Pied Piper Pics
Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley are different in almost every way yet they are best friends. How is that possible? Pearl loves to solve mysteries and talk talk talk. Charlie is a quiet guy who likes to sit and think. If you’re looking for a book about the power of friendship, your job is done. Pearl and Charlie’s friendship demonstrates how opposites attract and different personalities can complement one another. Families will enjoy this short but meaningful book.
Check the WRL catalog for Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley.
One day while in the park lonely Mildred found what she thought was a stray puppy. After taking him home and discovering he only liked to eat one thing she decided to name him Peanut. Peanut wouldn’t roll over, fetch or bark but he loved to squash cereal boxes, water the plants and snuggle on the couch. He just seemed different from the other dogs. Is it possible Peanut wasn’t a dog at all?
Mildred and Peanut eventually meet up with Peanut’s owner and Mildred allows him to take Peanut away, to the circus! Peanut is happy to be home with his circus family but Mildred is lonely again. So back to the park she goes where she finds a stray…kitten…or maybe it’s not a kitten at all.
Check the WRL catalog for Peanut.
Bob is a boring bear who likes to count toothpicks, practice humming and sit around in parking lots. As a matter of fact he’s so boring he thinks you probably won’t want to read this book. His Panda friend Jack is just the opposite. Jack loves to do anything that’s wild, wacky or crazy, yet these two bears are the best of friends. Bob and Jack are perfect complements to one another. Their friendship will help kids understand that everyone is different and it is those differences that make life interesting.
Check the WRL catalog for Hello, My Name is Bob.
You and your toddler are going to love this book! The question and answer format will spark lots of conversation and the fold out pages are always a hit with this age group. Each page contains a question; for example, “if a calf grows and becomes a cow, can a shovel grow and become (open flap) a plow?” Every fourth page will recap and give you a yes or no answer to the four previous riddles. “Yes to cats no to hats, yes to goats no to coats, etc.” The art is bold and colorful, the riddles are witty and fun and you just might decide that you want to make up your own rhyming game.
Check the WRL catalog for Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow?
Kids will love this fun rhyming book about Bunion Burt who has feet that hurt. Everyone that Burt comes into contact with tries to help him feel better. They suggest home remedies like mud and ice and sun but absolutely nothing works. While most young readers won’t know about bunions, they most likely will be able to guess why it is that Burt’s feet hurt so badly.
The characters have silly rhyming names like Granny Gert, Mama Myrt, Cousin Kurt and Old Doc Smurt. The illustrations are big, bold, amusing and just plain goofy. The plot is engaging and will keep a kid’s attention right up until the end. Be sure to check this one out!
Check the WRL catalog for Bunion Burt.
Every year on her birthday Cynthia wishes for a pony she can name Marigold. This year, while eating some birthday cake, Cynthia spies the present from her parents and thinks it must be a very small pony. But, it isn’t a pony at all. Can you guess by the title of the book what the present turns out to be?
Cynthia’s magical fish agrees to give her what she wishes for if she’ll take him to the lake to set him free. Since Cynthia doesn’t want him anyway, they start out for the lake. When they arrive there will Cynthia let him go or has she had a change of heart? Is it possible that Cynthia’s fish could be even better than a pony?
Check the WRL catalog for The Birthday Fish.
Wolf loved to eat. “As soon as he finished one meal, he began to think of the next.” So you can imagine how happy wolf was to spot a perfect, delicious chicken just when he was craving chicken stew. But this wolf didn’t just grab the chicken and run. He thought that a better idea would be to fatten up the bird. So far several days, he cooked and baked and left food at the chicken’s doorstep. And what do you suppose that he found when he finally arrived to pluck the chicken for his meal?
Keiko Kasza has illustrated this book with beautiful watercolors on wide open white pages. The characters of wolf and chicken are wonderfully captured by the illustrations. I especially liked the picture of wolf mixing pancake batter while holding the cookbook open with one foot.
