Mr. Peek the zookeeper at Peek Zoo is very excited about the new baby panda bear. So excited that he wants to have a special day to celebrate. But sin...moreMr. Peek the zookeeper at Peek Zoo is very excited about the new baby panda bear. So excited that he wants to have a special day to celebrate. But since Mr. Peek is too preoccupied with the animal parade and the fun and excitement of the celebration, he doesn’t really pay attention to what he is doing. And of course that creates quite the pandemonium (not all in part due to the cute baby panda). Thankfully the zookeeper has a great helper, his son Jimmy. Jimmy is able to keep his head and complete all of his (and his father’s) chores correctly. And that is just what is needed since the zoo is due to be open any moment.
This is a fun story with some great characters that first appeared in Mr. Peek and the Misunderstanding at the Zoo. Children will enjoy seeing how Mr. Peek is so preoccupied that he doesn’t do all of his jobs correctly. And he mistakes the baby panda for one of the penguins. In fact, so many things are going on that the kiddos will really have to pay attention to see what is really going to happen thanks to all of Mr. Peek’s work. But those youngsters who like seeing a child being helpful and all together saving the day will enjoy this new story at the Peek Zoo.(less)
A family of crocodiles played together in the water…except for one little crocodile. There was one who didn’t like water at all. He wanted to play wit...moreA family of crocodiles played together in the water…except for one little crocodile. There was one who didn’t like water at all. He wanted to play with the rest of the family, but they liked playing in the water and he just didn’t enjoy being wet. Eventually the little crocodile bought a swim ring so he could stay floating while swimming. But even with a swimming ring it was hard to play with the rest of the family as they dove and splashed about. Eventually the crocodile decided to try swimming without the swim ring one last time…but he really didn’t like that. But then…something happened and the little crocodile realized that perhaps he wasn’t really made for swimming…and that just might be okay after all.
This is a great book! Seriously. I really liked this one. I loved how I had no idea where the story was going until I got there. I liked how the little crocodile kept trying to figure out ways to be with his family and to swim with them (since that is the one thing that they really, really like to do). I love how the illustrations are all greens and blues (for the crocodiles and the water) with just a few splashes of red (like the swim ring). And once I was finished reading the book I even loved the fun endpages and how they give a little extra tidbits for the story. All in all this is a fun book that I think would be really fun to read at story time. I would be interested to see what all the young kiddos think about this young crocodile and his aversion to water.(less)
The cute and adorable Chu that we first met in Chu’s Day is back and is getting ready for school. Chu is worried about if everyone will be nice or if...moreThe cute and adorable Chu that we first met in Chu’s Day is back and is getting ready for school. Chu is worried about if everyone will be nice or if everyone will like them. After assurances from his parents he heads to school. The teacher wants the class to introduce themselves to each other and tell what they do best. The teacher writes each student’s name on the chalkboard. But there isn’t enough room, so she has to erase…which creates a lot of chalk dust. And that results in something that Chu does best.
This is another good story about the first day of school. I like how there are fun details about the classroom (alphabet animals on top of the classroom and such). And of course when Chu starts to sneeze he puts his goggles on. So many cute details. But over all, young readers will be reassured that even if they do something big (like Chu’s gigantic sneezes) school can still be fun, kids will still be nice, and teachers will still like you. This book is part humor and part a comforting bowl of chicken noodle soup for the nervous newbie kindergarteners. Fun.(less)
In this newest edition of the Dinosaur books Dinosaur is headed to school. And he is roaring just as much as ever. But because it is school there are...moreIn this newest edition of the Dinosaur books Dinosaur is headed to school. And he is roaring just as much as ever. But because it is school there are some fun subtleties that let you know it is a school setting. For example the title page looks like it is on the lined paper school kids use to learn how to write (the type with solid lines at the top and the bottom with a dashed line in the middle). Also, there are a lot of illustrations where it is just an outline of the characters with a few added extras (like googly eyes) that give the story a feeling of happy kindergarten school days (especially with the scribbled drawings that perfectly showcase fun emotions typical of children in a style similar to what a child could draw–if the child could draw as well as Bob Shea). Plus there are fun little details like monster Buddy on the lunchbox that will delight fans of Bob Shea. As usual I love how there are some drawings and some photos of different objects (like the different lunch foods) that give the illustrations depth. And every grownup who reads this will absolutely laugh at the expressions of children who are told to clean up. The more I read Bob Shea books the more I have to look to see those extra details that make me love his books. And this new Dinosaur book is another happy edition to add to my story time booklists.(less)
