Sharing and Celebrating Picture Books Since 2009

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I’m excited to welcome fellow Ripple Grove Press author Wendy BooydeGraaff to Frog on a Blog! Wendy’s debut picture book Salad Pie, which is illustrated by Bryan Langdo, officially releases March 1, but is available for pre-order now! I’ve ordered mine and cannot wait to read it! 

I have a special affinity for Ripple Grove Press authors and illustrators and plan to make interviews with these talented people a regular feature here on The Frog. Please enjoy learning more about Wendy BooydeGraaff!

Interview Alert: Wendy BooydeGraaff

 
1. What inspired you to write your debut picture book Salad Pie?
Salad Pie was inspired by my oldest daughter, playing at the park. That’s where she said those words, “salad” and “pie” together, and I thought they sounded so unique and creative that I repeated them over and over on our walk home so I wouldn’t forget. Then she went for a nap and I started scribbling out a story. She gave me the title and the setting (thank you M!); I supplied the storyline.

2. How did you hear about Ripple Grove Press and why did you decide to submit to them?
Way in the back of SCBWI’s The Bulletin, there was a note in the publisher’s corner about Ripple Grove Press. They were about to launch their first list, so there wasn’t a lot of information about them. I like to do a lot of research before I submit, but I took a deep breath and risked it. After all, they were SCBWI members. I liked their mission statement at the time, which was something about creating the new classic picture books. Now their statement is to create books that are “fun, imaginative, and timeless”—perfect.

 
3. How long had you been writing with the intent to get published before you received your first contract?
I’ve been writing since I finished college, always with the hope to be published someday.

Box of Salad Pie

Box of Salad Pie

4. What’s the first thing you did after you received your box of author copies?
When the box of Salad Pie copies arrived on my doorstep, I waited for about an hour until my kids got home from school and we opened it together. Then we sat on the floor and everyone read a copy. I might’ve had some champagne. I left the books in a high traffic area where I could give them a little pat every time I passed by, and finally, I stacked them on a bookshelf where I can see the pile shrink as I host giveaways and send out review copies.

stack o' Salad Pie

Stack o’ Salad Pie

5. What do you like best about the picture book genre?
Picture books are often read aloud, so there’s this wonderful interaction between reader and audience. The format itself is a sort of conversation: the words inform the illustrations and then the illustrations inform the words in this nice, complicated circle of meaning so that once it’s done, a picture book can’t be separated into words vs. pictures anymore. A picture book IS its words and pictures, together. I love that.

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Wendy’s signed Newbery

6. What’s your favorite picture book from childhood? What’s your favorite recent picture book?As a kid, I loved Marvin K. Mooney, Will You Please Go Now by Dr. Seuss and The Nose Book by Al Perkins and illustrated by Roy McKie. I loved Marvin’s stubbornness, but I couldn’t understand why he chose to walk when all of those great modes of transportation were available. And I spent a long time supposing I had no nose, like The Nose Book suggests.

My favorite picture books now are The Dark by Lemony Snickett and illustrated by Jon Klassen, A Nation’s Hope by Matt de la Peña and illustrated by Kadir Nelson, and of course Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña and illustrated by Christian Robinson, which won the Newbery and a Caldecott Honor this year. Can I list more? Because I also love Pool by JiHyeon Lee, The Tea Party in the Woods by Akiko Miyakoshi, Nerdy Birdy by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Matt Davies, and Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev and illustrated by Taeeun Yoo. Ooh, I almost forgot Bug in a Vacuum by Mélanie Watt. All of them have stellar illustrations and the perfect words (except Pool, which is wordless, but it’s perfectly wordless).

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The Nose Book

7. Where can fans connect with you online?
Visit me at wendybooydegraaff.com where I have a contact form or you can ask a question that I’ll answer on the site. You can also find me on Pinterest and Goodreads (There’s a giveaway running until February 16).

Maggie and Herbert on Monroe Center (GR, Mich)

Maggie and Herbert on Monroe Center

8. Is there anything else you’d like to share with Frog on a Blog readers?
• There are lots of great new authors and illustrators debuting in 2016. Find out about all of us at On the Scene in 2016, a picture book debut blog.
• Ripple Grove Press makes beautiful books. Check out their catalog here.
Thank you, Lauri. You’re a great host!
~Wendy

Thank you, Wendy, for joining us on Frog on a Blog! It was so great getting to know you better! We wish you much success with Salad Pie! :)

PB at the library 2

I catalog hundreds of new picture books each year, and I read as many of them as I can. Unfortunately, I can’t review them all, but I can share them. Below are a few recent titles. Summaries have been taken directly from the books whenever possible. Rating System: If I enjoyed just the story, or just the art, I’ve given the book a :) . If I liked both, the book gets two :) :) . If I absolutely loved the book, I’ve given it three :) :) :) . Don’t let my ratings keep you from reading a title just because I didn’t give it a smile. You may absolutely love it.

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:) :) A girl and her father go for a walk, experiencing all the sights, sounds, smells, and feels of the woods.

