Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Spike is one ugly dog!--and he's got the award to prove it (Ugliest Dog in the Universe, that is). But Spike's life turns bad the next day when his owner abandons him. Joe, the boy next door, takes Spike home with him; but Joe's mom doesn't want to keep Spike either. Poor Spike -- looks like he's headed for the dog pound. That is, until he rescues Evangeline, the beautiful award-winning white cat from a kidnapping (catnapping might be more like it). Now Spike is the local hero and has a real home with Joe and his mom. Minnesota author and illustrator Debra Frasier has found a new way to tell a story; this time using old worn blue jeans to create collage pictures of Spike and Joe. Evangeline--well she's too beautiful for blue jeans--she's made from a lace wedding gown. You really have to see the illustrations to believe them; and don't miss this positive story about friends and pet ownership.
Monday, April 7, 2014
We all know what a dog is, right? Well,---not so fast---things are different in this lively picture book. A dog is a dog----unless it's a cat!, or maybe a ______, or maybe a ______. I won't give all the animals away--you have to read it for yourself. This is a first book by Minnesota author and illustrator Stephen Shaskan; and the lively colorful story will have young children chuckling as they read. It is great fun!
Friday, March 14, 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Arlo is visiting an art museum with his grandmother (he'd probably much prefer to be playing baseball). As grandmother reminds him how to behave, and look at the art seriously, Arlo's imagination allows him to see the art in a much different way. Written and illustrated by David LaRochelle, the pages of this book have 50 flaps that transform the works of art into something quite different (and sometimes their neighbors too). This book will probably be most appreciated by children who have some exposure to art; but the humor can be enjoyed by all.
Thursday, February 13, 2014
It's February 13, and Henry and his first grade classmates notice that their teacher, Mr. McCarthy, has a big Valentine box on his desk. "Does he have a girlfriend?" everyone wonders. All day they watch for evidence that it might be true. The next day, at the classes' Valentine party, Mr. McCarthy has a surprise for everyone. The stories of Henry and friends are written and illustrated by Nancy Carlson. Share this one with your favorite kid soon!
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Minnesota poet Joyce Sidman and artist Pamela Zagarenski have collaborated once again (they are also known for Red Sings from Treetops, a Caldecott honor book in 2010) on a collection of short poems that are arranged in four sections 1) chants and charms [to bolster courage and guard against evil], 2) spells and invocations [to cause something to happen], 3) laments and remembrances [to remember, regret, and grieve], and 4) praise songs and blessings [to celebrate, thank, or express love]. The poems touch on universal themes that teens and adults can relate to, and the illustrations are a poetic match for the words. I heard recently that this is becoming a popular gift book among adults, although the target audience is probably teens. Readers of any age will appreciate the beauty of this book.
This is also a good place to note that Joyce Sidman is the winner of the 2013 Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children, given by the National Council of Teachers of English.