Happy Earth Day 2011 from Stiletto Storytime
And what better way to celebrate than to feature a great new children’s book about respecting, preserving and re-using the Earth and all it gives us. Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth is the perfect book to help educate young readers while also celebrating Earth Day! Taking on an alphabetical format- the book shows children how to create compost including instructing them on what can be added and what cannot. Need something to do with your laundry lint? Compost Stew can help. Adults and children alike will learn things they didn’t know about the world of compost.
Complimenting the book are illustrations by Ashley Wolff. The illustrations are done in an organic pallet and combine odd recyclable items such as newspaper, magazine pictures and sea shells in collage form. The ABC format of the book also makes it accessible for a variety of ages in both read-a-loud and independent reading form. This book would be a wonderful addition to any Earth Day celebration, conservation curriculum or at home project. A great addition to any young conservationist library!
To help celebrate Earth Day author Mary McKenna Siddals is giving away 5 copies of the picture book COMPOST STEW and 2 art prints from the book, autographed by illustrator Ashley Wolff. To enter go here. (Giveaway ends of April 25, 2011)
I guiltily admit is has been a bit since I posted my latest picture book picks. It’s not because I’m not reading them just that with Little Man being two…I am often reading the same one over and over. All you parents out there know what I mean…and don’t you dare try to skip a page..they always catch you. However I have been indulging in some great picture books of late. Some by myself and some with Little Man so enjoy and I hope you find one that’s perfect to share with all the little ones in your life.
Rapunzel and the Seven Dwarfs by Willy Caflin.
Illustrated by James Stimson. (Ages 4-8)
It’s a fairy tale mosh pit of fun and you’re invited. The only question about this newest book from Maynard Moose is who will laugh the loudest…you or the children you share it with. From Punzel to the many many dwarfs and a “chubbified” Prince riding a noble white moose..the fun never ends. With tons of fairy tale twists along with hilarious illustrations and plot happenings..it’s the perfect picture book for older children to enjoy. While the age designation for this book is 4-8, I would have to say as a children’s librarian you would need to be about 6 to get the humor completely but the book could be enjoyed by children and adults of all ages probably topping out around 12 for the independent reader. This is a really great pick for your older picture book reader….they haven’t heard this story but can identify the many they have within and the humor will keep them from thinking it’s for “babies” simply because it is in picture book form. If you enjoyed The Uglified Duck, you will love Rapunzel and the Seven Dwarfs. An added bonus is the included audio CD which blends perfectly with the book.
Press Here by Herve Tullet (Ages 4-8)
And now on to Little Man’s latest obsession: Press Here by Herve Tullet. This book has drawn my toddler in like magic and it’s so simple really. Some of the best books are. All you need is your imagination. This book takes simplistic illustrations and interaction with your child to a whole new level. Click here to check out an interactive video to show exactly what I am talking about. Now the age designation is 4-8 for this book but Little Man is only 2. However while he cannot completely grasp the full concept- this is his favorite book of the moment. The primary colors and simple shapes keep him occupied and interested much longer than many books for children his age. It’s also a very sturdily made book so I have no problem leaving it out for independent play. This is an “it” book that every child, classroom and library should have. It truly is literary magic.
Thanks to the always generous August House one lucky reader of Stiletto Storytime will win their very own copy of Rapunzel and the Seven Dwarfs. Giveaway ends midnight EST April 24, 2011. US and Canada address only please. Winner will be chosen by random.org and notified by e-mail address. Good Luck to all and Happy Reading!
To enter simply leave a comment below letting me know what picture book you are sharing with the children in your life? Is there a great new title you want to share or an old favorite?
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“Take one wiggly baby, scrubbed clean. Add sugar to his nose and toes. Tuck him into a warm pie crust. Don’t forget a kiss good night! That’s the perfect recipe for a babyberry pie- and a peaceful bedtime. (Just don’t let that little giggleberry wiggle away!)”
