Book Weekend – Noises

noiseWhat noise do I make? by Brian McLachlan is a picture book that takes a children’s concept to a new level.  Most preschoolers have meet animals and learned their noises in a picture book, but let’s be honest, most of these are farm animals.  What about stranger wilder animals, like the colorful ostrich on the cover?  What noise do they make?

The story begins with a stretching cat who meows and a friendly mutt dog who barks, but then moves along to dolphins and whales, raccoons and skunks, rhinos as well as elephants, and two kinds of pandas.  Each animal is asked the question and then, as the page turns, reveal the surprising loud or unusual noises they are known for.  A funny look at sounds that will engage older elementary school kids as well as amusing the younger set.


Flex Your Civic Muscle!

It is election season and though you might not be able to vote, it is always fun to learn about what it takes to be an active citizen of the United States. Ever wonder what it takes to be President? Or how old you have to be to vote? These books have the answers!


When Penny Met POTUS by Rachel Ruiz
From debut author Rachel Ruiz, When Penny Met POTUS is a unique and clever picture book about a young girl whose mother works for the president of the United States. Penny has heard the term POTUS over and over but doesn’t know what it means and her imagination runs wild. When she spends a day at the office with her mother, she asks a few questions, looks around, and tries to discover just who or what POTUS is.

I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy
Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has spent a lifetime disagreeing: disagreeing with inequality, arguing against unfair treatment, and standing up for what’s right for people everywhere. This biographical picture book about the Notorious RBG, tells the justice’s story through the lens of her many famous dissents, or disagreements.

A Balancing Act: A Look at Checks and Balances by Kathiann M. Kowalski
After Americans won their freedom in the Revolutionary War, they faced the challenge of forming their own government. Many people didn’t trust governments. They wanted to protect their freedoms so they formed three branches–the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial–that would watch each other, ensuring that no one person or branch would become too powerful. Discover how all three branches of government work, and how they check and balance each other to guard Americans’ freedoms.

If I Ran for President by Catherine Stier
If you ran for president, you would have to do a lot of hard work. You would study the nation’s problems, tell the American people about your platform, select a running mate, and debate your opponents on live television.

America’s Bill of Rights by Kathleen Krull
Which 462 words are so important that they’ve changed the course of American history more than once? The Bill of Rights: the first ten amendments to the Constitution, the crucial document that spells out how the United States is to be governed.
Newly revised and updated, packed with anecdotes, sidebars, case studies, suggestions for further reading, and humorous illustrations, Kathleen Krull’s introduction to the Bill of Rights brings an important topic vividly to life for young readers.
Find out what the Bill of Rights is and how it affects your daily life in this fascinating look at the history, significance, and mysteries of these laws that protect the individual freedoms of everyone–even young people.

Fancy pens aren’t just for writing up laws, they can also make art. Practice your writing flourishes with this cool feather quill craft and write up your own personal constitution or just doodle. Exercise your freedom to be creative!  Instructions courtesy of Kids’ Play Box.



Book Weekend – Scientists

adaAda Twist, Scientist is the third book in a series by Andrea Beaty, illustrated delightfully by David Roberts.

Ada is a curious girl who’s endless questions turn her parents Art Deco home on it’s head.  Never has a heroine rocked rubber gloves and eye goggles so well!  And she demonstrates the use of scientific principles in her experiments.  The rhyming text glides effortlessly, while the cleverly detailed art adds humor and style.  Look for cameo appearances in the background by her class mates, Rosie Revere and Iggy Peck.

And if you haven’t already, read their stories!  Iggy Peck, Architect features a full spread homage to our very own mid-century modern Gateway Arch, and Rosie Revere, Engineer, was the first story to kick off this picture book series!



Monster Reads

Check out these great read-alouds, perfect for storytime with your little monsters!


Leonardo the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems
Monsters are supposed to be good at one thing – scaring people! However, one little monster, Leonardo, just can’t seem to do it. No matter how much he growls and roars and makes his scariest faces, nobody is even a little afraid. But when Leonardo hatches a plan to terrify the most scaredy-cat kid in the whole wide world, scaring someone seems like a sure thing. When the boy cries, though, everything changes for Leonardo. Hilarious, quick, and a great read aloud – both parents and kids will enjoy this not-so-scary monster story.

If You’re a Monster and You Know It by Rebecca Emberley & Ed Emberley
With bright illustrations and text set to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It,” this book invites readers to sing and dance along. With prompts to snort, growl, twitch your tail and more, this book will have everyone channeling their inner, goofy monster.

