Saturday, June 1, 2013

May Round-Up

Image from
Picture a Tree by Barbara Reid 
In simple, yet evocative text Reid explores the many ways to picture a tree. You might think that a tree is a tree is a tree, but Reid urges readers to take a closer look. Trees can be “a high-rise home sweet home” or a “sun umbrella on the hot walk home.” The textured illustrations, created with Plasticine shaped and pressed onto illustration board with paint for special effects, present trees in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and species. Use this book for an Earth Day or nature-themed storytime. Try pairing it with All the Water in the World or Underground. Check out the book trailer to see more of the illustrations.

Image from
Shark in the Park by Nick Sharratt
In rhyming text, Sharratt’s story follows the adventures of a little boy named Timothy Pope who repeatedly thinks he sees a shark in the park! Each time Timothy looks through his telescope he sees a close up of something that could be a shark’s fin, but it turns out to be a cat’s ear or a crow’s wing. The repetitive text and the bright illustrations, make this a great book for storytime. This book reminds me a lot of It’s a Tiger and Maybe a Bear Ate It.

Image from
by Aaron Meshon 
The young baseball-loving boy in this book compares and contrasts elements of baseball culture in America and Japan. In America, his pop pop takes him to watch baseball, while in Japan, his ji ji takes him to watch Yakyu. Throughout the book the similarities and differences are shown in side-by-side illustrations. Meshon’s text is brief, yet full of cultural details that bring each baseball experience to life. The acrylic illustrations are bright and bold. Images that focus on American culture are predominantly blue, while those set in Japan utilize a red based color palette. Try pairing this book with Bats at the Ballgame or Roasted Peanuts for a sports or baseball themed storytime. It could also be used with Same Same, but Different for a unit on comparing and contrasting multiple cultures. Check out the book trailer for a peek at the illustrations and tone of the book.

Image from
That is Not a Good Idea by Mo Willems
If I were to recommend just one read aloud book this month, it would be Willems’ newest offering. The humorous story follows a fox as he tries to snare a seemingly sweet little goose for dinner. The illustrations are pure Willems (look for the hidden Pigeon!). The text alternates between silent movie-type white lettering on black pages and the increasingly frantic warnings of the little goslings, “That is NOT a good idea!” The book ends with a great twist that will have readers of all ages laughing. I’ve read this book with kids from K-5 and it never fails. Often the kids read the book along with me, which is a lot of fun.