Pied Piper Pics
It’s Eva’s birthday and she is given a very special present…a magic box! Eva climbs inside. With the wave of her wand she pulls rabbits from hats, makes things float in the air, throws a fantastic party complete with delicious food, entertaining musicians and lots of dancing. But for her best trick of all she wishes for a pet named Monty and gets more than she bargained for.
I love this book because it reminds me of how much enjoyment my children always got out of a seemingly ordinary box. This simple story is rich with whimsical illustrations and celebrates the power of imagination. It is a perfect book to use in a birthday story time with a toddler group or to share one on one with your children at home.
Check the WRL catalog for Magic Box: A Magical Story.
From fire trucks to race cars and from tractors to airplanes, this book is full of vehicles that every youngster will enjoy. In this problem solving gem, Leo Timmers creates characters dressed in clothes that match the vehicle they are driving. Each page has 4 four costumed animals and the reader is asked to guess “Who is driving the….?” The character is matched with the vehicle on the next page to reveal the answer. Sometimes it gets a little tricky, though, and you have to look really hard to figure out which ones coincide.
I’ve used this book for story time and it was a little bit too hard for my younger audiences but worked like a charm for Kindergarten. At home, one on one, you could get away with reading it to younger children. The story is simple enough that the kids can almost “read” it themselves. The illustrations are bold and colorful and full of detail making it a visually pleasing book that is sure to pass the test. Drive on over to the library and check it out!
Check the WRL catalog for Who Is Driving?
Is your glass half empty or half full? When life hands you lemons, do you make lemonade? And, can two friends overcome a series of unfavorable events when all they want to do is have a nice picnic together? Well, if you follow along with Rabbit and Mouse in Jeff Mack’s story, Good News, Bad News, having a good or bad time will all depend on your point of view.
“Good News, Bad News” is the only text throughout the story that relies on illustrations. Author/illustrator Jeff Mack brings together a wonderfully hilarious story of two friends and their reaction to and handling of life’s unexpected challenges. The illustrations are colorful and depict lots of action and expression. This in turn successfully emphasizes the characters’ comical predicaments and reactions as they try to enjoy a picnic.
Rain, wormy apples and a swarm of bees threaten. Learn how Rabbit and Mouse are able to reach a positive conclusion to their picnic day gone awry.
This story is well suited for children five and up as they would understand the humor in the illustrations more so than a younger child.
Check the WRL catalog for Good News, Bad News.
Children never seem to tire of Mo Willems’ Pigeon books and neither do their parents. In The Pigeon Need a Bath! readers can expect the same humorous antics for which the Pigeon stories are so beloved.
The story begins with the reader being introduced to the Bus Driver character from Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. He informs the reader that the Pigeon needs a bath and he could use some help. As usual, the Pigeon has his own strong opinions and he announces that he doesn’t really need a bath. The Pigeon gives various arguments as to why he doesn’t need a bath. His points start out calm and rational, but he is, after all, the Pigeon. He eventually loses it as his strong convictions rapidly deteriorate. One comical point in particular is when the Pigeon questions the readers own cleanliness and their right to judge him.
Mo Willems’ illustrations are fun and are always successful in depicting the range of emotions that make the Pigeon so comical in his zeal to prove a point. It’s hard not to laugh as he whips himself into frenzy.
Readers are certain to enjoy the conclusion and the Pigeon’s comedy of errors when he discovers the truth about bathing.
Check the WRL catalog for The Pigeon Needs a Bath!
With rhyming text the reader is asked to guess what animal is being described. Additional clues are presented through the bright bold stripes of different jungle animals. The stripes for each animal are displayed on a flap that when lifted reveals the identity of the animal whose stripe is being depicted.
This is a fun interactive book that will appeal to children as young as 16 months to as old as five years of age. It can be a used as a tool to help children learn to identify animals by name and their unique patterns.
Though best of all, it’s just a great deal of fun for you and your little one to enjoy together.
Check the WRL catalog for Whose Stripes?
In Alex Latimer’s Lion vs. Rabbit the jungle animals were tired of Lion bullying them! They tried hiring someone to handle Lion but Bear couldn’t and Moose couldn’t and Tiger couldn’t. Soon enough Bear, Moose and Tiger were on their way home having been defeated by Lion. Who could take on the bully king of the jungle? Rabbit arrives and soon Lion is wondering how this small creature can win at every contest. Rabbit uses his brain and a few surprises to show Lion that it’s no fun being a bully. I’ve read this book in many story times and it’s always a winner.
Check the WRL catalog for Lion vs Rabbit.
Who’s the scariest thing in the jungle? Is it the mighty tiger or the great crocodile? David G. Derrick Jr. has written and illustrated this great book where tiger and crocodile boast about who is the scariest. On and on they challenge each other, until they discover they are far from home and something is looking for them. Something big, something scary!
Of course, it turns out alright but the little scare at the end is just right for story time.
Check the WRL catalog for I’m the Scariest Thing in the Jungle.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall, the end.
