Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Construction Crew by Lynn Meltzer

We read every truck book we can find at our house and this was a recent find on the new book shelf at the library!! Short text, mostly rhyming though some was forced.

Tons if dirt
And Lots of muck
What do we need?
Dump truck!

A great, simple introduction to the world of trucks for kids, and adults like me still learning all the names and functions!!

Text: 4 Buckeye leaves
Illustrations: 4 Buckeye leaves (Bright, colorful, kid friendly)
Endpages: 5 Buckeye leaves (We spent lots of time studying this page and discussing our favorite trucks!!)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

It's a small world by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman

The very popular song is illustrated in this adorable book with illustrations by Joey Chou. Each page features words from the song with corresponding illustrations. Many cultures are illustrated throughout the book. A cd comes with the book allowing readers to listen and read.
Illustrations: 5 Buckeye leaves - adorable!! Very colorful!!

Is everyone ready for FUN? by Jan Thomas

Yahoo!! Was so excited to see this on the NEW BOOK SHELF this morning at the library! Jan Thomas' books are always fun and this is no exception. I can't wait to share this with my kinders when I get back in January (so hands off Kinder teachers if you are reading this :) The three cows decide they want to have fun on chicken's sofa. Chicken does not agree. Each "fun" activity is something safe that a classroom of kids could do without trips to the clinic. Love it...get those kiddos up and moving!!

Text: 5 Buckeye leaves
Illustrations: 5 Buckeye leaves

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Grizzly Bear with the Frizzly Hair by Sean Taylor

The grizzly bear with the frizzly hair is hungry and there is nothing left because he has eaten it all. He comes upon a itzy-bitzy rabbit which he has decided will be his dinner. The rabbit may be small but what he is lacking in size, he makes up for in smarts. He convinces the bear to come look in the river for a much bigger dinner. Bear arrives at the river and is not the least bit disappointed and sees dinner. The bear decides to jump in after the mocking creature and quickly learns that it is not quite what he hoped for. Clever story. Readers will slowly unravel rabbit's plan. Fun!!

Text: 4 Buckeye leaves
Illustrations: 4 Buckeye leaves

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Home For Christmas by Jan Brett

Rollo a little troll, who still has his tail since he has not performed good deeds required for it to fall off, decides he will run away rather than help his parents and sister. Rollo lives with an owl family, family of bears, some otters, a lynx and finally a family of moose before he decides he misses his family and needs to return home. On Christmas Eve, the family gathers to enjoy the holiday and realize Rollo has finally lost his tail. Another enjoyable story with incredible illustrations, that you really must look at more than once. Great story that falls in the categories of family and responsibility.

Text: 4 Buckeye leaves
Illustrations: 5 Buckeye leaves

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Jeanette Claus Saves Christmas by Douglas Rees

Apparently Santa has a daughter named Jeanette....who knew!?!? But thank goodness he does because on Christmas Eve Santa comes down with a nasty cold and Jeanette must step in to drive the sleigh and deliver toys. Of course Santa is very worried, especially since those reindeer of his can some times be a little difficult to deal with, especially Dasher. Jeanette is up to the challenge and takes off with the reluctant reindeer. Jeanette is feeling pretty good and thinking her job may be finished early when the pin connecting the harness to the sleigh fell out and the reindeer take off, leaving Jeanette stranded. Jeanette does not know what to do. Luckily she soon makes some new friends, animal friends, and is able to return to the North Pole. Santa is quite happy with her performance as well as the new friends she brought home. A new spin on Christmas. Not sure how some reindeer fans may take the reindeer not being so easy to get along with. The illustrations are very cute, bright and cheery. Warning: There is a word on my list of words not approved to be spoken by the younger crowd in our house used in the book - "stupid" - so be forewarned.

Text: 3 Buckeye leaves
Illustrations: 4 Buckeye leaves

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Good Little Wolf by Nadia Shireen

I found this book to be quite funny....and when you hear what happens, you might wonder about me :) Mrs. Boggins has a "good little wolf" named Rolf. He does everything you would not expect a wolf to do: eats vegetables, nice to friends, etc. Rolf does not know anything about those "other" wolves - the kind that are NOT nice. One day Rolf meets one of those wolves. The Big bad wolf tries to get Rolf to be more like him. Rolf snaps. He realizes he can not be that way - and ties up the big bad wolf until he agrees to be "bad". And then......

well I can't give away the ending....check public library!!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Just a Little Luck by Mercer Mayer

