Friday, December 12, 2014

Sight Words

If your child is entering kindergarten or is already in kindergarten, getting a head start on learning or practicing sight words is an important step on their way to becoming a great reader. Check out this list of DVDs and books below to give you some help.

          Meet the Sight Words 2

          WordWorld. To The Rescue

Thursday, December 11, 2014


TITLE:  Paddington
AUTHOR; Michael Bond
CATEGORY: Picture Book

It's hard to believe that Paddington is almost 50 years old, but he doesn't look any older than I remember him years ago.  Although this is not a brand new book, we have a new copy and I wanted to draw attention to it.  As always it is the story of Paddington being found in the train station by Mr. and Mrs. Brown who are waiting for their daughter to arrive.  Paddington - who was a stowaway from Peru - is stranded with a sign that says "please look after this bear".   The Browns decide to take him home and he is warmly welcome by their family and their housekeeper.  Check this book out to rediscover the wonderful story of Paddington.


Title:  Bear Sees Colors
Author: Karma Wilson
Illustrator: Jane Chapman
Category: Picture Book
Reading Level: Grade 1-2
Interest Level: Pre-K - Grade 2
Series: No
Reviewer: Clarice

I am a huge fan of Karma Wilson's BEAR books.  So, I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived at work today and found a new "Bear" book ready to be shelved in our collection.  Needless to say - since I am blogging about it - she did not disappoint!  The book is about our friend bear and his friend mouse out for a walk and a chat.  On his walk he sees many colors.  One page sets us the scene and the following page includes many objects in the specified color.  As with all the "Bear" books, the text is rhyming, fun to read, and ready to please even the younger child.  Check out this book for another delightful read about our friend "Bear" and his new escapade!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Best of: Night Before Christmas

So I've decided to go through our Christmas/ Holiday books and do some festive ratings!
Some great books will be checked out at the time of my review process so my gradings will be based on book available at the time, that I know and and/or that are here at Kirkwood Public Library.
Please challenge my findings... comment! I'd LOVE to hear about your favorites! If I can find them in our consortium I will review them as well!

Best Classic Rendition:
"The Night Before Christmas" Illustrated by Tasha Tudor 
I'm a sucker for her art. She's classic and sweet and gives the reader plenty of tiny details to further the experience.

 Other notable illustrators of this classic:
Christian Birmingham
Robert Ingpen
Holly Hobbie
Lisbeth Zwerger

Best Parody:
"Dinosaurs Night Before Christmas" by Anne Muecke Illustrated by Nathan Hale 
This book is SO funny, clever and holly jolly Christmassy that I fell in love with it as soon as I read it.

Other Notable Parody Versions:
"The Navy's Night Before Christmas" By Trish Holland & Christine Ford and Illustrated by John Manders

"Cop's Night Before Christmas" by Officer Michael D. Harrison Illustrated by David Miles

Best Cultural Version:
"'Twas Nochebuena" by Roseanna Greenfield Thong Illustrated by Sara Palacios 
This is a really fun English & Spanish retelling. I love the cultural touches that make it special.

Other Notable Cultural Versions:
Night Before Christmas Retold and Illustrated by Rachel Isadora

"Twas the Night Before Christmas An African American Version Retold & Illustrated by Melodye Rosales

Best Glitter Version:
"Twas the Night Before Christmas" illustrated by Kat Whelan 
There is sparkle on every page and the characters are mice! It's really so cute!

Other Notable Glittery Version:
"My First Night Before Christmas" Illustrated by Tom Newsom

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Hank Has A Dream

Author: Rebecca Dudley
Category: Picture Book
Reading Level: 4-8 years
Interest Level: 4-8 years 
Series: No
Reviewer: Chelsea

I could not say enough good things about Rebecca Dudley's magical first book, Hank Finds an Egg, a charming picture book about a bear that helps a lost egg find it's way home. You can check out a review of that book here. So, when I heard Rebecca Dudley had another Hank book coming out, I was thrilled! Hank Has a Dream contains much of the same charm as the first, which comes from the beautifully imagined and photographed dioramas of Hank's world, Storywoods. This story follows Hank as he recounts his dream of flying to his friend the hummingbird. Each page shows a side by side view of Hank and as he imagined himself in his dream. This is a charming book to read before bedtime, and marvel at the dreamy pictures of Hank. See the book trailer for Hank Has a Dream below.

The Magic Half

Title: The Magic Half
Author: Annie Barrows
Category: Juvenile Fiction
Pages: 211
Reading Level: Ages 8-12
Series: Yes
Reviewer: Chelsea

Miri is from a one in 8 million family - her siblings are both sets of twins, and she's the single child stuck in the middle. Feeling a bit left out and frustrated after her family moves to an old farmhouse Miri has a terrible fight with her brothers, leaving one of them smacked in the head with a shovel. When she is sent to her room to be punished Miri discovers a small piece of glass taped to the wall. Before she knows it she's being taken on a time traveling adventure all the way back to her same house-- only it's 1935! Miri soon discovers she was sent to help a girl named Molly, who's in a far worse situation. With the help of a pair of glasses, time travel, a Halloween mask, and some luck, see what magic Miri and Molly turn up.

If you like Miri and Molly you can catch up with them again in the sequel, Magic in the Mix. Author Annie Barrows the writer
 of the great series Ivy + Bean.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Moon Over Manifest

Title: Moon Over Manifest
Author: Clare Vanderpool
Illustrator: None
Category: Juvenile Historical Fiction
Pages: 342
Series: No
Reading Level:  Ages 10 - 14
Reviewer: Sandy

The year is 1936 and 12 year old  Abilene’s father has sent her to Manifest, Kansas to live with an old friend while he works for the railroad.  What seems like a worn out town full of worn out people turns out to be so much more.  As Miss Sadie says,” The person you encounter is often more than the person you see.”  Every character in this book has a wonderful story.  The book has stories told from several different people: Miss Sadie, Ned’s letters from 1917 and Hattie Mae's newspaper articles.  As Abilene begins to uncover the secrets about the townspeople and her father, she discovers that she has a connection to all of them and a real place to belong.  Moon Over Manifest was the 2011 Newbery Award Winner and our Juvenile Book Club choice for November.