Wait a minute, what really happens after the great fall? He could not be put together again?
Not according to Dave Horowitz. In his book Humpty Dumpty Climbs Again, we have an outgoing, mountain climbing egg until the great fall and on doctor’s orders he must not climb again. This, of course, leads to one depressed egg. He’s sitting around in his underwear, watching TV and eating potato chips. His nursery rhyme friends all visit trying to snap him out of it but it’s not until the king’s favorite horse needs rescuing off the side of a mountain that Humpty Dumpty gets back in the climbing gear and to the rescue! I read this book in story time quite often and it never fails, the kids love Humpty Dumpty and his go for it attitude. Thank you Dave Horowitz for a great book.
Check the WRL catalog for Humpty Dumpty Climbs Again.
This is a delightful, interactive story suitable for preschoolers up to second graders. As a children’s librarian I quite often get asked for picture books concerning manners. Captain Bob is a policeman tasked to keep good order in his community and enforce good manners when necessary. The vibrant, contemporary illustrations enhance the fun, rhyming text. The neighborhood is made up of a variety of bugs. Captain Bob arrives in his little bubble police car – Wee-O! Wee-O! Wee-o! Woo! He comes across greedy ants, naughty beetles, and speeding spiders on their motor cycles. He visits with local bees and helps re-locate the neighborhood cockroaches to a nearby land fill. Captain Bob even manages to rescue a baby flea and reunite him with mom. Finally he gets a call to quiet down some hard-partying cockroaches. This is all in a day’s work for this hard working policeman. Eventually he gets to hurry home.
to my nest
And the bugs
that I love
Cece Bell, the illustrator, is known for her Sock Monkey books. She has a great site for children’s book reviews on her webpage: http://cecebell.wordpress.com/. On a local note, she is also a former student of William and Mary! Denise Dowling Mortensen is known for her books: Wake up Engines and Goodnight Engines.
Check the WRL catalog for Bug Patrol.
Rhyming text follows a boy and girl’s week of play, in which the children get covered with brown mud on Monday, purple popsicles on Tuesday, yellow Jell-O on Wednesday, and so forth. At the end of each day–such as the purple popsicle one– the text exclaims, “Dunk me in the tub, please, for purple kid tea!”
Yes, I know, that sounds a little gross. But the cartoonish illustrations of the kids submerged in different colors of bath water are a great way to help kids learn colors. And kids will love belting out the “refrain.”
This book would be fun to read and then share again with a flannel board. A color matching game would be another great follow-up.
Check the WRL catalog for Kid Tea.
If you are looking for a fun, but quiet, action book for toddlers, this is a great one. The children can join in with the little red bird as she wakes, takes a deep breath, then scrunches under a spider web, creeps around a corner and even jumps over the cat during an early morning outing.
The text is minimal, and the bright illustrations are ideal even for a large group. Children and adults will suspect what is coming when the Early Bird happens upon the Early Worm. But never fear. This little story ends with a fun surprise.
This author has another title, Night Owl, scheduled to be released in January of 2015, and I’m looking forward to it!
Check the WRL catalog for Early Bird.
Let’s Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy is another hit story by author Jan Thomas that is sure to cause a bust out laughing reaction when read out loud to a group of children.
With good intentions, this so called, “Brave Cowboy,” tries to help his calf pals fall asleep by singing them a lullaby. The problem is, each time the cowboy is just about midway through his song he spots scary things in the dark that cause him suddenly stop to let out a long loud, “Eeeeeeek!”
Lucky for the cowboy to have such great calf pals who soothe his fears and show him that the scary items in the dark are really ordinary objects. But, are they always?
What surprise is in store for the cowboy when he finally thinks he really has nothing to fear?
Grab a copy and enjoy some laughs as you and your child discover the hilarious conclusion.
Check the WRL catalog for Let’s Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy.
The Wide-Mouth Frog is a pop-up book about a not so modest frog that, well, as the title says, has a wide-mouth. The wide mouth enables the frog to catch flies which he loves to catch and eat with his long sticky tongue. The size of his mouth is made all the more impressive as the story is told in the form of a pop-up book with large colorful pop-up illustrations.
The frog really likes his flies but he is also curious about what the other animals he encounters like to eat. The animals he meets are also pop-ups that provide the frog with information about the foods they like to eat.
The other animals that the frog stops to talk to are for the most part harmless to the frog that is until he meets an alligator with an even more impressive large mouth. What will the frog do? Will he ask the alligator what he likes to eat?
Check out a copy and discover the surprise ending. This is a story that is certain to entertain young listeners with its pop-up illustrations and a conclusion that will provide a fun surprise as well.
Check the WRL catalog for The Wide-Mouthed Frog.
The Splendid Spotted Snake is a fun interactive concept book about a bright yellow snake that grows in length as the pages are turned. This is cleverly executed through the use of a real yellow ribbon that has been woven through the pages of the book.
As the reader turns each page, the ribbon is pulled out a little further allowing the snake to appear to be growing.