Lenny, the class reporter, follows Elsie for a school project and learns about her life with her two moms.

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:) When a worm meets a special worm and they fall in love, you know what happens next. They get married!

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:) :) Two cockatoos meet two more cockatoos in tutus and two tutued toucans. And then two more! Can they all can-can? They can! 

:) Find the cow who jumped over the moon. Find Little Bo Peep’s lost sheep. Find the Owl and the Pussycat. Find all your favorite nursery rhyme characters hiding in this book.

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:) Two friends, a bear and a bunny, decide they’d like to have a pet, but a pinecone and a caterpillar just won’t do.

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:) The orphan boy Bruce Wayne conquers his fear of the dark, making it possible for him to grow up and become the crime-fighting hero Batman.

 

In this annual post, I share my thoughts on the Caldecott medal winner and honor books.

If you are as intrigued by the selection process as I am, you may be interested in the following link that I originally posted back in 2011:

http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/caldecottmedal/caldecottcomm/caldecottcommittee.cfm.

Everything you ever wanted to know and more about the Caldecott medal and the awards process can be found there at the American Library Association’s extremely comprehensive site.

Winner of the Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children:

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  • Opening line: “Could you tell me a story?” asked Cole.
  • This story within a story tells the true tale of the real bear who inspired A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh. Period photographs are waiting to be discovered in an “album” at the back of the book. Especially interesting is a diary entry that states: “Bought bear $20.”, recorded on August 24, 1914.
  • The book is a combination of three different times in history: The start of WWI in 1914, Christopher Robin’s friendship with Winnie at the London Zoo in 1925, and present day. I like how the story comes full circle in two ways. At the beginning, we have Cole asking his mother to tell him a story about a bear. And the book ends with Cole and his mother. Also, we discover that Cole was named for his great-great grandfather Captain Harry Colebourn, the young soldier who rescued Winnie from a trapper on a train platform so many years before.
  • The Chinese ink and watercolor illustrations, a mix of vivid and muted tones, bring the story to life, especially the early 1900’s. 
  • Final word: Fascinating.

Four Caldecott Honor Books were also chosen:

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  • Opening lines: Where y’at? Where y’at? We have our own way of living down here in New Orleans, and our own way of talking, too. And that’s what we like to say when we want to tell a friend hello.
  • This autobiographical picture book is overflowing with charisma. It’s written by Grammy-nominated multi-instrumentalist Troy Andrews, Trombone Shorty himself. It’s all about his life as a young boy, growing up surrounded by music in New Orleans, and it’s about how music permeated deep into his soul.
  • I adore the photographs in the back of the book of Troy as a little boy playing the trombone, which was bigger than he was.
  • The pen and ink, watercolor, and collage illustrations are extraordinary–full of vibrancy and life. It’s easy to see why this book was chosen for a Caldecott honor.
  • Final word: Uplifting.

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  • Opening lines: CJ pushed through the church doors, skipped down the steps. The outside air smelled like freedom, but it also smelled like rain, which freckled CJ’s shirt and dripped down his nose.
  • This is a beautiful story about a boy and his grandmother. The boy is full of questions and his grandmother always has the right answers. She helps him to see the beauty in what surrounds him and appreciate all that he has. There’s a lesson for children here, but it’s so very subtle.
  • The illustrations, done in acrylic and collage, are bright and dynamic.
  • Final word: Lovely.

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  • Opening line: (Sunflower County, Mississippi) Minister Malcolm X once called me the country’s number one freedom-fighting woman.
  • This emotional biography is all about the life of Fannie Lou Hamer, the youngest of twenty children born to sharecroppers in the Mississippi Delta in 1917. She would grow up to be a hero of the civil rights movement. 
  • The story is told in first person, which allows the reader to be carried along with Fannie and experience her joys and hardships. The subject matter is serious and doesn’t leave out the harsh realities of life for African American citizens from the 1920’s to the 1970’s. Fannie’s story is in many ways heartbreaking, but it’s also inspiring because we see Fannie pick herself up time and again and continue to fight for what she believes in. 
  • The collage illustrations are powerful–stirring up the emotions invoked by the text. They’re the perfect complement.
  • Final word: Inspiring.

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  • Opening lines: There were five of them. And they were waiting…
  • Children will love the concept here: Five figurines standing on a window sill, waiting patiently for something special. Most people have a few figurines in their homes. Children often collect them, and play with them. When I was a kid, I collected owls and deer. What child wouldn’t love it if their miniature figures came to life?
  • Kevin Henkes use of the window as a frame for many of the scenes is ingenious. He has created an ever-changing backdrop for the little characters.
  • The book is colorful, yet soft. The illustrations were rendered in brown ink, watercolor, and colored pencil, and are lively, fun, and sweet.
  • Final word: Whimsical.

 

Reader's Theater

Image by Scott Mosher

The DeWitt Community Library offers a Digital Reader’s Theater program for kids. It’s run by Paralibrarian Scott Mosher who does everything from choosing the script, working with the kids, recording the performance, and editing the recording.

