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Archive for August, 2012

Of all the geese in this gaggle, there is only one smart goose. He also happens to be the goose that doesn’t quite fit in. When all the other geese are sparkling clean, this goose goes to bathe in the muddiest mud puddle he can find. But, when the wolf comes, he’s also the goose least likely to be spotted and chased around the farm. You see, the mud acts as a camouflage. When the other geese finally get the smart goose to spill his secret weapon, they all live in peace…until winter comes. As the first snow begins to fall, the smart goose heads for the nearest clean pond. But the other geese don’t understand why. They may not get it, but the children in storytime usually do!

This is another winner from Caroline Jayne Church. The illustrations are crisp, clear, colorful, and whimsical. It’s a great book for storytime!

Check the WRL catalog for One Smart Goose.

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With few words and simple pictures author Jon Klassen is able to build characters with nuance and personality. From the downtrodden turtle, to the oblivious snake, to the earnest main character of the bear, we understand their behavior with very little context. But all of that is rather deep for a book about a bear looking for his hat. Yes, Bear has lost his hat and he wants it back. He goes from woodland creature to woodland creature asking if anyone has seen it. Bear is very sincere, if not too bright. Indeed, sharp-eyed children will see that Bear should have noticed exactly where his hat is – and no, it’s not already on his head. Rather than taking a look around him, Bear simply believes everyone who tells him they haven’t seen his hat.

Klassen’s earth-toned, almost rustic illustrations are bathed in red as Bear is hit with the realization that he HAS seen his hat. It’s not giving anything away to say that Bear does eventually get it back. And when he does, you can almost feel Bear’s contentment as he simply states, “I love my hat.” But that’s not the end of the story. I Want My Hat is best suited for older children who will appreciate the humor and not be disturbed by the twist at the end.  It was the recipient of a 2012 Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor and the 2012 E. B. White Read Aloud Award for Picture Books.

Check the WRL catalog for I Want My Hat Back.

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Perhaps you cannot remember the precise moment you realized that life isn’t fair, but Luke Pennybaker can. He had just completed every chore his parents had asked him to do, but his dad still said he couldn’t watch TV. Did Luke pitch a fit and scream at the top of his lungs? Well, actually, yes, but he didn’t leave it at that. Luke decided to run for president. His first campaign promise: to make life fair. He starts by getting his classmates to support his candidacy, and then works his way up to grownups. He uses his family’s vacations to drum up support in Colorado, New Jersey, Kansas, and Michigan. Which party is Luke in? The Birthday Party – where people treat you like it’s your birthday everyday! Unfortunately, if Luke wanted life to be fairer, he probably shouldn’t have entered politics. Unfairness rears its ugly head again on Election Day. Will Luke win the White House or go back home to a life with no TV?

President Pennybaker is a hit with older elementary school children, who enjoy the idea of someone their own age running for president. It is a funny scenario to imagine and Feiffer’s unexpected ending always gets a laugh.

Check the WRL catalog for President Pennybaker.

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A storm is raging outside. The wind is howling and the trees are creaking. Inside a cozy cave, Bear and Mrs. Bear fast asleep. But not everyone can sleep. One by one, each of the 3 cubs finds his way to their room. First Baby Bear, then Little Bear, and finally Young Bear, come to their parent’s bedroom, each believing that a monster is outside, trying to get in. Bear calls each little one a scaredy-bear. But the cubs climb into bed with their parents and soon are fast asleep. All except Bear. He is wide awake! Maybe there really is a monster outside. When something knocks at the door, Bear is frightened. Can you guess what it is?

This is a great story to read aloud. Young listeners will love the repetition and the details in the illustrations. Expect many repeat readings.

Check the WRL catalog for The Bears in the Bed and the Great Big Storm.

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This is the perfect summer book for little ones. It is filled with many sounds as a variety of animals drive to the beach. Young listeners will enjoy repeating them with you. “Beep, beep. Chugga, chugga. Honk, honk. Moo, moo.” Cars, bikes, scooters, buses, and trucks all line up, like a parade of vehicles heading to the same final destination… the beach! The simple text and amusing illustrations make this perfect for storytime for a group of many or just one. There is much to discover in the illustrations, like the double-decker bus with a pool on the second level! Children will enjoy exploring all the details of the illustrations as they follow the parade to the sandy shore.

