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mooCock-A-Doodle-Moo! poses an interesting question. What can a rooster do when he can’t wake up all the folks on the farm? What if he can only whisper “cock-a-doodle-doo” instead of his usually LOUD announcement of the day’s start? After several valiant efforts that leave the animals fast asleep, rooster is getting very concerned. Finally, he resorts to pecking at a cow. And he begins to teach the cow how to crow. Your audience will laugh and laugh at the cow’s efforts to master rooster’s wake-up call.

The illustrations and typography show the rooster’s frustration and the laughter of the other farm residents as they are finally awakened by cow’s version of cock-a-doodle-moo.

I’ve used this many times with groups and I’ve had great success. Pictures, type, and text all join together for a pleasing story experience.

Check the WRL catalog for Cock-A-Doodle-Moo!

zebraThe illustrations in this very cute alphabet book were created in felt with braid, buttons, beads and assorted bric-a-brac. This gives the pictures a gentle three-dimensional feel. The bright colors of the fabric and decorations and the hand-embroidered details result in a satisfying visual pleasure.

This book includes 25 children who are each being chased by an animal. From Alice who is chased by an alligator to Yoko who is chased by a yak, there are plenty of vignettes that show the adventures of all. Child number 26 is Zoe. Who is she chasing? Can you find a clue in the picture?

Check the WRL catalog for Zoe and Her Zebra.

I chose two books to highlight today. They each show a mother and baby polar bear interacting in their snowy home. The illustrations in both books are rendered in blues, grays, and whites. The animals are not photographic or cartoonish in style. Instead they are soft with rounded shapes against neutral backgrounds. These are excellent for preschool story time.

baby polarIn Baby Polar, the little one sees snow falling and asks to go out and play. Mother says yes but warns him that a storm is coming. We enjoy the gentle play of the baby but he doesn’t listen to his mother tell him to come back. And then he can’t find his mother or the tracks he had made in the snow as he played. He is bewildered by the snow coming from all directions and stinging his nose. He digs a snow cave to find some protection from the storm. And guess who he finds in his cave. The theme of losing and then finding Mother is perfect for a preschooler. I would suggest this book for a very small group or a couple of children snuggling up with Mom or Dad.

Check the WRL catalog for Baby Polar.

polar bearIn My Little Polar Bear, a cub wants proof that it is a polar bear. Mother describes things that identify a polar bear. The little one points out that there are some things that it can’t do. Mother tells him not to worry because she will teach him all he needs to be a polar bear. In the end, the little one announces that there is one thing that it already knows—that its mother loves him. The desire to belong to a group is as important to preschoolers as it is to baby polar bears. Parents may find that this book allows them to talk a little about what it means to be part of a family. I would also use this book only with a small group or in a family setting because the lovely illustrations do not have enough contrast to be visible from a distance.

Check the WRL catalog for My Little Polar Bear.

road work            Road Work Ahead is a treat for any child who likes construction equipment. A road trip to Grandma’s house takes a little boy and his mother through a variety of road work situations including tree trimming and concrete pouring. There are male and female workers shown busily improving the streets and surrounding areas. The rhymed and rhythmic text is a pleasure to read.

Jannie Ho’s colorful illustrations add to the delight of the story. Spend some time with your child exploring the scenes to discover little stories within the story. Hint: Can you find the missing chicken?

I have used this successfully with small groups but the detailed illustrations will be better enjoyed by an adult and one or two children curled up on the couch.

Check the WRL catalog for Road Work Ahead.

dogDog has just finished reading a very good book. And then he heads to the shoe store to find a pair of boots. Wonderful boots. But he finds that boots don’t really fit his lifestyle. The same goes for high heels, flippers, and skis. What does Dog really need for his feet? The large bright illustrations show the problem with each of Dog’s choices. Let your children guess what Dog finally decides to wear.

When Dog is happy with his feet, he begins to read a new book. Hmmm, could there be another clothing search in Dog’s future?

Check the WRL catalog for Dog in Boots.

It’s one of those days when Frankie and Sal feel like they’ve done it all. The only solution, “Let’s do nothing!” And they certainly make an attempt, pretending to be motionless statues, trees, and skyscrapers. Unfortunately, Frankie’s imagination is too active to do nothing. As a statue he attracts pigeons, as a tree he attracts a dog with a full bladder, and as a skyscraper he attracts King Kong. Each attempt at doing nothing fails, but Sal is undeterred. What will they do if they can’t do “nothing”?

The visuals in this book are highly entertaining and will have readers laughing out loud. This one is a crowd-pleaser perfect for an older storytime audience.

Check the WRL catalog for Let’s Do Nothing!

Interactive books are great for storytime. It’s even better when the book is both entertaining and educational. Let’s Count Goats will provide the necessary fun, as these anthropomorphized goats behave much like humans. This book will also give children a chance to practice their counting. And, as children love to point out, “It’s a rhyming book!”

“Here we see a show-off goat playing on the bars. But can we count the rowdy goats careering round in cars?”

Anything written by Mem Fox is a sure bet, and Jan Thomas’ pictures are perfect, as usual. The illustrations are cute, humorous, and flooded with color.

Check the WRL catalog for Let’s Count Goats!

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