Posts Tagged ‘easy picture books’

Henry in Love

Monday, November 8th, 2010

Oh. My. Goodness.  I think I have a new favorite book.  Henry in Love by Peter McCarty is an absolute delight.  Here’s what the reviewers had to say:

Horn Book Guide Reviews
Shy cat Henry has a crush on rabbit classmate Chloe and doesn’t know what to do about it; a blueberry muffin ultimately helps. McCarty shows genuine respect for children’s interpersonal relationships. Not a stroke of his pen is superfluous: delicate ink with modest watercolor shading sits on warm cream-colored pages. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews
With precise figures placed in vignettes on a gorgeous creamy stock, McCarty tells a sweetly simple, utterly sincere schoolyard love story. Each with one of Mrs. Calico’s blueberry muffins in his backpack, cat Henry, his older brother Tim and Henry’s dog friend Sancho head off to school—where rabbit Chloe, “the loveliest girl in his class,” sits in the back row, surrounded by a field of love-induced poppies. When, despite Sancho’s advice (“You’re not going to talk to a girl, are you?”). Henry approaches her at recess, a combination of acrobatics and a game of tag makes them friends. And when their teacher rearranges the class seating so they are next to one another, a snacktime carrot-and-muffin swap (with poppies festooned around them) cements the relationship. There’s nothing sly or cynical here—just a celebration of the moment. (Picture book. 3-6) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Reviews
McCarty (Jeremy Draws a Monster) keenly observes a schoolyard crush in this charmer. The cover pictures Henry, an openhearted boy cat, sitting at his desk alongside Chloe, a coquettish bunny. Chloe wears a mysterious grin and a flowered dress of palest pink, and her long ears flop carelessly to one side (“He thought she was the loveliest girl in his class”). McCarty nails several aspects of grade-school life (Henry demonstrates his “best forward roll” to impress Chloe) and loads his compact sentences with meaning and longing. At one point, Chloe, who sits in the back row, coyly asks, “Are you looking at me?” as delicate wildflowers roar across the page, blithely encapsulating Henry’s adulation. And in a playground game of tag, she taunts him from atop the jungle gym, “You will never catch me!” McCarty crafts Chloe as a perfect flirt, who claims the blueberry muffin Henry has saved for snack time, and Henry as smitten and quietly hopeful. This gentle, pitch-perfect romance will have readers’ hearts thumping with the thrill of first love. Ages 3–6. (Jan.)[Page 51]. Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews
PreS-Gr 1—Henry the cat is in love with Chloe, the cute little bunny in the back row. On this particular day, his mother makes blueberry muffins for her sons to take for lunch, but Henry saves his for afternoon snack as a special treat. He is the typical little boy who is short on words but big on action. He does a forward roll to impress Chloe, but she bests him with an impressive cartwheel. Later, the teacher reassigns seats and Chloe moves up next to Henry. At snack time, she asks him what he has, and he shows her his big, beautiful blueberry muffin. Henry, who has yet to say a word to his favorite little girl, is surprised but pleased when Chloe thanks him and takes it. It seems that all is fair in love and kindergarten. McCarty’s meticulous ink and watercolor art greatly extends the spare, understated text. The exquisite cream-colored pages bring richness to the presentation that makes readers want to turn each page. This beautiful book should appeal to the little ones who have a special someone in their lives but dare not say a word about it.—Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA[Page 77]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Brave Charlotte

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

Here is a new favorite among the ladies in the Children’s Department: Brave Charlotte!  The illustrations are just wonderful! 
A fun fact: this book was originally written in German!

