Monday, February 20, 2017
Cat Knit by Jacob Grant (2016)
An adorably expressive cat forms a complicated friendship with a ball of yarn. When Cat’s transforms Yarn by knitting it into a cat sweater, Cat feels betrayed by his friend. Since snow/cold features predominately in this title, it will work with those themes as well. With large, clear illustrations and just a few words on a page, this title should fit well into most storytimes. Note: Jacob Grant is also the author of Scaredy Kate, another Everyday Diversity favorite of mine.
Themes/topics: cats, clothing, yarn/knitting, friendship, funny, mix-ups, snow
Sample text from first two spreads:
Cat and Girl had always been good friends.
Sunday, February 19, 2017
Max Speed by Stephen Shaskan (2016)
One of the cutest little daredevils you’ve ever seen, Max Speed gets his room clean just in time for adventure. Hopping into his zippy red roadsters, he zooms along facing various road blocks with ingenuity and aplomb. With tons of action words, and repeating phrases like, “Had Max met his match?” and “Just in time,” this one is a storytime win. Great fun-Highly recommended!
Themes/topics: Superheros, problem solving, adventure, sharks, imagination, mothers
Sample text from four spreads,
Max feel gently down into…/
[speech bubble] ‘GREAT GADZOOKS!’
Had Max met his match? /
Just in time, Max spoke his super-secret shark language, “Sharky-shark-shark. Shark, shark-shark, sharky-shark. Shark, shark?” /
The sharks showed Max the way to the super-secret underground cave.
Thursday, January 26, 2017
Henry Wants More by Linda Ashman illustrated by Brooke Boynton Hughes (2016) #ownvoices?
A loving, multigenerational multi-racial family tries to keep Henry, the youngest, entertained throughout the day as his insatiable desire for repetition exhausts them all. There’s no shortage of love in the family however, and this title is sure to charm young and old—a perfect choice for storytime. I’ve also used it in my lapsit storytime by shortening it and sharing just a few spreads.
Themes/topics: family, love, having fun, siblings, grandparents, behavior
Sample text from two spreads:
Papa’s lifting Henry high above his head. Henry’s face is joyful. Papa’s face is red. UP and UP and UP again. His arms are getting sore. Papa stops to catch his breath, but Henry hollers: [page turn]
Grandma Play piano—it’s Henry’s favorite song. Henry, on her lap, claps and sings along. She plays it once. She plays it twice. She loses count at then. Our ears are getting weary, but Henry cheers: [page turn]
Monday, January 23, 2017
Twenty Yawns by Jane Smiley and Lauren Castillo (2016)
After a long day at the beach, everyone is sleepy. After mom falls asleep reading to her, Lucy finds herself wide awake in a sleeping house. She tiptoes around in the mysterious moonlight to retrieve her lovey, Molasses. Of course, she can’t leave the other toys behind, so tucks them all into the moonlit bed with her before they all—YAWN!—fall asleep. Castillo’s gorgeous large, clear illustrations paired with Smiley’s evocative prose make this a great fit for storytime.
Themes/topics: bedtime, beach, stuffed animals, being awake
The moon shone through the window, a silver veil that fell across the floor. Everything looked mysterious, even Lucy’s own hands on the bedspread. Suddenly, Lucy was wide awake.
She looked around. Everyone in the pictures seemed to be watching her—Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Elizabeth, Mom, and Dad. Even Fred, in the book that Mom had dropped on the floor.
Lucy slipped out of bed and padded to the door. Her dad was snoring in the living room. The house was verrrrrry quiet. Lucy needed Molasses, her bear.
Friday, January 20, 2017
Let Me Finish! by Minh Lê illustrated by Isabel Roxas (2016) #ownvoices
I’ll be honest, I’m not sure this one would work for storytime, but I know full well that what works for me is different than what works for you, so I try and give you enough information to make your own decisions. It might work great for those of you who do voices! This title has really grown on me with multiple readings. All the kid wants to do is finish a book in peace, but is constantly beset by animals just *dying* to deliver spoilers. With a giggle-worthy twist—or two—at the end, this title will resonate with book-lovers of all ages.
Themes/topics: reading, funny, dinosaurs, books
Sample text from three spreads, which switch between text and dialogue bubbles.
[kid] Here we go. I can’t wait to dive in.
[giraffe] “Ooh, I’m in the middle of that book too! That’s my favorite part”
[birds, bear and giraffe] “Don’t you love it when he reaches the top of the mountain—“
[kid ]No! Not this time! This time I’m making it to the end! JUST LET ME FINISH!
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
In Plain Sight by Richard Jackson and Jerry Pinkney (2016) #ownvoices
Sophie lives with her parents and wheelchair bound grandfather. Every day she visits him after school and he just happens to have lost some small object that he needs Sophie to search for until—in plain sight!—there it is. On morning Sophie is about to burst into his room, but is stopped by Mama because he’s still sleeping. Sophie hatches a plan to surprise Grandpa by hiding herself in his room. The adoring relationship between the two is the heart of this wonderful story, and Grandpa’s cat is an additional element for reader’s to observe throughout the story.
Themes/topics: Grandparents, searching/looking/lost, hide and seek, days of the week, games
Sample text from two spreads
And after school each day, Sophie looks in. “Here I am, Grandpa,” she says. “How was the morning?”
“Surprising,” he says. “I had me a paperclip, you know? Nice and shiny. Now it’s vanished. Help me find it, will you, with your bright eyes?”
“Where?” says Sophie.
“That’s just it, honey. You have to look.”
If you lean in close you might hear Sophie say, “Oh.” And eventually, you might hear her say, “There!”
“Good, says Grandpa. “Thanks honey.”
Monday, January 16, 2017
Chirri and Chirra by Kaya Doi, Translated from the Japanese by Yuki Kaneko (2016) #ownvoices
I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a book that charmed me more than this delightful confection. Chirri and Chirra wake up one day ready for an adventure, so they set off into the woods for a bicycle ride. They stop at the forest café for tea, the forest bakery for bread and jam, and spend the night at the forest hotel—where they join the forest sing-along from the balcony of their room. Pure delight. It’s a tiny book with tiny details, so probably best for small to medium-sized groups.
Themes/topics: bikes, adventures, fantasy, tea, size
Sample text from two and a half spreads:
After a while, they arrive at the forest hotel. They go inside and ask for a room for the night. One the wall they see keys of all different sizes.
The doors are different sizes too. The hotel clerk takes them to a door that is just right for them.
The beds are just the right size too! Perfect for a good night’s sleep.