Monday, October 20, 2014

This Librarian's Quick Picks: Violet Mackerel!

Violet Mackerel's Pocket Protest
by Anna Branford
Atheneum (Sep. 2nd, 2014)
Chapter Book


Violet and Rose organize a protest to save the big oak tree in Clover Park.

Why You'll Love It:
  • Aussie Violet's world is just different enough to provide an interesting change for readers entering the chapter book stage.
  • This quiet story, told in third person, is liberally illustrated with grayscale drawings.
Who Should Read It:

Great for grades 2-4.

What Else You Should Read:

Definitely the other books in the Violet Mackerel series.

Also try The Critter Club series and Heidi Heckelbeck books.

Who Else Is Talking About It:

Ellie's Booklist 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Pete the Cat Sighting!

Kid Lit Lovers,

Unless you've been living under a very boring rock, you know all about Pete the Cat and his shoes, buttons, what have you.

Nashville hosts the annual Southern Festival of Books and who was there but Pete himself!
My parents caught him on film. (Aren't they cute??)

Monday, October 13, 2014

This Librarian's Quick Picks: Bramble and Maggie - Spooky Season

Bramble and Maggie: Spooky Season
by Jessie Haas
Candlewick (Aug. 12, 2014)
Early chapter book


The scarecrow erected in the neighbor’s yard is supposed to scare birds, not horses! How will Bramble be brave enough to go trick or treating with Maggie on Halloween?

Why You'll Love It:
  •  It's an original Halloween story for newly independent readers or for reading aloud to younger children.
  • Dialogue, Maggie's occasional reflections, and a bit of onomatopoeia allow the narrative text to flow nicely as a trusting relationship develops between horse and rider.
  • Softly colored gouache illustrations illuminate expressions and follow the action from a variety of perspectives and have appropriate visual clues and generous white space for younger readers.
Who Should Read It:

Great for grades K-2.

What Else You Should Read:
Who Else Is Talking About This Book?


Saturday, October 4, 2014

This Librarian's Quick Picks: Santa Clauses

**I know, I's not even Halloween yet, but I've been chomping at the bit to blog about this book since seeing a galley of it at ALA this summer. Also, if you work in an elementary library you know that kids NEVER stop checking out Christmas books ;)

Santa Clauses: Short Poems From the North Pole
by Bob Raczka
Carolrhoda Books (Sep.1, 2014)


Santa can fly a sleigh, squeeze down chimneys, and circle the globe in a night. But did you know he also writes haiku? These twenty-five short poems--composed by Santa himself--give you a peek into life at the North Pole. 

 Why You'll Love It:
  • An engaging picture book that offers a fresh take on classic Christmas themes.
  • The haiku form proves an effective and evocative vehicle for capturing both the snowy environs of the North Pole (“December 13th: Mother Nature trims / her trees with icicles, snow, / pinecones, and moonlight.”), and the wonder and magic of the holiday season (“December 4th: Sprinkling sand on my / snow-covered steps, thinking of / nutmeg on eggnog.”).
  • Chuck Groenink’s artwork hits all the right notes. His warm, bright illustrations of life inside Santa’s house are intimate and lively, while his striking night scenes trade the homestead’s reds and browns for crisp, wintry whites and blues.
  • A gentle sense of humor permeates a number of the poems: “December 20th: Workshop warning / in effect, heavy sawdust / accumulation.”
  • Readers may be inspired to create their own winter- and holiday-themed haikus.
Who Should Read It:

Great for PreK-4th grade.

What Else You Should Read:

Saturday, September 27, 2014

This Librarian's Quick Picks: Ben Franklin's Big Splash

Ben Franklin's Big Splash: The Mostly True Story of His First Invention
by Barb Rosenstock
Calkins Creek (Sep. 1, 2014)
Picture Book 


Eleven-year-old Benjamin Franklin creates his first invention so that he can swim like a fish.

Why You'll Love It:
  •   There is plenty of emphasis on words and phrases that are highlighted by colorful and distinct typefaces, some sliding down the page or shaped like a watery wave.
  • Rosenstock spotlights Franklin's curiosity and emphasizes the steps of the scientific method (problem, research, hypothesis, test, analyze, conclude) in describing Franklin’s thought processes.
  • Ben's curiosity, wit, and athleticism shine through, and his enthusiasm for the water is catching.

Who Should Read It:

Great for grades 2-5...and here's the book trailer.

What Else You Should Read:


Saturday, September 20, 2014

This Librarian's Quick Picks: Gravity

by Jason Chin
Roaring Brook Press (April 29, 2014)

Summary in a sentence:

Color illustrations and simple text explain what would happen without gravity. 

Why You'll Love It:
  • Readers can add to their increasing knowledge of the topic with important vocabulary and comparisons that allow for deeper understanding.
  •  Colorful and incredibly detailed watercolor landscapes and close-up illustrations keep readers’ attention, and certain objects are repeated throughout the pages.
  • The images of space and the objects floating or falling therein are hypnotically arresting.

Who Should Read It:

Great for grades 2-5...and here's the curriculum guide.

What Else You Should Read: