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Book Review: Cloudette

Although we are currently renting out our home, we still have some seriously wonderful neighbors.  The past weekend was spent back in the hood getting the rental ready for new tenants and our neighbors were so excited to see Little Lucy.  They had this adorable book waiting for her.  If you’ve met Little Lucy, then you know that she really is little.  She is very small for her age and when people see her walking about they often exclaim, “How old is she!” thinking that I have a baby wonder who must be walking at 6 months when really she is 13 months which is a very typical age to be walking.  Well, just like Little Lucy, Cloudette is a very small cloud that wants to do big things in life.  While she might not be big enough to create a thunderstorm or make a waterfall, Cloudette finds out just what a little cloud can do.  Having a small child of my own, I instantly fell in love with the message of this book.  The illustrations and small captions sprinkled throughout add to the cute factor and the added cloud terminology speaks to the teacher within.  Written and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld who is the illustrator of the famed “Duck!Rabbit!”.  Check out his website for a cute book trailer and  links to his other books with activity guides.

Title:  Cloudette

Author/Illustrator:  Tom Lichtenheld

Publisher:  Henry Holt and Company

ISBN:  978-0-8050-8776-5

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Posted by on August 13, 2012 in Award Winning, Picture Books

 

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Book Review: The Amazing Adventures of Bumblebee Boy

I am a big fan of the Ladybug Girl books. (I am considering it as a Halloween costume for Little Lucy at some point.)  Bumblebee Boy is now starring in his own book and I am sure it will be the first of many.  Sam is Bumblebee Boy, who loves to fly alone while battling pirates, dragons, aliens and more.  However, Sam also has a little brother named Owen who wants to be a “soup hero” too.  Sam learns that there is time for solo flying and a time when a sidekick is fun to have along as well.  This is a playfully creative book that will appeal to young boys with great imaginations.  I love how the illustrations really pop out when young Sam is pretend playing and then become much more simple and plain for the interruptions by little brother Owen.  While there is a slight message about including and playing with younger siblings the books is really centered on imaginative play and how exciting it can be to create your own alternate reality.  I hope to read about more Bumblebee Boy adventures in the future!

Title:  The amazing adventures of bumblebee boy

Authors/Illustrators:  David Soman and Jacky Davis

Publisher:  Dial Books for Young Readers

ISBN:  978-0-8037-3418-0

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2012 in Family, Picture Books

 

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Book Review: A Weekend With Wendell

I like to review books I haven’t read but after having taught first grade for five years I have so many “old favorites” that I just have to include.  This is one of those books.  I am a huge fan of Kevin Henkes.  His illustrations are adorable, the stories are packed with fun and usually include a great “teachable moment” and topic for discussion (no wonder I loved to read them to my students). Wendell is a spunky little mouse with a lot of zest for life (a.k.a. rambunctious).  He comes to spend a weekend at Sophie’s house, however, he will only play games if he gets to make all of the rules.  When they play house, Sophie has to be the dog.  When they pretend to work in a bakery, Sophie has to be the sweet roll.  Wendell proceeds to wreak havoc for both Sophie and her parents and she can’t wait until he goes home.  After finger painting with his peanut butter and jelly and writing his name with toothpaste on the bathroom mirror, Sophie and Wendell decide to go outside and use the hose to clean up.  This time Sophie decides to make all the rules.  Will Sophie and Wendell ever learn how to get along?  A great book to read when problems arise between friends and discussing what it means to be a good friend and how to play well with others.

Title:  A weekend with Wendell

Author/Illustrator:  Kevin Henkes

Publisher:  Greenwillow Books

ISBN:  978-0688140243

 

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Book Review: Tinker and Tom and the Star Baby

An amazing artist that claims to have started drawing when he was two years old, David McPhail is a well known and loved illustrator/author.  His water colored illustrations and use of animal characters create his signature style and both are included in this wonderfully imaginative story about a boy, a bear and a star baby from outer space.  Tinker and Tom can’t sleep and while staring out at the stars spot a bright star that falls into the backyard.  When they go to investigate they find a baby star inside of a spaceship.  Tinker and Tom must work together to figure out a way to get Star Baby’s ship running and return the baby to its mother.  I love the idea of a baby star that actually looks and acts like a real baby.  Both the story and sweet illustrations evoke a warm feeling of childhood dreams and believing in the impossible.

Title:  Tinker and Tom and the star baby

Author/Illustrator:  David McPhail

Publisher:  Little Brown and Company

ISBN:  0-316-56349-8

 

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Book Review: Splish, Splash, Splat!

If you haven’t read any of Rob Scotton’s books about Splat the cat, they are a must read!  Splat is one of the most adorable cats I have ever seen (and this is coming from a dog only kind of gal).  Splat is dreaming of candy fish when he is (rudely) awoken by his mom insisting that he takes a bath.  Splat hates the bath, in fact, he hates water of any kind.  As the day progresses, Splat is increasingly filled with dread.  Spike is coming over for a play date and according to Splat, he is mean, calls Splat names and breaks all of his toys.  At school, Splat has to go swimming and he forgets to wear any swim trunks!  However, the end of the day finds Splat actually having fun in the pool and finding out that he has more in common with Spike than he realized.  This is an adorably sweet book and a great read for any little ones with a fear of water.

Title:  Splish, splash, splat!

Author/Illustrator:  Rob Scotton

Publisher:  Harper

ISBN:  978-0-06-197868-5

 
 

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Book Review: Half-Pint Pete the Pirate

This is the second pirate picture book I have read this week.  What a great way to introduce fractions to young children and begin to explain the concept of one half.  Half-Pint Pete has a patch hiding half of his eyes and half his legs made out of pegs.  But what happens when he holds half of a treasure map and meets Half-Baked Belle who holds the other half?  Will Half-Pint Pete be able to share half of his treasure?  Written in rhyming verses this book, with colorful illustrations will delight all of those young pirates out there.  Get ready to read this one aloud in your best pirate voice.

Title:  Half-Pint Pete the pirate

Author:  Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen

Illustrator:  Geraldo Valerio

Publisher:  G. P. Putnam’s Sons

ISBN:  978-0-399-25173-3

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2012 in Picture Books

 

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Book Review: The Three Little Javelinas

My mom recently took a trip with friends to Tucson, Arizona.  She was really excited to see a javelina one evening while sitting out on the patio and came back with this adorable picture book for Little Lucy.  This southwestern adaptation of the familiar folktale, “The Three Little Pigs”, includes some great information about the people, plants and animals particular to this region.  The first javelina makes his home out of tumbleweeds which is easily blown down by hungry coyote.  The second javelina meets a Native American woman and borrows some saguaro ribs from which to build his home.  The third javelina meets a spanish speaking brick maker who kindly gives her some adobe bricks for her home.  The story neatly wraps up with an anecdote that explains what coyote is really thinking about when you hear him howl in the desert at night.

I love reading adaptations of familiar stories and this is no exception.  Reading similar story lines to young children is a great way to help them make connections between texts and promote a deeper level of story comprehension.  Do you have a favorite adaptation of a favorite story?

Check out the corresponding lesson plan.

Title:  The three little javelinas

Author:  Susan Lowell

Illustrator:  Jim Harris

Publisher:  Rising Moon

ISBN:  0-87358-542-9

 
 

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