Thursday, September 21, 2017


Sam comes to the construction site everyday to watch the workers at the construction site but on this particular day some older boys dare him to go inside the site itself.  To their horror, Sam begins to  behave unexpectedly.  He takes their dare and drives off in the cement mixer and then pour wet concrete all over the road.  He behaves in more seemingly crazy ways for a little boy.  Scared that they have egged Sam on and are in a heap of trouble, the boys run after him, but the chaos just continues.  

But Sam is observant and clever and his actions are very logical and reasonable.  Find out what Sam is up to as he drives different types of construction vehicles in this madcap romp through the city.
There's humor, tension and action for everyone who enjoy cars, construction and a good story in Sam and the Construction Site by Tjibbe Veldkamp and Alice Hoogstad.  

For preschool through second grade.  

Thursday, September 14, 2017


It’s been a superb year for picture book sequels, and I would be absolutely remiss if I didn’t highlight Aaron Reynolds and Peter Brown’s latest collaboration: a long-awaited follow up to the amazing Creepy Carrots! For those unfamiliar with the original (please rectify this situation ASAP), the spooky story centers around young Jasper Rabbit, who, after enjoying one too many tasty carrots from a nearby field, suddenly finds himself relentlessly and creepily pursued by the vegetables in question. Noir-styled black and white illustrations enhance the spook factor, while the premise (creepy... carrots, um really?) and text lend an air of ridiculousness to the whole affair. This book makes a fantastic read-aloud for grades 2-5, and was such a hit with Children’s Room staff, that we even dressed up as the titular characters one Halloween.

The sequel, Creepy Pair of Underwear!, shares the same combination of spooky + ridiculousness, as Jasper Rabbit, now a “big rabbit,” goes underwear shopping with his mother. Yielding to Jasper’s cajoling, mom agrees to purchase one pair of Creepy Underwear for him in addition to his standard Plain White. Unbeknownst to the no-longer-a-little-bunny, however, properties of the the new Creepy Underwear include: glowing a ghoulish green, alarmingly replacing other underpants on his body despite deliberate removal, and eerily reappearing everywhere after being thrown out and snipped into pieces. Will Jasper Rabbit ever succeed in ridding himself of unwanted Creepy Underwear?

Share Creepy Pair of Underwear! with one and all--you can be sure this children’s librarian will!

Grades 2+

Tuesday, September 12, 2017


Drawn by the sweet sound of Hattie's singing, Hudson the lake "monster" pokes his head up to the surface to check it out, but then goes back into hiding when the other lake goers are frightened by him.  Determined to find the animal in the lake and confirm that it is just a curious thing, Hattie hatches a plan to get everyone to see Hudson as a friendly creature of the lake instead something to fear.

Hattie & Hudson, written and illustrated by Chris Van Dusen, is a sweet story of friendship with vibrant illustrations.  It is perfect read-aloud for all ages.

Thursday, September 07, 2017


The fun-loving fowl of Cockatoo, Too (reviewed here) are back with more lively language play, and this time they’re stirring things up with a new recipe. Yes, it’s a delicious toucan stew!

No, wait! Come back, toucans! I meant a “delicious two-can stew for toucans, too” not “toucan stew”! Oh, dear. (Or, perhaps, “old deer”?)

Full of wit and humor, author-illustrator Bethanie Deeney Murguia’s new picture book, Toucans, Too, follows a series of quite understandable misunderstandings involving cockatoos, toucans, two-can stews, canoes, gnus, and cuckoos, too. It’s a worthy sequel. (“See quail”? Maybe next time!)

Ages 2+

Tuesday, September 05, 2017


When enthusiastic Little E joins his fellow construction vehicles on a new neighborhood project, he tips and tumbles as he attempts to find a task fit for his diminutive size. Full of fun onomatopoeia and familiar big rigs that your budding construction expert will love, Little Excavator is a story about patience, acceptance, and honoring contributions big and small. This rhyming picture book for toddlers and preschoolers was written and illustrated by the late Anna Dewdney (1965-2016), who was best known for her Llama Llama series.

I read Little Excavator with a fluttering enjoyment and a sorrowful pang, knowing that this is Dewdney’s final fully completed work. More stories born of her ideas and sketches will be published in coming years, but she will never see them to completion. Little Excavator is small, but eager to contribute. In the end, what they’ve built together is a park: a community space for children and families to play in, to grow in, and to love. It’s a fitting metaphor for Anna Dewdney’s work as a whole: that which nurtured, guided, and grew a community of readers.

Ages 2+

Thursday, August 31, 2017


Everyone always talks about how they feel about going to school, but does anyone know how the school feels? No one really knows the difficulties the school faces with waking up to noisy children.  

School's First Day of School by Adam Rex is a hilarious book describing the first day of school...from the school's point of view. The school building is the main character who shares his feelings and purpose. This is a wonderful picture book to share with young readers ages 4 through 7.  

Tuesday, August 29, 2017


Spencer is everything you expect a young boy to be. He is strong and fast, tall and loud, funny and wild, messy and free.  Then, one special day, Spencer becomes something more.  He is quiet and gentle as, for the first time ever, Spencer is a big brother.  Told through simple words and expressive art One Special Day, written by Lola M. Schaefer and illustrated by Jessica Meserve, is an ideal story for families expecting a second sibling.

This book is perfect for children 2 – 5 years old. 

