…storytime, books, and ideas

Posts tagged ‘shapes’

Autumn bounty

It is Autumn, and the new books are falling in like leaves off a tree. Autumn is the height of publishing season, so here’s a batch of picture books to keep your reading pile stacked high.

I won a what?  – by Audrey Vernick, illustrated by Robert Neubecker

A boy wins a whale at the circus. His parents have said no to anything with fur or feathers, so when he wins this they let him keep it. The whale, named Nuncio, starts to become a problem and Dad says it has to go, but the resourceful child finds ways to make Nuncio indispensable for the family. The illustrations playfully match the tone of the story, with bright swathes of primary colours. Added bonus, the family has dark skin, adding to the stack of books that do not feature blond-haired white kids.

city-shape City Shapes – by Diana Murray, illustrated by Bryan Collier

This jaunty rhyme makes this a good one for storytime sharing, and looking for shapes is always fun. Collier’s watercolour and collage art add depth to the rhyme, and he takes us inside a cityscape filled with circles, triangles, rectangles, diamonds, & ovals. Your next trip to the city may just be filled with shape sightings. Love the nearly-abstract cityscape end pages.


Princess! Fairy! Ballerina! by Bethanie Deeney Murguia

The sparkly cover will draw in many a young reader. The cast of characters includes a dark-skinned princess, so chalk up one more for diversity. And the story turns the typical sparkly girlie book upside down at the end when they cast off their wings, crowns, and tutus for mud boots. The story is spare, but the illustrations are fun and the message is full of girl power.

One Hundred Bones – Yuval Zommer

This British import will satisfy dog lovers and dinosaur fans in one fell swoop. The digital illustrations have a watercolour feel that reminds me somewhat of Chris Raschka’s work. The story of dogs finding dinosaur bones is nothing new, but there’s a little message about friendship that makes this one a bit more special. A fine choice for storytime.airport

The Airport Book by Lisa Brown

Definitely take a peek under the cover of this one to see the varied cast. The book begins on the end pages – in fact, the whole book is so well designed – the flow, and movement, the whole package is well done. The feel of an airport is so well captured the illustration as we follow this biracial family on their way to visit grandparents.  The airport is filled with people – punks, elderly folks, a man in a headscarf, people in wheelchairs, fancy folk, and families of all sorts. The action is a perfect capture of a trip to the airport and on the plane. A good storytime book and also a great one to recommend to families preparing to travel.

 Explowl-seesorers of the Wild by Cale Atkinson

This simple story, which takes a lesson from Blueberries for Sal, will appeal to a wide audience. Tow explorers — a boy and a bear – finally run into each other and then become great pals. The illustrations make it fun — a dark-skinned boy and a little bear cub traipse through the woods in a nicely designed page-layout. For the first part of the book, there’s a big tree trunk separating the two explorers, but one they meet, the illustration becomes full-spread. The art features all the luck colours of the woods— greens and browns and oranges and yellows. A fun romp for lap sharing or storytime.

 Owl Sees Owl by Laura Godwin & Rob Dunlavey

In just a few words, a night-time owl adventure takes place. The pacing swooshes along as the baby owl explores the blue world of night. The watercolor, coloured pencils, and collage illustration fits and moves the story along.  Good choice for quiet toddler storytime and for young readers figuring out new words.

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.

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