This is a wonderful book that is filled with humor and is suitable for sharing with a small group.
Check the WRL catalog for The Wolf’s Chicken Stew.
This brightly colored follow-up to ABC Kids features the numbers from 1 to 20. The cartoons rendered in what Publishers’ Weekly
describes as “manga meets video game style” are easy for children to count. The left-hand page of each spread includes a large-scale numeral, the word for each number, and a line showing where this number lies in the sequence of numbers. The pictures and sentences on the right side feature animals and objects demonstrating each number. “Six greedy penguins gobble juicy jelly beans.” or “Sixteen lost clouds find their way home.”
The large size of the book makes it suitable for small groups. Larger groups can probably enjoy the numbers up to 10. After that, the size of the individuals begins to shrink.
Check the WRL catalog for Basher 1 2 3.
Simon Basher has been producing books for the elementary student on various sciences and now has created books for the youngest learners. ABC Kids features each letter of the alphabet in upper and lower case formats. Alliterative sentences on the left side of the double-page spread include both unusual and familiar words for vocabulary enrichment. A stand-alone image is opposite.
The chunky, cartoon style illustrations are a mix of Japanese and European graphic styles. They are set on brightly colored backgrounds.
This title is equally useful with individual children or groups.
Check the WRL catalog for ABC Kids.
The Water Hole is a beautiful conglomeration of many different kinds of books. Combined between the covers are a counting book, a geography book, a book about seasonal water cycles, and a book with gorgeous illustrations of animals from around the world. In this story, animals gather at an ever-shrinking water hole (the water hole itself is a cut-out) to quench their thirst. The number of animals goes from one to 10, until all of the water is gone. Luckily, rain is on its way to replenish the hole and take care of the animals’ need for hydration.
Base draws water holes in Africa, India, South America, the Himalayas, North America, China, Europe, the Galapagos Islands, and Australia throughout the book. Children will love the counting, cut-out, and animal noises, while adults can appreciate the parenthetical comments following each animal sound.
“Eight Ladybuds meeting by the water hole.
(So in conclusion, ladies and gentlebugs, I propose we establish a sub-committee to report on the water level crisis before the end of the fiscal year. All in favor say bzui.)’”
Check out this book for a colorful and creative take on the animal kingdom!
Check the WRL catalog for The Water Hole.
This is a wonderful book that emphasizes a child’s desire for alone time with her father. The little girl in this story is excited to be going to the sea to spend time with her dad, but she is very disappointed that she has to share his attention and affection with many other family members.
“I’m showing Dad how I swim,
Only me and him.
Only me and him and
my brother Len,
my brother Lon,
my sister Lee.
I wish that they’d all go away
but everyone just wants to stay.”
Instead of enjoying time alone with her dad, the little girl decides to get away from it all and take a trip under the sea. In a shipwreck, the girl sees many fish and other creatures, but no other people. She soon realizes that she needs her family and returns to the surface.
The rhythm of Komaiko’s words is complemented nicely by Greene’s colorful realistic portraits and landscapes. This is a great story for a father to read with his daughter!
Check the WRL catalog for Just My Dad and Me.
In this story, Shoba and her monkey, Fuzzy, go on a quest to attend Fuzzy’s cousin’s wedding in Mumbai, India. The two fly on Shoba’s bed to India and then journey across the country meeting many colorful characters along the way. Fuzzy tries his best to discourage all of the people they meet from going to the monkey wedding, because he wants it to be a very exclusive event.
“Fuzzy approached one of the women. ‘Pardon me, have you by chance seen a large striped tent?’
‘There’s one just down the road. Is it a wedding tent?’ she asked eagerly.
‘Yes, but it will be one of the most boring weddings in the history of the universe,’ he answered, scurrying past her.’”
While Jeyaveeran’s tale is enchanting and captures the power of imagination, it is her drawings that bring the story to life. The vibrant pinks, yellows, greens, and purples help to portray a beautiful and diverse country. A map of India and glossary of terms help introduce children and parents alike to this Asian country.
