Friday, November 23, 2012

Miss Dorothy and Her Bookmobile

TITLE:  Miss Dorothy and Her Bookmobile
AUTHOR:  Gloria Houston
ILLUSTRATOR:  Susan Condie Lamb

As a child Dorothy knows she wants to be a librarian "in charge of a fine brick library just like the one where she checked out books."  When she grows up though she lives out in the country and ends up with a bookmobile.  Miss Dorothy brings the books to the people.

I enjoyed reading this story and seeing this woman's love of books and sharing that love with the people in her life.  The author wrote this book because of the role Dorothy Thomas played in her life.  This is a wonderful book with beautiful illustrations to share with children and pass on the love of books to them.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs

TITLE:  Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs
AUTHOR:  Mo Willems
PUBLISHER:  Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins Publishers)

The author offers a twist on the classic Goldilocks fairy tale.  Three dinosaurs that are hiding in the woods leave their house open and large bowls of chocolate pudding on the counter.  After a while Goldilocks things something is up and she escapes out the back door before the dinosaurs catch her.

This is a fun book that will make children laugh.  I liked the illustrations and the twist this author gave to a well-loved fairy tale.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Curious George Says Thank You

TITLE:  Curious George Says Thank You
AUTHOR:  Emily Flaschner Meyer and Julie M. Bartynski
ILLUSTRATOR:  in style of H. A. Rey by Anna Grossnickle Hines
PUBLISHER:  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

George receives a thank you note in the mail from his neighbor Betsy.  George decides to make his own thank you cards and delivers them.

I always enjoy reading Curious George books.  I checked this one out of the library.  This one is a nice one to read in a classroom and then practice writing thank you notes as a class.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Goldie and the Three Hares

TITLE:  Goldie and the Three Hares
AUTHOR:  Margie Palatini
PUBLISHER:  Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins Publishers)

Goldie falls down into a rabbit hole when she is being chased by the three bears.  The three hares try to tend to their guest who has a hurt foot.  They have a hard time making her happy though and wonder how they are going to ever be able to get rid of her!

Children will enjoy this book and the illustrations. It could be used in the elementary classroom in a unit on fairy tales.  Also, Goldie is rather demanding of her host hares....this could be a lesson for children too on how not to act!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Tackylocks and the Three Bears

TITLE:  Tackylocks and the Three Bears
AUTHOR:  Helen Lester
ILLUSTRATOR:  Lynn Munsinger
PUBLISHER:  Houghton Mifflin Company

Tacky the penguin and his friends perform a play for Mrs. Beakly's school about the three bears.  Tacky is the character Goldilocks.  Things don't go according to plan but the audience loves the play!

If you familiar with Tacky, you will enjoy this funny book.  He is quite a character in the play.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Series: Community Helper Mysteries

TITLE:  Community Helper Mysteries
AUTHOR:  Amanda Doering Tourville
PUBLISHER:  Capstone Press

While volunteering at the school library I came across one of the books in the Community Helper Series.  I asked the librarian if she had others and found and read the other three in the series.  This books are well done, and I wanted to share them with you.

The layout of the book is one page with minimal text and the opposite page is a close up photo to fit with the text.  Each page is a clue to help the reader figure out a community helper who is revealed at the end of the book.

These would be great for a classroom or school library.  It would be enjoyable for PreK--1st graders and could be read by beginning readers with help.

Here are the other books in the series and a link to the site:

Monday, October 29, 2012

So Few of Me

TITLE:  So Few of Me
AUTHOR:  Peter H. Reynolds
ILLUSTRATOR:  Peter H. Reynolds
PUBLISHER:  Candlewick Press

Leo has a long list of things to do.  As he works on his list, he wonders if he could get the list done faster if there were two of him instead of just one.  All of a sudden there is another Leo, then another, and another.  Leo realizes that as there are more Leo's there is also more work.  Maybe he does not need more Leo's after all!

The cover of this book sitting on the library shelf caught my eye.  I found that the author/illustrator hand lettered the text.  I like books that have a lesson that can be easily applied to the reader's life/situation.  This is one of those books.  We don't need more and more; sometimes we just need to stop and be the best we can be.

I recommend this book for your classroom or personal library.

Friday, October 26, 2012

How Many Seeds In a Pumpkin?

