Wednesday, September 27, 2017

I Got a New Friend by Karl Newsom Edwards

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I Got a New Friend by Karl Newsom Edwards

by AHK

Another pet book! If you want to do an inclusive theme, pets is your best bet for the most options. This one is terribly sweet. There's not really a plot, just a sweet portrayal of what it's like to have a new friend--the twist at the end is that it's the puppy narrating and the girl is the new friend. For each line of text, both puppy and child mirror each other actions and emotions. Readers assume the girl is speaking until the end. Although it's slight, it's successful and would work perfectly for toddler storytime. I would even use this with babies after shortening it a tad.

Themes/Topics: pets, friendship

Sample text from three spreads: 

At first, [my new friend] was sort of scared. But she got used to me. 

My friend likes to play outside. 

She messes up the house and sleeps on the furniture. 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Will You Help Doug Find His Dog? by Jane Caston and Carmen Saldaña

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Will You Help Doug Find His Dog? by Jane Caston illustrated by Carmen Saldaña (2017)


Ever since Press Here delighted storytime librarians and attendees everywhere, there have been many books that try to capture that magic. This one is a great addition to the interactive genre. Poor Doug has lost his dog, but we, the readers, are going to help him find his dog. Doug tells us his dog is scruffy, and we call all the scruffy dogs. Doug's dog has spots, so we can pat all the dogs who have spots. Next we're looking for the small dogs--let's give them each a tickle. Eventually we narrow things down and Doug and Dog are reunited. A joy for dog lovers, this is an excellent choice for storytime. It can be easily adapted to work with a group and the illustrations provide lots of opportunities for discussion and differentiation. Top notch!

Themes/topics: dogs, pets, interactive, kisses

Sample text from two spreads: 

Hey, will you help Doug find his dog?  
You will? Great!
I wonder what Doug's dog looks like. Let's ask Doug. 
 What does your dog look like? 
"My dog is scruffy."

So, Doug's dog is a scruffy dog. 
Call, "Here, Scruff!" to all the scruffy dogs. 

Friday, September 22, 2017

Hello Goodbye Dog by Maria Gianferrari pictures by Patrice Barton

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Hello Goodbye Dog by Maria Gianferrari pictures by Patrice Barton (2017)

Zara's dog, Moose, loves "Hello," Hello means all the good things in life. Moose hates "Goodbye," goodbye means all the bad things in life. So when Zara starts school, Moose just can't accept goodbye and being without Zara, even for a little while. Much the little lamb of nursery rhyme fame, Moose follows Zara to school, and each time it takes more and more people to get Moose home, and stronger (and sadder) measures are put in place to KEEP Moose home. Although Zara is in a wheelchair, Moose is not a service dog. But Moose loves being read to, and gives Zara an idea--she has Moose certified as a therapy dog so Moose can come to school with her. A perfect tie-in for any Reading Dog program at the library, discussions about service and therapy animals and a delightful read-aloud in it's own right. Say hello to this one.

Themes/topics: dogs, pets, first day of school, therapy dogs, service animals

Sample text from one spread. Moose has already escaped twice. 

Goodbye was being tied up in the backyard. 
Moose chewed through the rope. It was time to say, "Hello!"
"Hello, Moose!" cried Zara. 
Hello was having a book and someone to read it to you. 
"Dogs aren't allowed in the library," said Ms. Chen. 
"Moose will be quiet," said Zara. "She likes it when I read to her."
Zara read. 
Kids listened. 
Moose's tail swept circles on the rug. 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Caring for Your Lion by Tammi Sauer illustrated by Troy Cummings

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Caring for Your Lion by Tammi Sauer illustrated by Troy Cummings (2017)

by AHK

When you've ordered a new pet kitten and a lion is delivered instead, surely some adjustments need to be made. Never fear, your new lion comes with some handy-dandy IKEA-inspired do-it-yourself instructions. In fourteen easy steps, learn to appreciate your ferocious new pet. This is a title where the illustrations add a great amount of subtext--sometimes adding to the text and other times subverting the text. Fortunately, it can be read to a group without needing a lot of interpretation, making it a good option for storytimes and class visits.

