Pied Piper Pics

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Picture book reviews by librarians for everyone.
Updated: 23 min 9 sec ago

Humpty Dumpty Climbs Again by Dave Horowitz

Mon, 2014-07-07 01:01

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.


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Bug Patrol by Denise Dowling Mortensen, illus. by Cece Bell

Fri, 2014-07-04 01:01

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.

“Hurry Home
to my nest
And the bugs
that I love
BEST!”

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.


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Kid Tea by Elizabeth Ficocelli, illus. by Glin Dibley

Wed, 2014-07-02 01:01

Looking for a color book that’s off the spectrum? Try Kid Tea for a different and lively audience-participation read-aloud.

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.


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Early Bird by Toni Yuly

Mon, 2014-06-30 01:01

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.


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Let’s Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy by Jan Thomas

Fri, 2014-06-27 01:01

What happens when a cowboy with the name “Brave Cowboy,” turns out to be anything but brave when his imagination runs wild on a dark, dark night?

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.


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The Wide-Mouthed Frog by Keith Faulkner, illus. by Jonathan Lambert

Wed, 2014-06-25 01:01

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.


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The Splendid Spotted Snake by Betty Ann Schwartz, illus. by Alexander Wilensky

Mon, 2014-06-23 01:01

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.


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Ribbit! by Rodrigo Folguiera, illus. by Poly Bernatene

Fri, 2014-06-20 01:01

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!


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Hey, Little Ant by Phillip and Hannah Hoose, illus. by Debbie Tilley

Wed, 2014-06-18 01:01

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.


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Book of Colors–Butterfly, Butterfly by Petr Horacek

Mon, 2014-06-16 01:01

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.


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When Blue Met Egg by Lindsay Ward

Fri, 2014-06-13 01:01

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.


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Weslandia by Paul Fleischman, illus. by Kevin Hawkes

Wed, 2014-06-11 01:01

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.


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Not Norman: a goldfish story by Kelly Bennett , illus. by Noah Jones

Mon, 2014-06-09 01:01

Not Norman: a goldfish story is about a boy who wants a different kind of pet. He wants a pet that he can run and jump with…a furry pet. But not Norman!

But when he decides to trade Norman for a “good pet” he discovers that Norman is actually exactly what he’s looking for.

Author, Kelly Bennett, creates a straightforward story with simple language that begs this book to be read aloud. She brings Norman to life with language that shows the personality of this silly little goldfish and the relationship that forms between him and his owner. “Not Norman” is repeated over and over and gives young audiences a chance to “read along”. Noah K. Jones gives us lively artwork that enhances the story with his eye catching illustrations. This author/illustrator duo have given us a tale that is o-“fish”-ally one of my favorite story time gems for the summer.

Check the WRL catalog for Not Norman: a goldfish story.


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Hands Off My Honey! by Jane Chapman, illlus. by Tim Warnes

Fri, 2014-06-06 01:01

The scariest bear in the forest heavily stomps through the woods, causing the ground to rumble and the daisies to shake. He roars that he has a great big jar of honey and that he is not going to share. But he is not the only animal in the forest who likes honey. Mouse, the Rabbit Brothers, and Mole also want some. They decide to quietly sneak after Bear, to get some of that delicious honey. Everyone is quiet, except for Mole. First, Mole snaps a twig. Then he trips over a root. Luckily for Mole, Bear is too busy smacking his lips with that scrumptious honey that he doesn’t hear Mole. That is, until Mole falls into a puddle. With a loud splash, Mole finally gets the attention of Bear. Bear angrily roars that the honey is only for him. While Bear is distracted with Mole, Mouse sneaks in and gets some honey. What will happen next? Is it the end for Mouse?

This is another great book to read aloud. Jane Chapman slowly builds suspense with her well written verse, while the illustrations by Tim Warnes expressively convey that excitement and suspense. Young listeners will delight in the surprise ending.

Check the WRL catalog for Hands Off My Honey!


