Pied Piper Pics
Take a journey back into the history of one of Scotland’s oldest cities in an interpretation of a classic Edinburgh ghost story. Author and illustrator, Ruth Brown, takes this old tale and updates it for a younger and more modern audience in an original way, just as she has done with many other British tales. The characters of the story, Tom and Becky, are tourists who are experiencing the ghost story for the first time right along with the readers. While sightseeing, they come across an interesting statue of a dog that sparks an adventure. They learn of companionship and loyalty as the tale of a dog and his master is told to them.
The framing of the story in this book is what is special. Children reading this story will be able to relate closely to the characters and appreciate the tale within the story just as Tom and Becky do. The structure of this story is more appropriate for slightly older children since a non-linear literary structure is being used. However, the illustrations and the content of the story are perfect for large-group sharing or personal reading. The truly fun fact about this book, though, is that children who read it will have a shared piece of history with anyone who has ever told a version of the legend of Greyfriar’s Bobby. The tale within the story is one that the reader can take and share with many others after they have finished the book.
Check the WRL catalog for The Ghost of Greyfriar’s Bobby.
Author Linda Ashman used a real life experience as an inspiration for this story about acceptance. Ashman approaches the telling of this tale in a creative way with few words and wonderful illustrations. The readers are introduced to Alberto, a café owner, who is picky about his customers. After several attempts to specify the type of customer he wishes to have at his restaurant, he realizes he has excluded almost everyone. It is through a child’s bright idea that Alberto learns that he must accept and appreciate all in his community. Once he lifts the limitations, his business booms and all the characters demonstrate the happiness that can be found when everyone comes together.
“A picture is worth a thousand words,” could not be more fitting for such a beautifully illustrated tale. This unique approach to a children’s book makes it special and exciting to read. The book creates an interactive opportunity for the reader, which allows them to take in the story at his or her own pace and add their own flavor. It is ideal for small group story sharing or in a one-on-one setting where everyone’s voice can be heard and every detail on the page can be seen. No Dogs Allowed is a wonderful book for many age groups as young children have the opportunity to work on identification skills and older children can stretch their imagination by adding their own words to the story. Children will love this take on such a great universal life lesson!
Check the WRL catalog for No Dogs Allowed.
Yoko Finds Her Way stars two human-like cats: Yoko and Yoko’s mama. Yoko and her mama are flying to Japan, and the book shows all of the adventures they go through on the way to and inside the airport. First, Yoko must pack and await the big day ahead. Next they are on their way to the airport and mama can’t read the signs and she almost goes the wrong way—twice! Once they make it inside the airport they go through security and finally to their terminal: Gate 54 with Big Wave airlines. Yoko goes to the restroom and goes out the wrong door to the wrong airline and searches for her mama.
In the meantime, Mama goes to look for Yoko in the restroom and also goes out the wrong door! Once she also asks for help from a pilot and flight attendant, they are reunited once again at Gate 54. “’Mama! cried Yoko. ‘My little Cherry Blossom!’ shouted Yoko’s mama.” Once they are together again they finally board their plane and are on their way to Japan! The illustrations are colorful and quaint. This is a good read for all ages.
Check the WRL catalog for Yoko Finds Her Way.
Charlie and the New Baby is told from the point of view of the basset hound, Charlie, and tells all about his life as a Ranch Dog. Charlie lives a very luxurious life on the ranch until someone unfamiliar comes into the house to take over his bed, his blanket, and even his own people. “Hey! That’s my blanket! I’ve always loved that blanket,” Charlie cries. It appears that the “intruder” is a small newborn calf, Abigail. Charlie wonders if he can help comfort her, but his mama and the kids are doing a fantastic job of caring to the calf. Even though Abigail gets to sleep in Charlie’s bed and Charlie gets the floor for the night, Charlie is still loved by his mama and the kids unconditionally, and soon Abigail gets to reunite with her own mama on the ranch. In addition to lovable animal characters, this book has very vivid and realistic illustrations that can capture any child’s attention.
Check the WRL catalog for Charlie and the New Baby.
Maggi and Milo is an action-packed book that follows Maggi and her best friend, a border collie named Milo, on their adventure to go frog hunting! Maggi receives a package from Grandma with frog hunting supplies, but when Maggi and Milo make it to a pond, there are no signs of any frogs. Not only are there no frogs, but soon there’s no Milo! “’Milo!’ called Maggi. He wasn’t there. Maggi tried very hard not to think about losing Milo or being alone.”
Is Milo really gone for good? Will the frogs return? Find out these answers and enjoy Burris’ beautiful pictures. The illustrations in this book are colorful and engaging for any child. Maggi and Milo is recommended for dog lovers of all ages.
