Book Weekend – From the Sky

abcABC: Alphabet from the Sky by Benedikt Gross.

Highly detailed aerial photos give young readers a birds eye view of towns, cities, and fields, while the text challenges them to find a letter of the alphabet. For older readers, a corner box gives the location featured along with it’s latitude and longitude.  This original seek and find ends with another round of hidden letters!


Book Weekend – Ocean Bottles

bottleWho finds those bottles that are thrown into the ocean?  Who reads what’s hidden inside and delivers the message?

The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles, Michelle Cuevas has written as quite picture book about the person whose job it is to fish out the bottles and uncork the slips of paper.  One day, he’s faced with a mystery – a note with no address!  He goes around his town, asking the baker, the florist, and others, but finds no answer.  The last pages reveal a surprise, that brings closure to the man’s lonely heart, while leaving the mystery obearpen to interpretation by young readers.

Erin Stead has won awards for her art, and in this book, she uses a limited range of colors to give the story a cool autumnal feel.  And while the text never mentions any animals, Stead includes a friendly cat who sometimes follows the man on his delivery routes.   Ask for her other books, including Bear Has a Story to Tell by Phillip Stead, for a gentle fall bedtime read.


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.

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!



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?

Book Weekend – Barefoot Critters

Teagan White has written and drawn the most charming book of the season.  Counting With Barefoot Critters starts with one girl-critter waking, running into a friend, and then discovering more!  As the counting grows, so does the adventure, with more and more animal children eating, resting and exploring under the stars.

The counting is more a comforting structure, than a learning tool.  Pre-schoolers might be a tad baffled, but K-2 will love the cozy day of play and rest.counting

Book Weekend – Busy Builders

Jean Reidy’s story of builders features the days of the week for pre-school construction enthusiasts.  Each day of the week is featured in bold letters, starting with Sunday, when the plans are scribbled, all the way to Saturday, when the finished project is unveiled at last!busyLeo Timmers illustrated with his trademark google-eyed animals who scramble, carry, and drive with a chaotic glee.  The joys of building have never been so much fun!