Babyberry Pie is a delightful picture book that’s just perfect as that special way to help say goodnight. A playful rhyme to share one-on-one with your little one or to read aloud to a group, it’s lullaby rhythm makes it a winner either way. As we ready baby for bed…we go through the normal motions of bath time and tucking in…however we are also making baby into a pie. This tale pairs a sweet rhyme with perfectly matched illustrations from Amy Schwartz to create a great bedtime read. While my little man does not sit still for much, he did sit still through all of Babyberry Pie. He especially enjoyed the part where baby gets sugared from his head to his toes!
As a librarian I can’t help but think about what a great addition this book would be to any storytime collection. Perfect for a “bedtime” themed storytime or even lap sit. The easy rhythm and theme will make it a much used treasure.
Also remember to keep a watch out for Hide and Squeak coming in February of 2011 from Heather Vogel Frederick and C.F. Payne.
One lucky Stiletto Storytime reader will receive their own copy of Babyberry Pie from the delightful Heather Vogel Frederick herself. To enter simply leave a comment below sharing your favorite bedtime picture book. US/Canada addresses only. Giveaway ends at midnight on January 5, 2011. Good luck and happy reading to all.
The classics are just that…classics. However some of the most fun I’ve had in picture books has been when classics are reborn and re-imagined…one of my personal favorites is The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka. In that category we can now add Other Goose by J. Otto Seibold, a collection of “re-nurseried” rhymes for a new generation. Since it’s from J. Otto Seibold…you know it’s gonna be a great read. If you have not read Olive, The Other Reindeer then now is the perfect time of year. And since it’s from Chronicle Books…you know it’s going to be unique and detail oriented. Their packaging is simply fantastic and their attention to every detail in their covers is hard to beat.
While these humorous rhymes are skewed for the slightly older child than traditional Mother Goose, the rhyming and humor will keep the kids interested and bring back memories of the original inspiration. With great new funky rhymes such as “Blah Blah Black Sheep” and “Little Asleep Bo-Peep”, parents and kids will be laughing along with every turn of the page. Modern, dramatic illustrations complete this new look at Mother Goose for today’s kids. The bold images contain lots of details and hidden humor to keep kids looking more than once. It’s sure to be a hit with both girls and boys and even has a little of that special “boy” humor we all know they enjoy. So who would you share this book with?
Want a sneak peek at Other Goose? How about your own copy for that special child this Holiday season? Chronicle Books will give one lucky reader of Stiletto Storytime their own copy and a great matching poster. Simply comment below with your email address and share your favorite traditional rhyme (Mother Goose or Other). US and Canada addresses only please. Giveaway ends midnight December 6th, 2010.
And if you like Other Goose make sure to add a uniquely inspired set of “Old Maid” cards in those stockings this year!
Hallowilloween: Nefarious Silliness by Calef Brown
Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, September 6, 2010
The leaves will soon be changing and a chill will enter the air and then Halloween will be upon us with all its fun and fair. As this creepy day approaches teachers and parents alike will be searching for the perfect book that will find balance between scary and not too scary for their children to enjoy. Often poetry can be the answer and this season’s newest offering is a collection of poetry that is perfect to inspire not only a spooky atmosphere but lots of giggles as well. What better way to celebrate than with Calef Brown’s new collection of “nefariously silly” poems about all things Halloween or shall we say Hallowilloween?
The collection is filled with characters that have just enough scary with a silly twist to make them perfect for kids of elementary age. Younger children will delight in the rhyme and bold acrylic illustrations while older children will be excited to get the subtle references and humor hidden within the poems.
Characters such as the vampire umpire or “Vumpire” will be a hit with all audiences and children will want to hear their favorite poems again and again. Adults will also enjoy the witty connections to be found within the poetry such as allusions to classical literature and historical figures. Humor abounds and laughs are sure to follow. This collection is perfect for sharing at home on a spooky fall night or with friends in the classroom or library on a special occasion. Hallowilloween is a great book for any holiday collection sure to be treasured when Halloween rolls around each year.
