Monday, April 16, 2012

Baseball Books

Now that the season has started, Melissa Taylor of the Imagination Soup blog has a post up about newly published baseball related books. There are picture books, chapter books and even a non-fiction book about Babe Ruth. You can view the post here.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Happy Birthday, Beverly Cleary

Today is Beverly Cleary’s 96th birthday. In her honor, today has been designated Drop Everything and Read Day ( or D.E.A.R.) an annual event aimed at getting families to read together for at least 30 minutes. She wrote about D.E.A.R. in the second chapter of  Ramona Quimby, Age 8 in 1981.

Ramona Quimby age 8 Ramona and Her father

She won a 1982 Newberry Honor award for this book and also for Ramona and Her Father in 1978. In 1984, she was awarded the Newberry Medal for Dear Mr. Henshaw. At the request of two of her readers, she wrote one of the first children’s books that dealt with divorce.

Dear Mr Henshaw

Three generations of my family have read Beverly Cleary’s books. On their behalf, I’d like to wish her a Happy Birthday and to encourage your family to read her too. Here are a couple places you can go to hear more about this author: Beverly Cleary website and KQED's Perspectives.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Magic Tree House Books

Twenty years ago, the first Magic Tree House book, Dinosaurs Before Dark by Mary Pope Osborn was published. In a walk through the woods eight and a half year old Jack and his seven year old sister, Annie, find a tree house filled with books high in an old oak . The first book Jack opens is about dinosaurs. Soon the tree house is spinning and when it stops they are still in the tree house but not the same oak tree. Through this devise of the magic tree house and piles of old and new books, Mary Pope Osborn has taken Jack and Annie on adventures through time and space and even to  mythical places. There are 47 Magic Tree House Books and 22 non-fiction Fact Tracker companion books. The Yulupa Book fair has several of these books in stock and most of the books can be ordered online as well. Credit for orders before April 20th will go to Yulupa and Strawberry Schools.

Dinosaurs Before dark dogs in the dead of night

Abe Lincoln at last Fact Tracker Abe lincoln

This series can be found in the Yulupa Library and the Sonoma County Library. The AR level is 2.6 to 3.3. To learn more about this series and to read the first chapters of all the books you can go to the Magic Tree House website. Please be advised that there is audio as soon as you open the site.

Dogs at the Book Fair

We love dogs around here, so the first bo0ks I checked out at the Book Fair were about dogs. The picture book I picked was Charlie The Ranch Dog by Ree Drummond and illustrated by Diane DeGroat.

Charlie the Ranch Dog

Charlie and his pal Suzie are ranch dogs. Charlie likes to think he works hard on the ranch but the pictures tell a different story. But in the end, Charlie saves Mama’s garden from the marauding cows. This is a light hearted story that is true to  real dogs’ natures. The book is AR level 2.2. For more about this book check here. Oh, and it comes with a Lasagna recipe!

The next book, Travel-Size Pups Around the World by Ed Masessa , looks at small dogs and the countries they came from.

travel size pups

You visit countries on four continents and learn about the dogs from those places. Cute puppies and lots of dog facts. This is a Level 2 book. For more information check here.

 The Puppy Place books by Ellen Miles are about the Peterson family, especially Lizzie and Charles, who foster dogs from the animal shelter until they get their “forever” home. The book I chose was Muttley.

The Puppy Place-Muttley

This book is fiction, but the author bases her dog portraits on dogs she knows, so at the end of the book you learn about the real dog, Barley. She also includes ‘Puppy Tips’ to help kids understand their dog friends. There are more than two dozen Puppy Place books including a gratuitous pug appearance, Pugsley.

The Puppy Place-Pugsley

You can find out more about this series here. The AR level for these books is 4.0-4.2.

2002 Newberry Award winner, Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, is about an eleven year old boy, Marty, and the dog he grows to love and tries to save from an abusive owner.


Marty faces and resolves a moral dilemma is his quest to  rescue Shiloh. The book  does have a happy ending.

The final book, The Trouble With Chickens by Doreen Cronin and illustrated by Kevin Cornell, is not about a real dog or a dog who could be real like the previous books. This one is about J.J. Tully a recently retired search and rescue dog who has retired to a farm. 

The Trouble With chickens

Doreen Cronin (Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type) uses her deadpan humor and a film noir style to tell the story of J.J. and his search for some missing chicks.  Their mother, Moosh, asks J.J. to help locate Poppy and Sweetie. A ransom note complicates things as does the presence of the mysterious Vince the Funnel who lives in the farm house. The AR level is 3.8. To see a video preview, click here.

Cronin’s second J.J. Tully Mystery, The Legend of Diamond Lil, is also at the book fair.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Scholastic Book Fair at Yulupa

Yulupa book Fair opened this morning at 8 AM. It will be open Tuesday April 10th to Friday April 13th from 8-9 AM and 1:00 to 3:30 PM. Wednesday April 11th is Family Night from 5-7 PM in the Multi-Purpose Room (MPR). If you can’t make any of the above times, you can order your books online to be delivered for free to the school. All the proceeds go to the libraries at Yulupa and Strawberry.

Some Yulupa teachers have put their book wish lists online. You can check them out here.

This is a great opportunity to get books for summer reading. While I was browsing this morning, a third grade class came in to look at the books. They ran first to the flashy, featured books like all the Star Wars and Titanic related books but eventually fanned out to the perimeter to look at all the hundreds of other choices. There are books for preschoolers, beginning readers, beginning chapter books, more challenging chapter books and even books for young adults and parents. There are graphic novels, picture books, non-fiction and even books that come with accessories. Check it out!

Kid Approved Apps

Horn Books has posted a list of recommended apps for preschoolers through the intermediate grades. My grandson, Noah, who spent a week with us during his spring break checked out two of the apps. The first  Mo Willem’s Don't Let the Pigeon Run This App. True to his ideas in his  Zena Sutherland Lecture  this app needs a kid to run it. You can learn to draw the Pigeon with Mo and save your drawing with can be used as the Pigeon character in the story you create with the Bus Driver from Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. Noah gives this app a thumbs up.

Don't Let the Pigeon run This App 

Al Yankovic’s book When I Grow Up has been made into an app When I Grow Up

Weird Al will read you the book, you can follow along while he reads the book or you can read it yourself. It is Thursday and time for show and tell. Today in Mrs. Krupp’s class the subject is ‘what do I want to be when I grow up’. Our narrator has a laundry list of things he would like to do. Some of the more interesting future occupations have their own games such as Tarantula Shaver and Gorilla Masseuse. Noah gave this one two thumbs up because he loved the tarantula shaver game and it is funny.

This next app was not on the Horn list, but it is one my husband found. It is  called Bats! Furry Fliers of the Night by Mary Kay Carson.


Bats! is an interactive 3-D app to help kids explore the natural world of the only flying mammals. Noah, true to his name loves animals. He loved this app because it was a real book about real animals and fun too.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

KidsWorx Creative Workshop

The Children’s Museum of Sonoma County will bring its Museum-on-the-Go to Friedman’s Santa Rosa store on Saturday, April 7, from 9AM to 12 PM. The store is located at 4055 Santa Rosa Avenue. This is a free event.  This month’s theme is Let’s Dig In.