This week @ Storytime

Friday, October 29, 2010

We had a busy week at our storytimes and we read the following books:

Tales for 2's and 3's
Bats at the Ballgame or Bats at the Library by Brian Lies
The Skeleton in the Closet written by Alice Schertle

Fun for 4's and 5's
The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch
Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson
The Tickle Octopus by Audrey and Dan Wood

Family Fun Night: Barnyard Fun
The Cow who Clucked by Denise Fleming
The Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown
Punk Farm by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

Thoughts on Newbery and Caldecott 2011 (Part 2)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

In our last post on the book awards I discussed some of the front-runners for the Caldecott Medal. Now it's the Newbery Medal's turn.  We are still making our way through the books that are generating buzz but here's what we have read so far and what we think about it... 

What Happened on Fox Street by Tricia Springstubb
The story of lovable Mo Wren and her friends and neighbors reminds me a lot of past winner, The Higher Power of Lucky. It's got a plucky heroine, a little bit of mystery and a lot of heart. I felt the mystery was a little too obvious and as a result there are some slow spots. But What Happened on Fox Street does pack a lot of emotion in a slim book. If that's enough to win the Newbery remains to be seen...

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
This book has definite Newbery potential.  The story of three sister, Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern, who fly across the country to Oakland to meet the mother who abandoned them, is both an adventure and a heart breaker. I really enjoyed getting immersed in the world of 1960's Oakland.  My only criticism is that the end felt rushed.  But overall, it was a stellar book.

Countdown by Deborah Wiles
This “documentary novel” is the first in the planned Sixties Trilogy and a sure contender this awards season. You can read our Book Buzz Review here. The format of this book is really what makes it a stand out.  Something this new and different is sure to catch the notice of the awards committee!

But we just aren't ready to make a final Newbery prediction yet.  There is too much more to read and discuss. Next up, we'll write about Plain Kate by Erin Bow, Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper, Alchemy and Meggy Swann by Karen Cushman, and more.  And please let us know what your own thoughts and predictions are!

November Book Buzz

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Fabled Fifth Graders of Aesop Elementary School by Candace Fleming
They are back. Those fourth graders that no one wanted to teach. When last we saw this crew of misfit students, their teacher, Mr. Jupiter, was doing a great job of teaching the children without them realizing that they were learning! Well Mr. Jupiter is back and he has the same crew of kids, only they are in fifth grade now. Through this quick read, the students learn all sorts of morals like: “expect the unexpected”, “little by little does the trick”, “many of life’s mysteries remain unexplained” and many more. Mr. Jupiter even goes so far as to teach the students how to write fables of their own, with a modern twist. This was a fun book to read as well as to learn from. I hope that I get to see these students again… the sixth grade. Jacquie (J Fiction)

Boom! by Mark Haddon
Jim has a pretty ordinary life in England, parents and an older sister, Becky, that torments him and his best friend Charlie. He’s not a great student in school and his sister has told him they are going to expel him and send him to an awful school. So he and Charlie decide to bug the teachers room to spy on them and see if what Becky said is true. The strangest thing happens, they overhear two teachers talking in some unknown language. Things only go downhill from here. Charlie disappears and Jim and Becky are on the run to track him down. You have to read it to see what they encounter and if they can save Charlie. Kristin (J Fiction)

Countdown by Deborah Wiles
Franny Chapman is thinking a lot about peace. Can she make peace with her friend, Margie, who has turned mean and spiteful? Can she make peace with her mom, who is so distracted, and with her sister, who has run off to stay with a friend? Can she make peace with Nikita Khrushchev? (She composes a mental letter to him each night as she tries to fall asleep.) Franny’s life feels scary and out of control- mirroring the state of the world. Interspersed between the chapters of Franny’s story are photographs, quotes, song lyrics, and ephemera from 1962 which set the tone for the book. This “documentary novel” is the first in the planned Sixties Trilogy and a sure contender this awards season. Meghan (J Fiction)

What Happened on Fox Street by Tricia Springstubb
Mo Wren has lived in her house on Fox Street all her life. Fox street has everything Mo needs. There’s a  lush ravine to explore, the perfect plum tree in their back yard, and neighbors who look out for Mo and her younger sister. Mo’s best friend Mercedes also comes to stay on Fox Street with her grandmother every summer. Most importantly, Fox Street and the Wren house is where all of Mo’s memories of her mother are. But things start to change on Fox Street. A vacant house is bought by a developer and torn down. Then other residents start getting letters from the same developer. Could this mean the end of Fox Street? Not if Mo has anything to do with it! Alia (J Fiction)

This Week @ Storytime

Friday, October 22, 2010

Here are the books we read in storytime this week:

Tales for 2's and 3's
The Cow Loves Cookies written by Karma Wilson
A Cat and a Dog written by Claire Masurel

Fun for 4's and 5's
Children Make Terrible Pets by Peter Brown
My Cat Jack by Patricia Casey
My Dog Toby by Andrea Zimmerman and David Clemesha
I Took My Frog to the Library by Eric A. Kimmel

Freckleface Strawberry on Stage

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Looks like musicals based on picture books are the new thing! "Freckleface Strawberry," a family musical  based on Julianne Moore's children's books is opening Friday at Off-Broadway's New World Stages.