Check the WRL catalog for Maggi and Milo.
It’s the first day of school, and Camilla Cream is terrified about fitting in—she tries on forty-two different outfits and still can’t find one impressive enough. And even though she loves lima beans, she never eats them because people might make fun of her. As if all that isn’t bad enough, she woke up this morning covered in stripes!
As the day goes on, Camilla’s case keeps getting worse. She becomes covered in stars and stripes during the Pledge of Allegiance, she turns into a giant polka-dotted pill when the doctor gives her medicine, and she even grows tentacles, branches, and a tail. Everyone, from doctors to news reporters, is baffled about what’s wrong with her—until an old lady visits and says that Camilla has the worst case of “the stripes” she’s ever seen. And she asks whether Camilla has been eating her lima beans.
Award-winning author David Shannon’s detailed, thought-provoking story is perfect for engaging older readers. For any kid who has ever worried about fitting in or being teased, A Bad Case of Stripes offers a hilarious and original tale about the importance of being you.
Check the WRL catalog for A Bad Case of Stripes.
Fans of Jonathan London’s Froggy books will love Froggy’s latest adventure–getting ready for bed. Froggy is exhausted…until his mother tells him it’s time for bed. Suddenly, Froggy is not tired at all and concocts one stall tactic after the next. He can’t take a bath until he finds his boat; he can’t brush until he finds his toothbrush (in the cookie jar); and he can’t go to sleep without a bedtime story.
Any kid who has ever resisted bedtime will sympathize with Froggy’s efforts to stay up just a little later. Parents, meanwhile, will appreciate the illustrations that prove that Froggy’s mother is getting more and more worn out by Froggy’s getting-ready-for-bed antics. Older readers will also delight in the book’s frog-related humor: Froggy has to brush his gums because frogs don’t have teeth and his idea of a bedtime snack is a bowl of flies. The book’s frequent use of onomatopoeia, from Froggy’s “flop, flop, flop” as he hops from one room to the next to the “glug, glug, glug” of drinking a glass of water, makes for a lively read. Froggy’s antics are great for engaging a large group, but this going-to-bed story is also perfect for one-on-one bedtime reading for all ages.
Check the WRL catalog for Froggy Goes To Bed.
Everyone loves birthdays! The Little Princess loves her birthday so much that she asks for two birthdays, instead of just one. So the Prime Minister gives her two birthdays, and she gets even more cake and presents. She loves it so much that she decides she wants three birthdays, then four, until soon she has a birthday every single day. But all of a sudden, the princess’s birthdays aren’t so fun anymore. People stop coming to her birthday party because they can’t afford to buy presents. Her birthday cake gets smaller and less tasty every day. And she can never play outside because she has to stay clean for her party. Finally, the king comes up with a solution: once a year, on the day she was born, the Little Princess will have an unbirthday. So everyone in the kingdom starts preparing special surprises to get ready for it.
This installment of Tony Ross’s popular Little Princess series is witty and detailed enough to appeal to older readers, yet the storyline is silly and straightforward enough for a younger crowd as well. This book is best read with a small group, because the illustrations provide a bonus storyline: unbeknownst to the Princess, the royal pets steal her birthday locket, and as the story goes on, it slowly makes its way back to her. I Want Two Birthdays! gently and humorously drives home an important message about how the best things are often enjoyed in moderation, and how only having one birthday every year is what makes it so special.
Check the WRL catalog for I Want Two Birthdays!
The Man Who Walked between the Towers is the story of French aerialist, Philippe Petit, who, on August 7, 1974, ran a wire between the Twin Towers in New York City. Petit then proceeded to cross this wire while the crowd below watched in awe. At the end of the story, author Mordicai Gerstein shows that, although the towers are no longer there, they still live in the memory of everyone who saw and experienced them.
This book is a gripping story of the bravery of Philippe Petit as he crossed between the towers. It shows that doing what you love is one of the most exhilarating experiences a person can have. The illustrations in this book include two extended illustrations where the reader can unfold the pages for a larger view. This book would be ideal for kids grades K-3.
If your child enjoyed this book he/she can also try Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of John J. Harvey by Maria Kalman.
Check the WRL catalog for The Man Who Walked Between the Towers.
Written in comic-book style, Adventures in Ancient Greece by Linda Bailey, follows the adventures of three siblings Josh, Emma, and Libby as they travel back in time to ancient Greece. Using Julian T. Pettigrew’s, the owner of “Good Times Travel Agency” Personal Guide to Ancient Greece, the Binkerton siblings explore the many aspects of ancient Greek life and culture (getting into all kinds of hilarious situations along the way). When Libby gets into trouble at the Olympics, it’s a race against time for the siblings to escape from Greece!
