Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Story Time Theme- Squirrels

Fun times at the library when squirrels are the story time theme! The kids really seems to enjoy the fall theme around Thanksgiving time. I could not find a decent copy of the cover of Tick Tock but David Parkins has his beautiful illustrations available on his website (linked below).

The Busy Little Squirrel
by Nancy Tafuri

by Eileen Browne

One More Acorn
by Don Freeman and Roy Freeman

Monday, November 29, 2010

Betsy Who Cried Wolf by Gail Carson Levine

Wow, what a week! First I was sick and then Thanksgiving came. Anyways, I will try and make up for my absence with some great books this week.

Book Info
Betsy Who Cried Wolf
by Gail Carson Levine
ill. by Scott Nash

Book Jacket Summary
Betsy was going to be the best shepherd in Bray Valley history.
Any wolf who tries to eat Betsy's sheep had better watch out. But Zimmo is no ordinary wolf—he's a hungry wolf, with a Plan! In her first picture book, Newbery Honor author Gail Carson Levine puts her own spin on a traditional tale, while Scott Nash brings a comic sensibility to this hilarious story.

My Thoughts
Gail Carson Levine is no stranger to adapting fairy tales and is best known for Ella Enchanted, an adaptation of Cinderella. In this picture book she sets her sights on The Boy Who Cried Wolf and creates her own world of Shepard's and the sheep they protect but are all wolves as evil as they seem.
Betsy is eight years old and ready to take the Shepard's oath. She will have her own flock of sheep to watch over but the wolf Zimmo is hungry and wants a sheep of his own. When ever Zimmo appears Betsy calls out "Wolf!" but Zimmo hides and no one believes that Betsy is telling the truth. Will anyone ever believe Betsy? Will Zimmo ever get a meal? You should read and find out.
This picture book is fun and a great take on an old tale. I really enjoyed Scott Nash's pictures- especially the comedy sheep! There is a sequel and it is tons of fun too!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Story Time Theme- Dogs!

I finally was able to do a storytime and since baseball season is offically over I decided to scrape that one to do a dog theme! I choose three books that featured dogs and I like to pull one off of our new titles shelf to see what is new. Later I had a father and daughter looking for dog books and I was able to pull them off our statistics cart. Loved that I was able to pass along my books from earlier!

Widget and Widget and the Puppy
Written by Lyn Rossiter McFarland
Pictures by Jim McFarland
How Rocket Leaned to Read
by Tad Hill

Monday, November 15, 2010

Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night

Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night
by Joyce Sidman
ill. Rick Allen


Come feel the cool and shadowed breeze,

come smell your way among the trees,

come touch rough bark and leathered leaves:
Welcome to the night.

Welcome to the night, where mice stir and furry moths flutter. Where snails spiral into shells as orb spiders circle in silk. Where the roots of oak trees recover and repair from their time in the light.
Where the porcupette eats delicacies—raspberry leaves!—and coos and sings.
Come out to the cool, night wood, and buzz and hoot and howl—but do beware of the great horned owl—for it’s wild and it’s windy way out in the woods!

My Thoughts
Poems are very hard to write about because they are so subjective and with children who are learning about poetry in school they need fun examples of poetry books. Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night uses various types of poetry to convey the many animals, plants, and general atmosphere of a forest at night. The author also provides scientific facts on the picture side of the page that corispond with the poem. This book is fun and some poems are better than others. I loved the poem Dark Emperor and how Sidman used her words to make the shape of an owl. I would recommend this book to children and teachers/librarians who are teaching poetry and the different forms it can take.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Donut Days by Lara Zielin

Book Info
Donut Days
by Lara Zielin

Emma's life is a mess. Her best friend isn't talking to her, and the boy she's known forever and dismissed has turned into a hottie. As if that weren't enough, her preacher parents have decided not to pay for college unless Emma goes to a Christian school, something she will never do. Enter the Crispy Dream a new donut franchise where people camp out waiting to be the first ones served. The local paper is running a scholarship for the person who writes the best feature story about the donut camp. Joining the camp could be Emma's big chance at taking control of her future. But it's going to take a lot of faith in the human spirit and a few donuts to change her life.

My Thoughts
I seem to be on a theme of Christian books where the main character has to find her own way of explaining faith, friendship, and standing up for what you believe. Emma's parents are pastors of a the Living Word Redeemer church and Emma is the typical PK (preacher's kid)- rebellious and ready to go to college because she is judged by the parishioners. Emma thinks that the only way God can communicate through her is in the speaking of tongues, prophecy, or convulsions and after her baptism has nothing to show for it. After her parents tell her she must go to a Christian college if she wants the college fund they set up for her, she decides to enter an open scholarship writing about the opening of a Crispy Cream Donut shop. More controversy blooms when the richest parishioner makes a "prophecy" that women should not be preachers and many of the other church goers believe him. What is Emma to do when everything is falling apart, she gets in a fight with her best friend, the guy she might like is the son of the man making all the trouble.

Emma is a real character that has her flaws and makes bad judgments when it comes to treating her friends with the same respect she demands. I think everyone can relate to have a hypocritical moment and Emma has one or two. Emma has to deal with the ability to listen and understand her friends wants and needs. This is hard because she has so many opinions and sometimes does not understand how her friends can have a different one. Eventually Emma does realize that she is being hypocritical when friends opinions are involved. Emma grows and I think that is very important in a young character.  

I would recommend this to anyone who, like Evolution, Me and Other Freaks of Nature, is searching for something beyond what their church or parents are telling them.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Must Have!

