Friday, November 2, 2018

New Picture Books

Dreamers by Yuyi Morales is the story of her immigration to the United States with her then three month old son to join her American citizen husband in 1994. They settled in San Francisco. She and her son spent their days in the San Francisco Public Library learning English and learning about their new country. The illustrations in the library show many of the books they read. Books opened the door to their new life. Yuyi Morales became an award winning writer and illustrator. This is a powerful book about the value of libraries and reading.
The Sonoma County Library has fourteen copies.

Carmela Full of Wishes is written by Matt de Pena and illustrated by Christian Robinson, the award winning (Newbery Medal and Caldecott Honor) of Last Stop on Market Street. It is Carmela's birthday. She finds a spent dandelion, her brother tells her she has to make a wish before she blows the seeds away, but what should she wish for?
The Sonoma County Library has nine copies.

Drawn Together is written by Mihn Le and illustrated by Dan Santat. A young boy is being babysat by his grandfather. They eat lunch and watch a little TV. Neither one speaks the others language so how do they communicate?  By drawing a story together, each in his own style, they find a language they both understand.                                                                                                                               
 The Sonoma County Library has eleven copies.                                                                                                                                                         

Good Rosie by Kate Di Camillo with pictures by Harry Bliss is about a good dog who sometimes gets lonely and dare I say bored. George, her owner, tries something new, they go to a dog park. At first Rosie doesn't know what to do and is scared of a big dog named Maurice. But eventually she makes friends with a little dog and by the end of the book they both become friends with Maurice.
The Sonoma County Library has thirteen copies.

My Dog Laughs is written and illustrated by Rachel Isadora. Children introduce us to their dogs, tell us what their dog likes, show us how they train their dogs and how their dog plays. The pictures give clues to the text and there is plenty of white space between each vignette. 
The Sonoma County Library has six copies.

The Day You Begin by Newbery Medalist  Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by Rafael Lopez is a story about feeling different for any number of reasons and how by sharing your story others will meet you halfway.
The Sonoma County Library has twenty copies.

What Can A Citizen Do? by Dave Eggers with pictures by Shawn Harris is about being a citizen. Since the characters in this book are children, citizen is meant in a much broader sense than just voting. "A citizen's not what you are-a citizen is what you do."
The Sonoma County Library has seven copies.

New Early Reader Books

The Bad Guys Do-You-Think-He-Saurus?! by Aaron Blabey goes back in time to the Jurassic era because, of course, dinosaurs, the perfect foils for this group.
The Sonoma County Library has one copy. This book will also be available at Strawberry's Scholastic Book Fair November 8-16, 2018.

Baby Monkey, Private Eye by Brian Selznick and David Serlin is a 192 page very beginning reader book. Baby Monkey solves three cases once he manages to put on his pants. The ending makes it a perfect bedtime read. Like Brian Selznick's previous work, much of the story is told in beautiful black and white drawings.
The Sonoma County Library has nine copies. This book will also be available at Strawberry's Scholastic Book Fair November 8-16, 2018.

Big Foot and Little Foot by Ellen Potter and illustrated by Felicita Sala is about how an unlikely friendship between a human boy, Boone, and a Sasquatch, Hugo. This is the first book in a series. The first chapter of The Monster Detector is included at the end of the book.
The Sonoma County Library has seven  copies.

Beatrice Zinker Upside Down Thinker: Incognito written and illustrated by Shelley Johannes is the second in a new series about Beatrice and her best friend, Lenny. It is the second week of third grade. The two friends have a great idea, Operation Upside. It is a plan to anonymously acknowledge people who are doing good things or are good at something. Beatrice gets a little ahead of herself and gives an upside to her teacher who is really good at being strict. Her teacher does not take it the way it was intended. How will they save Operation Upside?
The Sonoma County Library has two copies.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

New Non-Fiction Picture Books

Jess Keating and Melissa Stewart are two of the best writers of non-fiction for kids. You can check out more of their books here.

