Tag Archives: Natalie

Five Recently Published Picture Books

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The Bear’s Sea Escape by Benjamin Chaud

We meet Papa Bear and Little Bear again in this follow up to Benjamin Chaud’s The Bear’s Song. This time instead of hunting for his cub throughout an opera house, Papa Bear tails him from a snowed-in city to a faraway tropical island. Saturated colors and mountains of details to wade through make for a delightful picture book not just to read but study.

 

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Very Little Red Riding Hood by Teresa Heapy and Sue Heap

The Big Bad Wolf has his work cut out for him after encountering a pint-sized girl on her way to Grandmama’s house. Very Little Red Riding Hood insists on calling him “Foxie”, she refuses to share her delicious cakes, and throws more than one tantrum before they even reach their destination. Heapy and Heap rearrange a classic in the most adorable way possible.

 

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Flashlight by Lizi Boyd

Explore the world outside at night in this brilliant and original wordless picture book by the author of Inside Outside. With the aid of a flashlight, we are shown contrasting color scenes that splice through the black and silver darkness.

 

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Pig and Small by Alex Latimer

Friendship isn’t always easy, and Pig and Bug almost give up on theirs due to having incompatible sizes. They come to realize there are more things they can do together than can’t.

 

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Digger Dog by William Bee

Put on your hard hat and join Digger Dog in his hunt for a bone that turns out to be much bigger than expected. Rhyming text and fold out pages make for an engaging read with a surprise ending.

Formats Available: Book (Regular Print)

 Reviewed by Natalie, Main Children’s

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

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Georgie McCool has a lot going for her. She has a job writing for a hit sitcom in Los Angeles, two young daughters, and a stay at home husband who handles the domestic details while Georgie focuses on her career. Landline begins as Georgie is getting the opportunity she’s waited for after years of writing comedy, the chance at having her own television show. So what’s the catch? To get a shot she’ll have to work through Christmas and sacrifice celebrating with her family. Her husband begrudgingly agrees she should go for it, but in Georgie’s mind there’s no debating it. And that’s where the cracks begin to show.

Have you ever accidently left your cell phone at home then it just makes your entire day feel off? Georgie’s cell is broken and being unable to get in touch with her husband causes her wonder not only if her marriage is failing, but maybe her perception of reality is going as well. The latter isn’t helped by the fact that she encounters a telephone that allows callers to time travel. With the help of an old-fashioned landline Georgie begins to explore the state of her marriage taking readers back to when it first began.

Thirty-somethings are the projected audience for Landline, but Rowell’s works Eleanor & Park and Fangirl, both published in 2013, target teens while striking the hearts of a broader swath. Rainbow Rowell romances the underdog in us all by giving her quirky, unpopular characters exactly what they need, each another. Bestseller Eleanor and Park perfectly romanticizes the nature of young love and the rights have been recently been acquired by Dreamworks for a film adaption. Fangirl is a coming-of-age story that starts with two twins going off to college one ready to cannonball into the pool and the other left standing on the diving board.

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To hear about other projects by the author visit her website:  http://rainbowrowell.com/

Formats Available: Book (Regular Print)

 Reviewed by Natalie, Main Children’s

 

By the Numbers

What did you do on your first day — the day you were born?

Steve Jenkins and Robin Page answer this question in their children’s book My First Day by describing what happens to animals after they are born. Readers will see that the beginning of animal life is dramatically varied among the twenty-two types highlighted and lovingly illustrated here using paper collage techniques.

  • A one ounce baby wood duck falls from high up in a tree following its mother and siblings to water. But it’s not the only animal to take a great fall. A giraffe tucks its head and falls about five feet to the ground at birth. But don’t worry, neither are injured.
  • Some animals are more sedentary like the two pound Siberian Tiger cub, which like human babies do little more than sleep and nurse their first few days.
  • Darwin’s frog hops from a pouch inside its father’s mouth having undergone the transformation from egg to tadpole to frog safe from predators.
  • Unlike humans, animal parents don’t have the opportunity to go out and buy a Baby Bjorn so they have different ways of carrying their babies and keeping them protected. Another way baby animals stay safe is to hitch a ride on its mama’s back. The sifaka, a type of lemur and the golden snub-nosed monkey both cling to their mother’s fur when they are on the go.

Another 2013 work of high-interest nonfiction that features animals is Lifetime: The Amazing Numbers in Animal Lives by Lola M. Schaefer. The author makes estimates based on the average adult life span of animals & insects in the wild. Selected facts are stand-alone conversation starters so illustrator Christopher Silas Neal’s mix of drawing, painting, print making and digital art make this a memorable read.

Lifetime is packed with interesting tidbits. Here are a few of my favorites.

  • An alligator will build 22 nest and lay 550 eggs.
  • A male seahorse will carry and birth 1,000 baby seahorses.
  • A caribou will grow and shed 10 sets of antlers.

-Natalie-

Favorite Read-Alouds Published in 2013

Ah Ha! by Jeff Mack

Can you really tell a compelling story using just pictures and two sounds? The answer is “Yes!”


Big Snow by Jonathan Bean

While under the guise of “helping” his mother to clean the house, a young boy is constantly reminded of playing in snow as he waits for a big one to arrive.


Chu’s Day by Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman must have been pretty busy writing his dreamlike novel for adults, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, which was recently voted National Book of the Year in the UK. Yet somehow, he still found the time to imagine a little Panda with a tragic flaw. Terrible things happen when Chu sneezes. You can’t even begin to imagine what.


Crankenstein by Samantha Berger

Everyone gets a little cranky time to time. But when especially trying things like long lines or super-hot days pile up, they can turn otherwise sweet children into monsters!


The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

I had no idea crayons were so sensitive. Hilarious and not to be missed.


Sophie’s Squash by Pat Zietlow Miller

Sophie’s family picks up a spaghetti squash shopping at the farmer’s market but much to her parent’s dismay, Sophie forms an attachment to their dinner.


The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli

Fans of Mo Willems will love this melodramatic watermelon chomping crocodile.

-Natalie-