On Our Shelves: New Picturebooks

Just in time for back to school, we have been cataloging new books in the children’s area like mad. In the process I have seen some great books, and had to check some out to read for myself and share with my own children. There have even been some that are staff storytime picks.  Here are some of my favorite picturebooks that have recently been added to our collection.

The Pigeon Needs a Bath! by Mo Willems. The  latest entry in the best-selling series that includes the Caldecott Honor-winning Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! finds a mussy Pigeon refusing to take a bath and insisting he had one a month earlier

Hooray for Hat! by Brian Won. Elevated from a bad mood when he receives an exciting new hat, Elephant cheers up his equally grumpy friend Zebra before marching to the homes of other downcast friends who join them in a fabulous hat parade

Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio and Christian Robinson. After a chance encounter at the park and a switch of places, Antoinette the bulldog and Gaston the
poodle learn that family is about love, not appearances, in an adorable doggy tale from a New York Times best-selling author.

Ninja! by Arree Chung. A little boy flexes his ninja chops in an adventure that finds him silently creeping through his home and overcoming formidable obstacles, like the coffee table, to pounce upon his unsuspecting father’s tummy.

The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat. An imaginary friend waits a long time to be imagined by a child and given a special name, and finally does the unimaginable–he sets out on a quest to find his perfect match in the real world.

As usual, I cannot stop there. Here are some more new picturebooks,  and a few easy readers thrown in for good measure, as suggestions for some fun and family friendly reading. My New Friend Is So Fun! by Mo Willems, Brimsby’s Hats by Andrew Prahin, Poppy the Pirate Dog’s New Shipmate by Liz Kessler, Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot by Dav Pilkey,  Tulip Loves Rex by 
Alyssa Satin Capucilli, How to Wash a Woolly Mammoth by Michelle Robinson, Little Big Horse: Where’s my Bike? by Dave Horowitz, and The Loch Mess Monster by Helen Lester.

Books to Read To or With Children Entering Kindergarten

Do you have a child starting Kindergarten or Preschool this fall? Or perhaps you have an older child that still enjoys sitting and sharing a picturebook or even a board book with you on occasion. There are a ton of great books that come highly recommended and find themselves on the countless “100 Picturebooks to Read before Kindergarten” lists. Since I cannot leave well enough alone, I have made my own list of books that my children and I loved and I think should be on those lists. I am trying to avoid the classics like Goodnight Moon and aim for the lesser known books that you might not run across otherwise.

1.Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems

2. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein

3. This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen

4.Pete the Cat : I love my White Shoes by Eric Litwin; art by James Dean

5. Dooby Dooby Moo by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin

6.Blue Chameleon by Emily Gravett

7. Spoon  by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

8Ten Apples up on Top! by Dr. Seuss writing as Theo. LeSieg

9. Elmer by David McKee

10. Skippyjon Jones Up & Down by Judy Schachner

And as usual, I cannot stop there! Here are some more suggestions: Diary of a Spider by Doreen Cronin, Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, Skippyjon Jones in the Doghouse by Judy Schachner, The Monster at the End of this Book by Jon Stone,Runny Babbit: a Billy Sook  by Shel Silverstein, And to Think that I saw it on Mulberry Street by Dr. Seuss, The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? by Mo Willems, Naked Mole Rat gets Dressed by Mo Willems, I Want my Hat Back by< Jon Klassen, Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett, Wolf Won’t Bite! by Emily Gravett, SuperHero ABC  by Bob McLeod, and Little Oink by Amy Krouse Rosenthal.

Great Seuss Books You Might Not Remember

Sunday March 2nd would have been Theodor Seuss Geisel’s 110th birthday. In honor of the wonderful and well loved Dr. Seuss, who also wrote under the name Theo Le Sieg, I want to mention some of his wonderful books that you might not remember. We all recognize the titles The Cat in the Hat and One Fish, Two Fish. My daughter is extremely fond of The Lorax, Fox in Socks, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and so I can recite those on demand. Most of us even have vague recollections of less known stories like Daisy-head Mayzie and that the devoted elephant Horton starred in more than one story. However, how many of these other titles have you read?