Cute As An Axolotl is the latest of Jess Keating's The World of Weird Animals series. An Axolotl is a salamander. Those feathery branches on the side of its head are gills. Cute as they are, they are a critically endangered species. Some of the other cute animals in this book are the Fairy Penguin, Pangolin, Pygmy Hippopotamus, Dwarf Flying Squirrel and Fennec Fox. Also included is a two page spread on the science of Cute and a glossary. Illustrations are by David DeGrand. The previous books in the series have been a big hit with the second graders I work with. The Sonoma County Library has six copies.

Pipsqueaks, Slowpokes, and Stinkers is Melissa Stewart's latest picture book. It is illustrated by Stephanie Laberis. This book is about the unsung underdogs of the animal world. What may be perceived as weaknesses may actually help these animals survive in an eat-or-be-eaten world. Some sleep most of the day away. How does that help them survive? Because they rest so much they don't need as much food to sustain themselves. Twelve animals are profiled and fit into one of the categories in the book's title. At the end of the book is a two page spread with more information on each animal. The Sonoma County Library has five copies.

Monday, March 19, 2018

James Patterson Is Giving Away 2 Million Dollars for Classroom Libraries

How do you apply for your share for your classroom? It is easy. Go to James Patterson & Scholastic Giveaway and fill out the online form. Two minutes of your life for the chance to win $500 from James Patterson and 500 bonus points from Scholastic. Four thousand teachers will win. Questions? Check here and here for answers.

This is the fourth year for this giveaway. Classroom libraries get books into the hands of kids and for some kids it is the only source of quality books.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Scholastic Book Fair Comes to Yulupa

This week is Yulupa's annual Scholastic Book Fair held in the Library/Media Center from 8-9 AM and 1-4 PM on Monday, March 5 thru Friday, March 9. On Wednesday it will stay open from 1-7:30 PM. This is a great opportunity to get your kids some books, both for read alouds and for reading on their own. And maybe even pick up a book for your child's classroom; teachers fill out slips of paper with the names of books they would like to add to their classrooms.  The Yulupa Book Fair home page is here. You can find the link to this year's book flyer on the bottom of the page. 

These are just a few of the books available at the book fair:

Every Elephant & Piggie book is perfect for beginning readers but this is my favorite. Two of my students read this book to me with expression this past week and loved it too. Mo Willlems structures these books with lots of white space, just a few words on a page, picture clues and plenty of humor. Piggie's speech balloons are pink, Gerald's (Elephant) are grey. The font is small for a whisper and large for exclamations, making it easy for new readers to read with expression.

 I reviewed Let's Go for a Drive! in 2013.

Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea is the first book in the Narwhal and Jelly series by Ben Clanton. Told in three short stories, this graphic novel introduces us to the adventures of Narwhal and Jelly; friends who despite their differences have much in common.

The Bad Guys in Attack of the Zittens by Australian author and illustrator, Aaron Blabey. The Bad Guys are four classic villains: Mr. Wolf, Mr. Snake, Mr. Piranha and Mr. Shark who want to do good deeds, mostly. There is a bit of a problem of trying not to eat each other though. This time they save the world from zombie kittens with the help of a granny alligator. 

This is book #4 of The Bad Guys graphic novel series. Check out my review of the first The Bad Guys book. I have used this series with a few second graders who love the humor and mayhem.

The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Adam Rex is another kid favorite. You can read my review here

Upside Down Magic: Dragon Overnight by the team of Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle and Emily Jenkins is the fourth book in the series about Nory and Andres and their wonky magic in an upside-down magic class. One of my granddaughter's loves this series because she loves magic and cats.

Sarah Mlynowski is also the author of the Whatever After series that updates classic fairy tales. My review of the first book is here.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

2018 Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal and Honors

The American Library Association gives the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the “most distinguished beginning reader book”. The 2018 Medal was awarded to Charlie & Mouse written by Laurel Snyder and illustrated by  Emily Hughes. 