Read more here.

This week @ Storytime...

Friday, October 15, 2010

This week at storytime we read:

Tales for 2's and 3's
Balancing Act by Ellen Stoll Walsh
A Frog in the Bog by Karma Wilson

Fun for 4's and 5's
Firehouse by Mark Teague
My Mom is a Firefighter by Lois G. Grambling
Figherfighter Ted by Andrea Beaty and Pascal Lamaitre
Stop Drop and Roll by Margery Cuyler

October Book Buzz

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Bad Kitty vs. Uncle Murray by Nick Bruel
always wondered what went through the mind of an animal, when its owner went away on vacation.  Someone usually comes in to feed it, play with it, and walk it if necessary.  But did anyone ask the animal if it was ok?  NOOOOOOO!  Well, Nick Bruel delights again in the latest addition to the Bad Kitty series.  We know that Kitty is temperamental, but in BAD KITTY VS. UNCLE MURRAY, it almost looks like Uncle Murray is not going to make it out alive! When push comes to shove, and Kitty finally gets what she wants… she realizes that it may not be what she really really wants! Get ready for a silly story with lots to look and laugh at! Jacquie (J Fiction)

Princess Posey and the First Grade Parade by Stephanie Greene
Posey is pretty nervous about starting first grade, especially after her neighbors scare her with stories of monsters that live in the halls at school. Posey also doesn’t understand why she can’t wear her favorite ballerina costume to school every day. So, it is a good thing she meets her new teacher in the store.  They help each other get ready for the first day! The illustrations by Stephanie Roth Sisson are a charming addition. Kristin (J Fiction)

Knuffle Bunny Free: an unexpected diversion by Mo Willems
In this third (and supposedly final) installment in Willems’ popular series, Knuffle Bunny and Trixie set out, with Trixie’s parents in tow, to visit Oma and Opa in Holland. It isn’t until Trixie is enjoying some cool chocolate milk in Oma’s garden that she realizes Knuffle Bunny was left on the plane, and OH NO- that plane is headed to China! Is Trixie “big enough” to cope without her beloved friend? I am a huge fan of the Knuffle Bunny books (who isn’t?) and I was thrilled with this touching conclusion. I may have even shed a tear. Meghan (Picture book)

First Light by Rebecca Stead
Peter and Thea are connected, but they don't realize it. Peter lives in New York where his parents are university professors.  He is thrilled when he is given the chance to accompany his parents on an expedition to Greenland to study global warming.  Thea lives in Gracehope, in a world sealed off under the ice. She longs to explore the surface and find a new place for her people to live.  A chance meeting brings Peter and Thea together but it could also put Thea’s whole world in danger.  If you like books like City of Ember you won’t want to miss First LightAlia (J Fiction)

Thoughts on the 2011 Caldecott and Newbery

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Every January the American Library Association announces the winners of two of the biggest children's books awards: the Newbery and the Caldecott Medals. And we librarians like to spend the months leading up to January trying to predict the winners of these awards.   The Newbery Medal is awarded annually to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. The Caldecott Medal honors the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.

So, what are our predictions for the 2011 awards? Let's start with the Caldecott. 

There have been some fabulous picture books published this year. One of our favorites is City Dog, Country Frog by Mo Willams, with illustrations by John Muth. The watercolor illustrations gorgeously depict the friendship between these two animals.  

Another is Eric Rohmann’s new Last Song (a picture book adaptation of James Guthrie’s old Scottish poem). It just draws you in right from the cover illustration!

We also loved The Boss Baby by two-time Caldecott Honor winner Marla Frazee. Could this book be the one that makes her a Caldecott Medal winner?  We'll see...

Then there's Chalk by Bill Thomson.  This wordless picture book is reminiscent of Jumanji. with its pages come to life theme.  The illustrations are so vivid it is in fact easy to believe they could jump off right out of the book.
But the book we predict will take the big prize is Art & Max by David Wiesner.  Yes, yes...we know Wiesner has already won the Caldecott three times before. But when we saw the illustrations for this book we just couldn't imagine anything topping it.  Art & Max takes us on a remarkable journey through the art world.  Come by the library and check the book out and let us know what you think. Can Wiesner pull off a FOURTH win?

And check back soon for our some of our Newbery predictions....

This Week @ Storytime....

This week we read the following books:

Tales for 2's and 3's
All for Pie, Pie for All, written by David Martin and illustrated by Valeri Gorbachev
The Busy Little Squirrel by Nancy Tafuri
Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert

Fun for 4's and 5's
The Grumpy Morning by Darcia Labrosse
What are You so Grumpy About? by Tom Lichtenheld
The Grumpy Dump Truck by Brie Spangler
Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard
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