Travel with Shoba and Fuzzy to find out if this Indian monkey wedding extravaganza is everything that the two are anticipating.
Check the WRL catalog for The Road to Mumbai.
Since its release as an animated film, Walt Disney’s Aristocats has been a favorite for children. This picture book adaptation of a beloved movie has the same, classic storyline with beautiful artwork to match. The story follows Duchess, a white angora cat, and her three kittens who all live together in a Parisian mansion. However, when the selfish butler, Edgar, discovers that the mansion’s owner, Madame Bonfamille, intends to leave her entire wealth to the cats, he tries to send them away once and for all. The cats, with the help of some colorful and loveable new friends, end up on the biggest adventure of their lives to find their way back home.
The artwork in this book is in keeping with the traditional Disney style, and looks just like the images from the movie have been penciled onto the pages. The colors are brilliant and truly bring to life this already vibrant tale. It is a book that children of all ages can enjoy, and it will surely be a favorite to have mommy or daddy read at bedtime. This is one Disney classic that no child should miss!
Check the WRL catalog for Walt Disney Productions presents The Aristocats.
Meg Wiviott’s very first picture book is a powerful, true story. The setting is Rosenstrasse, a street in Berlin, Germany with quite a rich and tragic history during the Second World War. In this book, we follow Benno, a street cat who lives at Number 5 Rosenstrasse. This moving story tells about the events of Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass, through the eyes of this cat, as his life, as well as the lives of many others, is completely changed. When the men in heavy boots march through Rosenstrasse, burning books and destroying buildings, Benno realizes that nothing will ever be the same.
Josee Bisaillon’s collage, drawings, and digital montage techniques have blended perfectly in the illustrations. They provide a very unique look, while still making some attractive pictures. The colors are particularly arresting. One page can seamlessly blend happy, upbeat tones with darker, gloomier shades to create an interesting effect. The style really captures the emotions of this time period.
Perhaps the best aspect of this extraordinary book is the way it educates children about a very terrible, yet important time in history. At the very end of the story, Wiviott devotes a couple of pages to giving an accurate account of Kristallnacht, its effects, and how other nations reacted to the event at the time. This amazing picture book makes the history accessible to even the youngest of children. This is a book that children and parents alike absolutely must pick up.
Check the WRL catalog for Benno and the Night of Broken Glass.
Originally published in 1957, Eve Titus’ and Paul Galdone’s Anatole and the Cat, which is the second story about mouse magnifique Anatole, has remained a well-loved book for children. This story follows Anatole, Paris’ most popular mouse, who is the most important and most secret worker at Duval’s cheese factory. He is the Vice-President in Charge of Cheese Tasting, so it is his job to provide reviews of every cheese produced by the factory, as well as suggestions on how to improve bad cheeses. One day, however, M’sieu Duval’s cat sneaks into the factory while Anatole is working! Anatole must then figure out a way to continue his work, overcoming the threat of the fearsome cat, or he won’t be able to accurately review the cheeses, and Duval’s cheese factory might be finished! It will take a lot of courage from this mouse extraordinaire.
Paul Galdone’s illustrations add a classic air to this book. Most of the pictures are drawn in grayscale, and the only colors added are blue, white, and red, which just so happen to be the colors of the French flag. If that’s not French enough for you yet, Eve Titus adds to the authenticity by mixing in French words with the English sentences. Not only is this a great story, but it is also a fun and wonderful way to get your child started with learning French, or at least a few words. After reading this book, children will doubtless agree that Anatole is truly a mouse magnifique!
Check the WRL catalog for Anatole and the Cat.