Two brothers, four short stories and one funny read. This is book one of a series. The Sonoma County Library has six copies. The library also has four  copies of the second book in the series, Charlie & Mouse & Grumpy.

The Honors were awarded to:

I See a Cat  written and illustrated by Paul Meisel.

An "I Like to Read" book, I See a Cat is about a housebound dog who spies animals through the patio door until his boy comes home from school, they head outside to get up close and personal with the wildlife. Simple text using just ten words to tell story along with easily interpreted pictures. Great for kids just learning to read.  The Sonoma County Library has seven copies.

King & Kayla and The Case of the Missing Dog Treats written by Dori Hillstad Butler and illustrated by  Nancy Meyers.

Kayla is baking peanut butter treats for her friend Jillian's new dog. Three treats are missing, they are King's favorite treat but his breathe doesn't smell like peanut butter. Who ate the treats? As in all good dog books, the dog is the smartest one in the story. The Sonoma County Library has three copies. There are four books in this series. 

My Kite Is Stuck and Other Stories written and illustrated by Salina Yoon.

  The Sonoma County Library has eight copies. This book is the second in a series of three books (so far) about the humorous  adventures of Big Duck, Little Duck and Porcupine.

Noodleheads See the Future written by Tedd Arnold, Martha Hamilton and Mitch Weiss and illustrated by Tedd Arnold.

Somehow I have missed this new series by the author of the hugely popular Fly Guy books based on stories from many cultures about the fool. Seems the Sonoma County Library has missed this series, too.

Snail & Worm Again written and illustrated by Tina Kugler.

The second book of a series about the humorous adventures of Snail and Worm. The Sonoma County Library has three copies. 

Monday, February 12, 2018

2018 Caldecott Medal and Honors

Each year the Caldecott Award is given to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children. This morning the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of  the American Library Association, awarded the 2018 Caldecott Medal to Wolf in the Snow, written and illustrated by Matthew Cordell.

An almost wordless book, Wolf in the Snow tells a compelling story about a girl who finds a lost wolf cub and returns him to his family. The wolves return the favor when the girl, exhausted by her journey lays down for a nap in the cold snow. The Sonoma County Library has five copies.

The Honors were awarded to:

Big Cat, little cat written and illustrated by Elisha Cooper.

 Big Cat, little cat reminds me so much of the relationship between two of my dogs, Piper and Gracie; it could be their story. Warning: you could shed a tear at the ending, I did. The Sonoma County Library has eleven copies.

Crown, An Ode to the Fresh Cut illustrated by Gordon C. James and written by Derrick Barnes.

Each award has its own committee that reads and follows books published in the category the award honors, Crown, An Ode to the Fresh Cut also won a Newbery Honor and both the Coretta Scott King author and illustrator Honors. The Sonoma County Library has six copies.

A Different Pond illustrated by Thi Bui and written by Bao Phi.

A true  father/son fishing story that takes place in my home town, Minneapolis, about the struggles of the past in Vietnam and the present in the early eighties Minnesota. The Sonoma County Library has five copies. 

Grand Canyon illustrated and written by Jason Chin.

A father and daughter explore the Grand Canyon's geology, animal and plant life in both the past and present. I am a big geology geek (thanks Uncle Peter and Cousin Mike) so I especially love the maps and back matter that goes further into the formation story. The Sonoma County Library has eleven copies.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Why, Fly Guy?

We have reviewed several Fly Guy Presents books on a single topic. Fly Guy Presents: Why, Fly Guy? is a BIG Question & Answer Book covering the human body, animals, plants and nature and plenty of other cool stuff. Each sub-topic has a two page spread that answers questions like, Why do my feet smell?  Why don't polar bears get cold? Why does thunder follow lightening? The answers are factual but not overwhelming. As an added bonus, some answers include a Science Project or Activity to help illustrate the answer. And, of course, there is plenty of witty commentary from Fly Guy. 

The Sonoma County Library has seven copies.