The Big Storm

The Big Storm: A Very Soggy Counting Book by Nancy Tafuri

As the storm starts to blow, animals take shelter in the hill hollow.  Young readers will get to count one-by-one as the animals squeeze in together and out of the rain.  The thunder rumbles over their heads, but they soon realize that they are hearing another rumble that is coming from the back of the cave.  Readers then get to quickly count backwards from 10 to 1 as the animals run out into the newly sunny fall day.

Tafuri excels at creating concept books for the youngest of readers that are filled with great art and a basic story with a fun twist.  Her art is done in concentrated watercolor inks, pigma micron pens, and watercolor pencils.  There is a great depth to the colors paired with a delicacy of line.  The animals are all bright-eyed and friendly with the drama of the story coming from the storm and the discovery in the back of the cave!  Tafuri’s pacing is perfect for the twist with steady counting leading up to 10 animals, a reveling of the storm, and then the reveal. 

A perfect choice for stormy toddler story times, autumn reading, and a nice addition to so many specific animals story times thanks to the rabbit, squirrel, skunk and more.  Appropriate for ages 1-4.

Reviewed from copy received from publisher.

Start Saving, Henry!

Start Saving, Henry! by Nancy Carlson

Carlson’s Henry books are always inviting discussions of concepts.  In this book, Henry is faced with the task of saving his allowance to get a more expensive toy.  He had been used to just spending his money as soon as he got it, until he wanted a $30 Super Robot Dude.  So week-by-week in $5 increments he saves his money.  Of course, it’s not that easy.  He buys a comic book which sets him back.  Then he loses a library book that he has to pay for himself.  He reaches his goal in the end, but not before one more surprise changes things again!

Carlson’s ability to write a full story in very few words is remarkable.  She is concise and simple, allowing the humor of the circumstances themselves to get laughs and groans.  Her bright-colored art is done in an almost child-like style that is very friendly.  This is an ideal book to introduce saving money and sound finances to children because it is kept very simple and to the point. 

Fans of Henry will love this new book and it is sure to create new fans of the series as well.  Appropriate for ages 3-6.

Reviewed from copy received from publisher.

Betsy's SLJ Article


Gorgeous bloggers grace the November 2009 cover of School Library Journal!

Betsy took on the challenge of creating a list of ten of the top children’s lit blogs and did a grand job.  I am thrilled to be one of the bloggers quoted in the body of the article which does a nice job of showing how children’s lit blogging has grown and evolved in the last few years while emphasizing that blogs and review journals remain completely different beasts.

Welcome any new readers who journeyed from that article!  Good to have you hear.  Feel free to put your feet up, hog the comfy chair, and read.