TITLE:  How Many Seeds In a Pumpkin?
AUTHOR:  Margaret McNamara
ILLUSTRATOR:  G. Brian Karas
PUBLISHER:  Schwartz & Wade Books

Mr. Tiffin brings three pumpkins to school.  The children guess how many seeds are in each one.  They clean out the pumpkins and come up with three ways to count the seeds (by 2s, 5s, and 10s).  Besides the pumpkin lesson, a boy named Charlie learns that it is okay to be the smallest.

This would be a wonderful book for an elementary school classroom or library.  I can see this being read in a unit on pumpkins in a Kindergarten or 1st grade class, and then the class could count the seeds in various pumpkins as the kids in the book do.  I liked this book and that it included a simple lesson for Charlie (besides the math/pumpkin lesson).  

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

In Search of the Perfect Pumpkin

TITLE:  In Search of the Perfect Pumpkin
AUTHOR:  Gloria Evangelista
PUBLISHER:  Fulcrum Resources

Each year a boy and his family search for the perfect pumpkin.  Their search takes them to the local grocery story, a pumpkin patch, and an organic farm.  Then Mom has the idea that they should grow their own.  Will they be able to grow the "greatest, most unbelievably scrumptious pumpkins of all?"

Besides the story there are also random pumpkin facts in smaller print at the bottom of each page.  This book is a fun read to include in a fall unit on pumpkins.  Elementary aged children would enjoy this book, the book cover lists it for ages 4-10.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012


TITLE:  Pumpkins
AUTHOR:  Ken Robbins
PUBLISHER:  Roaring Book Press

Another book with the title Pumpkins!  The cover of this pumpkin book caught my eye.

The majority of this book focuses on how pumpkins grown.  There are a few pages on carving pumpkins as well.

The photographs in this book are well done and fit well with what the text says.  There is less text per page and less information presented in this book.

This book is appropriate to read to preschool/kindergarten.

Monday, October 22, 2012


TITLE:  Pumpkins
AUTHOR:  Jacqueline Farmer
ILLUSTRATOR:  Phyllis Limbacher Tildes
PUBLISHER:  Charlesbridge

This book has lots of information about pumpkins including how they grow, various types, and how to carve a jack-o'-lantern.  There are also a couple of recipes at the end of pumpkin pie and toasted pumpkin seeds.  This is a book that is larger in size, and the illustrations are great.  There is quite a bit of text on each page compared to some picture books.

This would be appropriate for a unit on fall or pumpkins in 1st or 2nd grade.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Library Lil

TITLE:  Library Lil
AUTHOR:  Suzanne Williams
ILLUSTRATOR:  Steven Kellogg
PUBLISHER:  Dial Books for Young Readers

Lil has always loved books.  When she grows up, she becomes a librarian and is known as Library Lil.  The people of her town do not read much, and Lil works to change this.  One day she Bust-'em-up Bill and his gang comes to town and provide a challenge for Lil.  Will she be able to get Bill and the others interested in books and reading?

This is a book that has been around for a while, but it is a good one so I wanted to share it!  I read this to classes of students visiting the library when I was filling in for the librarian one week as it went with her theme of the week.  It is appropriate for early elementary aged children.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

We're Going On A Book Hunt

TITLE:  We're Going On A Book Hunt
AUTHOR:  Pat Miller
ILLUSTRATOR:  Nadine Bernard Westcott
PUBLISHER:  Upstart Books

A class of bears learns many things on their visit to the library to find a book.  They learn to be quiet, how to use shelf markers, and how to figure out if a book is right for them.

I enjoyed reading this book with its large pages and fun illustrations of a library set up in the woods for the bears.  This would be a good book to use with children going to the library for the first time.

Monday, October 15, 2012

L is for Library

TITLE:  "L" Is For Library
AUTHOR:  Sonya Terry
PUBLISHER:  Upstart Books

There is a cat who you will find through the pages of this ABC book as you learn about the library.  Some of the words used about the library include historical fiction, keyword search, and shelf markers.