This book is a fun hybrid between fiction and nonfiction for the burgeoning history buff. The comic-book style storytelling and detailed pictures makes Adventures in Ancient Greece an entertaining and engaging read. This book is ideal for kids in grades 3-6.
If your child enjoyed this book, he/she can also try Adventures in Ancient Egypt and/or Adventures in Ancient China both also by Linda Bailey.
Check the WRL catalog for Adventures in Ancient Greece.
Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal is the classic tale of Cinderella retold as a compilation of different versions of Cinderella from around the world. Paul Fleischman takes bits and pieces from each country’s Cinderella story and fuses them together to complete the book. Not only does Cinderella have glass slippers but she also has diamond anklets and sandals of gold. By taking a multi-cultural perspective on an old story, Fleischman shows that the people of the world can be connected through folklore.
The illustrations in Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal are colorful, catching the reader’s attention. The illustrations are based upon the folk art of each country represented. This book is recommended for kids age 4 and up.
If your child enjoyed this book he/she can also try Indian Tales: A Barefoot Collection by Shenaaz Nanji, Anansi and the Box of Stories: A West African folktale by Stephen Krensky, and/or Grimm’s Fairy Tales by Jacob Grimm.
Check the WRL catalog for Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal: A Worldwide Cinderella.
Barton is incredibly witty in this hilarious book about a stubborn monster named Stewart, who DOES NOT want a haircut! The vibrant colors and Stewart’s wild, messy hair make the book entertaining for little ones, but there are also small details that adults can appreciate. For example, at monster school, Stewart’s homework is to “Find human homework and eat it!”
Stewart’s parents try to convince him to get a haircut and promise that it will grow back, but it isn’t until his hair starts to interfere with his scaring abilities that he finally relents. This is a great book to read to any little monsters you know who are afraid to get a haircut!
Check the WRL catalog for This Monster Needs a Haircut.
This sequel to Mr. Peek and the Misunderstanding at the Zoo is a hilarious return to the zoo on a day that Mr. Peek wants to celebrate: the arrival of his new V.I.P. (“Very Important Panda”), Lulu. He wants to host an animal parade, but the zoo must be in perfect condition first. Unfortunately, Mr. Peek is nervous and does not get all of his chores done so perfectly. After letting out the penguins, covering the turtles in black shoe polish, and forgetting to feed the lion–catastrophe strikes! Lulu is missing! Will they find her and fix the zoo before all of his customers arrive? Luckily for Mr. Peek, his son Jimmy didn’t inherit his father’s bad luck.
The funny characters and mishaps in this story combined with the beautiful and colorful illustrations of all of the animals in Mr. Peek’s zoo make this a must-read book.
Check the WRL catalog for Panda-monium at Peek Zoo.
If you’re looking for a silly “tall” tale, then When Giants Come to Play is the book for you. Older children and parents will appreciate the lyrical and imaginative story, while anyone can enjoy the comical and well-drawn illustrations. “Sometimes, on a summer morning, when the sun shines just so/and the wind blows like this and like that/on its way to somewhere else, giants come to play,” writes Beaty.
Anna is a young blonde girl who is visited by two of these giants, and they play hide-and-seek (they’re much better at seeking than hiding), marbles (with soccer balls), catch (with Anna as the ball), dolls (with Anna’s sister dressed as a baby doll), and many other games. This is a fun book to read after a day of fun in the sun.
Check the WRL catalog for When Giants Come to Play.
Have you ever wished you could communicate more clearly on a bad cellphone line? Then maybe you need Alpha, Bravo, Charlie to learn about the phonetic military alphabet. Written as a children’s alphabet book Alpha, Bravo, Charlie is an informational book with plenty for children (and adults!) to learn, but is also very entertaining, especially for children who don’t like talking animals and prefer their picture books to be about real things. Each page, or double page spread features a letter of the alphabet along with its phonetic alphabet equivalent and naval signal flag. A military-related event or piece of military equipment is briefly described, often alliteratively. For example, S Sierra “Sailors Salute”, B Bravo “A battalion of brave soldiers get ready for battle” and F Foxtrot “Foot soldiers wear bulletproof flak jackets”. The illustrations are richly colored, active and detailed and help make a bright and attractive book including a bold blue cover and end papers decorated with navy signal flags. This is another book I used in the storytime for military families. Alpha, Bravo, Charlie is a great choice to be read aloud for military children to see pictures of what their military parent may do at work. I also recommend it for young readers who are fascinated by secret codes and love to read about construction equipment and other huge machines. There are few machines as impressive as a Navy destroyer, a Coast Guard icebreaker or a fighter plane!
