear? No, he wouldn't "like the central heating." T-Rex, giraffe, a rhino? Mom doesn't like those ideas. She suggests something less exotic. What pet will Jack get? You'll have to read this funny book to find out! The illustrations are bright and pop off the page. The text is silly and fun. Every child will want this book read to them again and again!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Me Hungry!

By Jeremy Tankard


Poor Edwin! He is hungry and his parents are too busy to get him a snack. What's a boy to do? Hunt! Did I mention this book takes place in prehistoric times? Sorry, I forgot! Since his parents are too busy, Edwin goes on a journey to find himself some food. He encounters several animals who are ready to show him how the animal kingdom really works! Edwin also learns about friendship on his journey. Does he finally get something to eat? You'll have to read the book to find out! This book is really funny and the illustrations are bold and bright. One page is Edwin saying "me hungry" and the following page is the animal's response. There is a lot of repetition, which makes this a wonderful story to share during a storytime with toddlers or pre-schoolers. Now, I must run because "Me Hungry!"

Friday, July 11, 2008


By Kean Soo

GRAPHIC NOVEL (Ages 8 and up)

Let's face it - we have all had moments in our life where we've needed a large purple monster as a friend. I sure have! Well, Portia is also having those moments. She has just moved to a new neighborhood with her mom and is having problems adjusting to life without her father. She is pretty smart, but find school boring and her classmates don't seem to want to be friends with her. That all changes one night when Portia goes exploring the woods behind her house and finds a shy, sweet-natured purple monster. She decides to name him Jellaby. Jellaby doesn't talk, but Portia discovers he is lost. Along with her school-mate Jason, they go on a journey to discover Jellaby's true home. I absolutely loved this graphic novel!! Jellaby is such an endearing monster - he has a big heart. The drawings are absolutely wonderful - Kean Soo portrays the characters with emotion and such expression. My only complaint is I have to wait until the next volume to find out what happens (fair warning...the book leaves you hanging)! You will fall in love with Jellaby!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Engelbert Sneem and his Dream Vacuum Machine

By Daniel Postgate


At bedtime, children worry about monsters under the bed and noises in the dark. This book doesn't have any of those scary things, but it has Engelbert Sneem! At night, he sneaks into homes and sucks the dreams right out of children's heads while they are sleeping with his dream vacuum machine. He stores the dreams in pottery flagons and seals them tight. Then he goes off on his dragon-pulled carriage to his Castle of Sneem, where all the dreams are stored in the Dungeon of Dreams. When Engelbert wants "a nice little treat," he uncorks a flagon and gets to "savour a sumptuous dream at his leisure." One night, Engelbert uncorks a nightmare - a dream about him! He gets to see himself as he truly is and he doesn't like it. Resolved to change his ways, he releases all the good dreams and now only sucks up frightening dreams so children will never have nightmares again. This book could be potentially frightening, but the illustrations have a softness to them as does the story, which is part-fantasy, part fairy-tale. Engelbert is not portrayed as scary or evil. Also, the text is in rhyme which makes for a good read-aloud. This is a great story for bedtime!

Carl's Summer Vacation

By Alexandra Day


What a perfect book for summer! Carl, the lovable Rottweiler and Madeleine, the adorable toddler are back in another wonderful story. It's summertime and the family has gone to camp. Mom recommends that Carl and Madeleine take a nice nap in the hammock so they will be rested for that night's fireworks. But, that doesn't happen! There are too many adventures to be had on vacation - canoeing on the lake, berry picking, and playing at the park. Later that evening, Mom can't understand why these two are so tired after such a long "nap!" The illustrations are delightful, showing the joy and wonder of summertime fun. They convey a dreamlike atmosphere, which allows the reader to get a sense of the lazy days of summer. Carl is a protective dog, allowing Madeleine to ride around on him as they explore. This is a perfect summertime read and it will definitely get you in the mood for a little vacation.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach

By Melanie Watt


I love Scaredy Squirrel! If you've never experienced a Scaredy adventure, you are in a for a treat! This is the third book featuring Scaredy. As you might guess, Scaredy is fearful of many things: germs, sea monsters, and falling coconuts. He is determined to build his own beach where he will be safe and not encounter any of these crowds. But, lo and behold, he's missing the sound of the ocean! He decides to make a quick trip, that is VERY carefully planned out, to the beach to get a seashell. There he finds a different type of crowd he wasn't planning on - people! What's a scaredy squirrel to do? This witty and fun book is perfect for summer reading. Did I mention it's funny too? Anyone who has ever had a worry-moment will relate to Scaredy.

Little Hoot

By Amy Krouse Rosenthal; illustrated by Jen Corace


This book is an amusing twist on a familiar childhood dilemma - bedtime. Little Hoot does not like bedtime, but for a completely different reason: he wants to go to bed early like his friends, but "when you're an owl, you have to stay up late, late, late." It's not fair that he has to stay up playing. When he complains to his parents, they tell him he has to stay up for one more hour! Oh no! Little Hoot doesn't like this at all. Will he ever get to go to bed? This is a charming story for bedtime. The illustrations are wonderful at conveying Little Hoot's feelings through his facial expressions and mannerisms. Children will delight in this story and it's take on bedtime.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I Got a "D" in Salami

By Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver


This is the second book in the Hank Zipzer series, and it is a hoot! Poor Hank, a fourth-grader, did not do well on his report card - a D in math, a D in spelling, and a D in reading! He doesn't want his parents to find out, so he and his friends come up with a hilarious solution while at his mom's deli (hence the salami). But, the situation backfires on Hank and it's a laugh-out-loud fest for the reader to see if Hank is going to make it out of this dilemma. I listened to the audio book read by author Henry Winkler (the Fonz) and ended up cracking up during several parts of the book. Hank is a lovable character, full of spirit and wise-cracks! The salami incident is pure slapstick humor. There is also a great part of the book where Hank gets tested for learning challenges. This could be a nerve-wracking situation for many children, but the authors do a wonderful job of depicting it. It doesn't hurt that when Hank's involved, there is sure to be some fun! This is a great book for a reluctant reader and I fully recommend the audio book. Henry Winkler's reading is wonderful, giving such spirit and fun to the characters.