Friday, January 5, 2018

Baby Goes to Market by Atinuke and Angela Brooksbank

image source: Indiebound

Baby Goes to Market by Atinuke and Angela Brooksbank (2017) #ownvoices
by Mary K

While Mama shops at the market, Baby, riding on her back, is given treats to eat by vendors. He is given bananas, oranges, biscuits, coconut and corn in decreasing numbers and after eating one, puts the extras in the basket on Mama's head.  Only when they are ready to leave (Mama thinks Baby must be hungry!) does she notice the extra food. Atinuke's (of the Anna Hibiscus books) cumulative text will keep listeners entertained and anticipating what happens next. Brooksbank's vibrant mixed-media illustrations are filled with detail and eye-catching color that will invite multiple readings. We don't often see books that count down or introduce subtraction, making this a rare treat! Baby Goes to Market is perfect for counting or food themed storytimes for both toddlers and preschoolers. 

Themes/topics: counting, fruit, food, friends, markets, shopping, mothers, babies

Sample text from two spreads:

Market is very crowded. Baby is very hot. Baby is so hot that Mr. Femi, the orange seller, gives Baby five juicy oranges. 

Baby grins. Baby grins. Baby sucks one orange...

and puts four oranges in the basket. Mama does not notice. She is busy buying homemade palm oil. 

Monday, November 27, 2017

Salam Alaikum by Harris J and Ward Jenkins (2017)

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Salam Alaikum by Harris J and Ward Jenkins (2017) #ownvoices

by AHK

A young boy spreads his message of peace, hope, and optimism, changing the world around him from drab and gray to full of life and color as small acts of kindness pass from person to person. Turning a song into a book is often tricky, as the lines scan differently when read than sung, but the pros outweigh the cons for this title, particularly with so few books representing any aspect of Muslim culture. The greeting, "Assalamu Alaikum" appears throughout the book as different people interact. It's a perfect fit for a "Hello/Goodbye" storytime or any other theme celebrating greetings.

Themes/Topics: peace, hope, kindness, greetings, hello, goodbye

Sample text from the first three spreads: 

"You can try to turn off the sun,

I'm still going to shine away

and tell everyone we're having some fun today."


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Chibi Samurai Wants a Pet by Sanae Ishida (2017)

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Chibi Samurai Wants a Pet by Sanae Ishida (2017) #ownvoices

by Anna HK

Little Kunoichi the Ninja Girl stars in her own book, and has the most amazing pet EVER (a stupendously, spectacularly super-duper ninja bunny!). Little Kunoichi's best friend, Chibi Samurai envies the special relationship they have, and decides to find a friend of his own. He travels all over trying out amazing pets real and imaginary, but none of them are the right fit. Just as he is about to give up, he realizes that the perfect pet has been with him all along--a stag beetle! This is a delightful little book, with lots of fun personality to read aloud in storytime. There are a couple of spreads that may need a little extra explanation, but the end of the story is clear and satisfying. I love this one!

Themes/Topics: pets, ninjas, Japan, mythical creatures, insects 

Sample text from three spreads: 

He starts at the tippy top of the island and greets a kindly monk. "Pet?"
"Check out back."
Lo and behold, Chibi finds a dazzling animal, and he can't wait to introduce his new pet. "Fantastic!"

"WOW!" [say his friends]
"So fierce! So strong! Meet Showstopper the giant salamander!"

"Too strong!"
"Oh no, the leash!"

Monday, November 20, 2017

Lily's Cat Mask by Julie Fortenberry (2017)

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Lily's Cat Mask by Julie Fortenberry (2017)

by Anna HK

Lily isn't really sure about the changes that are coming--mainly the fact that she's starting school soon. Her dad buys her a yellow cat mask, and Lily wears it everywhere. It becomes a bit of a problem when she starts school, and she's only allowed to wear it during recess--although Lily has a hard time adjusting to that restriction. One day the teacher announces that they are having a costume party and the children can wear whatever they want. Among the superheroes, monsters, and witches, Lily finds another cat and, hopefully, a lifelong friend.