If you were to google “reader’s theater”, you would get tons of results. It’s popping up all over. Teacher’s are using it as a tool in their classrooms to help their students develop fluency in reading and reading comprehension and to get them excited about reading. There are tons of free scripts available online as well. 

Reader’s Theater is not the same thing as putting on a play. There’s no stage. There are no costumes or props. There’s no memorization involved. It’s all about reading. A script is divided up into parts and each student is assigned one or more parts to read/perform. As the kids become more comfortable reading together, they also learn to use inflection, varying their tone, accent, emphasis, etc.

Not all Reader’s Theater programs are digital, like the one at my library. Scott has added the extra element of recording the kids as they read. And the kids love speaking into the microphone. After he edits and polishes up the performance, and even adds a few sound effects, he posts the recording to the library’s SoundCloud page

I was pleasantly surprised when Scott asked me about adapting my picture book The Peddler’s Bed into a Reader’s Theater script. I loved the idea! I typed up a first draft and then we worked together to mold it into a finished, kid-friendly script.  

He and the kids recorded the story on December 19, along with The Polar Express. I happened to be working at the library that day and stopped in to chat with the kids a bit. It was neat to see the set-up of the room. Scott and Emily (one of the children’s librarians) were at a table with the four young participants, each of whom had a microphone sitting on the table in front of them and a copy of the script. Scott had his recording equipment in front of him. It was a simple, but effective set-up. 

Scott completed the editing earlier this week, after asking me what style of background music I might like added. A couple of days later, it was done, and I couldn’t wait to  hear it. Now that I have, I want to share it with you. The kids did a fantastic job! Thanks kids! And a huge thanks to Scott for his expert recording and editing skills, and for including The Peddler’s Bed in one of his awesome Digital Reader’s Theater programs at the DeWitt Community Library!

LISTEN HERE

You will also find links to the Reader’s Theater script and the SoundCloud recording of The Peddler’s Bed on my Teacher’s Resources page along with other fun stuff.

 

PB at the library 2

I catalog hundreds of new picture books each year, and I read as many of them as I can. Unfortunately, I can’t review them all, but I can share them. Below are a few recent titles. Summaries have been taken directly from the books whenever possible. Rating System: If I enjoyed just the story, or just the art, I’ve given the book a :) . If I liked both, the book gets two :) :) . If I absolutely loved the book, I’ve given it three :) :) :) . Don’t let my ratings keep you from reading a title just because I didn’t give it a smile. You may absolutely love it.

Many of the following picture books were published the latter half of 2015, but my library has just recently acquired them.

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:) :) :) Two sisters look longingly through their window at the snowy sky. One goes out and sculpts a little rabbit, but when she brings it back inside to her wheelchair-bound sister, it begins to melt. So they take it outside and into the forest where enchanted things begin to happen.

A young girl tells readers all about her unique family, comparing them to animals-her mother is tall and beautiful like a giraffe, her father is hairy and fierce like a lion, etc.

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:) :) Rueben and Felix are best friends with one favorite activity-blowing bubbles, and the bigger, the better. But things start to go wrong after Rueben challenges Felix to a bubble-blowing contest and the two friends become each other’s competition.

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Once upon a time, high atop the world, there lived a boy named Billy Hightower and the wind.  When a new neighbor appears-a girl in a red hat-Billy Hightower can hardly wait to meet her and introduce himself. But the wind has other ideas.

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:) Rhyming text conveys the special moments that can be shared by just two people throughout the four seasons-playing in the snow, planting seeds, eating ice cream, carving pumpkins.

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:) :) Tired of being asked only about the weather, a sensitive groundhog decides to take a vacation right before the big day in February.

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:) Election season is here, and Monster is ready to vote! But why cast your ballot when you can run for president and take a stand on important issues.

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In rhyming text, Noni the pony and her friends, Dave Dog and Coco the cat, spend the day at the beach.

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:) One little bear shares his dreams for the future with his adoring parent.

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Angelina and the other mouselings at Miss Lilly’s Ballet School perform Cinderella on tour, battling homesickness and bad luck to ensure the show will go on.

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:) :) Groundhog wants to please all the animals, but half of them want spring to come quickly and the other half do not-and all of them think he controls the seasons.

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:) The rhyming text invites the reader to come along with a loved one and share the simple wonders of the world.

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:) :) When Love Monster receives a box of chocolates as a gift, he has second thoughts about sharing them with all of his friends.

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:) Each time Willy walks through a particular set of ordinary-looking doors, he’s thrust straight into an adventure.

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Hazel Nut wants to sing and dance, but Mama, Papa, and Wally Nut are too busy, so Hazel calls in a special family member to get everyone moving.

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The words in this book are playing hide-n-seek and only you can find them!

