What a Day It Was at School

What a Day It Was at School!
by Jack Prelutsky, pictures by Doug Cushman.

You can never go wrong with a book of Prelutsky poems, and this one is a real winner.  It is the perfect book to share with a new classroom of kids who will all enjoy a good giggle.  Avoid I Made a Noise This Morning unless you want complete mayhem.   The poems range from classroom events to different subjects like art and history.  All of them carry the signature Prelutsky twist and broad humor.  The illustrations by Cushman are friendly and warm with all sorts of animals dressed and acting like people.  A very nice way to either start up or wind up a day of school.

A Place Called Kindergarten.

A Place Called Kindergarten by Jessica Harper, pictures by G. Brian Karas.

The farm animals are all wondering why Tommy hasn’t come to visit them the way he does every morning.  Then the dog reports that he heard the people saying that Tommy had gone to a place called Kindergarten.  But the animals have no idea where Kindergarten is,  Finally in the late evening Tommy appears and tells them all about what he learned in Kindergarten that day. 

The text is just right to read aloud and the illustrations evoke a real farm feeling with warm colors.  This is a lovely book that demonstrates a couple of things for new Kindergarteners.  First it shows that Kindergarten is fun and special.  Second, it demonstrates that the child will be missed when they are off at school, which is a very important thing. 

Who Is Melvin Bubble?

Who Is Melvin Bubble?
by Nick Bruel.

Nick Bruel writes some of the zaniest, funniest picturebooks.  Just to jog your memory, he is the author of Bad Kitty.  With Melvin Bubble, Bruel has created a read-aloud masterpiece where each character has a distinct voice that begs to be read aloud and shared.  Add to it Bruel’s cartoon illustrations and you have pure picturebook magic.  The question throughout the book is who Melvin Bubble really is.  The authors interviews his parents, his best friend, his dog, his teddy bear, and many more.  Each tells about Melvin from their own distinct point of view, but no one really knows Melvin the way he knows himself. 

There is great humor throughout the book from an irate Tooth Fairy interview to the brief interview with the magic rock.  Kids of all ages will enjoy this, but the young elementary set will enjoy it the most.  This is one picture book to read to first and second graders that is not overly long and will have them hooting and hollering.  Definitely not one to calm a crowd down, use this one at the end of a long day as a reward.  What an idea!

93 in My Family

Ninety-Three in My Family by Erica S. Perl, illustrated by Mike Lester.

This boisterous book tells the story of a little boy who has 93 in his family, including 27 owls, 10 cats, 11 dogs, 2 sisters and a mom and dad.  The little boy tells of how they have to order extra large pizzas, cram themselves into the car, and wash all of the animals.  Not only is the text a rollicking rhyme, but the illustrations will have children laughing out loud.  The two paired together are masterful fun. 

Share this one any time someone needs a good laugh or pure silliness.  My five-year-old especially loved the picture of the cats drinking the shampoo, and had us read that page again and again, even turning back to it at the end of the book.  Days later, he still talks about how funny it is.  Now that is a good book.

Annie's Chair

Annie’s Chair by Deborah Niland really charmed me.  It is the story of a little girl and her love of her favorite chair.  She can read, watch TV, play, pretend, and bounce in her chair.  Even her older brother is not allowed to sit in her chair.  But then Annie discovers the family dog happily sleeping in the chair.  What is a girl to do? 

The illustrations of the book combined with the child-friendly text make this one a winner.  Annie is a real child who reacts just like a real child would to a dog sitting in her chair.   Share this one with toddlers through preschoolers, who will all relate to Annie and her love of a special thing.  They will also recognize Annie’s frustration and anger in themselves.  This book would make a good discussion book about anger as well as sharing, but really it is simply a good read.

Westerfeld on Apocalypse

Publisher’s Weekly has an article with Scott Westerfeld: Looking at the Last Days. Westerfeld talks about the use of apocalypse in his novels, like his brand new The Last Days, which is a sequel to Peeps. Last Days is one of those books that I will bump everything on my reading pile to read.

Children's Lit Blogs

I have started a new project inspired by the recent talk on Child_Lit about children’s literature blogs.  I have a del.icio.us page where I am compiling a list of those of us who blog about children’s literature.  I have only worked on it in my free time yesterday, so it does need some refinement.  Also, if you don’t see your blog listed, that means nothing because I am still working my way through my own bookmarks as well as those listed on other people’s blog rolls.  If you want to make sure I won’t miss you, please comment here or send me an email: kidslit@menashalibrary.org. 

The site is http://del.icio.us/kidslit.  You can subscribe via RSS feed, if you like.  It will also be added to my sidebar as a link.


TeenLibWiki is a fab resource for librarians who work with teens.  The wiki allows you to participate by sharing your own ideas and experiences.  You just need to register for an account first.  Subjects covered include Professional Resources, Programming, Reader’s Advisory, Teens and Technology, and YA Lit.  They have an awesome list of YA Authors who blog as well as other resources.  Definitely worth checking out and participating in.

Up Above and Down Below

Up Above and Down Below by Sue Redding is a quirky and fascinating look at the two worlds, the one above the surface of the ground and the one below.  Redding’s pop-art illustrations capture both the wonder of the two distinct places as well as adding a broad sense of humor to them.  Ocean scenes are amazing glimpses below the surface while the golf course illustration has gophers working industriously with stolen balls.  Children will enjoy looking closely at the illustrations and laughing aloud at the funny details they discover.  This is not a book for sharing at a storytime, but one to allow children to appreciate on a smaller scale.  Share this with almost any child, and you are guaranteed a good deep laugh.