Review of Playful Pigs from A to Z

lobel_playful pigs

Playful Pigs from A to Z by Anita Lobel; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary     Knopf     40 pp. 7/15     978-0-553-50832-1     $16.99 Library ed. 978-0-553-50833-8     $19.99 e-book ed. 978-0-553-50834-5     $10.99 Twenty-six pigs wake up in their pen and decide to explore the countryside, running down the road and finding a field of “magical surprises”: […]

Review of The Skunk

barnett_skunk

The Skunk by Mac Barnett; illus. by Patrick McDonnell Primary     Roaring Brook     32 pp. 4/15     978-1-59643-966-5     $17.99 A skunk shows up on the narrator’s doorstep and begins to tail him. Try as he might, our narrator just can’t seem to shake the skunk — “When I sped up, the skunk sped up. When […]

Go the BEEP to sleep!

staniszewski_power down little robot

TREND DETECTED! Insomniac robots are rolling off the assembly line. Here they are blinking their way through bedtime in Todd Tarpley’s Beep! Beep! Go to Sleep! (Little, Brown, September 2015), illustrated by John Rocco. And here, one little robot takes its sweet time shutting off in Anna Staniszewski’s Power Down, Little Robot (Macmillan/Holt, March 2015), […]

Top 5 meta books to teach print concepts

We Are in a Book!

As a Pre-K teacher, one of the things I am focused on is helping children learn concepts of print. These concepts include that books are read from left to right and top to bottom (in English at least); the role of punctuation; that print has meaning; the relationship between print and speech; that books have […]

Ring, ring

dawnay_london calls

Maybe because it’s vacation season, or because London is always calling me, but this inviting little book appealed to me as soon as I saw it. In London Calls! (TATE, March 2015), two characters — Granny Rose and Pearl — lead the reader through a whirlwind visit to London: “Big Ben is chiming; it’s quarter […]

Review of Wait

portis_wait

Wait by Antoinette Portis; illus. by the author Preschool     Porter/Roaring Brook     32 pp. 7/15     978-1-59643-921-4     $16.99 A harried mother rushes her toddler son through the busy city streets, and he resists, stalling to look at everything they encounter. This fundamental tension plays out in a series of spreads illustrating the same refrain. She […]

Picture book problems

Mikemulligan

Just one more story about Miles–after deciphering the peculiar mysteries of the Thank-You Note, he wanted to hear a story, so for reasons of propinquity as much as anything else (Richard handed a copy to me lazing on the couch), I started in on Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. Elizabeth Bluemle at ShelfTalker has […]

Using technology to mix up read-alouds

storylinewebsite

At a recent literacy conference, I was introduced to an online resource called Storyline Online. Created by the Screen Actors Guild Foundation, Storyline Online provides animated videos of picture books that are read by actresses, actors, and other well-known individuals. In addition to the videos, there are also activity guides to accompany each book, which […]

Five questions for Antoinette Portis

AntoinettePortis

Antoinette Portis won a Geisel Honor in 2007 for her picture book Not a Box (Harper, 3–6 years), a celebration of child’s imaginative vision over the skepticism that tends to creep in later in life. Her latest picture book Wait (Roaring Brook/Porter, 3–6 years) likewise encourages children — and their parents — to stop and […]

Summertime…

idle_sea rex

…and the livin’ is easy. There’s no better time to dive into picture books, especially books about summer adventures. Grab a towel (and some sunscreen), pack a lunch, and soak up three new stories about memorable trips to the beach and one book about everyone’s favorite hot-weather treat. A companion to Tea Rex and Camp […]