 

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The picture books that have been checked out most frequently in 2015 from the DeWitt Community Library are an interesting mix of new and not-so-new titles. The Maisy books continue to be a popular choice, appearing 4 times in this list. Pigeon made the list, as did Pete the Cat and Spider-Man. Also on the list, my personal favorite of the lot, The Bear Ate Your Sandwich, which is tied with The Day the Crayons Quit and Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs. Not far behind is The Book With No Pictures.

The top book, Maisy Goes Camping, circulated 19 times. That may not sound like much, but when you consider that each book may be checked out for up to 3 weeks (21 days), that 19 times means it was constantly checked out. Interesting, Huh?

How many titles from the list below have you read?

Circulated 19 Times:

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Circulated 18 Times:

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Circulated 16 Times:

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Circulated 15 Times:

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Circulated 14 Times:

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Circulated 13 Times:

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Final Final Cover

My picture book The Peddler’s Bed is centered around a bed, but I never considered it a bedtime story. It could certainly be read at bedtime, but it wasn’t written with that in mind. When I think of bedtime stories, I think of books like Goodnight Moon or other soft, lyrical, lulling stories. I think I’m both right and wrong about that.

Wikipedia defines a bedtime story as a “traditional form of storytelling, where a story is told to a child at bedtime to prepare the child for sleep.” Most any picture book could be deemed a bedtime story under that definition. If you read your child a book before bedtime, any book, then you are reading a bedtime story. And that’s great! I believe reading to or with your child at bedtime strengthens the bond between you.

There are many picture books about nightime and/or going to sleep, but very few are focused on an actual bed. So for this post, I thought I’d share two recent titles I came across that, like The Peddler’s Bed, are all about the bed (and a few other characters).

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In Simon’s New Bed, Simon the dog is overjoyed to get a new bed, but when he returns from going for a walk with his best friend, the boy, ready to take a nap, he discovers Miss Adora Belle the cat asleep in his brand new bed. He tries everything to get her to move. He howls. He barks. He drags the bed all over the house. He even begs. Nothing works. Finally, he has the answer. He asks if they can share. That’s just what they do. And the two nap happily together.   

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The bed in The Pirate’s Bed is a true character, a living, breathing character with emotions and longings. When a terrible storm destroys the pirates’ ship, the bed is lost at sea. It drifts along contentedly at first, glad to be away from the smelly, snoring pirate. But after awhile, despite the birds that would come to perch on it and the playful dolphins that swam around it, the bed felt lonely. Then one day, it washed ashore. It was discovered, fixed, and sold, and finally found happiness in the home of a boy who dreamed of pirates.

If you know any other picture books that feature beds, or if you’d like to weigh in on what you consider a bedtime story, please leave a comment.

For more information about my book The Peddler’s Bed, click here. How does my book compare to the two titles above? I think you will find all three to be very different.

PB at the Library Roundup

This end-of-year roundup introduces all of the picture books I didn’t get a chance to share over the past year. They were all published this year and are available at my library; perhaps they’re available at yours as well. As you scroll through this long list, my hope is that you will find a few gems that you have not yet read. I’ll see you in the new year with the next post featuring the latest picture books At The Library. Wishing you all a happy, healthy, and successful New Year! :)

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A boy awakes with the dawn and expresses gratitude for this unique day.

Six little ninjas from Dojo Daycare are going on a field trip to the farm.

An illustrated, interactive story with a narrator who invites the reader to meet a vast array of pet monsters, such as the Yucky Mucky twins, and choose one to take home.

:) An owl, puppy, bear, rabbit, and pig wait for marvelous things to happen.

:) A humorous picture book about a dog’s new bed being taken over by a cat.

Penguin embarks on his next journey–becoming the first penguin to explore the North Pole!

Deep in the wild winter wood…An extraordinary alliance forms. Together, wolf pack and “wolf-birds” will stalk, chase, hunt, and feast–all to keep starvation at bay.

Llama Llama is packing his pajamas, getting in the car with Mama Llama, and looking forward to visiting Gram and Grandpa. It’s Llama Llama’s first overnight!

Illustrations and simple, rhyming text reveal a parent’s musings about what a child will become, knowing that the child’s kindness, cleverness, and boldness will shine through no matter what , as will the love they share.

Rollicking text and delicious illustrations present an irresistible picture of how wonderful it is to be exactly who you are.

:) When a squirrel uses his red hat to mark the spot where he buried an acorn, he sets off a chain of events involving other creatures, each of which finds an unusual use for the chapeau.

:) Phillip and Brock are best friends, although everyone else thinks Brock is imaginary, so when Phillip gets tired out at the Big Fair while Brock is still having fun, they are separated and it will take a very special twosome to bring them back together again.

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:) When Ben goes away he tells Grampa exactly how to look after Buster. But has Ben remembered the most important thing?

When an entertainer dressed as a big cuddly bear arrives at Billy’s birthday party, Billy and his friends are delighted!

A fifteen-year-old soldier in World War II meets a sweet young girl in the Philippines who helps him remember what he is fighting for as he helps her and others of her village avoid starvation, and many years later she returns his kindness.

:) Being a farm dog is a tough job, but luckily, Ragweed’s handbook will tell you everything you need to know!

