Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Have I got a treat for you! You don’t even have to read to love this book. Just look at the pictures. (Which, may I remind you, most preschool kids do.) I got this from the Iowa City Public library.
 Ice by Arthur Geisert.
Honestly, I had no idea of where the story was going when I began. (I like to be surprised, don’t you?)
 I’ll get you started. On a teeny tiny dot of an island lives, you guessed it, a colony of pigs. There’s a ship, a few shelters, and a reservoir with a little water. The pigs are hot, and so bothered, that they launch their ship in search of…icebergs.

He’s written lots of others, so just walk to the “G” (for Geisert) section in picture books for more.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

One of my FAVORITE Newbery Honor books

I imagined a twinkle in Grace Lin’s eye as she wrote Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. There’s a dragon afraid of monkeys. Oh, he can’t fly either, like a proper dragon should. No-don’t start thinking about the the Wizard of Oz.  No wizard sends Minli on a quest, it’s a goldfish. Now do you see why I was intrigued? Minli sets out to find the Old Man of the moon. Can he help her find happiness for her family?
The full-page artwork was beautiful and made it more kid-friendly, too. It also reminded me that I wasn’t in North Carolina anymore. (Oops, another Wizard of Oz allusion…but I think you’ll enjoy this book in the same way you did Oz.)

PS This was a Newbery Honor Book
PPS The companion novel Starry River of the Sky is out.

Another great book from Ellen Potter

Sooner or later, you’re going to notice that I splurge when I read. When I like an author, I read all her books. I loved, as you know, the Knee Bone Boy, by Ellen Potter. For my next read, I picked The Humming Room because I was intrigued by its suggestion it was reminiscent of The Secret Garden. Brave words, I thought, to compare itself to my favorite childhood book.
Imagine living with a drug-dealing father in a trashy trailer. Picture yourself hiding when  men come to kill him and maybe, you, too. What do you do? Steal?  Lie? Hide when you have to? These are behaviors Roo must do to survive. So when you find yourself living with a distant uncle on a distant island, wouldn’t you keep on doing the same? Roo does. But, like all great books, there’s more mystery. Someone is held captive within the walls of the house, maybe someone who shouldn’t be freed. You’ll find yourself agreeing with the blurb when you finish the last page. It was another secret garden, one you never expected to find.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Recs for Anyone Who reads books to kids on Skype or Facetime

Have you ever read a book to a two-year old using Skype or Facetime? You’re sneaking peeks at the text, and at the same time, jiggling the pictures into focus. By the time you finish, you’re exhausted and your audience is long gone.
After many months of failure, I’ve finally found books that entertain for 32 pages!
The first book I’m recommending is an oldie-but-goodie. It’s The Story of Little Babaji,  by Helen Bannerman. The story is simple and the artwork rich and detailed. In short, Babaji outsmarts four ferocious tigers. The silly tigers chase each other round and round a tree until there’s nothing left but puddles of melted butter. Who comes along and collects it? Babji’s father, of course. In the end, everyone has a pile of Mamaji’s  pancakes, topped with tasty tiger butter.