Sunday, November 29, 2015

I Yam A Donkey!

Cece Bell, a 2013 Theodor Seuss Geisel Honorary for  Rabbit and Robot: A Sleepover and a Newbery Honorary for El Deafo, has written a hilarious book about grammar and wordplay.

Donkey is not too concerned about pronunciation or grammar. Yam is persnickety about both. Donkey announces,"I yam a Donkey!" Yam tells him that the proper way to say that is,"I am a donkey'."A who's-on-first routine follows as Yam tries to get Donkey to understand the meaning of am and then are versus is which draws a crowd of other vegetables. Finally, Donkey gets it which turns out not to be such a good thing for Yam and his friends.

This is a great read-out-loud book especially if you can channel Abbott and Costello.

The Sonoma County Library has one copy. 

The Day The Crayons Came Home

Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers have collaborated on a sequel to their #1 bestseller, The Day The Crayons Quit!The Day The Crayons Came Home.

Sometime after showing his crayons that he could use them more creatively, Duncan receives a stack of postcards in the mail. The Maroon crayon sent a postcard from the couch. Two years ago, Duncan's dad sat on him and broke him in two. Paperclip saved him and now he is ready to return to Duncan's crayon box.

 Pea Green informed Duncan that since no one likes peas or the color of peas, he has renamed himself Esteban the Magnificent and he is running away to see the world. He sends two more postcards, one asking Duncan to open the front door so he can see the world and another to inform him that he is returning because the world is rainy.

 Neon Red was left behind at the hotel when the family came home from vacation. She is planning on walking home. She sends two more postcards, one from a place with camels and pyramids and another with snow and skis.

Tan crayon (or was he Burnt Sienna?) was eaten by the dog, then puked up on the living room rug. He is now more carpet fuzz than crayon.

 Duncan also hears from Glow in the Dark crayon, Gold crayon, Turquoise crayon, Brown crayon and Chunky Toddler crayon each asking to be rescued. Duncan gathers the neglected, forgotten and damaged crayons and builds a place where each crayon will feel at home.

Kids will love the artwork and story, it irreverent and funny.

The AR is 3.3. The Sonoma County Library has twenty-two copies.

Saturday, November 21, 2015


Kevin Henkes, Caldecott Medalist, Newbery honorary and Theodor Seuss Geisel honorary, has written a new picture book, Waiting. Asked in a Horn Book interview about writing a book about waiting he said, " Children spend a lot of their time waiting. They wait in line. They have to wait their turn. They wait for their birthdays, holidays, weekends, the end of the school day. They seem to be waiting quite a lot, so I thought it would be a good idea for a book."

Five figurines are sitting on a windowsill, looking out the window waiting for something amazing to happen. The pig is waiting for the rain, the bear for the wind to fly his kite, the puppy on his sled waiting for the snow, the owl waiting for the moon and the rabbit was happy just looking out the window. One day an elephant joined them, he stayed awhile but then left forever. A cat with patches joined the animals on the windowsill. What was she waiting for? One day. like a Matryoshka doll, she popped open and four increasingly smaller  kittens popped out. Then there were ten friends looking out the window waiting for something amazing to happen.

The artwork is beautifully spare, we see the window but not the room, even when the elephant falls to the floor and breaks. The figurines move by an unseen hand. The view from the window changes. The text is also spare and the sentences short. The AR is 1.9. The Sonoma County Library has twenty-two copies

Saturday, November 14, 2015

In! Over! And On (The Farm)

Ethan Long, the 2013 Theodor Seuss Geisel  award winner for Up, Tall and High, has a new book aimed at beginning readers: In! Over! And On (The Farm). Using fewer than fifty words, Mr. Long tells three humorous stories illustrating the words in, over and on.

Since this book was recently published, the Sonoma County Library does not yet have the book. But the author has published many other books aimed at Kindergarten, first and second-graders. You can find them here

Monday, November 9, 2015

I Really Like Slop!

Mo Willems' latest Elephant and Piggie book, I Really Like Slop, cracks me up. I have known my fair share of Geralds! Piggie has made her favorite dish: slop. Slop is part of pig culture and Piggie really, really, really likes it. Gerald questions her about the smell and the flies (flies are how you know that the slop is ripe) before Piggie asks him if he wants to try some. Gerald's first reaction is NO WAY! He sees that he has hurt Piggie's feelings so he agrees to try a small taste. Gerald takes a pea sized morsel. It takes him four pages to get it to the tip of his tongue, then we have six pages of Gerald's reaction to the taste while Piggie explains the flavors. Does he  really like slop? Not, but he's glad he tried it because he really likes Piggie.

Mo Willems uses lots of color and pattern to show Gerald's reaction to the slop. It is his most colorful Elephant and Piggie book yet. 

The Sonoma County Library has twenty-eight copies. After being on the market only three weeks, I Really Like Slop, is number one on the New York Times Children's Best Seller List. 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

That's (Not) Mine

Our furry friends from You Are (Not) Small are back in That's (Not) Mine by Anna Kang and illustrated by Christopher Weyant. This time their dispute is about who has possession of a comfy chair. There is more action because of the tactics each uses to get the other one out of the comfy chair.

It takes a little over forty different  words to tell this story about (not) sharing and (not) being a good friend. Eventually, they apologize and go out to play. Like the first book, the font is easy to read and there are just a few words on each page. There are plenty of action words that are easy to sound out, too. The slapstick humor will attract young readers and keep them reading.

The Sonoma County Library currently has two copies

Sunday, November 1, 2015

November is Picture Book Month

 Picture Book Month is an annual celebration of the importance of picture books. They are not just for toddlers. Two of the Caldecott Medal winners in the past decade were for books aimed at a much older audience: The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick and Locomotive By Brian Floca.

 Of course, many picture book subjects are aimed at younger children but the content of many is aimed at grade school kids who want to jump to chapter books as quickly as possible. There is a wide array of subjects, both fiction and non-fiction that can enhance grade school kids'  appreciation and understanding of the world around them. Check out The Picture Book Month website to hear from picture book champions why they think picture books are important.
Over the next few weeks, we will be looking at picture books for beginning readers and a few with a more advanced vocabulary and story.