Monday, August 5, 2013

There's No Such Thing as a Dragon

I remember reading There's No Such Thing as a Dragon by Jack Kent when I was little, and it has become quite a favorite with my kids as well! What would you do if you woke up with a little dragon in your room one morning? And what if mother insisted that "there's no such thing as a dragon!" Billy Bixbee and his mother ignore the dragon (even as it eats his breakfast) because "if there's no such thing as something, you can't tell it to get off the table."

The dragon gets bigger and bigger, causing a whole series of problems for the family, until they can no longer pretend that the dragon doesn't exist. Find out if the Bixbee's reclaim their house, as well as what happens to the enormous dragon!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Extra Yarn

One of the five books nominated for the Blue Hen award in Delaware is Extra Yarn by Mac Burnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen (this is the one my daughter picked as her favorite of the five for her vote!). This book also won the Caldecott Award. Its a whimsical story about an ordinary girl in a plain town who discovers what appears to be your average box of yarn. But as Annabelle uses the yarn, it becomes quite clear that magical things are happening.

The landscape of her little town changes thanks to her knitting skills, and Annabelle even attracts the attention of a snobbish and wicked archduke. Find out what happens to Annabelle and her yarn by checking out this excellent book!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Zin! Zin! Zin! A violin

The musical quality of the writing and the rich illustrations make it so you can almost hear the orchestra as you read Zin! Zin! Zin! A violin. A Caldecott Award winner, this is our favorite book by Lloyd Moss, so much that I bought it since we always had it checked out from the library!

Each page takes the reader through a different instrument in the orchestra, adding to the ensemble to make a trio, quartet, etc.

"Here grumpy, get your place in line!" is a favorite line about the bassoon.

It's a wonderful book and a great introduction to music language, orchestra, and instruments. We also enjoy the episode of Reading Rainbow that features this book!

Monday, July 15, 2013


Don't write this book off as just another Cinderella story! This version of Cinderella by Max Eilenberg and illustrated by Niamh Sharkey retells the classic tale with wonderful descriptions, excellent illustrations, and a few plot twists from the familiar cartoon.

Cinderella is transformed by her fairy godmother not once, but three times for three different balls. Each time the prince falls more in love with the beautiful girl and her stunning outfits. Cinderella's father plays a role in the story as well, but to say anything more would be telling the ending!

This is a favorite with both my daughter and son!

Monday, July 1, 2013

The ABC Mystery

 The ABC Mystery, by Doug Cushman, was a prize from our library's summer reading program several years ago and has been a favorite ever since. It's short rhymes work through each letter of the alphabet as you watch Detective Inspector McGroom solve the case.

A great first mystery story for young kids, with plenty of extra clues in the illustrations for the older crowd.

Unfortunately it looks like this book is out of print! Hopefully your local library will have a copy.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Mole Music

 Does music speak to your soul in a way that nothing else can? This is what Mole discovers in Mole Music by David McPhail. He is inspired to play the violin by a performer on television and Mole works hard to become excellent.

His love for music replaces the time he used to spend watching television, and his music impacts more people than he will ever realize.

Monday, June 17, 2013

This is the Game

We are big baseball fans (Go Orioles!) and This is the Game by Diane Z. Shore and Jessica Alexander is a book that literally gives me goosebumps. It's written in beautiful verse and packed with great baseball descriptions. From kids playing a pickup game on sandlots to playing cards and crackerjack, it's full of nostalgia.

And the ending is baseball in miniature: one victor emerges and everyone else has to "wait 'till next year."

This book is sure to thrill baseball enthusiasts of all ages.

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Man Who Walked Between the Towers

Mordicai Gerstein's The Man Who Walked Between the Towers is another Caldecott Award winner. This picture book is the true story of Philippe Petit, a wire walker that walked between the unfinished World Trade Center Towers in 1974.

The story is facinating and  the illustrations compelling (many are taken from actual photographs of the event. This book is a great way to introduce history and historical events to kids in a very accessible and entertaining way.

The end of the book also mentions the towers being gone now, though it does not say the reason. We used this book to introduce September 11 to our kids when they asked about why the towers were gone.

After enjoying this  book so much, I wanted to learn more about Philippe so I read his book To Reach the Clouds

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Monsieur Saguette and His Baguette

Monsieur Sageutte and His Baguette by Frank Asch is one of our new favorites this year. Monsieur Sageutte loves bread with his soup, but  alas, there is no bread is his house. He sets out to buy a baguette, and on the way home his baguette helps him solve a number of hilarious problems.

This is a great book for practicing your French accent, and my children have been requesting soup and bread for dinner at an alarming rate!

Enjoy the lovely illustrations and charming story, then bring your kids into the kitchen to make soup and bread. In the words of Monsieur Saguette, "my favorite!"

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Shore Beyond

The Shore Beyond by Mary Joslin and illustrated by Alison Jay is a book we own. Alison Jay is one of our favorite illustrators, and her artwork in this book fits seamlessly with the story of adventure, the unknown, and life.

Follow Clara as she helps her father with his ferry service as a young girl, and as she grows up longing to see more of the world. Her desire for what lies beyond what she can see will take her to the shore beyond...
The text is longer in this book, but the story holds the attention of even my book loving 2 year old.

Monday, May 13, 2013

I saw an Ant on the Railroad Track

One of our favorite train books is I saw an Ant on the Railroad Track by Joshua Prince and illustrated by Macky Pamintuan. The brilliant colors bring to life the story of a hungry ant that goes out for a walk on an empty  railroad track.

The story is told by Jack, the switchman, in brilliantly rhyming verse. One of our favorite lines is "sure as shellac" as Jack describes the sight of a train heading toward the ant.

 Discover what happens to the ant, Jack, and the train!

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