Tuesday, March 18, 2014

NYPL: 100 Best Children’s Book for 2013


NYPL 100 Best Children's Books 2013
The New York Public Library is out with an interactive list of the best children's books of 2013. You can search by reading level, genre and theme. Click on a book that interests you and it will take you to a short description  of the story. There is something for everyone.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Celebrate World Read Aloud Day

 

2014 World Read Aloud DayGrab a kid, grab a book and enjoy a story together. It just might be the beginning of a terrific habit.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Happy 110th Birthday, Dr Seuss

Back in the olden days when I was a kid (the fifties), a book was written by Rudolf Flesch called Why Johnny Can’t Read (there is nothing new in the universe). Flesch along with the journalist, John Hersey, blamed boring primers, like the Dick and Jane books,  for that failure. Dr. Seuss rode to the rescue with  The Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham (and many more) that even with a limited vocabulary were engaging and funny.

 2014 Dr Seuss birthday

Each year his birthday is celebrated as Read Across America Day sponsored by the National Education Association. Read more about why Read Across America is so important here.

Read Across America 2014

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Watermelon Seed

The Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal winner for 2014 is The Watermelon Seed  by Greg Pizzoli. The book uses simple  graphics employing the colors of watermelon: pink, green and black. The text is large and well-spaced, very useful to beginning readers.

The Watermelon Seed

Our crocodile protagonist LOVES watermelon. He eats it morning, noon and night and even for dessert. One day, he swallows a watermelon seed. In his panic he envisions the horrors that await him. It is growing inside of him, the vines will soon grow out of his ears! He may turn pink, his stomach will stretch! Can someone help him? His stomach feels funny and on a page that will get the reader giggling is a l-o-n-g burp and up comes the seed. He swears off watermelon forever, except for maybe just one little bite.

The Sonoma County Library has several copies. The AR level is 1.0. This is the author’s first picture book with two more to be published in 2014. You can check out his website here.

Penny and Her Marble

Kevin Henkes not only won a Newbery Honor for The Year of Billy Miller but also won a Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor for Penny and Her Marble.

Penny is feeling  uncomfortable. She didn’t want to help Mama  make sugar cookies, she wasn’t hungry  and had a hard time getting to sleep last night. Why is she feeling uncomfortable? The day before, she was pushing her doll, Rose, in her stroller down the sidewalk. When she passed Mrs. Goodwin’s house, she saw a beautiful blue marble on the grass. Penny thought Mrs. Goodwin was too old to play with marbles, so she picked it up and put it in her pocket and rushed home. In her room, she found that the marble was smooth and fast. She held it up to the blue sky, it looked like a piece of the sky. Through the window, she spotted Mrs. Goodwin in exactly the place where she found the marble. Was Mrs. Goodwin looking for the marble?

The morning after her rough night, Penny wakes up with a plan. She puts Rose in the stroller and heads to Mrs. Goodwin’s house to return the marble. How is this story resolved? Did Penny take something that wasn’t meant for her?

In four short chapters, Kevin Henkes explores a common childhood dilemma using age appropriate words and simple sentences.

Penny and Her Marble

The Sonoma County Library has several copies. Even though this is a Level 1 I Can Read book, it has an AR 0f 2.5.  I’ll leave it to someone at a higher pay grade than me to explain the discrepancy.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Ball

Mary Sullivan, the author and illustrator of Ball,  knows about dogs, especially ball obsessed dogs. Using only one word, repeated many times, she illustrates the highs and lows of a day in the life of a dog and his red ball. After a few throws, his best little girl pal has to go to school. He tries to interest Mom doing yoga, the baby and even the cat in a game of fetch. No luck! So he devises his own game and finally takes a nap. What does he dream about? You guessed it. Finally his pal comes home and the game continues.

Mary Sullivan illustrates the body language and facial expressions dog lovers know so well. She dedicates her book to Scout, the best dog in the whole world.

ball_mary_sullivan

The Sonoma County Library has a few copies and the Yulupa Library has one copy.  A great book for dog lovers of all ages, I have test driven this book with several people decades past the age of the intended audience. It has been a hit with everyone. No wonder the Theodore Seuss Geisel committee gave it an Honor for 2014.

Friday, February 7, 2014

A Big Guy Took My Ball

Perennial Theodore Seuss Geisel medalist and honor winner, Mo Willems, has written and illustrated a 2014 Honor book,  A Big Guy Took My Ball. True to form, this book is both funny and sweet.

Piggie has found a big ball and is having fun but a big guy came and took it. Upset, she goes to Gerald for help. It is not right and Gerald offers get her ball back. Big guys have all the fun! Gerald goes to confront the big guy. Turns out that even for an elephant, the big guy is really, really big. He is a whale. As Gerald is explaining to Piggie why he did not get her ball back, the whale comes to thank her for finding his little ball. He says that no one wants to play with him because he is so big. Little guys have all the fun! Gerald and Piggie offer to play “whale ball” with him and all of them have BIG fun.

A Big Guy Took My Ball

The AR level is 1.0. The Yulupa Library has one copy and the Sonoma County Library has  several copies.