Thursday, August 24, 2017


It’s a crisis! A catastrophe! A calamity of epic proportions! Quick, do something RIGHT NOW, because tacos have just gone completely extinct!

And, as you may recall from author-illustrator duo Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri’s first book: Dragons Love Tacos. (If you haven’t read the original book, you might also glean this tidbit from the informative titles of both books. You should really read the original, though, because a little more context could certainly help. Plus, it’s hilarious.) Dragons love all kinds of tacos: big tacos, little tacos, beef tacos, chicken tacos-- just not the spicy tacos (that’s kind of an important detail). Yes, the dragons are deeply enamored with tacos, and the current state of emergency has rendered them completely hysterical; they’re sobbing, pacing, rolling on the ground in fits.

There’s only one solution to this problem, and I’m sure you already know what it is.

Yes, you guessed it: fire up the ol’ time machine in the garage, return to a period in which tacos were plentiful, avoid spicy salsa, quickly rescue a few dozen specimen before the dragons gobble them all up, and bring them back to the present to replenish the taco reserve. Easy peasy, right? I mean, it will be once you’ve figured out how to operate the time machine.

Dragons Love Tacos 2: The Sequel is an enjoyable and wacky picture book ready to be shared aloud with kids in kindergarten through third grade. Just make sure you read the original too!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017


In the latest book from the popular series, Andy and Sandy enter a talent show at their school. Sandy encourages Andy to dance with her, but Andy is shy because he doesn't know how. Sandy is a good friend and helps Andy by teaching him. With lots of practice, Andy is feeling more confident than ever. How well will they do in their big debut? 

Andy & Sandy and the Big Talent Show, by beloved author-illustrator Tomie DePaola, ​is the perfect series for beginning readers all around. Andy and Sandy will delight the hearts of young children through the beautiful illustrations and story of true friendship. Tomie DePaola expertly captures the essence of friends overcoming fear together. 

This book, and the other titles in the Andy & Sandy series, are great early readers for children in kindergarten through second grade. 

Friday, August 18, 2017


Sure, we know that dogs go woof, cats go meow, and birds go tweet . . . but what does the aardvark say? In the nonfiction picture book Can an Aardvark BARK? author Melissa Sweet and artist Steve Jenkins (who have both received Caldecott Honors for their illustration work) team up to answer that question, exploring many of the lesser-known animal sounds out there. Who barks, who grunts, who squeals, and who bellows? What kind of animals whine and laugh, just like you and I? 

Sweet's primary text is written in rhyme simple enough to work as a lively nonfiction read-aloud for toddlers and preschoolers (a great choice for building background knowledge!), while the captions corresponding with each illustration offer fascinating information about the other animals who grunt, bellow, or laugh, for older readers who want to know more. Meanwhile Jenkins' signature expressive cut-paper artwork really brings each animal to life--the African crested porcupine (who whines, by the way) looks as it could poke you right through the page, while the gorilla baby looks tempting enough to tickle so you can hear its giggle.

Whether in a group setting or individually, this is a perfect informational picture book to share with animal lovers from toddlers to second graders.  

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


Many Moons by Remi Courgeon illustrates what we've always known - finger nail clippings do look like tiny crescent shaped moons.   Each night a different person sees the moon and it reminds them of a variety of things from a banana to a smile. 

This is a lovely and unexpected book on the daily changing shapes of the moon and what it images and thoughts it evokes.  It's basically the night version of looking at the clouds  as they pass overhead.  

For preschool to second grade. 

Friday, August 11, 2017


Have you ever played hide-and-seek with an elephant before? A boy is doing just that, but it seems the large animal is nowhere to be found. Can you see the elephant blending into the pages as the beautiful colors and illustrations try to fool your eyes? Will the boy find elephant in the end? 

Have You Seen Elephant? written and illustrated by David Barrow has beautiful and colorful illustrations, and is perfect for readers who enjoy silly stories and fun games.  

A great read aloud for children ages 2 and up.  

Tuesday, August 08, 2017


The Starry Giraffe is very very tall.  He's so tall that all the shorter animals ask him to reach for an apple from the way too tall apple tree for them.  Mouse would like one, then the raccoons, and even the tiny inch worm.  Will there be any apples left on the apple tree for the hungry giraffe?  Illustrated with bold yet simple graphic images and text, this is an adorable read-aloud with a gentle message about sharing and reward by Andy Bergmann

For toddlers through 2nd grade. 

Wednesday, August 02, 2017


The Queen's Handbag, whimsically written and illustrated by Steve Antony, follows Her Royal Highness--in hot pursuit of a sneaky swan who has stolen her handbag--on a trip all over Great Britain. Whether by car, by plane, by horse, or by parachute, the queen is determined to chase down the thief and reclaim her purse in grand style. From England to Wales to Ireland to Scotland and back again, this high-speed chase visits landmark after landmark, giving readers a veritable first-class if quite madcap tour of the best of the United Kingdom. 

Meticulously illustrated in a stylistically limited palette of blacks, blues, and reds, the artwork in this picture book certainly lends itself to readers poring over all the clever details from Windsor Castle to the White Cliffs of Dover and everywhere in between. Will the exceptionally intrepid queen finally apprehend the aviary bandit by journey's end? Armchair adventurers will have to follow her on travels to find out. 

This royally entertaining picture book should be a smashing success with preschoolers through second graders.