Tuesday, February 21, 2017


The Bulldog and Poodle families from Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio are back in Antoinette. Each of Antoinette's brothers has a special talent: Rocky is clever, Ricky is fast and Bruno is strong. What is Antoinette's talent? She's not sure..

One day while playing in the park with the Poodle kids: Fi-Fi, Foo-Foo, Ooh-La-La and Gaston, Ooh-La-La goes missing while chasing a butterfly. Where could she be? Everyone starts looking for her. Antoinette catches a scent and follows it through the streets of Paris right into the Louvre and up to the very tip of Winged Victory and catches Ooh-La-La just as she is about to fall off the statue. An "instant" replay lets us see Antoinette save Ooh-La-La again. Fast forward into the future and we see Antoinette and Gaston in the park with their puppies near a statue honoring Antoinette as Paris' most famous police dog.

Again Christian Robinson's artwork perfectly captures the dog families, the action and the feeling of Paris.

The Sonoma County Library has seven copies. There is no AR yet for this book but the AR for Gaston is 2.8.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

World Read Aloud Day

Here is an ideas for a great read aloud book:

Vera Brosgol's Leave Me Alone! is a 2017 Caldecott Honor book. The protagonist is the grandmother in a small house with many children,a big sack of yarn and lots of sweaters to make for her grandchildren. But she could get no peace, so she left to find a place to knit. Bears bothered her in the woods,  goats in a mountain cave snacked on her yarn, she climbed so far up the mountain that she climbed onto the moon. Did she find peace there? The little green men had scanners that beeped and booped until she could stand it no longer and left through a wormhole. On the other side it was very dark, very quiet and she was alone at last. The perfect place to do her knitting. When she finished 30 sweaters she went through another wormhole back to the house and a joyous welcome from her grandchildren.

Depending on the age of the child(ren) you are reading to, be prepared to answer some questions about wormholes. The Sonoma County Library has thirteen copies. The AR is 2.9.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Infamous Ratsos

The Ratso brothers, Louie and Ralphie,  want to be tough just like their dad, Big Lou. But try as they might every time they try to  be tough they wind up doing a good deed. One day, their father confronts them with a letter from school commending them on welcoming a new student to school and stopping a bully from harassing another student. And to top it off, Mr. O'Hare told him that the boys shoveled his sidewalk during the snowstorm. What did they have to say for themselves? They want to be tough like their dad. Dad thinks he should be more like his boys and help others. So that is what the three of them do.

The Infamous Ratsos won a Theodore Seuss Geisel Honor for 2017. Kara La Reau has written several other books for beginning readers. Most of them fall into the 2.0 to 3.0 AR range. This book has not been assigned an AR as of today. One of the things that I like about the book is that the font is easy to read, the letters large and spaced so beginning readers can tell where one word ends and another begins. Beginning readers will like this funny chapter book and Matt Myers' illustrations.

The Sonoma County Library has one copy.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Finding Books

Listen to the Kids & Family Reading Report. One place my son got book recommendations that excited him was a weekly Friday book talk in his fourth grade classroom. Each student presented a book that he or she had just read and why they liked it. Every Friday afternoon, he came home from school talking about the books he wanted to read next.

Monday, January 23, 2017

2017 Newbery Medal and Honors

The American Library Association awarded the 2017 Newbery Medal  for “the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children” to The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill.

Honors were awarded to

Freedom Over Me, Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life words and pictures by Ashley Bryan

The Inquisitor's Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Dog words by Adam Gitwitz and illustrated by Hatem Aly

I am in the middle of this book right now. Despite being set in 1242 AD in France, it is a book for our times. And it obeys the first rule of dog characters in children's books: the dog is the smartest one!

Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk

This was one of my two favorite middle grade books from last year. Another story for our times set in Pennsylvania in the early 1940's.

2017 Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal and Honors

The American Library Association gives the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the “most distinguished beginning reader book” We Are Growing : A Mo Willems' Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! Book written by Laurie Keller.

You can read my review here.

The Honor books are:

Good Night Owl written and illustrated by Greg Pizzoli. Three years ago Greg Pizzoli won the Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal for The Watermelon Seed a book that has delighted many of my students.

Oops, Pounce, Quick, Run! An Alphabet Caper words and pictures by Mike Twohy

Go Otto Go! written and illustrated by David Milgrim

The Infamous Ratsos words by Kara LaReau and pictures by Matt Myers