During the day, Shark lived a lonely life in the big city…but at night, he dreamed of being a detective.

In farmyards, jungles, and oceans, almost every animal has something to say! Roosters cock-a-doodle-do. Can you cock-a-doodle, too? Here’s a book that invites kids to make some noise.

:) Antonio lived deep in the woods on the edge of a lake in a hotel that his mother ran.

Lulu is excited to play with the toy that her best friend Finny brings over, but when the toy loses a wheel and fixing it becomes a game in itself, Lulu realizes that it’s even better to play with Finny.

:) Whenever a birdie swooped by, Elwood hollered, “Come back, Birdie! Be my friend!” But no birdie ever came back…

:) What could be more perfect than a brand new set of crayons? Evan can’t wait to use them, until Snap, the brown one breaks in two.

Gilbert is a sweet, gentle ghost who doesn’t like to scare anyone.

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Lailah is delighted that she can fast during the month of Ramadan like her family and her friends in Abu Dhabi, but finding a way to explain to her teacher and classmates in Atlanta is a challenge until she gets some good advice from the librarian, Mrs. Carman.

:) It’s time for bed, but these rowdy robots will find any excuse not to go to sleep!

All the animals are hungry! Will you give them something to eat? Just turn the pages and feed them, one by one.

Seaver is an orb spider with a sky full of inspiration. His siblings prefer traditional round webs and aren’t afraid to let him know. But Seaver doesn’t mind! He loves his new shapes and isn’t afraid to stand out.

Having his head in the clouds can cause trouble, but when the boy’s daydreams are finally set free, they grow and grow and grow…

:) Archie the Daredevil Penguin is hiding a dark secret: he’s afraid of the water and the creatures who lurk in the briny deep!

Sam is finally old enough to help his parents harvest cranberries on their family farm, from flooding the field to preparing the vines for the picking machine to delivering the fruit to the receiving station.

Jackrabbit McCabe’s unusually long legs have made him the fastest thing around, and he uses his speed for everything from racing against horses to fetching the doctor, but when the electric telegraph arrives in Windy Flats, Jackrabbit may have met his match.

You might not know this, but some monsters are scared of kids. However, other monsters are not. In fact, these monsters would love to have a kid as a friend. But sometimes making friends isn’t easy…

:) This boy’s older brother isn’t satisfied with having just one monster in the house. What else will his brother bring home before his parents find out?

Illustrations and simple text suggest ways to see the positive side of difficulties, from losing one’s balloon to being left with a new babysitter.

:) Sophie is happy and proud when she paints a beautiful picture of her favorite tree. But when other children make fun of her and tell her the picture is wrong, Sophie feels embarrassed and ashamed.

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How many mice are needed for a big adventure? Two mice! You can go with them–it’s as easy as one two three!

Felix has a new best friend! With intrepid Fiona, all things seem possible–hand in hand, the two head for first prize at the Guinea Pig Jubilee talent show!

Julia and Charles can’t wait to enter Rexie in the Happy Tails Best of Breed Dog Show.

When Steve, who was raised by wolves, goes to school for the first time, he must find a balance between getting along with others and being himself.

:) A picture book about a nerdy birdy who just wants to hang out with the cool birds.

This zombie doesn’t want to eat your brains–he wants to eat your books! Will the school library be devoured, or will the children discover something the zombie likes to do with books even more than eating them?

Cave boy Orq and his woolly mammoth friend Woma are continuously bullied by big, mean Dorq and his animal companion Caba.

:) Follows a fire engine and its crew through a very busy day, using mainly sound words.

When a lizard hatches from the egg Leonard finds in the park, he names it Buster and takes it all around the city, but Buster grows bigger and bigger until Leonard realizes he must devise a way to return his pet to the deepest, darkest part of the park and set him free.

While Little Girl is away on winter vacation, her toys, Lumphy, StingRay, and Plastic, decide to go outside and learn more about snow.

:) With a crown on his head, Louis the Sheep knows just what kind of king he would be; regal, erudite, and all powerful.

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:) One morning, Little Hedgehog wakes up to find everything covered in deep snow. Worried about his friend Mouse, he sets off to check on her, but the snow keeps falling–and soon, it’s Little Hedgehog who needs a helping hand.

Loula’s dog, Mister, is clumsy, messy and constantly getting into trouble. What if her mother sends Mister away? It’s time to teach Mister some good manners!

Little Coco lives in a strict orphanage. She has to work very hard. But she also learns to sew and embroider like an angel.

:) Emma’s little brother Henry is a good kid–but when his day has been too busy and too full, Henry can become a hurricane! Emma wishes that she could teach Henry to be still.

:) In the land of lines, anything is possible: the connection between a boy and a girl from different worlds, the potential for self-discovery, and the vanquishing of a monster.

:) Spread through several ultra-short stories, a king learns that his power has limits; the world is diverse and much of it operates under its own rules.

Nino has a wonderful time playing with his imaginary dog until he gets a real one, and although the new dog does not always behave as he expects, Nino is still content.

