Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Five Quiet Bedtime Stories

So Sleepy Story written and illustrated by Uri Shulevitz -- This is one of my five-year-olds favorite books. You can see him holding it in the picture on my blog.  The story starts off slowly with illustrations in dark blues and grays, everything sleepy, sleepy.  In fact the word sleepy is used seventeen times in the first four pages! The house is sleeping, the chairs, the dishes, and the little boy. Soon music floats through the window and starts to awaken the sleeping house. The illustrations turn brighter with yellows and oranges as the dishes and chairs awaken and start to dance. Then just as quickly the music drifts away again and the whole house settles back into sleep. A wonderful visual feast with lyrical text accompaniment.

Quiet Night by Marilyn Singer, illustrated by John Manders -- A rollicking counting book that adds a new noisy animal as each page turns.  What starts as a quiet night quickly changes as a frog bar-rums, owls whoo-hoo and fish whap-slap. The cartoonish illustrations present a humorous tone to the book.  Look for an amusing final scene with a group of surprised campers. A fun counting book with a nighttime theme.

Owl Babies by Martin Waddell, and Illustrated by Patrick Benson --  This reassuring bedtime story tells the story of three small owls waking in the night to find their mother gone.  The three owls stick together worrying and wondering what their Mother might be doing.  Bill, the smallest owl, repeats "I want my Mommy," throughout the story.  All ends well with the owl Mother returning and reassuring them that she will always come back for them.  The perfect message that children can never hear enough.

Time for Bed by Mem Fox, Illustrated by Jane Dyer -- Beautiful muted watercolors accompany images of animal parents urging their offspring to go to sleep.  Each page depicts a nighttime scene with a cute rhyme accompanying each image.  One of my favorites, "It's time for bed, little calf, little calf, what happened today that made you laugh?" The final scene is of a mother tucking her child into bed. A sweet bedtime story.

A Child's Good Night Book by  Margaret Wise Brown  -- A lesser known book by Maragaret Wise Brown, of Goodnight Moon fame.  Follows a similar theme of everything in the town going to sleep one by one.  Animals put their babies to sleep, people put their houses to sleep. Finally a child is put to sleep. With soft muted illustrations, a beautiful lullaby of a story perfect for bedtime.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hank Zipzer by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver

Henry Winkler writes with empathy and understand about Hank Zipzer a boy with learning differences and a spirited imagination.  Written at a frenetic pace, that matches Hanks mind, the novel is lively and entertaining. The family dynamic between Hank, his Dad, his Mom and sister Emily is realistic--filled with bickering and love. Hank and his two best friends plan for Halloween--fabulous costumes and a party-- while various adventures keep them well occupied.  A fun chapter book series, great for boys and reluctant readers.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sideways Stories From Wayside School by Louis Sachar

We recently enjoyed listening to the Wayside School series on audiobook.  This creative and quirky series is based around Wayside School.  Wayside School was built sideways. Instead of 30 classrooms in a row the classrooms were build one on top of each other making the school 30 stories tall. Which means, of course, there are 30 stories in the book!  Each chapter features a different unique story about a different unique student.  Kids will love the fact the stories don't make a whole lot of sense and will enjoy trying to figure out what is real and what is not. These endlessly creative stories will delight kids with their silly humor.  A wonderful irreverent series.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Blog I Love!

This is a great new blog that I've been reading for about a month now: The Children's Book-A-Day Almanac.  The author of the blog, Anita Silvey, is well known in the children's book world.  She has been the editor of The Horn Book, a children's book review journal.  She has also written numerous books on children's literature.  Two of her books that I have really enjoyed are : The Essential Guide to Children's Literature and Children's Books and Their Creators. Her daily blog of children's books highlights a different theme everyday: some days a well-known holiday and other days a totally obscure one.  Today, in fact, is Take Your Child to the Library Day!