The Show and Tell Lion

The Show-and-Tell Lion by Barbara Abercrombie and Lynne Avril Cravath.

Under the pressure of having to come up with something for show-and-tell, Matthew blurts out that he has a pet lion at home.  Of course this is entirely made up, but before Matthew can admit he is telling a story, his classmates are quizzing him about the lion.  Matthew finally admits to his mother what is happening and she insists that he tell the truth about the lion.  In the end, Matthew finds a way to tell the truth and save face with his class. 

What a great picture book!  So many children tell stories without meaning to tell a lie and find themselves in this position.  This book demonstrates that it happens to other people and that when you tell the truth it solves the problem.  Even more importantly, the book features a child with a vivid imagination who allows it to get out of hand and then finds a solution himself.  It is a very empowering story for children.  I really enjoyed the illustrations with their soft blends of color.  I also liked the fact that as Matthew’s lie grew and grew so did the imaginary lion until finally he was so big he had to leave the house. 

This would be a great addition for preschoolers and kindergarteners learning about honesty.  It can also be added to any storytime about lions or imagination. 

Galaxies, Galaxies!

Galaxies, Galaxies! by Gail Gibbons.

Gibbons has once again created a winning nonfiction picture book with just the right amount of information on each page and charming illustrations.  This book focuses on galaxies from the Milky Way to other types of galaxies in the universe.  It looks at how galaxies are studied, types of telescopes, and ends with the fact that more galaxies are constantly being formed. 

Many children love astronomy and this book is ideal for units on planets and space.  The focus on galaxies themselves makes this different than solar system books and is a welcome addition to library collections.  As with most of Gibbons’ nonfiction, it can successfully be read aloud to classes from kindergarten through second grade.