Picture Book Round-Up November 2011

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I didn’t expect to write another picture book post but these wonderful books must be shared!

Is Everyone Ready for Fun? by Jan Thomas

If you haven’t become a Jan Thomas aficionado, where have you been? I can’t figure out why she’s not as popular as some other writers. She’s hilarious!! We are addicted to her newest book, Ready for Fun, which is a great book for reading together and practicing your silly voices!

The Amazing Adventures of Bumblebee Boy by David Soman and Jacky Davis
I love, love, love this book about Sam, an imaginative boy who is “bum ba bum bumm” — Bumblebee Boy! And he fights pirate Greenbeard in a terrible battle but, “I can play too?” asks little brother, Owen.
Owen cramps Sam’s imaginative life. Big time. Bumblebee Boy files alone to fight the fire dragon and then,”I play now?” Owen interrupts.
Bumblebee Boy must stop the people-eating circus lion.Wait, someone is rubbing the lion’s tummy. And it’s Owen!
Will Bumblebee Boy ever need a sidekick?

Samantha On a Roll by Linda Ashman, pictures by Christine Davenier

Oooh, your kids will love watching Sammy trying out her new skates, ignore her mom’s command to WAIT. Sammy skates around her house, down the sidewalk, up a hill, down a hill (meanwhile mama’s changing the baby,) through a wedding, into a parade, (now mama’s making snacks,) and back home. Mama’s none the wiser and we’re in on the big secret.

Full Moon and Star by Lee Bennett Hopkins, illustrated by Marcellus Hall

A picture book written in play format starting with Act One and stars friends Kyle and Katie who both write their own plays, one about Stars and one about a Moon. You’ll love the cooperative play writing in act three when Kyle and Katie combine their plays into one – Full Moon and Star. Love it!

The Princess and the Pig by Jonathan Emmett, illustrated by Poly Bernatene

A delightful tale prince and pauper twist! One day, farmer’s little piglet, Pigmella, and the queen’s little princess, Priscilla, accidentally switch places with no one watching. The king knows what happened, “it’s the sort of thing that happens all the time in books.” The farmer’s wife, knows it’s “the kind of thing that happens all the time in books.” So, the girl grows up with the farmer as Pigmella and the pig grows up as Princess Priscilla. When they had grown up, the farmer’s wife heard the story about the princess turning into a pig. She went to the castle with her daughter, Pigmella, and told the queen and king the whole story. But, the queen knows it’s a trick and says, “It’s a trick. . . It’s the sort of thing that happens all the time in books.” And so Pigmella returns home to live a happy life with a young shepherd husband.

The Jewel Fish of Karnak by Graeme Base

Long ago in Egypt, the Cat Pharaoh sent two scruffy thieves called Jackal and Ibis to steal back the golden Jewel Fish from the Crocodile Prince with instructions NOT to get it wet or to steal anything else. Of course, that doesn’t happen and wild adventure ensues. We not only loved this book, but the interactive puzzle on the back cover, the hieroglyphic puzzles, and online Pharaoh’s Quest.

11 Experiments That Failed by Jenny Offill & Nancy Carpenter

I’m pretty sure this book will interest your kids in science — and make you want to pull your hair out! Our heroine tries 11 unusual experiments and goes through the entire scientific process. Let me give you an example:

Question: Can a live beaver be ordered through the mail?

Hypothesis: A live beaver can be ordered through the mail.

What You Need: Five-dollar bill, envelope, stamp

What to Do:
1. Fill out mail-order beaver form.
2. Attach five-dollar bill.
3. Place form in stamped envelope.
4. Mail.

What Happened:
Allowance withheld until further notice.
House declared No Beaver zone.

You can imagine the illustrations showing these steps, right? Super funny!

Moving House by Mark Siegel

The Foggytown fog prevents Joey and Chloe from seeing anything – the stars, streetlamps, and each other.  Daddy an mama want to move but the kids don’t want to leave their beloved house. So, the house gets up and trots, hops, skips, and runs out of the fog on the top of a hill. The house is joined by rest of the buildings and when they wake up the next day, they can see for miles and miles.

Mitchell’s License by Hallie Durand, illustrated by Tony Fucile

To get young Mitchell to bed, his dad finally gives him a “Remote-Control Dad Driver’s License” good for driving daddy to get to bed. We enjoyed reading how Mitchell inspected his new car’s tires, cleaned the windshield, and put it into reverse and use the horn, among other things. It’s an inspired idea to get reluctant sleepers to bed!

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star by Jerry Pinkney

Renowned illustrator and Caldecott medal winner Jerry Pinkney illustrates in pencil, watercolor, and colored pencil using his distinctive soft style. A chipmunk gazes out of his burrow towards the sky, he emerges into the world and finds an empty bird’s nest, transformed into a boat to sail the sky – whoops, the robins want their nest back. Pinkney adds more verses and details to the traditional song.

The the traveler in the dark
Thanks you for your tiny spark.
He could not see where to go
If you did not twinkle so.

Our tiny sky rider tumbles into a lily pad, under water, and onto the back of a swan who becomes the white moon.

The Lion and the Mice by Rebecca Emberley and Ed Emberley

Oh, I love how the Emberleys illustrate! This book, an I Like to Read book, retells the familiar fable of Lion and Mouse using bold graphics and easy-to-read text.

Skippyjon Jones Class Action by Judy Schachner

Our imaginative kitty hero wants to go to school but Mama Junebug Jones says NO. – After all, schools are for the dogs, not cats. But, you know our Skippyjon, he can’t resist. SkippyJon tosses on his mask and cape and enters . . . his closet aka. school. His day is very exciting, filled with action, and discovery. Until, the principal learns . . . that there is a CAT is at school! What will Skippito do?

Grandpa Green by Lane Smith

Grandpa Green lived a full life, which he depicts in his topiary trees and shrubs. There’s the rooster from his childhood farm, and a plane from the world war, his wife and his grandkids. When Grandpa Green forgets, the garden remembers for him. A beautiful book on the aging process.

E-mergency by Tom Lichtenheld, illustrated by Ezra Fields-Meyer

Remember Shark vs. Train? Well, this punny book is by the same author and even more clever, –if that’s possible. When E takes a tumble down the stairs,  in order for E to heal, everyone must stop using her in all their words. O (who is so well-rounded) takes her place making this book hilarious and quite challenging to read out loud! AftOr all, wO usO thO lOttOr a lot! But, E doesn’t heal – is someone still using the letter E? Like THE NARRATOR!? Hmmm. . . but will he stop using E?

Keep On Reading . . . 

 Sticker Stories for 5- and 6-Year Olds

 Fall 2011 Picture Book Recommendations 

 Guerilla Tactics to Get Your Child to LOVE Reading





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  1. I love this list so much that I’m bookmarking it! There are so many books I need to keep an eye out for next time we are at the library with the kids! Thank you!