There is a saying that every boy should have two things: a dog, and a mother willing to let him have one. In Dogfish, a young boy already has a pet goldfish but still wants a dog more than anything. Unfortunately, his mother is less interested in getting another pet. The boy tries his most convincing arguments, uses his hypnotizing eyes, and gives her his best sad look but she will not be swayed. “After a bit my mom says, ‘Well, if you can’t have what you want, you could try to want what you have.’ She ALWAYS says things like that.”
So, the boy decides to do all the things with his fish that he’d planned to do with a dog. They play fetch, go for walks, and soon the boy realizes that he doesn’t just have a fish, he has a dogfish. Children will identify with the boy and his desire to have a dog. They will possibly also recognize the mother’s refusal to entertain the idea. Shields takes a very humorous, yet sympathetic approach to the boy’s situation and finds a way to give the story a happy ending even though he doesn’t get the dog he’s been pining for. Taylor’s illustrations are colorful and add to the humor of the story.
Check the WRL catalog for Dogfish.
“IT ALL BEGAN when Floyd’s kite became stuck in A TREE. He tried pulling and swinging, but it WOULDN’T COME UNSTUCK. The trouble REALLY began when he threw his FAVORITE SHOE to knock the kite loose…and THAT got stuck too!”
So begins the plight of Floyd. He keeps throwing things up into the tree and they keep getting stuck there. The premise might be simple, and ridiculous, but kids love it – especially as Floyd gets more and more desperate and the things he throws get bigger and bigger. At first your audience will expect that something will eventually fall out of the tree, but soon they will catch on to the book’s pattern. What goes up does not come back down. When Floyd goes to get a saw, the children might think that Floyd has finally had a bright idea, but no. The saw gets chucked up into the tree along with everything else. In a bit of irony, however, it ends up being a helpful item anyway. You see, the tree has reached maximum capacity.
Jeffers has a winner here with a humorous cumulative story held together simply by the impossibility of the items Floyd is throwing. His illustrations are also simple, depicting only Floyd, the tree, and the objects he throws.
Check the WRL catalog for Stuck.
Some of the best storytime books are ones where the author has taken a well-known story and put a new twist on it. Today’s title is just such a book. Every child knows the story of The Three Little Pigs, but Ken Geist has taken that story and given it fishy characters and an underwater setting. Julia Gorton’s big, bright, colorful illustrations really add to the story. They are perfect for a large storytime crowd.
In The Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark three fish go out to seek their fortunes but keep being thwarted by the Big Bad Shark. As with the little pigs, the first two fish are also hampered by less than stellar choices in their house-building materials. Seaweed and sand provide little protection against the Big Bad Shark. Luckily, the fish are able to swim away and hide with the third little fish who has chosen her home more wisely. As expected, the Big Bad Shark comes to a bad end, but in a unique and creative way that should please young readers. They’ll also love joining in as the little fish taunt the shark: “Not by the skin of my finny fin fin!”
Check the WRL catalog for The Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark.
The plot of the story is simple—young boy spends summer with grandmother. Jim LaMarche’s illustrations that frame the plot are the highlights of this book. Nicky’s first-person narrative is expanded by the radiant and expressive pictures. At first reluctant to spend the summer away from home, Nicky discovers the wonders of nature as he and his artist-grandmother raft down the river. As the boy interacts with the animals they meet, he discovers that he, too, has a passion for the creation of art. Nicky develops closer ties to his grandmother and to nature as he experiences the freedom of exploring and connecting with nature. This is a delightful read for young and old.
Check the WRL catalog for The Raft.
This story has a dramatic beginning as little Chico hatches into his
Peruvian world and discovers it’s a scary place. His dad tries to make things better for little Chico as dads often do and so the story begins. Chico goes on a quest to learn the secret to courage. He is helped and hindered by three llamas that he meets while climbing a tall mountain.
This a witty story with a surprise ending involving a superhero who saves the day. The large acrylic and black pencil illustrations are excellent for group sharing. The bright colors spice up the cartoon animal characters. In all this is an enjoyable read as we follow Chico in his adventures.
Check the WRL catalog for Chico the Brave.