My Many Colored Days This rhyming story describes each day in terms of a particular color which in turn is associated with specific emotions.

I Am Not Going to Get Up Today!  A boy is so sleepy that he vows nothing will get him out of his morning bed, neither peas and beans nor the United States Marines.

Hooray for Diffendoofer Day! The students of Diffendoofer School celebrate their unusual teachers and curriculum, including Miss Fribble who teaches laughing, Miss Bonkers who teaches frogs to dance, and Mr. Katz who builds robotic rats.

The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories
Presents seven Dr. Seuss stories first published in magazines between 1950 and 1951, with an introduction and commentary on each. The Bippolo Seed, The rabbit, the bear, and the Zinniga-Zanniga, Gustav, the Goldfish,Tadd and Todd, Steak for Supper, The Strange Shirt Spot, and The Great Henry McBride.

And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street  A boy imagines a series of incredible sights on his way home from school so that he will have an interesting report to give his father.

And then there is: Hunches in Bunches, Great Day for Up,Wacky WednesdayThe King’s Stilts, The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins Scrambled Eggs Super! Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book, and On Beyond Zebra for children as well as You’re Only Old Once! and  The Seven Lady Godivas for adults.

This list barely touches the surface of a long list of books by Dr. Seuss. Which of his is your favorite?

Recommended Wordless Picturebooks

A great picturebook does not always need words to make it worth sharing. Wordless picture books can still help a young child learn to love books and set them on the path to being a great reader. Enjoying a well-done picturebook with no words can help a child build their comprehension skills, predict what will happen next, and enhance their ability to take words and meaning from pictures. These are important tools to have as reading skills develop and grow.
Most importantly, they can show even the youngest and most challenged readers the beauty of being drawn into a new world through the pages of a book.

Chalk by Bill Thomson
A wordless picture book about three children who go to a park on a rainy day, find some chalk, and draw pictures that come to life.

Shadow by Suzy Lee
A little girl uses her imagination and a light bulb to go on an adventure in a dark attic.

The Lion & the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney
In this wordless retelling of an Aesop fable, an adventuresome mouse proves that even small creatures are capable of great deeds when he rescues the King of the Jungle.

Journey by Aaron Becker
Using a red marker, a young girl draws a door on her bedroom wall and through it enters another world where she experiences many adventures, including being captured by an evil emperor.

Robot Dreams by Sara Varon
The enduring friendship between a dog and a robot is portrayed in this wordless graphic novel.

Where’s Walrus? by Stephen Savage
In this wordless picture book, follow Walrus on a happy-go-lucky spree through the big city, as he tries on different hats to disguise himself from the chasing zookeeper.

Tuesday by David Wiesner
Frogs rise on their lily pads, float through the air, and explore the nearby houses while their inhabitants sleep.

The Arrival by Shaun Tan
In this wordless graphic novel, a man leaves his homeland and sets off for a new country, where he must build a new life for himself and his family.

If you are still looking for more you might also want to check out; Unspoken: A Story From the Underground Railroad by Henry Cole, Inside Outside by Lizi Boyd,  Pancakes for Breakfast by Tomie dePaola, Daisy Gets Lost by Chris Raschka, The Line by Paula Bossio, The Snowman by Raymond Briggs, Bluebird by Bob Staake,  The Adventures of Polo by Regis Faller, Home by Jeannie Baker,  Rainstorm by Barbara Lehman, Time Flies by Eric Rohmann, Wonder Bear by Tao Nyeu, The Red Book by Barbara Lehman, The Secret Box by Barbara Lehman, Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle, Free Fall by David Wiesner, or  Flotsam by David Wiesner.