Horn Book Magazine Reviews
Prone to climbing trees and mountains, and standing at the side of a busy road for the simple pleasure of staring at traffic, Charlotte is different from the other sheep, and not even the stalwart — but aging — sheepdog Jack knows what to do about her. One darkening autumn afternoon, the shepherd breaks his leg, and with Jack now too old to go the distance, it’s up to Charlotte to get help. It’s not a new story, but the telling is attractively economical: while the other sheep are given to choruses of disapproval (“tut, tut, tut”), Charlotte herself never says a word, allowing her actions to speak all the louder. The whimsy of the premise is given considerable dignity by the almost majestic acrylic paintings, which place the bold and simple shapes of the characters against richly atmospheric land- and skyscapes, never more dramatic than in the sequence of pages showing Charlotte’s rescue mission, “over fields, through the fast-running stream, and over the mountain tops, until it got dark.” The sturdy story, brief text, and large scale of the pictures make this a great choice for a story hour looking for a hero. Copyright 2006 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews
Not so much a black sheep as one who just doesn’t buy into the herd thing, Charlotte is forever causing the older woolly heads to tut-tut at her un-sheep-like behavior. Her predilection for wandering off to hang out in trees, take a swim or clamber up mountains stands her in good stead, though, when the old sheepherder breaks his leg, and someone has to undertake a long trip to fetch the farmer. Wilson follows the errant ovine’s escapades in big, outdoorsy, soft-focus scenes well populated by woolly onlookers with comically astonished expressions. In the end, her successful mission leaves the older sheep nodding to themselves that, even though the shepherd and his dog might be getting on, “as long as Charlotte is here to watch over us, we should be okay.” An appealing suggestion that independence in young human mavericks is worth nurturing, however worrisome it may sometimes be. (Picture book. 6-8) Copyright Kirkus 2005 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.
Library Media Connection
This book is a celebration of those brave, boisterous, and adventuresome personalities in our classrooms, libraries, and living rooms. They are the ones who are not afraid to take a risk and who want to try something new! Charlotte, the sheep, climbs to the highest hill, swims in the deepest waters, runs out at night, and climbs tall trees. The other sheep are constantly appalled, but when the shepherd breaks his leg one day and someone is needed to go to the valley for help, who is brave enough to go? Only Charlotte. Her trip to get help does require bravery, but Charlotte is definitely up to the challenge. The full-page illustrations are simple yet enticing, and colorful yet muted. Recommended. Roxanne Welch Mills, Supervisor of Media Services, Chesapeake (Virginia) Public Schools © 2006 Linworth Publishing, Inc.
Publishers Weekly Reviews
The creators of Santa’s Littlest Helper offer a snippet of a tale about an intrepid little lamb who “had been different right from the start.” While all the other lambs “just stood shyly by their mothers,” feisty Charlotte snoozes on a high tree branch, climbs to the top of a precipitous peak and roams the countryside at night. When the elderly shepherd falls and breaks his leg, the sheep decide that Jack, the aging sheepdog, isn’t up to the job of going for help. Youngsters won’t be surprised when Charlotte volunteers for the task, despite the protests of her peers (“The little rascal?”; “Out of the question!”), and succeeds with flying colors. Wilson’s deadpan humor comes through in acrylics that brim with diverting images of Charlotte’s spontaneous bravura (which takes her to some humorously precarious perches) as well as droll depictions of her fellow sheep’s incredulous gazes. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)[Page 47]. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Big Wolf & Little Wolf: The Little Leaf that Wouldn’t Fall

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

I have fallen in love (no pun intended) with Big Wolf & Little Wolf: The Little Leaf that Wouldn’t Fall!  It is a tale of friendship, patience, and beauty. Little Wolf must wait season after season for a leaf that hangs on a tree branch to fall.  When winter comes and the leaf still remains in the tree, Big Wolf climbs up to retrieve it for his friend.  As he reaches for it, the fragile leaf breaks apart and falls down onto Little Wolf.  Instead of disappointment, Little Wolf’s reaction is one of wonder. 

Nadine Brun-Cosme’s Big Wolf & Little Wolf was just named a Batchelder Award Honor book.  Learn more about the Batchelder Award here.

a child’s garden: a story of hope

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

A Child’s Garden: a Story of Hope by Michael Foreman is just that: a beautiful story of hope.  It is the tale of a young boy, living in a rundown community, who discovers a small, green plant growing amid the rubble.  He cares for it and nurtures it until it blooms and is enjoyed by all.  Even though those on the other side of the fence attempt to destroy their happiness, hope prevails when both sides of the fence come together to grow something.