Just found this on David Small's website! Must find this and read it now! Picture books are so much fun to read and they are so short that they fit right in my schedule. I am trying to read more YA and and Middle Zone. I keep checking books out of the library in hopes of time off but between two jobs and school... but the holidays are coming and maybe I will get some reading done then!

The Library

Written by Sarah Stewart, illustrated by David Small

Elizabeth Brown doesn’t like to play with dolls, and she doesn’t like to skate. What she does like to do is read books. And now that she’s grown up, her collection has gotten so big all the shelves are collapsing. Her front door has disappeared entirely. What in the world will she do? The reclusive Elizabeth Brown surprises everyone with her splendid solution.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Elsie's Bird by Jane Yolen and David Small

Elsie's Bird
by Jane Yolen and David Small

Book Jacket Summary
Elsie is a city girl. She loves the noise of the cobbled streets of Boston. But when her mother dies and her father moves them to the faraway prairies of Nebraska, Elsie hears only the silence, and she feels alone in the wide sea of grass. Her only comfort is her canary, Timmy Tune. But when Timmy flies out the window, Elsie is forced to run after him, into the tall grass of the prairie, where she's finally able to hear the voice of the prairie—beautiful and noisy— and she begins to feel at home.

My Thoughts
The pictures in this book are extroridary and I wish that I could post some of the wonderful illustrations of Boston and the fieds of the West. Instead you will have to go and find a copy of Elsie's Bird at your local library or bookstore. The story is sweet and simple but you really feel for Elsie as she leaves her beloved Boston. The emotions that the book invoked were very similar to Sarah Plain and Tall, where Sarah left her Maine for the windy grass of the West. Like Sarah, Elsie at first rejects the differences of the sea towns but come to love the openess of the West. I highly recommend this book and hope that you enjoy it as much as I did. Also, check out David Small's website. He write the graphic novel Stitches that has been so highly exclaimed- now I have to check it out. His online sketchbook is so lovely!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Many Faces of Sherlock

Sherlock Holmes has always been a facinatinag character and I love all the books, short stories, TV shows, and movies. I was very excited to find out that the BBC was doing an updated version and even more excited to find out the Stephen Moffat (of Dr. Who fame) was writing it! I include the trailer to the first episode of the three episode series. Yes, you heard me right- three episodes. Before you start pouting you need to know that they are 90 minutes long and excellent. Holmes is a self-proclaimed "high functioning sociopath" and Watson is just home from the war in Afghanistan. This fits so perfectly because the original Watson was wounded in a war in Afghanistan. This will be a great way of involving reluctant teens who are not interested in the old Sherlock Holmes.
Although I will always love Basil Rathbone's performance as Sherlock Holmes.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Little Britches and the Rattlers By Eric A. Kimmel

Book Info
Little Britches and the Rattlers
by Eric A. Kimmel
ill. by Vincent Nguyen

Little Britches saddles her pony and heads out for the rodeo. She hopes to win first prize in the calf-roping contest. Along the way, she meets seven cunning rattlesnakes. One by one, they threaten to eat her up! But Little Britches is smart. She knows how to bargain with those rattlesnakes and come out on top! (from book jacket)

My Thoughts
This is very cute western book that has Little Britches on her way to the rodeo in all her best western wear. However the sankes she meets along the way want to eat her up but instead she gives them her clothing. The greedy snakes start to fight over who looks best and when they are all gone Little Britches gathers up her clothing to continue on her way. The book uses warm tones and a very stylized western style. I think this is an adorable folktale that will entertain children and adults. Little Britches thinks quick and her smarts keep her from being eaten up. A big plus to the really cool western wear in the book; looks exactly like something someone would wear to a rodeo in Texas.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Story Time Theme- Baseball

The World Series is very big at our library this week and I pulled some books for story time. Unfortunately I did not have time to read them but it gave me the idea to start a Story Time Theme section!

Bats at the Ballgame by Brian Lies
Hurry up! Come one—come all!

We’re off to watch the bats play ball!
You’ll never forget your first game: the green so green, the presence of heroes past, and togetherness with family and friends, rooting for the home team.
But you think humans are the only ones who enjoy America’s national pastime? Grab your bat—the other kind—and your mitt, and join these captivating bats as they flutter off to watch their all-stars compete. How about a mothdog? Or some Cricket Jack?

In sweeping compositions that transport fans to the rightside-up and upside-down world of bats at play, Brian Lies treats us to a whole new ballgame.

Batter Up Wombat by Helen Lester, illustrated by Lynn Munsinger

This was a brand-new baseball season, and the Champs were ready to go in their spiffy clean uniforms. Nevermind that the previous year they finished last in the North American Mammal League, this season would be different. But when a Wombat wanders onto the field opening game day, the Champs have no idea just how different the game was about to become. Young readers and listeners are sure to delight in Helen Lester’s hilarious baseball lingo wordplay as Lynn Munsinger’s illustrations capture the befuddled Wombat and his earnest attempts to fit in and play ball.

Just a Baseball Game by Gina and Mercer Mayer

Little Critter is on his first Little League team, and he can’t wait to play! But when it’s time for the first game to begin, the Critterville Critters see who they’re up against–the Dinosaurs! They’re big, and they know how to hit the ball. Find out who’s the pro at sportsmanship!

Roasted Peanuts by Tim Egan

Sam and Jackson both agreed: nothing beat baseball. The crowds cheering, the bright green grass, the tasty roasted peanuts. Sam was an amazing athlete—very strong and fast, a big-leaguer in the making. Jackson, on the other hand, was not very strong or very fast at all. He could throw very far, but that was about it. When Sam makes the team and Jackson doesn’t, he misses having Jackson there on the field with him. And then he sees a poster . . .
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