Monstrously Magnificent Picture Books

If your kids are anything like mine, or were when they young, they have a fascination with monsters. Both my five and my seven year old love anything that they can slap a ‘scary’ label on, as long as it does not get too scary. Scooby-Doo, and an ever-cycling cast of creatures are the constant source of happy conversations and late night fears. Vampires, ghosts, zombies, mummies, and a wide assortment of creatures have become the focus of one or both of my children at any given time.

Some books, movies, and television shows featuring monsters are silly fun, others creepy and entertaining, while others cross a line (some times without me even realizing it until the questions or nightmares start) into the realm of actually scary.  Finding the right balance of fun and creepy without crossing the line into actually fright inducing can be difficult. Here are some of the books that I have found to be entertainingly spooky or silly, without becoming too scary.

We have a Monster Lit Kit– a collection of books, activities, a CD, and a DVD to please young monster lovers. The lit kit is includes the books Bigfoot Cinderrrrrella, Birthday MonstersFrank was a Monster Who Wanted to DanceThe Monsters at End of this Book, Monster Goose, My Monster Mama Loves Me So, Monster Manners, Monster Things to Make and DoThere’s a Nighmare in my Closet, and  The Very Worst Monster. The music CD include is Scream Factory Favorites which is z collection of songs based on the characters from Monsters, inc. and the DVD included is Cookie Monster’s Best Bites. We have Lit Kits available on most topics out youngest readers, and their families or teachers enjoy.

Big Scary Monster by Thomas Docherty
Big Scary Monster is one misunderstood beastie. He loves to jump out and surprise his friends, but he’s not mean, really. Yet when his friends start hiding from him, he decides to look for new creatures to frighten, only to wind up finding out he’s a bit of a scaredy-cat himself!

Bone Soup by Cambria Evans
Retells the classic tale about a traveller, a ghost, who tricks a town’s witches, ghouls, and zombies into helping him make soup. A Halloween themed version of Stone Soup.

I Need My Monster by Amanda Noll
Checking under the bed for his monster, Ethan discovers that he is gone fishing for a week, and realizing he can’t sleep without him tries to find a substitute monster.

Leonardo, the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems
Leonardo is a terrible monster — he can’t seem to frighten anyone. When he discovers the perfect nervous little boy, will he scare the lunch out of him? Or will he think of something better?

The Monsters’ Monster By Patrick McDonnell
Grouch, Grump, and little Gloom ‘n’ Doom spend much of their time arguing over who is the “biggest and baddest” until they build a monster together that turns out to be very different than what they expect.

My Friend the Monster by Eleanor Taylor
After his family moves into their new house, Louis the fox discovers a very frightened monster living under his bed, and when he takes the monster to the park with him, the monster helps him make new friends.

Sally and the Some-Thing by George O’Connor
Stuck at home with her mom and her new sibling, Sally heads for the swamp with her fishing pole and bike. What she discovers, a slimy, slithery Some-Thing, is a new best friend. Mud pies, burping contests, snail racing–and sensational, beautiful artwork deliver plenty of kid appeal.

If You’re a Monster and You Know It by Rebecca Emberley and Ed Emberley
Monsters sing their own version of this popular song that encourages everyone to express their happiness through voice and movement.

For more monstrously fun reading, you might also want to check out; Bedtime Monsters by Josh Schneider, Some Monsters are Different by David Milgrim, Ghost in the House by Ammi-Joan Paquette, Monsters on Machines by Deb Lund, There Was an Old Monster by Rebecca Emberley, Go Away, Big Green Monster! by Ed Emberley, There’s a Nightmare in my Closet by Mercer Mayer, Most Loved Monster by Lynn Downey, The Monster Who Lost His Mean by Tiffany Strelitz Haber, Even Monsters Need Haircuts by Matthew McElligott, When a Monster is Born by Sean Taylor, Skeleton for Dinner by Margery Cuyler, Bedtime For Monsters By Ed Vere, Beasty Bath By Robert Neubecker, Goodnight, Little Monster By Helen Ketteman, or  Broom, Zoom! by Caron Lee Cohen.