25/365 (Sharing Books)

Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt

Look what arrived today from Amazon!

Do you know Scaredy Squirrel? This is the brand-new, fifth book in the series, and it doesn't disappoint! Scaredy is a worrywart, so he plans for every possible scenario in potentially risky situations.  The books are filled with Scaredy's preparation diagrams, lists, tables, and graphs. It's really more for kids 1st grade and up; the humor will be lost on younger kids. And humorous it is! For instance, item F on Scaredy's to-do list is to "practice breathing (to blow up balloons/blow out candles)." Then among the items in his party planning folder is a line graph showing his breathing practice progress. Of course, things never go according to plan, but they always have a way of working out.

Melanie Watt writes other books, too. She has another series about Chester, a cat who wants to take over as author and illustrator of Melanie's books. Each of them tries to take the upper hand in the storytelling process, and Melanie always ends up putting Chester in his place.

I can't believe I haven't shared about Melanie Watt's books here before. Check them out - you're sure to love them!

Sharing Books: 'Yummy' & 'Cookies'

My friends Jennifer and Haley gave me a Barnes & Noble gift card for my b-day. They know how much I love kids' books! I held onto the card for about a month, scared to make that final decision on what to buy. My wish list is so long that it's hard to commit! Here's what I finally chose:

This one...

Yummy: Eight Favorite Fairy Tales by Lucy Cousins
Published 2009
Starred review from Booklist (excerpt): Lucy Cousins, best known for her Maisy picture books, presents eight familiar tales: “Little Red Riding Hood,” “The Three Billy Goats Gruff,” “The Enormous Turnip,” “Henny Penny,” “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” “The Little Red Hen,” “The Three Little Pigs,” and “The Musicians of Bremen.”... The writing is simple and direct, as befits these traditional tales. Illustrated in Cousins’ signature style, the bold, childlike pictures feature broad strokes of black paint defining the forms of characters and elements of the setting. 

 I bought this one last year for the library, and the young kids loved it. You'd be surprised how few nursery rhymes and fairy tales kids know now. I thought this would be a great selection for Kate as she grows up reading these traditional tales. And I love the pants the wolf is wearing. :)

And this one...

Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Published 2006
Starred review from Booklist (excerpt): Cookies provide the framework for this clever book, but the focus is really on the lessons to be learned about life. Designed as a dictionary of sorts, the book has an appealing design and delightful, endearing illustrations. Each spread features a word and a definition, which are further explained in an engaging picture. For instance, "Cooperate means, / How about you add the chips while I stir?"... Children and charmingly humanized animals mingle as they learn life lessons about everything from being open-minded to having regrets (too many cookies!). It all seems so real that young readers will want to jump into the pages and join the gang for milk and cookies.

As I've shared before, Amy Krouse Rosenthal is one of my fave authors. I love the simple, real-life explanations of each character trait. Since this book was published, more in the Cookies Lessons series have followed including themes of love, Christmas, and school. And right now, the 'love' one is on sale for $4.90 (hardcover!) at Amazon. I just added it to my cart. :)

Already thinking about what books to share next!

Happy Reading!

My Book Habit

When we were in Minnesota, one thing on my to-do list was to visit The Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul. When we visited two years ago, I happened across it just when author Kate DiCamillo was there (author of Because of Winn Dixie). I was able to meet her and get a couple of books inscribed to my class and autographed. To me, it was like meeting a celebrity! It was important to me to get back there.

Being in The Red Balloon to me is like being a kid in a candy store. It reminds me of the fictional "Shop Around the Corner" in the movie You've Got Mail. Because the store has many authors come for signings, they have many autographed books on their shelves. I probably shouldn't have asked the sales lady for help finding the autographed ones, because she started pulling books left and right and piling them all around me. Talk about pressure to purchase! It was OK, though, because we were on vacation, right? Here's what I walked out with:

Higgledy-Piggledy Chicks by Barbara Joose, illustrated by Rick Chrustowski (signed by the illustrator).
This is an author I like. In this picture book, baby chicks learn what safe and what's not on the farm.

Bedtime for Mommy by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by LeUyen Pham (not signed - this is just one I had to have).
AKR is an author I have mentioned on my blog before. Her ideas are fresh and funny to kids and adults alike. This one is another role-reversal story. A little girl puts her mommy to bed while Mommy stalls just as a child would.

One Pup's Up by Marsha Wilson Chall, illustrated by Henry Cole (signed by the author).
Marsha Chall is a Minnesota author, so I decided to go local with one of her books. It's as cute as can be! It's a rhyming counting book with text that sometimes is a tongue-twister. "4 pups drink. 5 puppies huddle. 6 puppies piddle in the middle of the muddle." It counts to ten puppies, then counts backwards. The circular ending will have kids begging you to reread it!

Julia Gillian (and the Art of Knowing) by Alison McGhee (chapter book signed by the author).
I haven't read this one, but it's one I bought for the library last year. It's well reviewed and the first in a new series.

Judy Moody Goes to College by Megan McDonald (chapter book signed by the author).
I read the first Judy Moody book, and along with the Stink books about Judy's brother, these are popular with the kids. Megan McDonald is a big name, so I decided to get this autographed copy.

Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer Holm (chapter book, not signed).
I had to get this one after reading several starred reviews and blog buzz. I liked Jennifer Holm's book Penny from Heaven, so I know I'll love this one too. It's historical fiction set in during the depression.

Countdown by Deborah Wiles (chapter book, not signed).
This is another book that I've read a ton of buzz for. It's already a favorite for the Newbery Award, which won't be given until January. It's another historical fiction book, but this one's set in the 60s during the Cuban Missile Crisis. It's got tons of period photographs in the book and text variation, so it looks interesting from first sight. Another book for my "next read" stack.

I'm so excited about these new additions to my book shelves. Normally I'd be itching to share these titles with kids, but now that I'm not in a school, I will share them with you! Happy reading!

Sharing Books: Little Pea, Little Hoot, and Little Oink

One of the most fun things about my job as an elementary school librarian is that I get to shop for books with someone else's money! This year I have spent over $10,000 on books suited for Kinder through 5th grades. The problem is, though, that I don't personally get to keep them. (Bummer, right?) So, I find myself buying a few favorites that I just can't pass up. Kate has to have them!

As I read reviews and keep current with what's new in children's literature, I want to share some of those great titles here for my mommy friends (or anyone else who loves a good kids' book).

Here is my latest acquisition:

The Little Pea, Little Hoot, and Little Oink boxed set of board books by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. (They also come in regular binding.)

Little Pea is the first book of the series. Little Pea doesn't want to eat his candy at suppertime. His parents promise he has to just eat 5 more pieces before he can have dessert. Sound familiar? It's such a clever premise that the author decided to do two more stories following the same format. Little Hoot is an owl who wants to go to bed early like his forest friends, and Little Oink is a pig who would much rather keep his room tidy than the pig-sty his parents demand. Be sure to check out other books by this author - you can't go wrong!