Archive for the ‘Heather's Picks’ Category

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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I’m a sucker for picture books with big illustrations and this one certainly fits the bill! With its simple lines and bright colors, Adam Relf brings to life a fox, a bunny and a squirrel in his debut book about making friends.

When fox wants someone to play with his mother suggests that he go outside and make a friend. Fox takes her literally and begins to assemble sticks, apples and nuts in his effort to “make” a friend. When his newly built “friend” doesn’t respond to him, he asks a passing bunny and squirrel for help. Together they “make” bigger friends, still yielding the same result. Defeated, Fox’s mother helps him understand that he actually did make friends, just not in the way that he’d imagined he would.

This is a great story to introduce a lesson on friendship to preschoolers or early elementary aged children. For a subject that is not overdone, Fox Makes Friends is one of the best options I’ve found to share on this important social skill.

Check the WRL catalog for Fox Makes Friends.

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In this story of creativity and imagination, Kirsten Bramsen tells a tale that helps children understand that individuality is something to be celebrated!

It was Margo’s birthday and she was thrilled when she awoke to the most marvelous present…a yellow tutu! She couldn’t believe her eyes, as it was the most beautiful thing she’d ever seen! When she put it on her head, she thought she looked like sunshine. Margo decided to wear it to school to show all of her friends. Imagine her dismay when, instead of sharing in her exuberance, they taunted her for being different. But Pearl saves the day when she says, “I like Margo’s yellow tutu and I think she looks just like a sunflower.”

The characters in this book are believable and the author has a real sense of the challenges young children face when they show their uniqueness. And, it reminds us that a real friend can make it all seem fine!

Check the WRL catalog for The Yellow Tutu.

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Afraid of the ocean and all of the “lurking, murky ickiness” in it, Fergus and his little brother, Dink, spend their time on the shore collecting things that wash up on the sand. One day they find an extra special treasure – a surf board! When Dink decides that Dave (the surf board) has lost its luster, he returns it to the ocean to find happiness again. Throwing caution to the wind, Fergus quickly overcomes his fear of the water to save his new found friend. Sattler’s whimsical illustrations and quirky text tell a story of bravery, triumph, and brotherly love that will keep you smiling and engaged from the very first page. Her bright, bold pictures make this a perfect book to read in a storytime or classroom setting. And, with a title like “Pig Kahuna”, how could you go wrong?

Check the WRL catalog for Pig Kahuna.

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Mouse has lost her baby! While searching for him, she discovers she is being chased by a great, big, hairy, scary ape! Gorilla follows Mama Mouse from the Rainforest to China, to America, to Australia, and the Arctic. Each time he gets close he bellows for her to “Stop!” But she keeps running and running, exclaiming: “A killer Gorilla! Help! Help! He’ll catch me! He’ll squash me and scratch me. He’ll mince me and mash me. And crunch me up for lunch!”

Exhausted, mouse is unable to run any longer! Will she be eaten by this seemingly ferocious Gorilla?

The characters lend themselves to the use of different voices and the slightly suspenseful text make this book a real page turner! The bold, but simple illustrations and repeating refrain will engage your audience in this tale that is sure to be a favorite for years to come!

Check the WRL catalog for Gorilla! Gorilla!

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If you are searching for ways to add movement into your circle times, Can YOU Make a Scary Face is the perfect solution for you! This book will have your group jumping, wiggling, dancing and giggling! Its main character, a bossy ladybug, gives the audience instructions like, “Hey, you! Yes, I’m talking to you! STAND UP! No, I changed my mind…SIT DOWN! NO, STAND UP! Pretend you have a tiny bug on your nose. WIGGLE IT OFF!” The bold, cartoon-like illustrations and word bubbles make this interactive picture book a perfect addition to your storytime shelf!

Check the WRL catalog for Can YOU Make a Scary Face?

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If you’re looking for a captivating rhyming book with lots of repetition for your listeners to join in with and build on, this is a perfect pick for you!

Sitting on the Farm is a story song book about a girl trying to eat her lunch when she’s joined by a bug. She asks the bug to get off her knee and the bug says, “No Siree!” Looking for some help with her dilemma, she “picked up the telephone and called her friend the frog at home. I asked if she would like some lunch. The frog came over and…MUNCH, MUNCH, MUNCH!” With frog now eating her lunch she calls for back-up and each new animal that arrives to help is bigger than the next. The story culminates with the arrival of bear who is way too big to be on her knee!

It’s an entertaining read with familiar patterns that begs for audience participation. Lots of fun, especially for larger groups!

Check the WRL catalog for Sitting on the Farm

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