Pied Piper Pics

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Picture book reviews by librarians for everyone.
Updated: 15 min 57 sec ago

Lily Brown’s Paintings by Angela Johnson, illus. by E.B. Lewis

Wed, 2015-01-14 01:01

Lily Brown’s love of her world infuses her paintings. She paints things she knows, like fruit at the corner market and stars in the sky. But she also changes them, so the fruit laughs and sings and stars “come down to earth to hang around in sidewalk cafes and shine when the sun goes down.” And when she changes them, she makes new worlds. Her love of her family always brings her back to their world at the end of the day. The vibrant, full-bleed watercolor illustrations combine impressionistic but mature pictures of Lily Brown with the images from her own paintings. Pair this with The Hello, Goodbye Window to focus on children’s self-expression at story time. Invite the children to paint their families and favorite things during craft time. The author is perhaps best known for her young adult novel The First Part Last, which won the Michael L. Printz Award, the highest honor for young adult literature. The illustrator, E.B. Lewis, has won numerous Coretta Scott King awards and honors.

 

Check the WRL catalog for Lily Brown’s Paintings.


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Los Gatos Black on Halloween by Marisa Montes, illus. by Yuyi Morales

Mon, 2015-01-12 01:01

This Halloween tale starts off a little scary, but ends with humor that dispels the creepy mood. Skeletons, ghosts, zombies, a werewolf, and other monsters gather for a ball on Halloween night, but flee when the trick-or-treaters arrive: “The thing that monsters most abhor/Are human niños at the door!/Of all the horrors they have seen, /The worst are kids on Halloween!” The text includes a generous sprinkling of Spanish words, but most of the English equivalents appear nearby, so the meanings are clear. There is also a glossary provided at the back. This book is sure to be a crowd-pleaser, and shouldn’t be limited to bilingual storytime use only. The painterly illustrations, each a full-bleed double-page spread, evoke a haunted night with muted colors and slightly blurred outlines. Use for a Kindergarten storytime at Halloween. The author was born in Puerto Rico, but moved around a lot as a child because her father was in the military. In addition to English and Spanish, she also spoke French. The illustrator, Yuyi Morales, had many different dreams before she became an artist. She describes herself this way on her website, http://www.yuyimorales.com/me.htm: “I tried to be a psychic; I wanted to move things with my mind. I practiced to be an acrobat too—and broke many things at home. Then I grew and became an artist and a writer. Oh, well.”

Check the WRL catalog for Los Gatos Black on Halloween.

 


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Bill and Pete Go Down the Nile by Tomie de Paola

Fri, 2015-01-09 01:01

Bill and Pete Go Down the Nile, by Tomie de Paola, is the adventure of Bill, a crocodile, and his friend Pete, a bird, as they go on a field trip with their class down the Nile.  In their adventure, they run into Mr. Bad Guy and have to try to thwart his plans to steal the The Sacred Eye of Isis.

This book is a fun additional adventure to de Paola’s Bill and Pete series.  This book would be ideal for children grades K-3.

If your child enjoyed this book he/she can also try Cornelius: A Fable by Leo Lionni or the original Bill and Pete by Tomie de Paola

Check the WRL catalog for Bill and Pete Go Down the Nile.


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The Elephant from Baghdad by Mary Tavener Holmes and John Harris, illus. by Jon Cannell

Wed, 2015-01-07 01:01

The Elephant from Baghdad, by Mary Tavener Holmes and John Harris, tells the tale of Charlemagne and his white albino elephant Abu, who was a gift from the caliph of Baghdad.  This book, “written” by Notker the Stammerer, Charlemagne’s real life biographer, tells of Charlemagne’s travels to and from Baghdad and his relationship with Abu.  In addition to the illustrations, this book includes photographs of artifacts from Charlemagne’s era.

This would be a great book to read to a child who is interested in medieval history.  It shows the similarities and differences between Germany and Baghdad during the medieval period.  This book would be ideal for children grades K-3.

If your child enjoyed this book he/she can also try Twenty-one Elephants by Phil Bildner or Children and Games in the Middle Ages by Lynne Elliott.

Check the WRL catalog for The Elephant from Baghdad.


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Girl Wonder: A Baseball Story in Nine Innings by Deborah Hopkinson, illus. by Terry Widener

Mon, 2015-01-05 01:01

Girl Wonder: A Baseball Story in Nine Innings, by Deborah Hopkinson, is based on the true story of Alta Weiss, one of the first female baseball players.  Alta must overcome society’s obstacles in order to play the game she loves.  She finally convinces a coach to let her play for his team and she is an instant hit.  Because of Alta’s superior pitching skills she wins the game for her team.

This book is great to read to children because it transmits the message that you should follow your passions even when there are multiple obstacles standing in your way.  This book would be ideal for children grades K-3.

If your child enjoyed this book he/she can also try Dirt on their Skirts: The Story of the Young WomenWho Won the World Championship by Doreen Rappaport or Casey Back at Bat by Dan Gutman.

Check the WRL catalog for Girl Wonder: A Baseball Story in Nine Innings.


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The Little Red Hen by Jerry Pinkney

Fri, 2015-01-02 01:03

Award-winning author and illustrator Jerry Pinkney has crafted his own version of The Little Red Hen, the story of a hard-working hen whose mission is to make some homemade bread. Unfortunately, not one of her friends will help her, so the hen makes it herself. When she is finished, all of her friends suddenly want to help her eat it, but she keeps the fruits of her harvest all for herself!

Besides teaching an age-old lesson of cooperation and helpfulness, The Little Red Hen includes a colorful cast of characters presented to readers in beautiful illustrations that make this version of the classic story memorable and unique. The author has even color-coded the characters’ names so young readers can easily read along with this favorite tale. To share it with your own young readers, be sure to check out The Little Red Hen!

Check the WRL catalog for The Little Red Hen.


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A Good Day by Kevin Henkes

Wed, 2014-12-31 01:01

Award-winning author and illustrator Kevin Henkes has created a sweet story with A Good Day, a book that tells about the events that make a little yellow bird, little white dog, little red fox, and little brown squirrel have a bad day.  However, with diligence and hope, the animals’ bad day turns into a good day after all!

As always, Henkes has crafted colorful, eye-catching pictures that are framed within each page.  The story is readable for beginning readers and will make a fun shared reading for emergent readers just starting out!  With its timeless message and beautiful, one-of-a-kind illustrations, A Good Day is a great book!

Check the WRL catalog for A Good Day.


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Emma Kate by Patricia Polacco

Mon, 2014-12-29 01:01

Patricia Polacco is an author known for writing about events from her own childhood. The book Emma Kate is an homage to the imaginary elephant friend she had while growing up. It is a perfect read for young readers with large, pencil sketch illustrations and one-two sentences on each page.

Throughout Emma Kate, Polacco details what the young girl and elephant do together. They are best friends who eat pink ice-cream together, sit at lunch with each other, and ride bikes home from school. Sometimes, on school nights, Emma Kate even gets to sleep over! The only color in this book is the coloring of the little girl’s clothes, which is the same pattern Polacco uses on the end pages of her book. This color scheme was done intentionally, which readers will figure out when they see the sweet surprise “twist” at the end of the book.

Polacco reveals that friendship comes in all forms with her winning picture book, Emma and Kate!

Check the WRL catalog for Emma Kate.


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