…storytime, books, and ideas

Archive for April, 2015

Books with holes and bright orange birds

Here are a few books that caught my eye as they made their way past my desk: books always

Stick and Stone by Beth Perry, illus. By Tom Lichtenheld (Houghton Mifflin)
An unlikely friendship between a rock and a twig, but kids will get the reference to “Sticks and stones” . The story is told in very few words, it is Lichtenheld’s illustrations that do the heavy lifting in this story. Could be used in storytimes, but older kids will get much from it as well.

Books Always Everywhere by Jane Blatt, illus. By Sarah Massini (Random House)
A good choice for baby or toddler storytimes, this ode to books will bring a smile to your face, and is a bookish way to introduce concepts such as big/small, wide/tall to your young audiences. The cheery illustrations remind me somewhat of Helen Oxenbury. (published 2013)

Supertruck by Stephen Savage (Roaring Brook)
Though (hopefully) a bit late for snow season, this fun truck book will be a hit in transportation storytimes. For a younger audience.

Beautiful Birds by J. Roussen & E. Walker (Flying Eye Books)
This book is aptly titled, because it is really beautiful. The fact that it is a sort of alphabet book that rhymes makes it useful for storytimes. Small groups especially will want to look over and over at these lovely pictures dotted with that crazy bright orange.photo

There’s no such thing as Little by LeuYen Pham (Alfred A. Knopf)
Die-cut holes reveal that little is all in the eye of the beholder. Toddler storytimes are a perfect fit for this book – an age group that is starting to feel “bigger” will appreciate the sentiments in this story. Nice illustrations that include diverse children, too.

Outstanding in the Rain– Frank Viva (Tundra)
Anothrainer book that uses die cuts. This one plays with words and the retro-style illustration almost make it a seek-and-find story – the die cuts fit in so well they are nearly hidden. A simple story that could be used with elementary school kids, too, for language lessons.

I don’t want to be a Frog by Dav Petty (Doubleday)
Little frog doesn’t want to be a frog until he realizes, with the help of a wolf, that being a frog is a pretty good idea. Silly and fun, and the illustrations match the tone of the book just right.

Poopshapes-di-doop by Stephanie Blake (North South)
This is kid humour at its finest. They will giggle at an adult saying Poop-di-doop over and over, no matter what the story is. And the story? A little bunny who will only say poop-di-doop, until he is eaten by a wolf, that is. Pair with “I don’t want to be a frog” for a slightly off-kilter Wolf storytime! (Ok, now I am thinking of all the great wolf stories that I could use in storytime!)


Wild about Shapes by Jeremie Fischer (Flying Eye Books)
This spiral-bound book features shapes created by plastic sheets that overlay to create new shapes. Kids will love guessing what comes next and seeing the new animal that appears when you turn the page. Great for an interactive storytime.

Some dogs and guessing games

For some reason, there are a lot of dogs in the books I picked up this week. So, if you are hankering for a doggie storytime, I have you covered.

First off, Smicbear atek, by Doreen Cronin. Her books are so active, you can really get moving with them. In this one, very sparse vocabulary featuring a dog, a bird, and a stick turns into a fun guessing game. Could work well for a multi-age group.

It’s only Stanley by Jon Agee – Stanley is a fix-it dog who wakes up his family with his late-night repair jobs. A slightly complex rhyme scheme and great vocabulary compliment the humour. Repeated verse and a good chance for guessing make this a great choice for older preschoolers. Plus, Agee’s cartoon  illustration style really appeals.

The Bear Ate Your Sandwich by Julia Sarcone-Roach is a surprise-ending tale that does not seem to feature a dog, but read it and you will find a dog. Another “Bear goes to the city” book, but still a fun tale with bright, large illustrations. Look at that bear’s face! what ship

Another guessing game book, which was published in 2014 but new to our system is What Ship is Not a Ship? by Harriet Ziefert. This fun play on words may be a bit long for younger preshcoolers, but you could certainly use a few pages & get them to try to guess. Lots of new vocabulary. (PS, the answer is friendship).

A new dino book is nearly always a hit.  The Dinosaurs are Having a Party by Gareth P. Jones will fit the bill. In a jaunty rhyme, a boy goes to a dinosaur birthday party …but where’s thraindropse food? The story is slight but the pictures are bold and silly, and will make a good addition to dinosaur storytimes.

Raindrops Roll by April Pulley Sayre is a fine way to add a bit of non-fiction into storytime. The clear nature photography and rich vocabulary make it a good choice for rainy-day storytimes.

And I have to mention Ron Lightburn’s new book, Frankenstink. It has just about everything you need to get a reluctant reader on board: funny rhymes, underwear, gross garbage, and farts. It would work well for ages 5 -8, so it makes a good frankenstinkchoice for class visits or after-school groups. If you are doing a recycling theme, this book will fit in just right. Or read it at a Grossology program. It is sometimes hard to find a good school-age book to read aloud, but keep a copy of this on hand for just that purpose. And don’t forget to check out the glow-in-the-dark cover! Oh, and there’s a dog in this one, too.

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