Themes/Topics: costumes, masks, hiding, friendship

Sample text from two spreads:
"She like to hide her face when she felt mean and couldn't get nice. 

And she also made a very important wish wearing her mask. 

But when Lily started school, her teacher called the mask a distraction, and Lily was only allowed to wear it at recess."


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Quiet! by Kate Alizadeh (2017)

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Quiet! by Kate Alizadeh (2017)

 by Anna HK

A young child narrates her evening through sounds. From Dad preparing dinner, to playtime, to bath time, she notices all the small sounds in her environment until bedtime. The story is quiet, domestic and portrays a father as a gentle loving caretaker. This book is full of background text showing the onomatopoeia of everyday life, and there's enough plot to make it work as a read-aloud. Simple, sweet, and perfect for storytime.

Themes/Topics: sounds, senses, dads, bedtime

Sample text from two spreads:
"Sssh! Listen, what's that noise? 

It's the TV babbling, as I zoom zoom the car across teh rug and the cat purrs. 

And the dog snoring and the laptop whirring and the pitter patter of the rain against the window"

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Lucía the Luchadora by Cynthia Leonor Garza & Alyssa Bermudez

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Lucía the Luchadora by Cynthia Leonor Garza & Alyssa Bermudez (2017) #ownvoices

by Anna HK

Lucía's pretend superpowers on the playground are significant, but the boys she wants to play with ignore her and tell her that girls can't be superheroes. Lucía's Abuela introduces Lucía to a new kind of superhero--a masked luchadora who has moxie, bravery and heart, and is willing to fight for what is right without ever revealing her true identity. Lucía's new identity grabs lots of attention at the playground, and soon other kids are wearing lucha libre masks too. When a kid in a pink glittery lucha libre mask appears, the boys' start saying girls can't be superheroes again. Just as Lucía is about to intervene, there's an emergency on the slide; Lucía to the rescue! On behalf of the new girl, she reveals her identity to prove that girls CAN be superheroes. All the children unmask, and Lucía finds that many of the luchadores are actually lucadoras! This is a longer story, but it's themes will resonate for older children, making it a good choice for school visits or classroom read-alouds

Themes/topics: bullying, superheroes, luchadores, bravery, rescue, friendship

Sample text from three spreads: 

I zip through the playground in my red cape. I go POW. I go BAM. 
The boys zoom by with their own capes fluttering behind them. They go BOOM. They go CRASH

The boys try to jump off the monkey bars, but no one can do a high-flying leap from the top like I can. I dive. I spin. I nail my landing. Every! Single! Time! I dash up the dark, swirly slide that no one dares go near, but the boys pay no attention to me. 

They dart off when I try to play with them. Mighty Mick yells out to me, "Girls can't be superheroes!" Ninja Nick, his twin, adds, "Girls are just made of sugar and spice and everything nice!"
I don't feel very nice and sweet at that moment. I feel mad. Spice mad. KA-POW kind of mad!

Monday, November 6, 2017

We Love You, Rosie! by Cynthia Rylant illustrated by Linda Davick

image source: Indiebound

We Love You, Rosie! by Cynthia Rylant illustrated by Linda Davick (2017)

by Mary K

Opposites like up and down, day and night, and good and bad are introduced in a series of vignettes about Rosie the dog. Each mini story is ended with the phrase "we love you," demonstrating that no matter what she does, or where she is, Rosie is always loved by the two round-headed children who accompany her. This book would be fine in a toddler storytime, as the illustrations are in bright flat colors and certain words and phrases are repeated multiple times. As there are six stand-alone vignettes, storytime presenters could choose to share two, three, or all six depending on the attention span of the group. Because of the repetition and simple word choice, however, this book might also work as an early reader.

Themes/topics: dogs, pets, opposites, love

Sample text from three spreads:

Hello, Rosie. Do you want to go DOWN? Okay. DOWN go the front feet! DOWN go the back feet! DOWN goes the tail! Rosie is going DOWN!

But Rosie likes UP better. UP is better. UP is much better. 

Rosie, you are UP. And we love you.