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Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Green Ladybug

The Green Ladybug by Zachariah Rippe (2017). 

The author/illustrator contacted me about his latest book.  He wrote: "I grew up HATING reading. I graduated with a lower than average reading level. I didn't read my first chapter book from cover to cover until I was 22 years old...and I read that book so that I could talk to a girl...who is now my wife of 11 years. He wrote his first children's book when he found out he was going to be a father. 

I love that story.  And this picture book is cute with a good message. It's a familiar story... in particular, it reminded me of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, but I still found it charming.  It tells of red ladybugs who love playing in the sun, but when a green ladybug tries to join them, they shoo her away because she looks different from them. But when a bug catcher starts scooping up the ladybugs in a jar, it's the green ladybug who saves the day.  The pictures are cute and simple, although somewhat repetitive, but I think kids will enjoy the rhyming story. Overall a nice little read.




Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Children's Book Week

Happy Children's Book Week! 



There are lots of events and activities going on this week. You can find an event near you on this map.  You can also find bookmarks and other cool things on Every Child a Reader's website.  

I love this poster by Christian Robinson. 





Thursday, April 27, 2017

Smudge, the Little Lost Lamb

Smudge, the Little Lost Lamb by James Herriot, illustrated by Ruth Brown (Macmillan, 1991). 

This is a sweet book about a little lamb who, one spring day, decides to venture out from his farmyard to explore the world. However, he soon becomes lost and is unable to find his way home. Luckily he meets some nice people along the way who eventually help return him to his mother. The story is text-heavy so probably best for ages 5 and up. I really like the watercolor illustrations. A nice read for springtime. 






Thursday, April 13, 2017

Emma's Easter

Emma's Easter by Lisa Bullard, illustrated by Constanza Basaluzzo (Millbrook Press, 2012).

This is a very cute book about a little girl celebrating Easter with her family.  It's unique in that Emma's parents are interracial; she and her little brother are mixed. The story itself is standard; they dye eggs, go on an egg hunt, attend church, and have dinner with family. The problem is that Emma can't find the egg with her name on it. Of course she eventually finds it... but that bunny sure is sneaky!

There are little blurbs with facts about Easter throughout, which I like because I always enjoyed learning about the origins and traditions of holidays and how different cultures celebrate them. I also appreciated, as someone who is secular, that on the page that explains the Christian story of Easter and shows the family at church, there is a blurb saying that Easter is also a special day for people who aren't Christian and that the day also celebrates spring and new life. There is also a glossary and some activities and resources in the back. 

All in all, I thought the book was very cute and will have to check out the other holiday books from Cloverleaf. 






You can see more Easter books on my Pinterest board here.


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The St. Patrick's Day Shillelagh

The St. Patrick's Day Shillelagh by Janet Nolan, illustrated by Ben F. Stahl (Albert Whitman & Company, 2002). 

This is a lovely book about a family heirloom that gets passed down from generation to generation.  It starts with Fergus, a boy in Ireland during the potato famine who must immigrate to America with his family. He cuts a branch from a blackthorn tree to bring a piece of his country with him and whittles it into a shillelagh, or walking stick. Every St. Patrick's Day he tells his son his story of leaving Ireland. This tradition gets passed down through the generations until we see young Kayleigh being told the story by her grandfather. This is a great book to use for teaching about family history.





For more St. Patrick's Day children's books, you can check out my Pinterest board here

Also, if you need some good Celtic music, I recommend AccuRadio.  They have several different stations, such "Songs of the Sea," "Celtic Legends," "First Fiddle," and "St. Paddy's Party." I swear I'm not being paid, I just really love their options! I think Irish music is so beautiful and whenever I hear it, I feel connected to my Irish roots. (Although only 16% according to AncestryDNA.) 

Hope everyone has a great St. Patrick's Day with some good craic!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day by Gail Gibbons (Holiday House, 1989).







For more Valentine's Day books, see my Pinterest board.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Minou

Minou by Mindy Bingham, illustrated by Itoko Maeno (Advocacy Press, 1987).  

Growing up, we had a dog. Despite not having a cat of my own until I was a teenager, I have always been a cat lover. "Kitty" was one of my very first words. So I loved this book about a Siamese cat in Paris. 

Minou is a loved, pampered kitty.  But when her elderly owner becomes ill, she is left to fend for herself on the streets of Paris, something she doesn't know how to do. Luckily another cat teaches her how to survive and she becomes a mouser at Notre Dame Cathedral. Written by the then-Executive Director of the Girls Club of Santa Barbara, this book promotes independence and self-reliance to girls. Adults (and kids familiar with Paris) will also enjoy seeing the famous landmarks in the pictures. However, as a kid, I just knew I loved the story of the sweet Minou.