Pied Piper Pics

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Picture book reviews by librarians for everyone.
Updated: 17 min 4 sec ago

The Snatchabook by Helen Docherty, illus. by Thomas Docherty

Fri, 2014-04-11 01:01

A beautifully, richly illustrated story with rhyming text. This book makes a great read aloud – ideal for older pre-schoolers, K, and first grade. It contains a positive message about the love of books. It begins in the woods of Burrow Down where every creature is wondering about the mystery of the disappearing bedtime stories. The storybooks just disappear – even the smallest squirrel has a book taken! Is there a bedtime story thief? Eliza Brown, a brave little rabbit, is determined to catch this pest.

“She planned one night to lie in wait and use a pile of books as bait”

She is successful and the small flying creature she captures red handed is a snatchabook – he admits to being wrong too.

“Can’t you see I’ve got no-one to read to me!

Eliza realizes that the snatchabook just needs someone to read to him – “then he might behave alright!”
He agrees to make amends and return all the stolen bedtime stories. He can now join in happily, listening on someone’s bed to bedtime stories every night like the rest of the residents of Burrow Down.

Check the WRL catalog for The Snatchabook.


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A Dog’s Life by Caroline Sherman, illus. by Donald Wu

Wed, 2014-04-09 01:01

This is a funny, simple story about a dog’s life from the dog’s perspective. Large format digital illustrations make this suitable for group readings for pre-schoolers, a quick, funny reading to older kids, or inclusion in a dog-themed story time. The text is basic, short, and could be used for children learning to read. The story is about a loveable family dog – (mongrel, of course) and how busy his doggy life is!

“I wash dishes. Slurp! Slurp!”
“I inspect the trash for anything I can recycle. Munch! Munch!”
“I keep the humans warm since they don’t have any fur”

He doesn’t know how his family would manage without him! He epitomizes the dog that thinks he is, well, human!

Check the WRL catalog for A Dog’s Life.


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Drat That Cat! by Tony Ross

Mon, 2014-04-07 01:01

Tony Ross has created more than one hundred books for children. Drat that Cat! is a humorous story illustrated with comic pen and ink watercolors. The book is about a beautiful white, furry cat with big blue eyes called Suzy. Suzy is always getting into trouble. She piddled on Dad’s golf bag and the smell would not go away. When Mom bought a bright new yellow sofa, Suzy loved to sharpen her claws on it. Everyone complained, “Drat that Cat!” But that was until Suzy refused to eat or drink! “She just lay on the bed.”

Check out this book to see how her owners bent over backwards to help her get better. And what did Suzy confide to Charlie Dog next door after she spent two days at the vet’s?

Check the WRL catalog for Drat that Cat!


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George Washington’s Birthday by Margaret McNamara, illus. by Barry Blitt

Fri, 2014-04-04 01:04

Hip hip hooray! It’s GW’s seventh birthday! Except – oops, everyone’s forgotten!

When little George Washington goes to sleep on Friday night, he is six years old, but when he wakes up on Saturday, he’s seven! But nobody has remembered – not his mother, not his father, and not his half-brother. Or so he thinks…. He still has to eat his porridge, practice his arithmetic, and prune the cherry trees.

George Washington’s Birthday is written by award-winning author Margaret McNamara and illustrated by New Yorker artist Barry Blitt. It is a very clever approach to history because as readers make their way through the story, they meet little “Myth” and “Fact” bubbles that elucidate some of the stories featured in the book and myths that surround the first president. Did George Washington wear a wig? No. Did George Washington cut down a cherry tree? Probably not. Was he strong enough to throw a stone across the Rappahanock? Unlikely.

Readers young and old will delight in seeing someone, who we really only think about as an adult, being portrayed as a precocious little seven year old. And as we all know, no-one ever forgot George Washington’s birthday again! This “partly true and completely funny story” is perfect for classrooms, Presidents’ Day, or as a birthday gift.

Check the WRL catalog for George Washington’s Birthday.


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Adele & Simon by Barbara McClintock

Wed, 2014-04-02 01:01

Simon and his older sister Adele are walking home from school and they decide to stop at many famous Parisian landmarks such as the Louvre and the Notre Dame Cathedral. Along the way, they meet many interesting people but Simon also misplaces many of his belongings including his gloves, hat, and books. By the time they arrive home, they are extremely worried about finding all the items Simon has lost. Luckily, all the townspeople they met arelined up at Simon and Adele’s front door with all of Simon’s lost belongings! Adele promises to walk Simon home from school again the next day.