My Teacher is a Monster! by Peter Brown
Bobby’s teacher, Ms. Kirby, is a monster. He’s sure of it! She stomps. She roars. Definitely a monster. So, when Bobby runs into Ms. Kirby at the park, he’s less than excited. When a gust of a wind blows Ms. Kirby’s favorite hat off and away, it’s up to Bobby and Ms. Kirby to chase it down before it’s too late. After a day together outside of school, Bobby starts to see Ms. Kirby a little differently. Is she still a monster? Bobby’s not so sure.

Monster Trouble by Lane Frederickson
Winifred Schnitzel is never afraid, not even of the monsters that come creeping into her room right at bedtime every night. But, with her sleep interrupted, Winifred finds that she’s going too sleepy to focus at school or even have fun. Enough is enough. When tricks and traps fail, Winifred is shocked to discover the one thing that will send even the biggest monsters running—a kiss! Follow along with Winifred’s silly story written in rhyming text and with bright illustrations.

Big Bad Bubble by Adam Rubin
All of the big, scary monsters living in La La Land are terrified of one thing – bubbles! Chewing gum bubbles, bubble baths, even bubble wrap is terrifying to this group of monsters. Watch as Wumpus, Froofle, Mogo, and Yerbert attempt to overcome their fear of bubbles. You’ll never guess what they’ll be afraid of next!

Go Away, Big Green Monster! by Ed Emberley
Follow along in this classic, interactive book as the Big Green Monster’s face appears piece by piece. When the Big Green Monster finally appears, watch him slowly disappear! Another great read aloud, kids will love telling the Big Green Monster to “Go Away!” over and over again.

Now that you’re in the monster mood, create your own yarn monster with this simple craft from ZingZingTree.



Book Weekend – Gingerbread Man

gingerbreadThe Gingerbread Man may be familiar to some readers already, but even those who don’t remember the tragic incident of the Fox and the River, will enjoy these new adventures.

In 2011 Laura Murray, introduces the classic crumbly hero to a classroom of school children in the picture book The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School.  After that, he went on a field trip to the fire house with them in Gingerbread Man Loose on the Fire Truck, 2013.

Now he’s back, just as cute and jaunty as ever.  His icing squiggles are ready for action.   This time he faces a host of zoo animals who think he looks tasty.  But when he runs across a lost baby kangaroo, will he be able to save it, too?  OR will he loose his classroom for good?

Cool Cats

Some cats are cool, while others just ruin everything! Some cats are looking for action, while others just want a quiet place to nap. Cats are big and small, and we love them all. Here are some of our favorite cat books.


Cat Jumped In! by Tess Weaver
When someone leaves the kitchen window open, Cat jumps in! So begins the tale of an outdoor cat who finds his way into a tidy house, wreaking havoc at every turn. That is, until he finds his way in once more–this time into someone’s heart. Beautiful, bright watercolors from Caldecott-winning illustrator Emily Arnold McCully nearly spring off the page, buoyed by a playful text that highlights simple prepositions. Preschoolers will delight in Cat’s unintended disasters and mess, and the heartwarming story, the product of a pairing of exceptional author and illustrator talents, will charm cat people of any age.

Pete the Cat: Too Cool for School by Kimberly and James Dean
Pete the Cat is back in New York Times bestselling author James Dean’s beginning reader Pete the Cat: Too Cool for School. In this funny My First I Can Read Book, Pete just can’t decide which outfit to wear to school! He has so many options to choose from. Fans of Pete the Cat will enjoy Pete’s creativity in choosing the coolest outfit. Pete the Cat: Too Cool for School is a My First I Can Read book, which means it’s perfect for shared reading with a child.

Hi, Cat! by Ezra Jack Keats
On his way to hang out with the neighborhood kids, Archie very innocently greets a stray cat who follows him and gets in the way. The cat ruins everything – Archie’s street show is a mess and his audience drifts away. But things aren’t all bad: when Archie goes, the cat follows him all the way home, too!

Homer, the Library Cat by Reeve Lindbergh
Homer is a very quiet cat. He lives in a very quiet house with a very quiet lady. But one day, while the lady is away, Homer hears a very loud sound, and out the window he goes! Poor Homer just wants to find a spot where he can curl up and be quiet, but his hometown is a surprisingly loud place. Will Homer find a bit of calm in all the noise? And will he ever find his quiet lady? Reeve Lindbergh’s cheerful, rhyming text pairs with Anne Wilsdorf’s charming illustrations for a story-lover’s ode to everyone’s favorite quiet place.

