Monday, June 30, 2008

Fresh Picks!

New goodies!

I've been setting aside the new picture books as they've come in for the last month until I had a morning where I could sit down for an hour and read through them. There's wonderful new stuff in there! A nice mix of some silly, some good-for-early-literacy stuff to read to your babes and toddlers, and some terrific stories for slightly older kids.

I do love this part of my job... And sharing them with you! Hurry in and snap up a few of these - I promise you'll thank me later.

Quiet! There's a Canary in the Library, by Don Freeman

Freeman, you will likely know from Corduroy fame, but he has written several other charmers, some of which are being brought back around, including this really cute tale of a young girl in the library. She begins to daydream as she reads a book about animals, and imagines that if she were the librarian, she would have an animal day at the library. She envisions various animals coming in nad how she would greet them, making sure that they knew the rules (gently) and making them comfortable. It's all going swimmingly until a little bunch of mice come in and turn things upside down. Then she enlists the help of the canary to calm everyone down and herd them out of the library. Returning to reality, she takes home a book about a canary. Cute, simple, and introducing library behaviour gently, I will be reading to some classes, to be sure!

Nothing, by Jon Agee

When an antique-store proprietor has nothing left to sell, a rich lady exclaims that she'll take it! Um, okay. so he sells her nothing, and the next day, a few other merchants follow suit. Soon she is mad for nothing, and the trend spreads. Everyone starts getting rid of their things in favour of nothings, and soon, then shops are restocked with abandoned possessions. it doesn't take long for the lady to realize that she does need a few things - like a towel - and out she goes to buy "everything." A funny book in and of itself, this is also a great absurdist look at the cycles of consumerism and trends. What a terrific way to start that discussion!

City Lullaby, by Marilyn Singer, ill. Carll Cneut

A counting book, a book that concentrates on the sounds of the city, a rhyming book, and a book filled with signage. From a literacy perspective, it's rich with material for vocabulary, for phonological awareness, and for print awareness. From a read-aloud point of view, it's fun, bright, and filled with great sounds to roll around in the mouth and try out loud together. It has nice bold illustrations, amusement in the way the urban baby can sleep through all the noise, and the slowly building image of the baby's features come together at the end for an adorable last page. I like this one!

Where The Giant Sleeps, by Mem Fox, ill. Vladimir Radunsky

The author of my very favourite bedtime book (Time To Sleep) brings us a new soft nighttime story, this time filled with magical and mythical creatures and illustrated sweetly but quirkily. In it, she lists off where the giant sleeps, the fairy dozes, and the pirate lays his head. Wizards, goblins, and pixies follow in the soft rhyme about their slumber, but the elves? They are "wide awake- / sewing with all their might, / to make a quilt of moon and stars / to wrap you in... tonight." It's got a lovely rhythm, as I would expect from her, and depending on your child, could become a bedtime favourite.

The Wish, by Elle van lieshout & Erik van Os, ill. Paula Gerritsen

This is one of those books that you can tell at a glance is an import - and it was indeed first published in the Netherlands. In it, we meet Lila, who lives far away from civilisation, tending her own fields and crops. In the springs, sunflowers, in summer, beans, apples for sauce in the fall, and in the winter, she becomes hungry as her applesauce runs out. Wishing on a star, she happily takes the bag of flour she receives and bakes enough bread for a week, and continues to do so through the winter. She was not, the book notes, the type to wish for fancy things or great decadence, though the night before her birthday, she indulges in asking for a little more... but nothing too fancy. A wonderful little story on its own, it also provides a nice example of the idea of enough.

Shoe Shakes, by Loris Lesynski, ill. Michael Martchenko

One of Canada's premiere newer silly poets, Lesynski is perhaps best know for Dirty Dog Boogie, but also brings her storytelling skills to picture book favourites like Boy Soup. (If you haven't heard of her, but enjoy Dennis Lee, you really ought to check her out!) This new book teams her with Robert Munsch's frequent illustrative collaborator, for a book sure to grab the attention of any kid who loves to bring the goofy. This slim picture-book-format book is filled with mostly poems, though one expands into a story within it, mixing the two styles ably. This means that it is found in non-fiction, though, so if you happen to go looking for it and other works of hers, head for the 819's, where she sits alongside other notable poetic nuts from up north, including Dennis Lee and Sheree Fitch.

Pop by your local public library to see what else is new!

Originally posted on MommyBlogsToronto/Better Than a Playdate.

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