Complimenting the yellow ribbon are the bright colored spots the snake acquires.
As the snake appears to grow, new colored spots are introduced on each page.
Young listeners will be fascinated by this and it can also serve as a fun tool in teaching color identification.
Additionally, while the snake is itself brightly colored, the additional background illustrations are also bright and cheery giving the story an overall upbeat feel.
The Splendid Spotted Snake will quickly become a favorite of young children with its interactive illustrations and they will be equally entertained as they enjoy a pleasant surprise awaiting them at the end of the book.
Check the WRL catalog for The Splendid Spotted Snake.
One day a frog family discovers a surprise visitor sitting in the middle of their pond….a PIG! When asked if he needs some help, pig replies, “Ribbit!” Word of the pig, who thinks he’s a frog, travels fast and soon he’s visited by raccoon, parrot, bear, turtle, and duck. After shouting lots of questions to pig and each time being met with the same reply, “Ribbit!” the animals go off to enlist the help of the wise old beetle. But when they return to the pond the little pig was gone! Was pig confused? Was he mocking the frogs? Or did he just want to be their friend?
This adorable story of friendship is the perfect book for your story time collection. The cartoon-like illustrations are bold and colorful and the boisterous “Ribbits!” throughout make it a perfect read-aloud!
Check the WRL catalog for Ribbit!
Have you ever been faced with that age old question of whether to squish or not to squish? What if you were just about to lay down the shoe and that poor little bug started talking to you? That’s exactly what happens in Hey, Little Ant when a boy is met by a pleading ant and the two begin a sing-song dialog between them offering different perspectives about how the story should end.
“I can see you’re big and strong,
Decide for yourself what’s right and wrong,
If you were me and I were you,
What would you want me to do?”
The father/daughter team of Phillip and Hannah Hoose bring us a thought provoking narrative that can be used in the classroom when talking about bullying or eco-systems. It’s not only educational, but entertaining, and leaves an open ending that puts the reader in the driver seat!
Check the WRL catalog for Hey, Little Ant.
Summer is upon us and it’s time to read some books about bugs! A butterfly book is always a favorite and this one is sure to please your younger listeners. I love it because, not only does it work great as a bug book, but it also fills the bill for a color story time, as well.
On a clear sunny day, Lucy sees a colorful butterfly. She gleefully chases it all around the garden. The next day, when she is unable to spot it again, she discovers a pink worm, a brown spider, a red ladybug, an orange snail, a blue dragonfly, and a yellow bee. But will that radiant butterfly appear again?
The simple text and bold colorful illustrations would be enough to engage those inquisitive toddlers but Petr Horacek also gives us some die cut “peek-a-boo” holes and a huge pop-up butterfly, too! All of these elements together result in a visually pleasing book that enhances early learning experiences.
Check the WRL catalog for Book of Colors–Butterfly, Butterfly.
When I read a story to a group, I sometimes miss the wonderful illustrations that accompany it. This book was no exception. My 6 year old son pointed out to me that the pictures in this book are drawn on graph paper! Something I had not ever noticed!
With her intricate paper cut illustrations, Lindsay Ward creates a whimsical story of two loveable characters, Blue and Egg. One cold winters day, Blue returns to his nest to find Egg. Desperate to help his little lost friend, Blue puts Egg in a bucket and sets off to find his mother. As winter passes and the days get warmer Blue is in for a big surprise when he (and the reader) discover that Egg is not an egg at all.
Take the time to bring in spring with this gem! Great for groups or one on one this heart felt story of friendship is sure to be a long time favorite. But be sure to take the time to savor the illustrations that make this one extra special!
Check the WRL catalog for When Blue Met Egg.
Wesley was an outcast. He had no friends, but plenty of tormentors. Once summer vacation arrived, he needed a project to keep him busy. Putting to use some of the things he learned in school, Wesley decided to build his own civilization which he called WESLANDIA! He planted a garden and with his staple crop he grew tall flowering plants that bore fruit which provided his nourishment. He devised a spinning wheel from the woody bark and wove himself clothing from the plants fibers. Soon, his classmates who once mocked him became interested in the project. Reluctantly, Wesley allowed them to help. Together they discovered games for entertainment. His parents noted an improvement in his morale. Wesley seemed happier and soon, he had no shortage of friends.
Author Paul Fleischman has created this wonderfully thought provoking story about how people fit into the world. Wesley’s character chooses not to accept rejection but to use his individuality to create something wonderful that can bring happiness to everyone. For ages 5-9, this book is perfect for the classroom and appeals to a large audience. It can be used for a variety of themes including Agriculture, Creativity and Imagination, Individuality, and Civilizations. The vocabulary used offers opportunities for students to advance their vocabulary skills by learning the meaning of words like myriad, scornful, tubers, bedlam, innovation, morale, and finale, as they’re used in text.
If this book is not already on your shelf, add it today! You won’t be sorry!
Check the WRL catalog for Weslandia.