:) Katie McGinty wants a pet more than anything in the world! But Katie doesn’t want a cat, or a dog, or a hamster. She wants a pet that’s a little more unusual.

:) Raised in harsh circumstances and languishing in a dim kennel, this is a lonely dog whose only wish is for freedom and friendship.

Hassan, grandson of tomb robbers, joins the dig of King Tut’s tomb, but must show honesty to continue working.

Bob McGrew is the head keeper at the zoo, and he loves his job–except when he has to clean up the poo!

Otto goes to a costume party wearing a BIG costume. Will he finally learn that sometimes, more can be too much?

Lenny loves his grandpa, King Lion. So when the king starts getting muddled and forgetful, Lenny gets worried.

Everyone knows that the little kids’ table is the place to be for any holiday or family gathering. This silly, rhyming story follows a group of rambunctious cousins from table setting to dessert.

The fun-loving pirates on board the Leaky Parrot love to wear pajamas!

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All her life, Beatrix Potter loved art. She painted the bunnies, mice, and other pets that populated her family’s home. These creatures became the characters of her stories.

Mike has to answer lots of questions about being mixed. And he does, with lots of energy and joy.

Like all dogs, Bob likes breakfast, takes rides in the family car and digs for bones. He’s just like any other dog–except for a few quirks.

Winter is coming and Bear can’t sleep. Oh how he rumbles…and grumbles…and growls…and howls! But Patch the Hare isn’t scared of any old bear, and soon, he has a wonderful idea!

:) The baby arrives, and the new big brother and his dragon dedicate themselves to entertaining the little guy. But when the older sister says there’s no such thing as a dragon, frustration mounts and mischief ensues.

Orion is afraid of an awful lot of stuff, but there’s one thing that really makes his knees wobble and his tummy twist: The Dark.

Every Thursday, as a break from mowing Big Island, McToad and his tractor make their way to Tiny Island, using various modes of transportation and types of machinery to get there and back.

:) Although Squirrel’s friends warn him that bears eat squirrels, and Bear’s friends remind him that squirrels make a good midnight snack, their friendship remains strong.

:) When a little girl receives a curious book filled only with pictures, a whisper urges her to create the words she cannot see.

Jack and Ella are thrilled to take a friendly lion as their pet, but when Leopold the Lion grows chubby an despondent, they must seek a way to make him healthy again.

Moshe Cotel was a composer who lived in a noisy building on a noisy street in a noisy city. One day, while out for a walk, he heard something he’d never heard on the street before. It was a tiny kitten!

Every morning Bear wakes up with a song in his head, but one day he realizes the song needs something more and sets out to find what is missing, gathering a band of animal musicians along the way.

When the ice is full of cuts and ruts, only one machine has the guts to clean it up. But can this slow-movin’ ice fixer smooth the grooves before the next period?

From playing games to eating dinner and reading their favorite bedtime story, this little girl and her cat do everything together.

At Mouse’s house, Elliot the elephant finds more than a friend–he finds a family.

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Jumper is missing, and his mouse friends look for him inside the cave and outside, up among the branches and down into mole’s tunnel, but still they cannot find him.

One very snowy Sunday, snowflakes as big as balls of wool are falling on Bonnie Bumble’s farm. The cow, the duck, the hens, and even Spot the dog are all shivery and cold.

Max and Marla are best friends. And aspiring Olympians! With their eyes on the prize, they know exactly what it’ll take to reach sledding success: preparation, practice and perseverance.

It’s time for Grizzle Grump to hibernate, and he can’t wait to catch some ZZZs. But what’s all that noise? Will he ever find the perfect place for his long winter nap?

On the Mighty Mountain Road Crew, the trucks come in one size: BIG. That is, until the little snowplow joins the crew.

Many of the orphans, like Mutanu, don’t know what day they were born and have never celebrated a birthday. So every year, the orphanage honors its newest arrivals by creating a birthday day especially for them.

When Mel the rooster gets tired of his boring old cock-a-doodle-doo he decides to shake things up with something brand new–the cock-a-doodle-doo-bop! But not everyone on the barnyard is a fan of the new tune.

There’s a surprise in store for one little boy and his granddad on their extraordinary snow day.

Princess Sophie can’t sleep, and it’s all because there’s a big grumpy giant stomping around above her all night. So she does what any brave princess would, and climbs to the top of the bean stalk to see if she can help.

The Sea Tiger is Oscar’s best friend–Oscar’s only friend.

There’s something strange, something funny and even downright preposterous on every page of this book. But it’s not a mistake–it’s nonsense!

A finch woke up in the dark and the quiet. He had a thought, and he heard it. I am Henry Finch, he thought, I think I could be great.

The sun crosses city and countryside, wakes furry creatures, makes a desert rainbow, and barges into Coco’s room to follow her through a day of play.

You think you know the story of Cinderella? Did you know that she really has three stepsisters, and that Cinderella herself isn’t actually that nice?

