- May 26 & 27 - All libraries CLOSED for Memorial Day
Have you ever discovered interesting rocks on the beach, in the woods, or on a sidewalk? Over the years, author/illustrator Leslie McGuirk has collected dozens of rocks shaped like letters of the alphabet, as well as rocks shaped like various items. If Rocks Could Sing: A Discovered Alphabet has beautiful photographs of the rocks she has collected. To learn more about the author/illustrator, please visit her web site. You can also see a cute video with excerpts of the book here.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, written by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault and illustrated by Lois Ehlert is another fun alphabet book. All of the lower case alphabet letters decide to climb a coconut tree on a full moon. Will the tree hold all of them? Read this fun rhyming story and find out!
Some other delightful alphabet books include:
Alphabeep: A Zipping, Zooming ABC
Written by Debora Pearson and illustrated by Edward Miller
Alphabet Under Construction
Written and illustated by Denise Fleming
Written by June Sobel and illustrated by Melissa Iwai
Written by Stella Blackstone and illustrated by Caroline Mockford
Firefighters A to Z
Written and illustated by Chris L. Demarest
Jeepers Creepers: A Monstrous ABC
Written by Laura Leuck and illustrated by David Parkins
Rainbow Fish A,B,C
Written and illustated by Marcus Pfister
The Sleepy Little Alphabet: A Bedtime Story from Alphabet Town
Written by Judy Sierra and illustrated by Melissa Sweet
So Many Bunnies: A Bedtime ABC and Counting Book
Written by Rick Walton and illustrated by Paige Miglio
The Turn-Around, Upside-Down Alphabet Book
Written and illustated by Lisa Campbell Ernst
I know very well the sentimental attachment some kids (and some adults too!) have to their favorite outfit… and how distressing it can be when that piece of clothing becomes too small or too shabby to wear any longer. In the new picture book I had a favorite dress by Boni Ashburn, it is Mama’s creativity and talent for sewing that comes to the rescue when a little girl’s favorite pink dress first gets too small to wear and thus becomes a shirt. The shirt then goes on to become a tank top, which then turns into a skirt, and then a scarf, and then a pair of socks, and finally a hair bow. But when even the hair bow is reduced to a few scraps, this time it is the girl herself who knows what to make out of the scraps… a picture of herself wearing all of the different forms of her dress. Readers who are familiar with the 2000 Caldecott Medal winner Joseph had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback will recognize the repurposing theme of this updated version. This new tale also cleverly weaves in the concepts of the days of the week and the change of the seasons.
The new picture book: Sneeze, Big Bear, Sneeze! by Maureen Wright is a delightful description of the windy weather that comes in Autumn. The story follows Big Bear as he sneezes his way through the pages. Despite the wind trying to tell him that she is the reason for it all, Big Bear is convinced it is his sneezing that is causing the leaves and apples to fall from the trees and the geese to fly south. Finally when she’s had enough of Big Bear’s confusion, the wind lets out a “whirling, twirling mighty shout” over a few particularly blustery pages and manages to convince bear that she is the one causing the tickle that’s making him sneeze… she is the Autumn Breeze!
Every once in a while a new version of a classic appears in picture book form. Sometimes it’s a retelling of an old story, sometimes the classic is used as a base for new characters or situations; the permutations are endless.
Several reworkings of classics have recently appeared. One of my favorites is a retelling of Goldilocks and The Three Bears by Susanna Davidson. Goldilocks is the star of this version. She’s a very naughty little girl who is eventually “scared straight” by her encounter with the bears. The illustrations are cartoon-like in keeping with the lighthearted tone of the presentation. Young readers can enjoy the story without being scared.
Most preschoolers know the song “If You’re Happy” and will easily relate to If You’re Hoppy by April Sayre. This version isn’t meant to be sung. It presents various animals that move in a variety of ways. Young children can enjoy identifying the animals while absorbing the ways they move and the fact that more than one kind of animal can hop, or flap, etc. The illustrations are humorous and sure to amuse little ones.
Hey Diddle Diddle, the well known nursery rhyme is the basis for a book of the same title by Eve Bunting. This version uses the rhyme to introduce several kinds of animals who play different instruments. The illustrations are clear and gentle, the words minimal; perfect for a very young child just learning to be read to.
Want a fun way to introduce important scientific concepts such as the elements, evolution and astronomy to your young child? Do you and your child enjoy poetry? If your answer to these questions is “YES” then you should read Science Verse by Jon Scieszka. Our hero falls asleep in science class and dreams that his teacher has zapped him with a curse of Science Verse. Every concept is explained in poetic verse that will remind the reader of famous poems. There is even a poem about dinosaurs titled “Dino-Sore” that will remind you of “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe! The illustrations by Lane Smith are top notch and add to the reading and learning fun.
If your child loves Science Verse check out Math Curse by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith.
Three suspicious cats will question your authority to read this delightful new picture book by author Jef Czekaj. As it is clearly explained in Cat Secrets, this book is strictly for cat eyes only!
In order to be allowed access, you will need to pass several cat tests that will have you meowing, purring, stretching, and napping to prove your worth. Along the way, extra observant readers may notice another silent character on the pages who is also trying to get his hands... er, paws on this top secret book.