We have a BIG FAN of Little Critters books at our house so when I saw this at the library, I knew we have to check it out. Little Critter finds a penny on the ground but can not remember whether it was heads up or tails up. Little Critter thinks it must be tails up as he has a sting of bad luck: dropping ice cream, flat tire, falling off bike, school project ruined, etc. Little critter starts feeling pretty sorry for himself. On Saturday Grandpa takes him to the fair, and things improve and the string of bad luck has ended. I think there is a message that adults could benefit from as well. A good book to start a classroom discussion.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Pip & Squeak by Ian Schoenherr

Pip and Squeak (2 mice) are headed to celebrate Gus's birthday day! Of course it is snowing so they will need a "sled", also known as an envelope. They are well on their way when they realize they forgot the "gift", also known as cheese! Rather than going home they decide to look along the way. Finally they come upon a snowman with an orange nose....cheese? They finally arrive at Gus's party but will he like the "cheese"? First look at this book may lead one to think this is a book for the very young - the text is short and simple. However the shortness of the text requires lots of "filling in" by the reader. Adam and I had a great laugh at the end of the story as well - Gus very much likes his "cheese".....because he is a rabbit!! Illustrations are super cute!!

Text: 4 Buckeye leaves
Illustrations: 5 Buckeye leaves (Adorable)

The Christmas Song:Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire

Mel Torme and Robert Wells famous Christmas Song is adorably illustrated in this book published in 2007. We enjoy "reading" song books at our house...mainly because I rarely know the REAL words. I will admit that I have been told to "stop" singing....and apparently the 3 1/2 year old has some high standards!! I love the pictures - very cute and compliment the words perfectly. Great book to follow along while listening to one of the most popular Christmas songs!

Illustrations: 5 Buckeye Leaves

Friday, December 9, 2011

Sana's Stuck by Rhonda Gowler Greene

I had great intentions BUT a 3 1/2 year old that continues to fight going to sleep and a little thing call Pinterest has gotten in the way of my good intentions to blog more this week. BUT this book I actually found off a website that I came across thanks to Pinterest. Unfortunately now I can't find the link to the activity for this book. As you might guess from the title, Santa is out doing this job one Christmas Eve, doing as he always does, when he gets stuck in the chimney. The family dog comes to help him but he is not successful. Next the cat and her kittens try to help out. Soon the mouse joins the task and of course POP out comes Santa. The book is older but I think kids will enjoy it for the rhyming as well as the funny content with matching illustrations!

Illustrations: 3 Buckeye leaves
Text: 4 Buckeye leaves

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Great Reindeer Rebellion by Lisa Trumbauer

Found this one on the bargain table at Barnes and Noble today! 'Twas the Night Before Christmas with a new spin! Santa's reindeer have decided they have some demands that need to be met.

They said, "We are finished!
We've had quite enough
of pulling your sleigh with
such big, heavy stuff!"

Being under a time crunch, Santa decides to interview other animals for the job. The dogs did a great job until they started sniffing and smelling. The cats were on a roll until a sneaky mouse runs in front of the team of cats and the felines shake out of the harness. Seems no animals can replace the reindeer. In an effort to bring the reindeer back Santa agrees to

"A whirlpool and sauna
would make us quite able.
And real beds, not grass, AND
a heater - and cable."

Santa agrees, the contract is signed, and Santa heads off with his trusty eight. A great addition to any Christmas collection of books. Fun pictures and fun text = enjoyable reading for Christmas time!

Text: 4 Buckeye leaves
Illustrations: 5 Buckeye leaves

Saturday, December 3, 2011

When Santa Lost His Ho! Ho! Ho! by Laura Rader

Christmas is just a few days away and the North Pole is a busy place with final preparations being made for the big day. Oh no...there is a problem!! Santa has lost his HO HO HO!!! Everyone is eager to help but even the funniest jokes, pies in the face, reindeer kick line, and cocoa do not work to bring back Santa's HO HO HO!! Soon news spreads throughout the world (as is often the case with the media) and ever one is quite concerned. Letters start pouring in from people all over the globe trying to bring back Santa's HO HO HO. Mrs. Claus and the elves find one that they all agree will do the trick....will it work? I thought this was a cute, fun book. Adam and I really enjoyed it BUT....on the back end page there is a picture of the drawing that apparently brought back Santa's HO HO HO.....and the first thing Adam said was, "That is scary not funny." And honestly, I agree with him. I really wish the picture was is not. WHY?? I would love to hear other kid's reaction to "Holly's picture" because my kid does not honestly scare real easily.....BUT other than that....ADORABLE and FUN book!!

