Friday, April 25, 2014


Title: The Very Inappropriate Word
Author: Kim Tobin
Illustrator: Daver Coverly
Publisher: Christy Ottaviano Books

Ages: 9-11

"Michael collected words. He found lots of words on signs and a few on TV. He picked up new words at practice and downtown and even in school, where Mrs. Dixon gave the kids one new spelling word every day."

Synopsis: Michael loved to collect words. The more he gathered, the more he looked for words to add to his collection until one day he came across an inappropriate word...or so this sister said but what does she know? Michael likes his new word so much he decides to try it out at school. That was his first mistake.

Why I liked it: I thought the illustrations for this story were incredible and really helpful to explain the meaning of some of the words Michael collected. School age children unfortunately sometimes have access to inappropriate words like Mr. Tobin's main character but this author manages to show one way the universal problem can be solved in a light hearted manner.

Thursday, April 24, 2014


Title: Ugly Pie
Author: Lisa Wheeler
Illustrator: Heather Solomon
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books

Ages: 4-8

"Ol' Bear woke up one morning with a hankering'
for pie. Not just any pie. Ugly Pie.

But the only ugly thing he had in his kitchen was
some gooey sweet molasses. It tasted just fine, but
it wasn't what Ol' Bear was itchin' for."

Synopsis: Ol' Bear was on the hunt for the ugliest pie there was but all his friends were baking was sweet, delicious pies. One by one his friends give his some ugly ingredients to take with him on his journey and Ol' Bear finally decides to bake an ugly pie himself, to the delight of all his friends.

Why I liked it: I prefer pie to other desserts so the theme of this story automatically captured my attention, but "ugly pie"? I was pleasantly surprised to discover Ms. Wheeler's story about one bear's search for something to eat ended up with a truly tasty dish! Ms. Solomon's cute illustrations invite readers to stop and look around at all the activity going on as Bear slowly makes his way through the forest in search of something special to eat.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Title: Tea Party Rules
Author: Ame Dyckman
Illustrator: K. G. Campbell
Publisher: Viking Books

Ages: 4-8

"Cub was playing in the woods when he smelled something delicious. He followed his nose through the bushes and found...cookies! And another bear."

Synopsis: Cub couldn't resist the delicious smell of cookies and so he sets off to find where the smell was coming from. Soon he finds a tea party but just as he is about to enjoy a tasty snack, along comes a little girl with a set of Tea Party Rules. Will Cub ever get a chance to eat those cookies?

Why I liked it: Every little girl dreams of tea parties and Ms. Dyckman has created a clever story all about dressing up, having fun and following the rules. Kids of all ages will eagerly turn the pages to discover what happens next to poor Cub as he tries to get a bite of cookie.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Title: Silly Sall
Author/Illustrator: Audrey Wood
Publisher: Scholastic

Ages: 4-8

"Silly Sally went to town, walking backwards, upside down.
Silly Sally went to town, dancing backwards, upside down."

Synopsis: Today is not a normal day and Silly Sally is not a normal girl as she heads to town, walking backwards and upside down. Along the way different animals join her silly dance until she finds herself in a bit of trouble and not sure how she will ever get to her destination with help from a new friend.

Why I liked it: Silly Sally makes me laugh. From the time she starts walking backwards all the way to her singing with a loon, Sally is on a fun frolick as she and her friends try to get to town. I can just see children reading this book thinking about trying some of her silly antics themselves.

Monday, April 21, 2014


Title: Red Light, Green Light
Author: Anastasia Suen
Illustrator: Ken Wilson-Max
Publisher: Gulliver Books

Ages: 2-5

"Red Light, stop.
Green Light, go."

Synopsis: Very young readers begin to learn about transportation as they follow the adventure of traffic in the big city.

Why I liked it: Author of over 180 picture books, Ms. Suen writes for the very young and introduces them to the larger world around them.  The bright, simplistic illustrations help engage little ones to follow along with all the fun to be had on the busy streets ahead.

Saturday, April 19, 2014


Title: Quiet Bunny & Noisy Puppy
Author/Illustrator: Lisa McCue
Publisher: Sterling Children's Books


"Quiet Bunny woke up one morning to find the forest blanketed in snow.
Big white snowflakes swirled around his head as he hopped through the forest.

I wish I had someone to play with in the snow, thought quiet Bunny.
He hopped to Bear Cub's den."

Synopsis: With all of Quiet Bunny's friends fast asleep for the winter, who will play with him? Sometimes meeting a new playmate can be scary when everything about them is different. But sometimes being different is what makes two small woodland animals become best friends.

Why I liked it: Young readers will enjoy the cute illustrations of Quiet Bunny and Noisy Puppy. Ms. McCue did a wonderful job of showing the different seasons through her artwork as well as providing a lovely story of two animals becoming fast friends despite their differences.

Friday, April 18, 2014


Title: Piggyback Ninja
Author: Neal Shusterman
Illustrator: Joe Boddy
Publisher: Lowell House Juvenile

Ages: 4-8

"Marshall McGumbo, until he turned nine,
Would play Piggyback Ninja on his father's spine.
With his hair-pulling power, and drop-kick finesse,
He would pulverize Pop's pooped-out spine, more or less.
And so from his path Dad was quick to depart.
For fear of fast Marshall and his martial art.'"

Synopsis: Marshall might know a karate chop or two but still has much to learn about being nice to others. With a foolish kick Marshall ends up in a twisted mess and the fun begins as his parents try to come up to a solution to Marshall's knotty problem.

Why I liked it: Of course being a martial artist myself, the title of Mr. Shusterman's book captured my attention from the beginning. But it was the whimsical illustrations and rhyming text that kept me turning the pages to find out if poor Marshall would ever get untied and learn to be kind to others.