Check the WRL catalog for Alpha, Bravo, Charlie.
This month marks the centenary of the start of World War I. Such an important historical event is something children should know about, but most depictions are far too disturbing for small children. The library owns several picture books that introduce children to World War I in a more accessible, nonthreatening way, such as Christmas in the Trenches by John McCutcheon, Fly, Cher Ami, Fly!: the Pigeon Who Saved the Lost Battalion by Robert Burleigh, or The Donkey of Gallipoli: a True Story of Courage in World War I, by Mark Greenwood. Knit Your Bit is even more suitable for small children as it has minimal depictions of the front line. It came out last year and is based on a real knitting competition in Central Park in July, 1918. As the book starts Mikey’s Pop goes off to war on a steam train and Mikey wants to do something BIG to help. His mother and sister suggest knitting for the soldiers but Mikey doesn’t want to do something so girlish. Then they hear about a knitting Bee in Central Park, so the boys in Mikey’s class are challenged into setting up the Boys’ Knitting Brigade and know that they will beat their rivals the Purl Girls. During World War I the “Knit for Sammy” program was so widespread that there were even sheep on the White House lawn! The cartoonish ink and watercolor illustrations warmly capture the characters’ emotions while the endpapers include historical photographs of children knitting during World War I. Try this book for small military children to reflect their experience of an absent parent, or for historical information about World War I or just a warmhearted and interesting story.
Check the WRL catalog for Knit Your Bit.
As I wrote last year over two million children have a parent serving in the United States military. The world is changing and the military is changing, but what is unlikely to change is that most military children are very young and are confused about why their parent has to go away and what they do when they are away. Hero Dad will help young military children with their confusion. It is a simple picture book with one sentence per page, to be read aloud to the youngest military children. The sentences are split into two parts, with the first part suggesting a super ability that a comic book hero might have and then the second part lists the equivalent military ability. So my dad “doesn’t wear rocket propelled boots” instead “he wears Army boots”. Or my dad “doesn’t wear a cloak that makes him invisible – he wears camouflage.” The illustrations are active and warm, showing the father using his super abilities in a far-off place. The book starts with the Hero Dad saying goodbye and ends with him returning and warmly embracing his son.
A new book in series, Hero Mom, came out in 2013. This one starts with seven different children saying. “Our moms are superheroes” and follows the same pattern, so for a mechanic it says “My mom can’t transform into a machine, but she can make airplanes fly, trucks run, and tanks roll.” Hero Mom shows a mom and daughter skyping – a common and important method of communication for military families. Again the book ends with a mom and child warmly embracing after she returns.
Many of the other books depicting children who have a parent in the military (click here for a list) are too complicated for the youngest children, so I highly recommend Hero Dan and Hero Mom for the smallest military children who have short attention spans and limited experience of the world. For other small children the books can show some of the many different things parents do when they leave for work.
This is a book I used in a storytime for military families at the Williamsburg Regional Library.
Check the WRL catalog for Hero Dad.
This is a book of opposites as demonstrated…by a dot. This is a very well done and cute concept book…one could even say it was spot on! This book is simple enough for the baby/toddler crowd but has enough inherent humor in it to attract the older crowd’s attention.
Extremely simple illustrations are perfect for viewing from a distance and yet also offer up some surprising detail for the more attuned visual observer. I have to admit, this book gave me a bit of a giggle! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
- Storytime or lapsit appropriate
- Easily viewed illustrations
- Concept Book
Check the WRL catalog for Dot.
I am a librarian, and I love to sing! Not being good at it has never bothered me much and when I picked up A Farmer’s Life for Me I knew I had found another winner. The nice thing about this sing-able picture book is that it includes a repeated chorus of “1, 2, 3, it’s a farmer’s life for me” so not only do you get to sing, but the kids do too! The nice colorful illustrations can be seen easily from a distance and the book would work well for a farm themed storytime.
- Storytime or lapsit appropriate
- Easily viewed illustrations
Check the WRL catalog for A Farmer’s Life for Me!
Lift-the-flap books are utterly delightful reads to share with kids. They love getting the chance to interact with the reader and make guesses about what might be hidden under the flap. Feelings! by Tad Carpenter is a very nice introduction to the topic of emotions. This is a subject that many children understand and relate to, and one that is rarely discussed in such a simple, appealing way. Filled with bright, expressive illustrations this book has high visual appeal for the very young.
- Storytime or lapsit appropriate
- Easily viewed illustrations
Check the WRL catalog for Feelings!