Text: 5 Buckeye leaves
Illustrations: 5 Buckeye Leaves
Front Endpages: 5 Buckeye Leaves - LOVE!!.....
Back endpages: 1 Buckeye leaves

December 1st.....

December 1st brings....

...the 25 days of books. I saw this idea in a magazine years ago - pre-Adam - probably 6 or 7 years ago and was determined that some day I would start this tradition with my child. Adam's first Christmas we brought him home on December 14th, with some jet lag, remains of food poisoning, and an 8 month old that had just gone through over 32 hours of travel and a 12 hour time change, so I did not do it that first year. Each year a bag of 25 holiday/Christmas books arrive at our house, wrapped, and numbered. Each day Adam unwraps one. Where do the books come from? Same ones each year but for the other 11 months of the year the books are hidden away in a crate in the basement. So far, he has not caught on that they are his books and we read them the year before and when he does, that is ok. The excitement of unwrapping a "new" book each day is fun for both of us! I even wrapped them this year and it is always exciting to see which book is unwrapped each day! There are a few new ones sprinkled in each year. His reaction to some of the books are hysterical. Surely worth the 3 packages of Dollar Store tissue paper I used to wrap the books each year!!

Merry Christmas, Mr. Snowman! by Wolfram Hanel

Pip and Squeak (how cute are those names?) are anxiously waiting for the time when they can open their gifts. Since neither can sit still, they decide to go outside and build a snowman. When Mommy Mouse calls them inside, neither feel right leaving Mr. Snowman outside.

"We can't leave Mr. Snowman out here all alone. He'll be sad if he doesn't have anyone to celebrate Christmas with."

"He might catch cold, too." said Pip.

Pip and Squeak then devise a plan so that Mr. Snowman does not have to stay outside alone. After much work Pip and Squeak have moved Mr. Snowman into the house. Before long Mommy and Daddy have discovered a puddle of water by the tree. Mr. Snowman is moved outside where he can still see in to the house through the window. Pip and Squeak still do not feel right excluding Mr. Snowman and devise a NEW plan to include Mr. Snowman in their Christmas celebration. A super sweet story about the spirit of Christmas and the different meaning of "Christmas".

Text: 4 Buckeye Leaves
Illustrations: 5 Buckeye leaves (ADORABLE!!)

Merry Christmas, Curious George

George and the man with the yellow hat are at a Christmas tree farm picking out a Christmas tree. George can not seem to decide which tree he likes the best and swings from one tree to the next. He decides to climb the tallest one and before he knows it, the tree is being cut down and taken away in a big truck. George soon realizes he is at a children's hospital. In true Curious George fashion, George goes "exploring" and leaves no part of the hospital untouched. When George comes upon "his" tree, he decides to decorate it. A nurse discovers George's "creativity" and is not too pleased with the final product. The children in the hospital are able to convince the nurse to allow George to stay, and decorate the tree again, with real Christmas tree decorations. Fans of Curious George will enjoy this fun Christmas adventure with George.

Paul Thurlby's Alphabet by Paul Thurlby

Said it before but....I love ABC books....and this may just have topped the list!! This one is - hate to say it as it sounds pretty weak - very creative. Each letter is incorporated into the letter (as seen above). But beyond that, all the text used seems to somehow fit with letter/word choice. At the end of the book Paul Thurlby explains that this book began as individual illustrations and received such publicity thanks to the Internet/bloggers that he decided to create a book.

For more information about this author/illustrator click HERE!

Overall: 5 Buckeye Leaves - LOVE this one....!!! Do you hear me Santa??

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Twelve Days of Christmas Dogs by Carolyn Conahan

I will admit I am not an animal person....dogs are cute - from afar BUT for the dog lovers this is a cute and fun book! I also love when authors take a popular song/story and change it for a new theme - yes, I have mentioned this before too! As you can probably guess, this book is a new Twelve Days of Christmas. With each new "day" new dogs appear.

"On the fourth day of Christmas my best friend gave to me...
four collie dogs,
three French dogs,
two turtle dogs,
and a pug puppy under the tree."

I think my favorite is on the tenth day of Christmas, "ten Labs a-leaping".

If you or someone you know is a dog lover, this would make a great book to have on the shelf!

Text: 4 Buckeye leaves
Illustrations: 4 Buckeye leaves (some really funny pictures)