Friday, May 9, 2014

April Round-Up

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Bad Bye, Good Bye by Deborah Underwood, Illustrated by Jonathan Bean
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014

Follow the journey of a young boy and his family as they move to a new house in a new town. The bold lines and shapes of the illustrations, along with strong color choices, reflect the changing mood of the boy. First, the weather is stormy with great big puddles and slicing rain. As the boy becomes more positive about the move the images become sunnier and clearer. The rhyming text is simple and brief, making this a good recommendation for a caregiver looking for a way to introduce the concept of moving to a toddler.

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A Home for Mr. Emerson by Barbara Kerley, Illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham
Scholastic Press, 2014

This picture book biography about Ralph Waldo Emerson focuses on the American writer’s role as father, husband, and community member as he crafts a life full of the things he loves. The end papers are covered with famous quotes by Emerson and Kerley continues this concept by weaving quotes into the narrative. The vibrant colors and black lines of the digital media illustrations are energetic and help to push the story along. The author’s note includes more information about Emerson’s life, his legacy as a writer, and a photograph of his family in front of their home in Concord. Writing suggestions inspired by Emerson and detailed quotation and resource information conclude the book. This is a great book for elementary school aged students; it provides basic information meant to introduce and inspire young readers to find out more about Emerson.

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How to Lose a Lemur by Frann Preston-Cannon
Sterling Children’s Books, 2014

“Everyone knows that once a lemur takes a liking to you, there is not much that can be done about it.” And indeed, the young boy in this story has a lemur problem. It starts with one lemur and multiplies. The boy does everything he can think of to get away from the furry creatures. He travels by train and hot air balloon. He crosses lakes and deserts. In fact, he travels so far and so fast that he gets lost! Good thing there are some lemurs to show him the way home! Featuring a playful cast of diverse lemurs (hair color, markings, size), the mixed media illustrations have a left-to-right flow that builds anticipation for each page turn. Written from the boy’s perspective, the narrative is short and action packed. Turn the travel portion of this book into a flannel board so that kids can help you reverse the boy’s trip. This whimsical book will amuse toddlers, preschoolers, and their parents at storytime.

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Mama Built a Little Nest by Jennifer Ward, Illustrated by Steve Jenkins
Beach Lane Books, 2014

This bold and beautiful non-fiction picture book highlights the many different nests created by birds. Jenkins’ precise paper collages bring to life a variety of birds, from hummingbirds to eagles, flamingos to swiftlets. The repetitive rhyming text is printed in a large, bold font making it easy to read aloud, while a smaller font is used for additional information about each species.  The text also includes the fascinating building materials and methods used by the birds. An author’s note reveals the inspiration for this book about avian architects. It also includes online resources for further exploration. Use this book as part of a unit on birds, houses/shelter, or as a non-fiction addition to a preschool storytime.