Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Picture Book Pile!

So, I haven't posted in a little while, but I have been scouting library shelves and reading books!  

Here are a bunch of the JPs I have recently enjoyed and can't wait to share in a story-time soon!

Let's Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy by Jan Thomas is a great, fun story/song for pajama stories!  

In the great tradition of Sandra Boynton this story features silliness, a song, cartoony fun illustrations and happy ending to get everyone ready for some sweet dreams! 

 Oh! What a Surprise by Suzanne Bloom

 Goose, Bear and Squirrel- the stars ( I am big fans of all three) of Bloom's A Splendid Friend, Indeed, Treasure and What About Bear? are back!  Bloom's sweet simple drawings and storyline create a warmhearted and fun story about the joy of giving as well as receiving.  So sweet! 

Read to Tiger 
by S.J. Fore and illustrations by R.W. Alley

When you are trying to read, a tiger, no matter how fun or friendly, behind your couch, playing with trains or doing karate can be rather distracting.  

This is an excellent, fun new addition to my story time collection and a great companion to other quirky animal books like Diane Goode's Tiger Trouble or Michelle Knudsen's The Library Lion .

Lemonade in Winter
by Emily Jenkins with illustrations by G. Brian Karas

One of my favorite authors have teamed up with one of favorite illustrators (you should see the drawing he did for me when he signed my copy of Home on the Bayou) to create a story about a brother and sister and their February lemonade stand.  They show the nay-sayers, stick together and have a good time and a special treat with the profit. 

Karas' sweet illustrations and Jenkin's plot of sibling team-work also teaches some great, simple lessons about counting money- an excellent teaching tool for us visual learners.  

Proof that lemonade and teamwork are tasty in any season! 


Friday, March 1, 2013

Smile by Raina Telgemeier

I am sorry to tell you that I was very much a latecomer to the graphic novel.  I was resistant. I didn't want to like them or endorse them and now looking back, I am not sure why. 

Smile by Raina Telgemeier was the first graphic novel I read and it was a completely wonderful experience.  So much in fact, that Sarah and I selected it to be our Mother-Daughter book club book for the month of February.  

Smile tells the story in words and pictures of Raina, a 6th grader who suffers a fall on her way home from Girl Scouts and suffers a rather traumatic injury that leads to several years of painful dental visits, retainers, and braces

We follow Raina and her dental tribulations through to high school and along the way she learns the difference between friends who tease and bullies who are just mean.  Raina's story isn't all doom and gloom, she tells it and draws it with a great deal of humor. And one of the most beautiful points of the story is that Raina learned to cope with her problems, dental and otherwise, by focusing on her art!  And now she is a published and award winning cartoonist.  My favorite frame in the book is of Raina, upside-down on the living room couch, reading the Babysitters Club!  Telgemeier has adapted the first four books in this series into graphic novels.  What a fabulous tribute to a favorite childhood book! 

Smile is a great graphic novel and a great story.  It is sweet and funny and shares lessons of friendship without ever being preachy or heavy handed.  

The girls in our book club overwhelming loved Smile.  One girl in particular who is usually quiet was very participatory. Everyone had great thoughts and shared them with the group.  To compliment the friendship theme and 80's setting, we made friendship pins and the mom's seemed to enjoy this as much as the girls!