The author of Press Here has done it again. This is a clever book that teaches kids a little bit about how stories work. The story starts out by the r...moreThe author of Press Here has done it again. This is a clever book that teaches kids a little bit about how stories work. The story starts out by the reader opening the book and some characters realizing that there are readers reading the book. But the characters don’t have a story. (They also are just basic sketches of what the characters will be…so there is a fun feeling of creativity and potential that still clings to them.) So they try to figure out just what to do to entertain the readers so they will stay reading the book. Eventually the characters come to the conclusion that they need to go and ask an author for help. So they ask Herve Tullet. He talks a bit (which is wonderfully illustrated with photos of his facial expressions and the rest of him illustrated…trust me, you just have to see it) and then makes a short story. Then the author has the reader “press here” to turn off the light when the author’s job is done. So many fun little bits that will not only entertain a reader but engage them as well. But then again, I’m not surprised with just how great this book is…considering it is another book created by Herve Tullet. Well done.(less)
Frank Einstein is a kid who like his grandpa loves science. His parents are away (they tend to love traveling) so Frank spends a lot of time with his...moreFrank Einstein is a kid who like his grandpa loves science. His parents are away (they tend to love traveling) so Frank spends a lot of time with his grandpa. Lucky for all involved Grandpa Al has a Fix It! shop with a laboratory attached that Frank gets to use to do his science experiments. In fact, Grandpa Al is the best kind of grandpa for Frank to have around because Grandpa Al won the Science Prize once upon a time and loves supporting Frank’s science efforts (and can actually understand what Frank is saying when he talks shop). Frank is now trying to win the Science Prize himself so he can save Fix It! from being bought up by a mysterious company that is buying all sorts of land in the area.
Of course Frank can’t doing all this by himself. He has a trusty side-kick named…Watson. And he is (just like his name) the perfect side-kick. He helps Frank put together a robot that can think for itself. (Or at least helps with the initial assembly…Klink the robot actually finished building itself and then built Klank, another robot.) And there is also an evil arch-nemesis named T. Edison who is as evil as any kid genius can be. Which does complicate life, the Science Prize, and the safety of the world (all in that order).
Oh, and let’s just talk about the fun illustrations! They are cartoony enough to get kids to believe the impossible science is possible. But not too crazy that older kids wouldn’t be interested in actually looking at them (or laughing at all the science diagrams of Frank’s alarm clock or other inventions and science explanations). And there are even little details that are great. For example on either side of the page numbers you have a couple circles that look like the heads of some screws (the kind that need a Phillips screwdriver).
This is seriously one of the best books for elementary school kids that I have read in a while. Not only is it funny and amusing (what else would you expect from Jon Scieszka?) there are so many science-y things thrown in that kids will totally enjoy (how can kids not enjoy science when there are robots who think for themselves, bubblegum peanut butter, and floating skateboards?). In fact, with all sorts of random bits of physics or chemistry thrown in to the story I think not only will kids enjoy reading this book, they will want to participate in more science experiments themselves. In fact the look on Watson’s face (when he sees the robots for the first time) totally describes this book: “It’s one part surprise, one part fear, a dash of a smile, and a twist of disbelief.” Yeah, kids will dig it. More, please!(less)
One day a lemur sees a boy holding an ice cream cone. The lemur decides that he likes the boy and starts to follow him. The boy does all manner of thi...moreOne day a lemur sees a boy holding an ice cream cone. The lemur decides that he likes the boy and starts to follow him. The boy does all manner of things to lose the lemur…but instead there are more lemurs that like the boy and follow him around. Finally the boy tries something drastic–going a long, long way away. But the lemurs are not to be outdone. They like the boy and there is nothing to boy can do about it. Eventually the boy realizes that the lemurs might not be all that bad and that he actually needs help from the lemurs. There are a few things that I really like about this book. First of all I love the illustrations. I like how the colors of the boy or the lemurs or the trees or water all have different textures in them. It isn’t just a color there is depth to the way the illustrations are put together. And the small lines that outline the boy’s face or legs or arms are not distracting from these textures. I also really like the book because it is about lemurs. And well, most little readers don’t have any idea what a lemur is. But after reading this book they will be able to discern what the animal is and will understand the different types of lemurs (as far as how they look) are. Plus it is a fun message that you can grow to like something and that even if someone doesn’t like lemurs they are kind enough to always like you back (if you happen to be one that a lemur takes a liking to). Such a fun book!(less)