Check the WRL catalog for Beep, Beep, Let’s Go!

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Can you imagine what it would be like if all the wild animals came inside your house? Just imagine how much fun you would have! At least that’s what the boy in this story believes. He imagines all the things that he can do with the animals, like go for an elephant ride or play hide-and-seek. Every few pages he describes the many sounds inside the house, like crash…bash…zoom…boom. There is also some repetition that the little ones will enjoy saying with you …

“The walls would tremble. The (cupboards) would shake.
Oh, what a terrible mess we would make!”

Daddy and Mommy get upset with all the animals, but the boy is just having too much fun. But all those animals can be very destructive. The boy soon realizes that it is not all fun and games. With all the animals taking over the house, it also means less for him. In one scene, the illustrator Marc Brown has fun. He includes Arthur and D.W. on the TV show that the rhinos are watching. When it is time for bed, the animals fill his bed, leaving the boy to sleep on the floor with his sister. And not all the animals have the same sleep schedule, so there never is any peace and quiet! The boy soon discovers that maybe his dog and kitten are enough for him.

Check the WRL catalog for If All the Animals Came Inside.

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If you’ve ever had young children then you’ve most certainly lived the battle of bubble gum.  Your kids will beg you for it and, knowing full well how it’s going to turn out, you’ll reluctantly give in.  In the end, it’s always trouble!

Trouble Gum is an excellent depiction of the bubble gum scenario.  Ruben and Julius, two mischievous brothers, are playing rambunctiously on a gloomy rainy day.  To quiet them, Grandma offers the GUM!  Even though that sticky substance isn’t allowed, mom gives in to the dynamic duo with a reminder of the gum chewing rules:  “Don’t swallow your gum.  Don’t play with your gum.  And don’t blow big, sticky bubbles with your gum.”  It doesn’t take long before bubble gum fun turns in to bubble gum trouble!

Cordell does a magnificent job setting up the story.  His text and pictures take the reader on a delightful adventure with each humorous detail drawn out perfectly!  This is a great one on one read or for teachers to use after a talk about classroom rules.  So, sit back, pop in a piece of gum, and enjoy!

Check the WRL catalog for Trouble Gum.

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An adorable little girl and her toy monkey invite readers of this book to join them as they spend the day imitating different animals.  Each page is filled with rhythmic patterned text that encourages children to chant along with the story:

Monkey and me,

Monkey and me,

Monkey and me,

We went to see,

We went to see some…

And what DID they see?  The illustrations encourage you to guess by showing the pair jumping like a kangaroo or waddling like a penguin or swinging like a monkey.  When you think you’ve figured it out, turn the page to reveal answer!

I’ve used this book many times with my toddler groups at storytime and they love acting right along with the characters in the book!  A fun way to engage young readers…try it out with your next group!

Check the WRL catalog for Monkey and Me.

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This book makes me laugh out loud!  This tale  of an inquisitive goose who is enthusiastically trying to gain the attention of an introspective bear reading a book reminds me of a young child trying desperately to gain the attention of an otherwise occupied adult.

Bloom does an amazing job conveying the story, despite its simple text.  The reader (or listener) gets an excellent sense of the emotions with gooses’ energetic dialog as he fires off questions like “What are you doing?  Are you reading? I like to read.” Coupled with the expressive illustrations, we can empathize with bears’ frustration as he tries to ignore the over exuberant goose.  This heartwarming story captures the sentiment of friendship of this unlikely pair.

An ideal book for storytime, A Splendid Friend, Indeed! begs to be read aloud.  The silly text lends itself to voices and the illustrations show well to large groups or lapsits.  A must read story of friendship that you’re sure to love!

Check the WRL catalog for A Splendid Friend, Indeed!

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“Hello, Lulu. What are you doing today?” You’ll find out as you read this sweet tale that takes you on a journey of a young child’s busy day. You’ll follow Lulu as she goes through her daily activities like drawing, playing ball, swinging, eating, taking a bath and reading before bedtime. The familiar routines engage the listener and draw them into the story.
Author, Caroline Uff, has a series of Lulu books that are all as charming as this one. The big, bright, bold illustrations and clear text in these books are sure to delight even the youngest toddler who will ask you to read them again and again!

Check the WRL catalog for Lulu’s Busy Day.

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