Johnny Appleseed

Friday, September 25th, 2009

Saturday, September 26 is Johnny Appleseed’s birthday!  The Wheaton Public Library has books, audio books, and movies all about the legend of Johnny Appleseed.  Find out what we have here.


And what better time than now, at the beginning of fall, to start thinking about apples!  There is a wonderful book, How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman, that takes the reader on an adventure around the world to gather the ingredients that go into an apple pie.  At the end of the book, find a recipe to make your own apple pie.  Here is a great recipe for one of my favorite desserts, sour cream apple pie.

Willoughby & the Lion

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

Willoughby & the Lion is one of the newest books by Greg Foley.  Foley is also the author of Don’t Worry Bear, Good Luck Bear, and Thank You BearWilloughby & the Lion follows the story of a boy who is granted ten wishes by a golden lion.  Though he uses his wishes selfishly at first, Willoughby has a change of heart and chooses to use his gift to help a friend.  The illustrations, a mix of gold and black, are eye-catching and intriguing.  There is also a special surprise at the end of the book for the children.

Mo Willems

Saturday, August 29th, 2009

Do you love Pigeon?  How about Elephant & Piggie, the Duckling, Edwina, Knuffle Bunny, Leonardo, and the Naked Mole Rat?  Well, I’ve got something for you!  Anyone who likes Mo Willems’ books will love his website  Play games featuring the Naked Mole Rat and the Pigeon (the Elephant & Piggie dance game is my favorite), check out coloring pages you can print of your favorite character, find out what’s new in the works of Mo Willems on his blog, and much, much more!

Also check out all of the Mo Willems books here at the Wheaton Public Library!

Boats, Airplanes, Cars, Trains, Trucks: the Books of Patricia Hubbell

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

Patricia Hubbell has a wonderful collection of books centering around things that go.  Written with rhyming verse and interesting illustrations, her books will appeal  to young children, especially boys.  “Single-wing and biplanes./ Searching-from-the-sky planes./ Mail planes./ Weather planes./ Bringing-us-together planes” are lines from Airplanes: Soaring! Turning! Diving!  Throughout the books, Hubbell shows these boats, airplanes, cars, trains, and trucks in motion and doing their jobs.  At the end of each book, she concludes, “They do their jobs…and then they rest.” 

The illustrations by Megan Halsey and Sean Addy are colorful and labeled to help children learn the different components of the machines being discussed.  In Boats: Speeding! Sailing! Cruising!, readers learn the parts of a four-mast ship: stern, jiggermast, crow’s nest, mizzenmast, mainmast, foremast, bow, prow, and figurehead.  In Trains: Steaming! Pulling! Huffing!, they come to know the jobs involved with trains: conductor, porter, engineer, cook, and waiter.

Here’s a list of the books mentioned here.  I hope you enjoy them!

Trucks: Whizz! Zoom! Rumble!

Boats: Speeding! Sailing! Cruising!

Trains: Steaming! Pulling! Huffing!

Cars: Rushing! Honking! Zooming!

Airplanes: Soaring! Turning! Diving!

Cool Daddy Rat

Friday, August 7th, 2009

“Cool Daddy Rat/ shooby dooby doo dat/ grabbed his hat in his rat flat/ zowie zowie zoo zat” are the opening lines of Cool Daddy Rat by Kristyn Crow and illustrated by Mike Lester.  The story is told using scat and is a wonderful read-aloud book for children.  The lines have great rhythm and the illustrations are colorful scenes of the city and jazz spots.  Cool Daddy Rat is the story of a young rat who follows his daddy, a jazz musician, to his gigs and discovers his own scat skills.  We’ve all read it with a smile on our faces here at the library!

Think Happy!

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

Nancy Carlson has come out with another positive and uplifting book, Think Happy!  Her illustrations are inviting and her words tell of great ways that kids (and adults) can find happiness in the world.