Even though there is only one word on each page of this book, there is quite the story within the pages. This is a story of a couple of birds building...moreEven though there is only one word on each page of this book, there is quite the story within the pages. This is a story of a couple of birds building a “nest” in a tree. Then the book goes on to tell just what else happens as the birds dedicate themselves to laying and nurturing the egg and chick in the nest. One of my favorite things to do in story time is to show a picture book that has little text but quite a good story shown in the illustrations. That way I can continually ask readers, “What is happening?” This helps the young kids start to develop their narrative skills and see how stories are more than just a few words. And this will be a perfect edition to that element of story time. Kids will know what is happening even though there is only one word on each page. The illustrations are detailed enough that they will be able to see the story and go on to explain it to any patient grown-up. And those illustrations…they are quite amazing themselves. The crisp colors and the dramatic lines will have youngsters looking closely at each illustration. Brilliantly done. Perfect for a toddler time or preschool story time. This is Hurley’s first book, and I for one hope there will be many, many more.(less)
If you want kids to get ready to read on there own there are a few things you can do. One of those things is to sing to and with them. Singing helps i...moreIf you want kids to get ready to read on there own there are a few things you can do. One of those things is to sing to and with them. Singing helps in oh so many ways to get kids ready to read. One way is that different syllables and different words are often on different notes. This helps kids realize that different letters can make sounds and different combinations of sounds can create words. What does this all have to do with this book review you may wonder…well let me tell you!
I love this book. There aren’t any real people words in the whole thing (other than the title). But the book is full of onomatopoeia of farm animals. And the whole book can be sung. That’s right! It can be SUNG to the little ones. And if you know the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star then you know the tune that I sang the book to. Seriously, there is quite the story here…but you don’t necessarily get the story just from the onomatopoeia. You have to look at the illustrations to totally understand what is going on. But the kiddos will love hearing the different sounds and then telling you exactly what is happening. And what is happening is silly (in kid speak that would be funny). So they will be sure to enjoy this one. Yeah, I think I need to sing this book at a future preschool story time. And then we can talk some more about one of my favorite “big” words to get kids to say….onomatopoeia!(less)
How do different animals say hello? This may be quite the important question that young readers who love animals have. And this book has the answers!...moreHow do different animals say hello? This may be quite the important question that young readers who love animals have. And this book has the answers! Each page has an illustration of two animals who are about to say hello (two dogs, two cats, two chickens, two beetles, etc.). Then there is a smaller page (it is almost like a little lift-the-flap flap) that can be turned and the two animals are then saying “hello” with the various animal onomatopoeia. (Seriously, this seems to be the week to talk about onomatopoeia!) This is a fun way for kids to say different animal sounds and enjoy turning the smaller pages to see how the illustrations change. Both of which I know toddlers especially will love. Fun book!(less)
Penguin wants to fly, so he heads to a “flight school” where two teacher birds teach other birds how to fly. But they aren’t convinced Penguin can fly...morePenguin wants to fly, so he heads to a “flight school” where two teacher birds teach other birds how to fly. But they aren’t convinced Penguin can fly. After all, Penguin is a penguin and penguins can’t fly. But Penguin wants to try and works hard to figure out just how to lift off. After a lot of unsuccessful attempts Penguin starts to leave dejected that he can’t follow his dreams of soaring in the air. But Flamingo comes up with an idea and soon Penguin can feel the sensation of soaring through the air. This is an amusing tale of one determined little bird with the “soul of an eagle.” Kids who know about penguins and the other birds that don’t actually fly will find this an amusing tale with a fun ending. And that creativity and determination are often the most important parts of working hard. This is one of those fun tales that will be enjoyed over and over again.(less)