Thursday, March 22, 2018


All Harbet wants is to enjoy his Nana’s cozy, hand-knitted hat in peace. But everywhere he goes there’s a constant exasperating bleating from trend-followers about his “old hat.” So Harbet decides to get a new hat. That will stop the teasing, right?

Except the thing to know about following fashion is that trends are fleeting. Once favored flamboyant fruit cocktail hats are swiftly bulldozed by flashy flashing safety cone hats, which are then overtaken by a vogue fleet of naval ship hats, and so on and so forth. And despite all his most determined efforts, Harbet can’t seem to get ahead of the trends or escape the taunts of “old hat.”

Finally, Harbet decides on something absolutely revolutionary, and with that learns an important lesson about being true to oneself that will never go out of style.

Prolific author-illustrator Emily Gravett is an old hand (though not by any means an Old Hat) when it comes to creating gentle-humored fan favorite picture books. For more modish hat reads see this earlier review of Brian Won’s Hooray for Hat! (What can I say? I like hats.)

Ages 4+

Tuesday, March 20, 2018


I think Gus Gordon just wanted to draw birds, lots of birds.  The end pages have illustrations of old suitcase advertisements so you get the sense that this is an unusual take on birds going south for the winter.  

It's winter and fowls of all sorts are going every which way, on all manners of transportation.  Some are even using travel agents to help them get to their destinations.

The only fowl not going anywhere is George.  He's too busy baking brownies, carrot cakes, and other pastries.  He tells Pascal, the bear, that there's also ironing to do and yoga to practice so that's a no to Paris. The Andes - Nah.  But Pascal really wants a warm place to stay, like the Carribean.  

After all the excuses, because that's what they are, excuses, George finally admits the truth.  Together Pascal and George form a plan to fly...somewhere else.  

I love this story. It's unexpected.  It's poignant.  

For pre-K and older readers of all ages.

Thursday, March 15, 2018


In Bear and Chicken, Chicken wakes up to see sharp teeth, a cookbook and a pot of boiling soup.  AAARRRGGGHHH!  Bear is going to eat Chicken for dinner after finding her frozen outside in the snow.   

My question is, why is the chicken walking around in the snow with a hobo stick?  Why is the bear walking around in the winter?  Isn't he suppose to be hibernating? 

A case of misunderstanding leads Chicken and the reader to think that Bear will be eating Chicken but Bear is just trying to warm up the unconscious thing.  There's even a recipe for soup (minus the chicken) at the end of this humorous book by Jannie Ho.  

For a  read-aloud and readers in Kindergarten to Second grade. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018


A book review by Katherine: 

Can he swallow the whole world, that Danny McGee?  Don’t take my word for it, you’ll just have to see. 

What starts as two siblings’ trip to the beach, quickly becomes Danny’s mission to consume everything, and I do mean everything, in the world.  Fans of Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein will positively devour the rhymes and flow of Danny McGee Drinks the Sea.  With a pinch of naughtiness, a dash of gluttony and a smidgen of sibling rivalry, this book is the perfect recipe for some lighthearted reading fun.  Andy Stanton’s entertaining rhyming text is perfect for read alouds, while Neal Layton’s amusing illustrations beg for closer inspection in one-on-one or independent readings. 

For ages 4-10    

Tuesday, March 06, 2018


Ready to enjoy some nursery rhymes with a twist? Just take Mother Goose rhythms and Rebecca Colby’s poems, and together they make a rollicking fun book called Motor Goose: Rhymes That Go! These entertaining poems are sure to delight fans of nursery rhyme and cars, trucks, and airplanes. Itsy Bitsy Spider becomes Swoopy-Loopy Airplane and Little Miss Muffet becomes Little Miss MIxer. The whimsically illustrated vehicles by Jef Kaminsky are memorable because of their bright colors and cartoon drawings.

This exciting book is a great one to share with children. Read the unique rhymes fast or slow because they are a fun way for children to develop their phonological skills. By singing these rhymes over and over again, children will have an opportunity to hear the small parts of each word, which will help them as they learn to read. Beep! Beep! Check out this book and goooo... have fun!

For ages 2-5

Thursday, March 01, 2018


It's a busy, busy, busy at the construction site. Dozer, Crane, and Digger are pushing, hoisting, and digging to build tall buildings for working, roads for driving, and bridges for crossing. One day Digger comes across a small, blue flower growing amidst all the construction. As the other construction vehicles keep building up the city, Digger visits the flower each day to nurture it's growth. Soon, the space where the lone little flower is growing is the only place that's not built up, and the Crane insists that they need to put a building there too. Will Digger be able to stop them, and if not, what will become of the last little flower in the city? 

The Digger and the Flower, simply yet poignantly written and illustrated by Joseph Kuefler, is a deceptively quiet picture book that packs a huge emotional punch. Just when things seem devastating, hope peeks through the darkness, and we readers are reminded of the triumph and resilience of the human spirit. Have your tissues handy, parents, because this book might make you cry--first from sadness, but then ultimately from the beauty of hope. 

This is not your typical construction vehicle book--it's a deeply touching read to share with preschoolers through second graders. 

Tuesday, February 27, 2018


Fidelia Quail and her family were on their last outing at sea before winter and the beginning of the Undertow, when her parents perished in a storm. Deep in a depressive state over the loss of her family, Fidelia's aunt Julia wants to move to the mainland, but Fidelia doesn't want to move away from Aborley Bay and all she knows and loves.  