Adele & Simon is an adventure story that takes place in the city of Paris instead of in a jungle, although it will be just as compelling to young listeners at story time. Barbara McClintock’s illustrations are incredibly detailed and perfectly capture the city of Paris. In every picture the items that Simon has lost are hidden and kids will enjoy pointing out those locations. Adele & Simon would be a great addition to a French or multicultural themed storytime. It is a longer picture book with a reasonable amount of text so it is best for ages 5 and up.

Check the WRL catalog for Adele & Simon.


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Surfer Chick by Kristy Dempsey, illus. by Henry Cole

Mon, 2014-03-31 01:01

Surfer Chick, written by Kristy Dempsey and illustrated by Henry Cole, is the cute story about a baby chicken who wants to learn how to surf for the first time. She goes to the surf shop with her dad and buys a shiny new pink surfboard, but the real fun begins when the chick goes out onto the water for the first time. She soon discovers that it’s harder to stay on the board than she previously thought. Eventually though she gets the hang of it, and has the time of her life riding the biggest waves.
With bright, colorful, and super cute artwork, this book is great for all ages. Whether a child reads or listens to the story, this book is a lot of fun. It is a good read for the summer time, or maybe to take along on a beach vacation. So definitely check this book out!

Check the WRL catalog for Surfer Chick.


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King Midas and the Golden Touch by Charlotte Craft, illus. by K.Y. Craft

Fri, 2014-03-28 01:01

King Midas and the Golden Touch, told by Charlotte Craft and illustrated by K.Y. Craft, tells the story of an ancient Greek king, greedy for all the gold he can get his hands on. One day, King Midas is granted one wish, so he wakes up the next day and everything he touches turns to gold. After having his initial fun, an unfortunate accident happens due to his new ability. King Midas must choose wealth or family, but don’t worry, it doesn’t have a tragic ending.
The artwork is beautiful, with its rich colors and gold that stand out. The drawings are very nearly realistic, truly drawing the reader into the world of the myth. This book is enjoyable for all ages, but is better when read together because of the amount of text and larger vocabulary. This book is for anyone looking for an interesting story with a universal lesson.

Check the WRL catalog for King Midas and the Golden Touch.


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Hercules by Robert Burleigh, illus. by Raul Colon

Wed, 2014-03-26 01:01

Hercules, written by Robert Burleigh and illustrated by Raul Colon, is an exciting retelling of the myth of Hercules’ last labor. Hercules, the great hero, must take the fearsome, three-headed dog Cerberus from Hades, using nothing more than his bare hands. In the end, Hercules is able to return to his village, victorious and celebrated, and then he is allowed a much-needed rest.
The artwork in this book is fantastic, in true keeping with the glory of this myth and its hero. The colors and the style bring the reader back to ancient Greece, right in the thick of Hercules’ heroic labors. It would certainly appeal to the child who loves adventure and excitement. This book is ideal for a later elementary school children, as there are some larger, harder to pronounce words. Parents could also read this to younger children who have an interest in mythology. Robert Burleigh’s rendition of an ancient tale is sure to appeal to a wide audience.

Check the WRL catalog for Hercules.


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Night Knight by Owen Davey

Mon, 2014-03-24 01:07

Looking for a new bedtime story? Look no further. Night Knight by Owen Davey is a new k-nighttime quest for you and your little adventurer to embark upon.

Come along as a modern knight gets ready for bed, as he rides through forests, battle crocodiles, and climbs the tallest tower. “For a knight like me, going to bed…is a great adventure.” Each aspect of bedtime, climbing the stairs, taking a bath, brushing teeth, and climbing into bed, is given a knightly equivalent. The stairs become a mountain, our knight’s beloved hound becomes a fire-breathing dragon, and before bed he makes sure to put away his cherished toys in their treasure chest. Recreating these pre-bedtime rituals through the eyes of an aspiring knight is encouraging and affirmative, and great preparation for sleep.

For the illustrations, British author Davey uses a striking theme of reds, oranges, and yellows, and has created images composed of cut-paper collages. The double page spreads are visually striking and very stylized.

Night Knight is best suited to younger children, aged two to five, and it would work perfectly for repeated bedtime readings, thanks to its brief narrative. This book would be a great addition to any child’s bedtime routine.

Check the WRL catalog for Night Knight.


Categories: Pied Piper Pics