This would be a good book to read to introduce students to the library.  The illustrations are fitting and humorous.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Dance, Y'all, Dance

TITLE:  Dance, Y'all, Dance
AUTHOR:  Kelly Bennett
ILLUSTRATOR:  Terry Murphy
PUBLISHER:  Bright Sky Press

This is a rhyming book about a dance hall, part of America's history.  There was a time when people would meet at dance halls to enjoy a fun time and fellowship with friends after a hard week of work.  In this book a family visits a dance hall on a Saturday night.  It is a fun, rhythmic book. At the back the author includes a description and brief history of dance halls.

I found this to be a fun book and I believe children would enjoy it.  It could be read for fun or as part of a unit of this part of American history.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Crafts from Modeling Clay

TITLE:  Crafts from Modeling Clay
AUTHOR:  Huguette Kirby
PUBLISHER: Bridgestone Books

If you have a child interested in learning about making things with clay, this would be a beneficial resource.  It starts with some vocabulary words and pictures of tips for using modeling clay and tools you will need to make the projects in the book.  Then it has directions and photos for several clay projects.  Some of these are a treasure box, caterpillar, beads, and flower frames.
I thought this book was great.  The photograph illustrations that went along with the steps for the pieces were easy to understand.  This would be a nice addition to a school library.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

You Can Write Cool Poems

TITLE:  You Can Write Cool Poems
AUTHOR:  Jennifer Fandel
PUBLISHER:  Capstone Press

Do you have students that feel intimidated to write poetry?  This book would be a helpful little tool to use in a unit on poetry.  This book will give students an idea of different types of poems they can write.  One thing I liked was the vocabulary words and definitions provided at the bottom of the pages.  Another thing I really liked was the "exercise" page where students are given something to do to practice.  For example, one of the exercises was to choose a letter (they chose P) and make a list of words with P at the beginning, middle, or end. Then use as many of those P words as possible in a free verse poem.

This would be a great addition to the school or classroom library as I feel it would benefit teachers or students.  The photos are great and the layout is nice.  There is just the right amount of information on each page so it is not cluttered or too busy.  This is a great poetry resource!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Blabber Mouse

TITLE:  Blabber Mouse
AUTHOR:  True Kelley
PUBLISHER:  Dutton Children's Books

Blabber Mouse likes to talk.  He talks all the time to his friends and about his friends.  He ruins surprises by telling secrets and moving endings.  His friends want to help Blabber stop being such a big mouth.  Will they be able to teach him a lesson?

I enjoyed this book and the cute mouse illustrations.  The message of this book is great for early elementary aged children.  It would be good in a character education class.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Journey Home from Grandpa's

TITLE:  The Journey Home from Grandpa's
AUTHOR:  Jemima Lumley
ILLUSTRATOR:  Sophie Fatus
PUBLISHER:  Barefoot Books

A child is on the trip home from Grandpa's.  This book describes the things that the child sees on the trip home from Grandpa's.  It uses repetition and rhyming words.  Each page focuses on a different colored method of transportation, including a white helicopter and orange truck.

I liked the fun, bright illustrations in this book that went along with the rhythmic text.  This book is appropriate for a read aloud in the classroom as well as at home.  I could see it being a favorite of young children because of its repetitive nature.  I would recommend it for kindergarten or younger aged children.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Mrs. Fickle's Pickles

TITLE:  Mrs. Fickle's Pickles
AUTHOR:  Lori Ries
PUBLISHER:  Boyds Mills Press

Mrs. Fickle likes pickles.  She likes to grow them, take them to the fair, and eat them.

This is a rhyming book, and I feel it would be good for preschool or kindergarten age children.  The pages have minimal text and would be a quick read in the classroom.  I found this book at the library, and it caught  my eye because of the title.  

Monday, September 10, 2012

Police Cat

TITLE:  Police Cat
AUTHOR:  Enid Hinkes
ILLUSTRATOR:  Wendy Rasmussen
PUBLISHER:  Albert Whitman & Company

A cat named Noodles is serious about keeping the city safe and chasing away the rats.  He would love to be a member of the police department, but cats are not allowed.  One day while chasing rats Noodles discovers    a fire caused by the rats chewing wires.  He alerts the family in the house about the danger.  Will Noodles get a place in the department or will he be overlooked again?

