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Picture book reviews by librarians for everyone.
Updated: 5 min 17 sec ago

Fran’s Flower by Lisa Bruce, Illus. by Rosalind Beardshaw

Mon, 2014-04-21 01:01

This is my favorite spring story for little ones! Fran’s Flower tells a simple, but engaging tale about a little girl’s first experience growing things.

Initially, it doesn’t go well. Fran finds a flowerpot filled with soil and a tiny bud peeking out. She takes it home and tells it, “Grow flower.” But nothing happens.

The flower must be hungry, she decides. So she feeds it a slice of pizza. The next day she tries a piece of cheeseburger, and the day after that she stuffs the pot with two chocolate chip cookies and a large spoonful of strawberry ice cream. Naturally, children find this hilarious.

Fran gets frustrated with the tiny plant and tosses it outside. Mother Nature takes over from there, and a few weeks later, Fran gets a delightful surprise.

This is a wonderful book for a springtime or gardening story time, and it is a natural lead-in to a discussion of how flowers grow. Beardshaw’s large, colorful illustrations are ideal for sharing with a group. WRL owns this under the title listed above, but the book also appears to have been released under the title Grow, Flower, Grow.

Check the WRL catalog for Fran’s Flower.

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What! cried Granny: An almost bedtime story by Kate Lum, illus. by Adrian Johnson

Fri, 2014-04-18 01:01

Patrick is having his first ever sleep-over at his Granny’s house and as bedtime gets closer, he turns on the stalling tactics. “I don’t have a bed,” or a pillow, or a blanket or a teddy bear he cries. His Granny is at the ready and works almost the entire night chopping trees, plucking chickens and shearing sheep to correct all of these bedtime obstacles. Is she going to be able to beat the sunrise so Patrick will actually get some sleep?

Kids are going to love hearing Granny yell “what?” every time Patrick thinks of a new problem that gets in the way of going to sleep and the story will ring true to adults who are oh so familiar with kids like Patrick.

Check the WRL catalog for What! Cried Granny: An almost bedtime story.

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Cornelius P. Mud, Are you ready for bed? by Barney Saltzberg

Wed, 2014-04-16 01:01

This is a great book that demonstrates the importance of reading the illustrations as well as the text. “Yes” Cornelius tells his mom, “I’ve put away my toys.” Only by reading the pictures will you notice he’s put them away in the refrigerator! Fed your fish? “Yes,” but look closely and you’ll notice he’s fed that fish a chocolate chip cookie.

As Cornelius gets ready for bed, the reader will continue to laugh at all of his silly antics. The big colorful illustrations are delightful and you’ll be left with no doubts that “bedtime at Cornelius’s house is no ordinary event!”

Check the WRL catalog for Cornelius P. Mud, Are You Ready for Bed?

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Flora’s Blanket by Debi Gliori

Mon, 2014-04-14 01:01

“Flora can’t sleep.”
“No blanket she says.”

Flora has lost her blanket and no one is going to sleep until it’s been found. Every parent will be able to identify with the bunny family as they search the house from top to bottom, inside and out for that special bedtime comfort item. As the bunny family searches, see if your listeners can predict the ending. Will they find the blanket? Where has it been? Will Flora have to sleep without it?

This book’s simple text and charming illustrations are sure to make it a family bedtime favorite.

Check the WRL catalog for Flora’s Blanket.

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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.

Categories: Pied Piper Pics