Themes/topics: Lions, pets, making do, funny, school visits

Sample text from two spreads: 

Step 10: At bath time, fill the tub with equal parts water and lion.  Then add a smidge of bubble bath. Be sure to have your camera ready for some adorable photos [illos. show boy and lion cooperating on getting the bath ready, then both in the bath with bubbles]

Step 11:  Post-bath, your lion is half his normal size. Do. Not. Panic. Simply grab a blow dryer and get busy. (Expect a teensy big of shedding). [illos. show lion going from small and bedgraggled to a huge "Fwoof!" of mane with fur shedding everywhere].

Thursday, September 14, 2017

We are Family by Patricia Hegarty illustrated by Ryan Wheatcroft

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We are Family by Patricia Hegarty illustrated by Ryan Wheatcroft (2017)

by AHK

There are lots of great books about families and family diversity, but this one is worthy of consideration for a couple of reasons. Although the rhyming verses are a little generic and scan better in British English than American English, the message is about reliance, love, and acceptance. One of the things I really respect about this book is the true diversity of family make-up. There's no tokenism, but a wide variety of types of families including a child in a wheelchair. Each spread deals with a different theme, and ten different families are shown dealing with that theme/situation. From poor health to playtime, it really runs the gamut of what it means to be a family. This one is probably best for one-on-one, though may have group use in the right situation. It is still worth having on-hand for display during a family-themed storytime and a good choice for most collections.

Themes/topics: family, love, diversity

Sample text from two spreads: 

When it's time for school, we dash out the door; 
Eager to find out what the day has in store. 
Our journeys are different, by bus, bike, or car, 
But family is with us wherever we are. 

When we feel sick, we stay in our beds, 
Family is there to soothe aching heads. 
They'll comfort and nurse and take special care, 
And we'll be so thankful our loved ones are there. 


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Fox Wish by Kimiko Aman illustrated by Komako Sakai

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The Fox Wish by Kimiko Aman illustrated by Komako Sakai #ownvoices (2017 US)

by AHK
Sweet and atmospheric, I love this intimate little story about sharing, kindness, and looking out for others. Roxie has forgotten her jump rope, so she and her brother Lukie head back out to find it. They discover a group of foxes playing with the jump rope and join in, playing together until dusk. As Roxie is about to grab her jump rope and head home, a little fox also named Roxie says that the jump rope belongs to her--she found it because of a wish. Instead of reclaiming her property, human Roxie lets the little fox keep the rope and her belief in her wish, simply saying that they should play together again soon. This title doesn't scream "storytime" but it has a straightforward first-person narration that older readers can follow without a lot guidance, and would be great for discussion with smaller PreK groups and classes. Definitely worth adding to your collection.

Themes/topics: foxes, sharing, giving, selflessness, toys, friendship, kindness

Sample text from two spreads: 

The foxes were not very good at jump rope. They were good jumpers, but their tails kept getting caught in the rope. It didn't seem polite to laugh at them, even though they looked so funny. But Lukie couldn't help it. 

At that, the foxes dropped the rope. "What was that?" asked the smallest one. It didn't seem polite to spy on them either, so we tiptoed out from the tree's shadow. "Hi," I said. "Oh, thank heavens!" said a fox. "by any chance might you be able to teach us how to jump rope without tripping?"

Friday, September 8, 2017

Bob, NOT Bob! by Liz Garton Scanlon & Audrey Vernick illustrated by Matthew Cordell

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By Mary K.
Bob, Not Bob! by Liz Garton Scanlon & Audrey Vernick illustrated by Matthew Cordell (2017)

The cover and title page instruct those reading this sweet, silly tale out loud to read it “as though you have the worst cold ever” and therein lies the joke. When Louie catches a cold, all he really wants is his Mom. But how to you let Mom know you need her when your nose is all stuffed up and saying her name sounds like “Bob?” Oh, and it just so happens their pet dog’s name guessed it! Bob. Through several days of illness Louie gets more and more frustrated as he calls for him mom and instead of the snuggle he wants his dog comes running. This leaves everyone confused until, finally, his Mom just decides to lay down with Louie (and Bob). There are a few smaller vignettes in the illustrations that may make the book a bit more difficult to share with large groups, but smaller storytime crowds, especially older preschoolers and young elementary school students who’ve experienced feeling just like Louie, will enjoy this relatable tale. While the reader will really need to ham it up and make the effort to sound stuffy, the payoff in laughter and engaged listeners will be well worth it.