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Cat goes out, and comes back with a lot of new things.

It’s pizza night at Charlie’s house…With 6 pizza eaters, 3 sizes of pizza on the delivery menu, and 2 slices for everybody, there’s bound to be at least 1 mystery!

Owen loves soccer, but isn’t the best at playing it. After a particularly disastrous day on the field, Owen is benched. He is feeling so low hat he doesn’t notice the ball rolling away from him until it’s too late. In his effort to get it back, he discovers that he has more skills than he realizes.

:) In the icy cold heart of winter, a little bear wanders through the snow, searching for a place to call home.

A boy and his father take a walk together to a place where they can see the universe.

In rhyming text the reader is introduced to all the different kinds of boats floating on rivers, lakes, oceans, and ponds.

:) Wisteria Jane knows she should always tell the truth, but should she say everything that pops into her head?

When it begins to bug slug that his mommy doesn’t hug him, the other animals come up with various ideas to make him more attractive.

As a young girl practices various standard yoga poses, she imagines herself as a tree touching the sky, a playful dog, a warrior, and more while relaxing and seeing how she fits into the world.

:) A lonely crow tries to make a friend from sticks and leaves, then from snow, before forming a friendship that will last.

:) It’s been a long day, and the little hedgehog has finally gone to bed with his teddy and his bunny. But someone keeps turning on the light!

Mini finds a dog in the park wearing shoes but no collar and begs to keep him, but soon she realizes that whoever put the shoes on him loves the dog, as well.

:) When Frog decides he doesn’t want to sit on a log, Cat takes it upon himself to educate Frog on the proper places for each animal to sit. (Finley, my froggy co-host, says he can relate to this one.)

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Tapir and Little Tapir are the quietest creatures in a very noisy jungle, but when a leopard is threatened by a hunter they teach him how to move with a very soft step, and the other animals follow suit.

When Grandmother Lola runs out of sardines one day, she can’t bear to think of Grandfather Lolo going hungry. She decides to go fishing–with unexpected results!

:) A sweetly poetic tribute to the interconnectedness of creatures and the natural world as well as humans and our loving relationships with one another.

Three children find a mysterious creature snoring away in a tree in their backyard. The children use books-and their own wild imaginations-to find some answers.

Join Nipper, an energetic little dog, and his beloved Charlotta Drayton as they travel from Charleston’s Battery to historic Drayton Hall and spend a spring day in 1916.

Two hungry penguins chase a clever fish. Will the penguins have fish for dinner tonight or will it be seaweed again?

The Beast and all the villagers have been robbed! Without tools, they can’t have their snow festival. Can The Beast catch the thief?

When Mr. and Mrs. Mo are too busy painting the house to play with him, the monster sets off to see the world by himself, or so he thinks.

Two chimney swifts build their nest in a chimney while the family below in the house prepares for a new baby.

Pig loves books, both big and small, and reads them at school, at home, and on the bus.

A young giraffe is excited when the egg in his tree hatches, but soon he and the baby bird are bickering constantly. When a scary lion forces them to work together, they find a surprising solution.

:) A little boy is determined to prove that he is a dragon in this story about friendship and fitting in.

:) A baby lion wants to play, but all the big lions just want to sleep and the other animals are afraid of him. Who will play with baby lion by the light of the moon?

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:) For one restless pup, the waking world is too full of wonder to leave behind at bedtime, until he closes his eyes and finds comfort in his dreams.

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Illustrations and simple, rhyming text describe a year in the lives of bears as they journey through the seasons and raise their young.

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Little Red is an excellent ice skater, but she will need a good partner for the skating pairs competition and the only one available is a certain Wolf, who needs new skates as badly as Little Red does.

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In 1914, Harry Colebourn, a veterinarian on his way to tend horses in World War I, followed his heart and rescued a baby bear. He named her Winnie.

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Neighbors William, Annie, and Thomas are all at their houses, each waiting for something very different and special.

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One cold day, Thomas builds a cave of pillows and blankets where he can read, but when he goes to get a flashlight, a young bear goes inside and nothing Thomas does discourages the bear from being near him.

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Photographs and simple text reveal the mischief toy dinosaurs get into all night long, from knocking over potted plants to painting on walls.

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Henry’s beloved toy rabbit, Raspberry, goes missing, and Grandpa guides Henry to use his imagination to find his friend.

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The Green Lizards and the Red Rectangles were at war. Eventually, they realized enough is enough. They stopped fighting and by working together, they found a way to live peacefully.

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Illustrations and brief text relate how a person might feel when they lose someone they love.

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When big brother decides that a snowy winter day is perfect for a yeti hunt, his little brother comes along, asking questions about the mysterious creatures all along the way.

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Night after night, neighborhood monsters creep into Winifred Schnitzel’s room trying to scare her. But Winifred’s not afraid; she thinks monsters are cute!

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:) A boy is excluded from joining his friends’ pet club because of his unusual pet.

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Yetis love snow and all things winter, but sometimes they need a dose of summer as well.