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Eddie and Dog by Alison Brown

Wed, 2014-06-04 01:01

Eddie is an imaginative boy who dreams of adventure. And those adventures are much more fun with a friend. Eddie meets a dog and soon the two of them are going on adventures together, hunting for crocodiles, sailing the seven seas, and exploring a distant jungle. When Eddie gets home, his mother tells him that there isn’t enough room for a dog and sends the dog away. Eddie misses the dog, but he need not worry. Somehow, the dog makes his way back repeatedly, by scooter, by snorkeling, and even by plane.

This would be a great book for a story time about friendship. The illustrations are perfect for conveying the scope of a boy’s imagination and the joys of having a true friend. Young listeners will be cheering for Eddie and the dog. Find out what clever innovation the dog comes up with so that he and Eddie can stay together. There is no obstacle too great that can keep true friends apart.

Check the WRL catalog for Eddie and Dog.


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Flight School by Lita Judge

Mon, 2014-06-02 01:01

Every child should be encouraged to have dreams and be given the opportunity to achieve them. In this newest book by Lita Judge, Penguin declares that he has the “soul of an eagle” and is determined to learn how to fly. Although the instructors at the flight school are skeptical, they decide to give Penguin a chance. For weeks, Penguin practices with the other students. Finally, it is time for all the birdies to attempt their first flight. Penguin shouts “Geronimo” and leaps into the air. Unfortunately, Penguin sinks into the ocean. Penguin is disappointed, especially after the Teacher says, “Penguins just aren’t built to fly.” Dejected, Penguin starts to leave until one of the instructors has an idea. Will Penguin achieve his dreams and finally fly?
Lita Judge is one of my favorite children’s illustrators. Earlier books include red sled and red hat. Using watercolor and pencil, her illustrations are perfect for this amusing story and eloquently convey the enthusiasm and determination of Penguin. This is a great choice for anyone with a dream.

Check the WRL catalog for Flight School.


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Dog in Boots by Greg Gormley, illus. by Roberta Angaramo

Fri, 2014-05-30 01:01

Dog has been enjoying his favorite book—Puss in Boots. And what does he want now? Of course, he wants his very own set of just-as-splendid boots. He even takes his book along to show the shopkeeper. But Dog discovers that his fine boots have drawbacks. In turn he tries rain boots, flippers, high heels, and skis. Just when it appears that there is nothing perfect for a dog’s activities, the shopkeeper points out something that Dog has had all along. Can you guess what that might be?

This is a large format book which is excellent for using with a group. I have successfully used this with several different kindergarten groups. The children enjoy the humor and the anticipation of Dog’s next difficulty. The acrylic illustrations capture Dog’s many moods as he explores different kinds of footwear.

And be ready to laugh at Dog’s next choice of reading material!

Check the WRL catalog for Dog in Boots.


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Which Shoes Would You Choose? by Betsy R. Rosenthal, illus. by Nancy Cote

Wed, 2014-05-28 01:01

A story, rhyming text, and a cute quiz are combined in Which Shoes Would You Choose? Young Sherman needs appropriate footwear for many activities. Riddles invite the reader to guess what shoes our hero will be wearing next.

This is a delightfully illustrated book. There is plenty to see in the backgrounds of each scene. Encourage your children to read the pictures and create their own stories.

You may need to explain galoshes to your audience. And the children and I expected Sherman to wear cleats for baseball. But these are minor drawbacks. They allow you to expand your group’s vocabulary.

Check the WRL catalog for Which Shoes Would You Choose?


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Flip Flop Bop by Matt Novak

Tue, 2014-05-27 12:01

Flip Flop Bop will have you and your audience ready to take off your shoes and head for the beach. School is out and the children trade school shoes for the footwear of summer–flip flops. The kids are joined by a dog, a cat, and a mouse as they bop into the new season of the year.
By the end of the book, folks of all ages are enjoying the freedom of summer shoes.

The illustrations are bright and busy. The text moves from “clippety clop” to “kazoobaloobadippy.” At this point, the dog remarks, “Now we’ve just gone too far.” I found my audience was ready to contribute their own nonsense words to the story. I used this book with All You Need for a Beach to book end an early summer story time. It would also fit with a shoe theme or a nonsense verse medley.

Check the WRL catalog for Flip Flop Bop.


Categories: Pied Piper Pics