Themes/topics: family, illness, mothers, dogs, pets

Sample text from two spreads:

"The next day, Little Louie was even sicker. His lips chapped and his eyes gunked. As for his nose, you can’t even imagine. So he just lay there getting hot and sweaty, which sounded like “Hotten Smetty.” “Who’s Hotten Smetty?” asked his sister. “No. Not SMETTY, SMEDDY! And HODD!” Tessa didn’t know who Smeddy was. Hodd either.

Mom would understand. “BOB!” called Little Louie. His dog, Bob, came running. And slobbering. “NO! BOB! NOT BOB!” Tessa looked at him like he was cuckoo. So did Bob"

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Back Catalog Posts: Jazz Baby by Lisa Wheeler and Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie

By Mary K. 
Jazz Baby by Lisa Wheeler and Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie (2007

On the dedication page, we see daddy putting on a record while looking slyly over at baby’s crib. This begins a musical party where hands tap, fingers snap, momma and daddy sing while everyone dances - including baby! More and more family join in the good times, until the music quiets down and baby’s rocked to sleep with an “Oh, yeah!” Just try and read this story aloud without tapping your toe or clapping your hands! Christie’s illustrations move with the music in bodies with elongated curved limbs, and through it all, baby is the center of attention. Baby’s whole family bops to the beat in this surefire baby or toddler storytime hit.

Themes/topics: jazz, music, babies, family, stories with a beat, dance, noise

Sample text from two spreads:

"Cousins BOOM-BOOM. Neighbors hip-hop. Rompin’-stompin’ Baby goes BOP-BOP-BOP!

Mama swings high. Daddy swings low. Swingin’-singin’ Baby says, 'GO, MAN, GO!'''

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

New Contributor!

I'm so pleased to share that Mary Kuehner will be joining me in writing reviews for Everyday Diversity!

Mary and I became friends and colleagues way back in the days of organizing and launching Flannel Friday as an intentional community and website. She is an incredibly knowledgeable early literacy librarian, a fantastic storytime presenter, and writes a great blog of her own, Miss Mary Liberry as well as acting as a joint chief of Storytime Underground and doing amazing work with CLEL. We are lucky she has time for us over at Everyday Diversity.

For now, I'll be indicating who is writing the review at the top of the post, and Mary will *mostly* be focusing on pulling titles out of the back catalog so they are easier to find and search.

We'll try to focus on titles that are still in print, and will make sure to mention if a title has become hard to find.

As always, feedback is welcome and we'd love to hear if Everyday Diversity has been helpful to you in creating more inclusive storytimes and collections.


Back Catalog Posts: Lola Reads to Leo by Anna McQuinn

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Review by Mary K.
Lola Reads to Leo by Anna McQuinn and Illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw (2012)

Lola loves to read (check out her earlier books Lola Loves Stories and Lola at the Library). So when she learns she is to have a new baby brother, naturally she wants to share her books with the boy. When Leo arrives, Lola helps out by reading to him: duck stories while he’s in the bath; potty stories while he’s having his diaper changed. She does other things too - helping with laundry and dishes while Leo is sleeping - but the family always ends their day with a story. The illustrations are colorful and large and Lola is depicted as a happy child who wants to help. This story of book love (and how books are great for sharing as a family) is perfect for toddler or preschool storytimes.

Themes/topics: family, new baby, siblings, reading, books

Sample text from two spreads:

“Leo cries a lot. Lola wants to cheer him up, so she tells him a story.

It turns out he is just hungry. Lola holds her best bear story while Mommy feeds him. She and Mommy read it together"