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When the Little Tree sees the world around her narrowing,  she worries about what life will be like for her Little Seed.

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Playful puppy Flash doesn’t want to stay home–he wants to go on adventures with his favorite people.

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Told through a series of notes, two boys go on a hike hoping to find Yeti but run into trouble along the way.

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Bobby wants a shark for his birthday, so he is disappointed when his parents get him a puppy instead–but his puppy turns out to be a bit of a shark herself.

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Join dinosaur friends as they prepare for a journey into space.

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:) An admiring granddaughter hikes in all seasons with Grandma, the quintessential north woods girl.

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:) It is a lucky author who has a dog to greet her in the morning and help her with ideas, because everything is better with a dog–but a dog who has an author is also lucky.

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Once upon a time, a king and queen promised to marry their daughter to the young man who can show them the most wonderful thing in the world.

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:) Count to ten with fast and colorful race cars.

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In the 1930’s, Lewis’s dad, Lewis Michaux Sr., had an itch he needed to scratch–a book itch. He started a bookstore in Harlem and named it the National Memorial African Bookstore.

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As a father and daughter cope with a loss, they rediscover an important piece of family history and begin building a new life.

Nina has always been quick, sneaky, and very independent, a Ninja baby–but then her parents bring home a Kung Fu Master, and Nina has to reconsider her strategy.

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In my position as a technical processing assistant at the DeWitt Community Library, I catalog a lot of new picture books. Unfortunately, I cannot review them all, but I do try to read them all. Below are some I've cataloged recently. I have assigned a :) to my favorites. (Whenever possible, summaries have been taken directly from the books.)

In my position as a technical processing assistant at the DeWitt Community Library, I catalog a lot of new picture books. Unfortunately, I cannot review them all, but I do try to read them all. Below are some I’ve cataloged recently. I have assigned a :) to my favorites. (Whenever possible, summaries have been taken directly from the books.)

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This is the story of a story that starts over the same way, every day–except when it rains. On rainy days, it is up to you to bring this fairytale forest to life…

:) Arriving at a farm with sore paws and an empty stomach, a dog tries to convince the farmer that he could be just as valuable as a cow, a horse, or a chicken.

Poppy J. Thistleberry decides she wants to be a writer, but she is struggling to come up with material for her class writing assignments–and annoyed that her best friend, Lavender, keeps getting picked to read her paper.

When Ice’s mother tells her that they’re going to move to an exciting new place, Ice isn’t so sure. She likes her home and her friends, and the fun they have together.

A little girl relates how she deals with all the things that scare her.

A sudden gust of wind takes the Queen’s favorite hat and blows it all over London, as the Queen’s men give chase.

:) A young girl visits an arboretum in the autumn to collect fallen leaves. She identifies various trees by the shapes of their leaves and pastes her collection into her own leaf book.

Aviva isn’t happy with her unusual name until she hears wonderful things about her great-grandmother, after whom she was named.

A girl reluctantly goes to the ocean with her family and discovers just how much she loves it.

Living high up in the rainforest canopy, sloths never, ever go down to the ground…except when they have to “go”. And Kyle has to go.

Inspired by the real-life childhood of Oscar Peterson, this is a tale of a little boy who is forced to give up an instrument he loves–and who finds his way back to a passion for music that would last a lifetime.

In my position as a technical processing assistant at the DeWitt Community Library, I catalog a lot of new picture books. Unfortunately, I cannot review them all, but I do try to read them all. Below are a few I've cataloged recently. I have assigned a :) to my favorites. (Whenever possible, summaries have been taken directly from the books.)

In my position as a technical processing assistant at the DeWitt Community Library, I catalog a lot of new picture books. Unfortunately, I cannot review them all, but I do try to read them all. Below are a few I’ve cataloged recently. I have assigned a :) to my favorites. (Whenever possible, summaries have been taken directly from the books.)

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A little pirate stages a mutiny to avoid bedtime.

In simple rhyming text, tells the story of a family’s day at their beach house by the sea.

In this mischievous, wordless picture book, join Walrus and Penguin on their breezy escapade in the big city as they find fun wherever they go.

A child provides insights, based on personal experience, into everything that can go wrong if one brings an alligator to school for show-and-tell.

:) Mia’s “far-away” grandmother leaves behind her sunny house with parrots and palm trees to come live with Mia and her parents in the city.

Join a little painter as he finds all sorts of surprises in a plain white wall.

In this take-off on the familiar nursery rhyme, black sheep graciously offers bag after bag of wool to Miss.

:) Unlike the other zombies in Quirkville, Reginald would rather eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich than brains, but getting his hands on one–and keeping the other zombies’ hands off the girl who is carrying the sandwich–will not be easy.

When a package arrives from Grandma with a notebook for Tulip and a new leash for Rex, these two friends gallop to the park for a very special kind of walk–a word walk!

One golden morning, twenty-six pigs leave their pen, race along a country road, and find a field of letters, where they play all day until Zeke pig falls asleep on a Z and they wearily return home by moonlight.

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