This is an enjoyable book.  It can see it being used in a unit on animals, community helpers, or even fire safety.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Farley Follows His Nose

TITLE:  Farley Follows His Nose
AUTHOR:  Lynn Johnston & Beth Cruikshank
ILLUSTRATOR:  Lynn Johnston
PUBLISHER:  The Bowen Press

Farley the dog sniffs the air after his bath and takes off when he smells his dogs.  He finds the hot dogs and then smells something else he likes.  He follows his nose all day and even is able to help a lost little boy find his way home.  Will Farley be able to find his way home too?

Don't you just love the cover of this book?  I really do!  The illustrations throughout the book are just wonderful in my opinion.  I liked that the pages were big enough for detailed illustrations for this story.

This is a fun book to read with children aged preschool through early elementary.  It is a nice story and will hold their attention.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Construction Zone

TITLE:  Construction Zone
AUTHOR: Cheryl Willis Hudson
PHOTOGRAPHER:  Richard Sobol
PUBLISHER:  Candlewick Press

Visit a construction site through the pages of this book.  You will see the entire process involved in construction from the drawings done by an architect to the frame going up to the completed building.

The photos in this book are truly amazing.  Another thing I like is the vocabulary words in bold in the text with a definition in smaller print at the bottom of the page.

I recommend this book for elementary aged children.  It would be appropriate to use in a classroom setting during a lesson on community workers or even as an example of a  well-done "how to."

Friday, August 31, 2012

Watermelon Wishes

TITLE:  Watermelon Wishes
AUTHOR:  Lisa Moser
ILLUSTRATOR:  Stacey Schuett
PUBLISHER:  Clarion Books

Charlie and his Grandpap plant watermelon seeds together.  Charlie tells Grandpap he hopes they grow a wishing watermelon.  Grandpap tries all summer to guess Charlie's wish.

I enjoyed reading this book.  The illustrations are amazing. Notice the title on the front is done with watermelon seeds!  This is a sweet story about a boy and his grandfather.

I would recommend this book for elementary aged children.  It would be a nice addition to a classroom library.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Apples, Cherries, Red Raspberries

TITLE:  Apples, Cherries, Red Raspberries    What Is In the Fruits Group?
AUTHOR:  Brian P. Cleary
ILLUSTRATOR:  Martin Goneau
PUBLISHER:  Millbrook Press

In this fun read aloud rhyming book, the reader learns about foods in the fruits group.  There are ideas of ways to enjoy fruit, such as the juice or in a dessert, as well as the nutritional value of some fruits.

This is a book in the "Food is Categorical" series.  The colorful cover and title caught my eye.  The illustrations are bright, comical, and will keep the reader's attention. This book would be enjoyed by early elementary aged children.  It would be appropriate for a unit on foods and the food groups in the elementary classroom.

Monday, August 27, 2012

To the Beach!

TITLE: To the Beach!
AUTHOR:  Linda Ashman
ILLUSTRATOR:  Nadine Bernard Westcott
PUBLISHER:  Harcourt, Inc.

Have you ever been ready to head on a family vacation, got on the road, and realized you forgot something? This is what happens to the family in this book....not just once but several times!  Will they make it to the beach?  

This is a fun read aloud book for young elementary aged children. The illustrations are appealing to young readers as well and add to the fun of this book.

Friday, August 24, 2012

ABC San Antonio

TITLE:  ABC San Antonio An Alphabet Guidebook to the Fiesta City
AUTHOR:  Heila Rogers
ILLUSTRATOR:  David Rogers, Haley Beham, Heila Rogers, Christopher Borchardt & Daniel Rogers
PUBLISHER:  Stage Books

Since we visited San Antonio this year for our family vacation, this book caught my eye at our local library.  This is a well-done ABC book focusing on some of the sights to see in San Antonio, Texas.  There are both popular attractions like the Alamo as well as others that are not as well known.

I thought the photographs in this book and the layout were very appealing for the young reader.  This would be a great book for the elementary classroom in a Texas study.  Another use would be as a wonderful example of a well-done ABC book.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


I would like to get this little blog active once again after being quiet for a very long time.

I have some wonderful books to share with you.  My goal is to review a variety of children's books here.  I want to include in my reviews recommendations of ages for which the books are appropriate as well as themes the books fit for teachers to use in their classrooms.  I hope this information will be helpful.

Please feel free to leave comments and also share this page with others who enjoy sharing books with children.  Thank you for stopping by today!