Mummy Cat by Marcus Ewert
Mummy Cat prowls his pyramid home, longing for his beloved owner. As he roams the tomb, lavish murals above his head display scenes of the cat with his young Egyptian queen, creating a story-within-a-story about the events of centuries past. Hidden hieroglyphs deepen the tale and are explained in an informative author’s note.
Marcus Ewert and Lisa Brown’s smart, beautiful book is a marvel of sophisticated simplicity, infinitely engaging to examine in detail, and complete with a sweetly surprising plot twist sure to delight young cat-lovers and budding Egyptologists alike.

Cat by Juliet Clutton-Brock
See a jaguar swimming, a cat that can outrun a car, a leopard who lost his spots, and a black panther stalking its prey. Learn why cats need whiskers, how they purr, how the Manx cat lost its tail, and why a tiger is striped. Discover how cats communicate, how cats find their way home, why the black cat has been both persecuted and pampered, why they are said to have nine lives, and more. From domestic cats to the beasts prowling in the wild, Eyewitness: Cat looks at these beautiful mammals that are a part of our world.

How to Speak Cat : a Guide to Decoding Cat Language by Aline Alexander Newman & Gary Weitzman
We know cats are beautiful, secretive, and independent … but even the most loyal cat owners are often baffled by their own pet’s behavior. With veterinarian expert Dr. Gary Weitzman as guide, this fun book helps kids understand what cats are trying to communicate by their body language and behavior. So if you’ve ever wondered what Fluffy means when she’s purring or moving her tail emphatically from left to right – this book is for you! It’s full of insights, expert advice, and real-life cat scenarios, and showcases more than 30 poses, so you’ll soon learn what each meow and flick of the tail means!

After you check these books out from the library, have fun with this simple cat craft from Crafty Pammy.


Oceans of Fun

The world’s oceans cover around 70% of the Earth’s surface but there is still a lot we don’t know about them. They are full of everything from colorful fish, crabs and octopi to really weird creatures that create their own light in the dark depths. Dive into the weird and fun depths of the ocean with these books.


One Lonely Seahorse by Saxton Freymann
One lonely sea horse learns that she has a lot of friends–friends she can really “count” on to help.

This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
When a tiny fish shoots into view wearing a round blue topper (which happens to fit him perfectly), trouble could be following close behind. So it’s a good thing that enormous fish won’t wake up. And even if he does, it’s not like he’ll ever know what happened. . . .

Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea by Jan Peck
Way down deep in the deep blue sea,
there’s a lot to find. I guarantee!
Come on! Be brave!
Just follow me!
And let’s explore the deep blue sea!

I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry
When a giant squid takes inventory of all of the creatures in the ocean, he realizes that he’s way bigger than most of them! Of course, there are bigger things lurking around . . . but maybe this giant squid with a giant touch of hubris doesn’t really care?

Flotsam by David Wiesner
A bright, science-minded boy goes to the beach equipped to collect and examine flotsam–anything floating that has been washed ashore. Bottles, lost toys, small objects of every description are among his usual finds. But there’s no way he could have prepared for one particular discovery: a barnacle-encrusted underwater camera, with its own secrets to share . . . and to keep.

The Sinking of the Titanic, 1912 by Lauren Tarshis 
Ten-year-old George Calder can’t believe his luck-he and his little sister Phoebe are on the famous Titanic , crossing the ocean with their aunt Daisy. The ship is full of exciting places to explore, but when George ventures into a first class storage cabin, a terrible boom shakes the entire boat. Suddenly, water is everywhere, and George’s life changes forever.

Oceans: Dolphins, Sharks, Penguins and More!: meet 60 Cool Sea Creatures and Explore Their Amazing Watery World by Johnna Rizzo
Swim with sharks! Dive with dolphins! Stroll the beach with penguins! Young readers will joyfully immerse themselves in this awesome adventure at sea, in which stunning National Geographic photos reveal hidden worlds of action and beauty. We meet 30 favorite sea creatures and explore their watery homes: playful dolphins, mysterious sharks, graceful sea turtles, waddling penguins, and dozens of others. Kids will marvel at speedy swimmers on the hunt, and smile at cuddly scenes of animal families.

After enjoying some ocean stories, have some more watery fun with an ocean snack and octopus craft!