Review of Hi, Koo!

muth_hi, koo

Hi, Koo!: A Year of Seasons by Jon J Muth; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Scholastic    32 pp. 3/14    978-0-545-16668-3    $17.99 Twenty-six haiku are presented by young panda Koo, whom fans of Muth’s Zen Ties will recognize as the haiku-spouting nephew of Stillwater, the Zen Buddhist panda from Zen Shorts and Zen Ghosts. Here, […]

Review of Emily’s Blue Period

daly_emily's blue period

Emily’s Blue Period by Cathleen Daly; illus. by Lisa Brown Primary    Porter/Roaring Brook    56 pp. 6/14    978-1-59643-469-1    $17.99 Young Emily is an artist — a fact thoroughly established, visually, from title page on. She draws and she paints; she pores over art books. In school, she is learning about Pablo Picasso, and his work and […]

Using picture books to teach satire

The Stinky Cheese Man

It is important to expose children to a variety of genres of literature at young age and to do our best to explain the conventions of that genre in developmentally appropriate ways. One of the genres of literature that might not get as much emphasis in standardized tests but is important to be able to […]

Science in your backyard

burns_handle with care

Outdoor play can double as an opportunity for learning about the natural world. These four nonfiction picture books may inspire readers to look more closely at the wildlife in their own neighborhoods. In Handle with Care: An Unusual Butterfly Journey, author Loree Griffin Burns explores the life cycle of butterflies alongside the work of a […]

Dog days of summer

stanton_monday, wednesday, and every other weekend

Dogs, cats, and…a sloth. These picture books showcase the comfort, companionship, aggravation, upheaval, and education that pets can bring into a family’s life. In Karen Stanton’s Monday, Wednesday, and Every Other Weekend, Henry and his dog Pomegranate live with Mama on Mondays, Wednesdays, and alternating weekends and with Papa the rest of the time. Rich, […]

Review of Jake at Gymnastics

isadora_jake at gymnastics

Jake at Gymnastics by Rachel Isadora; illus. by the author Preschool    Paulsen/Penguin    32 pp. 6/14    978-0-399-16048-6    $14.99    g As she did with Bea at Ballet (rev. 7/12), Isadora shows a group of roly-poly toddlers enjoying a beginning class, this time in gymnastics, with an Asian American boy as the focus. Teachers Dave and Toshi lead […]

Review of Thank You, Octopus

farrell_thank you octopus

Thank You, Octopus by Darren Farrell; illus. by the author Preschool    Dial    40 pp. 6/14    978-0-8037-3438-8    $16.99    g “Bedtime, ahoy,” Octopus declares. His young shipmate isn’t thrilled. “Aw pickles.” Doting Octopus knows that a warm bath, cozy jammies, and a favorite story can help make the end-of-the-day transition easier, and he’s all prepared — in […]

Review of All Different Now

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All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom by Angela Johnson; 
illus. by E. B. Lewis Primary    Simon    40 pp. 5/14    978-0-689-87376-8    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-0647-5    $10.99 Juneteenth — commemorating June 19th, 1865, the date slaves in Texas finally learned of their emancipation — is a day of celebration for many African Americans. In […]

To sleep, perchance to dream

zoboli_big book of slumber

A lyrical bedtime reverie; an open-only-at-night library run by a little librarian; a toddler’s pre-dawn escapades; and a kooky bedtime cruise: four new picture books help smooth the way from daytime activity to bedtime quiet. Simona Mulazzani’s lush folk art in cozy nighttime colors lends a magical, drowsy atmosphere to Giovanna Zoboli’s The Big Book […]

Review of Gaston

dipucchio_gaston

Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio; 
illus. by Christian Robinson Preschool, Primary    Atheneum    40 pp. 6/14    978-1-4424-5102-5    $16.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-4424-5103-2    $12.99 Bumptious Gaston looms over his elegant poodle sisters Fi-Fi, Foo-Foo, and Ooh-La-La; they’re “no bigger than teacups,” but he’s “the size of a teapot.” Like a good twenty-first-century parent, Mrs. Poodle praises her well-mannered […]