But when she is kidnapped by the notorious pirate Merrick the Monstrous, Fidelia is forced to use her knowledge of sharks and her skill in invention to find his most prized treasure. Pursued by Her Majesty's Naval Admiral, Merrick presses Fidelia to finish her underwater breathing invention before time runs out. Will Fidelia ever be able to just go back home to her Aunt Julia? 

Race to the Bottom of the Sea by Lindsay Eager is a thrilling novel about an eleven-year-old's love of sharks, the sea, and her family, told both in the past and in the present.

Ideal for readers in 5th through 8th grades.

Thursday, February 22, 2018


There aren't many stories about grandfathers and these two deserve a special mention.  Check out my all time favorite, Grandpa Green by Lane Smith from a few years ago, too. 
The Lost Picnic by b.b. Cronin is a very unusual and intensely colorful story of going on a picnic with grandad.  Instead of following the classic rhyme of putting something into the basket, something falls out of the basket on each double page spread.  At the end of the story, everyone realizes the basket is empty and they have to go back and search for the picnic food.  Now the reader must retrace page by page to help the family find everything.  See if you can find all the food falling out at each turn and stop.  

My Grandfather's Chair by Jiyeon Pak
Grandpa needs a new chair and so the search begins for that one special chair, but after trying many, many chairs none feel right.  Eventually he gets a brand new custom made chair fitting only him but he worries about bad things happening to the chair, so he puts it away for safe keeping.  Grandpa goes for a walk, a rest and a bit of reading when he realizes he has just found the perfect seat - a tree stump.  

These two books are great reads for preschool up to second grade readers.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018


Just sharing some sweet new dog and cat picture books from the collection.   

The Very Very Very Long Dog by Julia Patton Bartelby is a very very long dog who can't see his tail's end and causes mayhem for his friends whenever he goes out.  A creative solution makes for a happy ending for Bartelby.   

I love Cats! by Sue Stainton and Bob Staake is for someone who loves cats: Happy cats, prancing cats, blinking cats, cats, cats, CATS! 

My Lazy Cat by Christine Roussey is another fun book about a girl and her very very round cat who does "nothing" all day long.  

For Preschool through Kindergarten readers. 

Thursday, February 15, 2018


Mrs. White Rabbit (wife of that famous White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland) shares her concerns and many household problems in her diary after having just moved to a new home. First on her list is her oldest daughter, who wants to be a housewife one moment and a scuba diver the next. The twins are always up to something and not always a good thing. She is concerned about all of her other children as well as her husband, the White Rabbit. On top of all this, an invisible cat, probably from Cheshire, just suddenly shows up everywhere in the house, too. 

The amazing thing about this is book are the illustrations and the references to Alice in Wonderland and other fairytale characters, if one looks carefully. In one spread Bachelet draws 100 different carrot dishes from the cookbook 100 Ways to Cook Carrots! Fantastic!  Mrs. White Rabbit by Gilles Bachelet is great fun for parent and child from preschool through second grade. 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018


Ox writes a letter to Gazelle, raving about her beauty and telling her how much he adores her, but arrogant Gazelle just sends him a generic fan photo, insulting him in letter after letter. Undeterred, or being thick, Ox continues to extol her virtues, intelligence and honesty. Another fun picture book by the team of Adam Rex (author of The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors) and Scott Campbell (illustrator of the Zombie in Love books), XO, OX combines great watercolor illustrations with hilarious word play, making this a good read aloud for kindergartners to adults.  

XO, OX is a thought provoking read right before Valentine's DayIs this an unrequited love story or an obsessive stalker-ish love? Either way you see it, I love it.  

Thursday, February 08, 2018


The month of February often brings many families to the library looking for books about Valentine's Day. This month, in addition to the all the typical Valentine's stories, try exploring other books about love and friendship all month long.  

Read and talk about the concepts of family and familial love with your little ones. Authors such as Karen Katz, Eric Hill, Emma Dodd, and Anne Dewdney are just of the wonderful storytellers that write on this topic. Some books you and your little one might like are:

In addition to books about family you might like to read books about friends and what it means to be a good friend. The library also has many great titles on this topic to share and enjoy with your little ones.

Tuesday, February 06, 2018


From the moment we wake up from a good night's rest, we can only hope for a good day to begin.  But what happens when we wake up on the wrong side of the bed?  Georgie knows exactly how this feels and his friends feel the same way.

Ruth Chan's darling story and illustrations capture many examples of what can go wrong in a day.  The message she conveys is that sometimes an unexpected event can really turn things around for the better.  So, with a sprinkle of patience, wonderful friends, and lots of laughter, you can also have a version of Georgie's Best Bad Day!  

For ages 2-5.

Thursday, February 01, 2018


The Statue of Liberty is an enduring symbol of freedom in America, but for such a well known emblem, there is still much to learn about her. How did such a big statue--a gift from France--get from Paris to her home in the New York harbor? Why did she start her life brown and then turn into her signature greenish-blue color? But perhaps the most interesting of these lesser-known details of Lady Liberty has to do with her feet. Specifically her right one, hence the title of this book. If you look closely, you can see that her foot is lifting up as if in mid-stride. That's right, the famous 150-foot-tall statue, representing liberty as she welcomes many immigrants and visitors to American shores, is on the move! Where might she be going? 

Her Right Foot by Dave Eggers, illustrated by Shawn Harris, is a fun, fascinating, and deeply affecting portrait of the Statue of Liberty, which posits that her active pose serves as a reminder that liberty and freedom from oppression "require unwillingness to rest." From the first immigrants she welcomed in 1886 to those still arriving today from every country around the world, Lady Liberty's job receiving the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free, never ends--and it never should. 

This dynamic and poignant extended-length picture book will make an inspiring read for kindergartners and up.