Other Great New Picture Books from Chronicle Books
Chicken Big by Keith Graves
A Long Piece of String by William Wondriska
Day & Night by Teddy Newton
One of the biggest changes in my transition from Children’s Librarian to Mommy of Sir William as we often call him, is the differences in what “storytime” now means. Before it was once a creative exploration of ways to enlighten and excite young minds about reading with books, music and crafts….now it’s often reading the same book for the 165th time in a row while trying to keep an adorable but squirming one year old on my lap. Despite it all I love both, and the time with my son is priceless even the screaming parts or when occasionally I hear the ripping of pages in the other room (Oh the Horror!!!). Don’t worry so far this has not happened to a library book thank goodness. My poor librarian heart might stop!
On a recent trip to the library before our scheduled Lapsit time, I scanned the shelves for something new to read to William and found a treasure. My Heart Is Like a Zoo is a wonderful new picture book by Michael Hall which incorporates animals and brightly colored decoupage type illustrations made from the shape of the heart. It is a wonderful array of color, form and feeling. It would be wonderful for programming of so many types…animals, colors, emotions, shapes…it’s all there in this adorable new picture book. So try it on your child…or your next storytime group. It is sure to be a winner and let me know how it goes. This book reminds me in many ways of Eric Carle’s classic From Head to Toe but expect more educational aspects and a longer book with higher level vocabulary. Yet still…my one year old adored it and we are still re-reading it this week….again and again and again. Alas I could not ask for more. My cup runneth over!
Sometimes authors get “kid humor” and sometimes they don’t but both of these two picture books are prime examples of when an author gets “it”. And even more admirable is when the author can not only write a wonderful story but also capture the visual humor as well. Both of these works are sure fire hits for storytime and read-aloud. Librarians,teachers and parents will love reading them again and again because real “kid humor” really never goes away no how old we get!
So check out:
The Little Rabbit Who Liked To Say Moo by Jonathan Allen
A Birthday for Cow! by Jan Thomas
As the year draws to a close I thought it might be fun to share some of my favorite picture books that have been published this past year. Most of these were either outstandingly beautiful and poignant in my opinion or literally made me laugh out loud in the library when I first read them. I am sure you can guess which is which.
Millies Waits For the Mail by Alexander Steffensmeier
Millie the cow loves one thing above all others. She loves to scare the mail man. She likes to hide and wait for him to come to the farm. Then she jumps out from her hiding place and the mail goes sailing up into the air as she chases his bicycle. But one day the mail man surprises Millie with a package of her own. Will Millie still scare the mail man or could they be friends? Read this great picture book with colorful funny illustrations to find out! Make sure you check out the chickens!
Psst! by Adam Rex
Have you ever been to the zoo and had an animal ask a favor? Well believe it or not it did happen to a young girl. On her trip to the zoo all the animals needed things like tires, paint and even a bicycle helmet! What could they need it for? To find out you’ll have to take a look at “Psst!” by Adam Rex.
Before You Were Mine by Maribeth Boelts
Illustrated by David Walker
Have you ever seen the animals at an animal shelter as they wait for new homes? Did you get your dog or cat from a shelter? Have you ever wondered what his life was like before he came to your home? In this book a young boy wonders where his dog came from and how he came to be his. He thinks of all the places he could have been and the things that could have happened before he adopted him. As he wonders he also realizes how lucky he is that they did find one another. Readers of all ages will love this touching tale about the relationship between a child and their adopted pet.
The Wizard by Jack Prelutsky
Illustrated by Brandon Dorman
Beautiful language from Children’s Poet Laureate Jack Prelutsky matched perfectly with amazing art from Brandon Dorman allow a mystical outing into the world of wizardry for kids of all ages. Enchanting illustrations and magical poetry combine in an out of this world book not to be missed!