Saturday, December 5, 2009

Cybils Post #6

18 more of the 176 books nominated for the Fiction Picture Book award for you today and the count is up to 90/176! The Cybils committee has described an award-winning Fiction Picture Book as "a celebration of story and illustration, with lasting appeal for kids and/or adults. The best picture books completely excel in art, story, kid-friendliness, and adult appeal. A Cybils-winning picture book adds that special "It Factor." In message, in world-view, in connection, in humor, in reach, a book with "It Factor" rises to a higher level." (Cybils: 2009 Nominations Fiction Picture Books).

Thomas, Jan.
Can You Make a Scary Face?

August 2009.
Review copy provided courtesy of: Beach Lane Books

Bold, colorful illustrations will quickly attract little eyes to humorous, engaging story. Ladybug invites readers on a game of "let's play pretend," as an imaginary bug suddenly lands on our noses and continues to tickle and tease. The interactive story allows the youngest of readers to become actively engaged by encouraging them to make the movements alongside ladybug as the little bug tickles and teases.

Brallier, Jess M.
Tess's Tree.

August 2009.

Review copy provided courtesy of: HarperCollins Publishers.

Tess suffers a big loss as her beloved tree must come down after a storm that makes it seem like a danger to Tess and her family home. Tess's Tree shares loss in a simple way that children will relate to as they watch Tess celebrate the life that her tree once had, rather than mourning all that it's not any longer. The book is perfect to show that despite loss, life will go on and will help them to experiencing the healing process by celebrating a lost one's life.

Manushkin, Fran.
The Tushy Book.

March 2009.
Review Copy provided courtesy of: Feiwel & Friends

Celebrating tushies, The Tushy Book, is ideal for young children who find humor in and have recently discovered that they ahve their own tushies! This hilarious picture book covering a taboo topic that kids so love, is illustrated by Tracy Dockray, illustrator of Beezus and Ramona, as well as several other books written by Beverly Cleary. This would make for a funny read aloud for a home or library story hour.

Gravett, Emily.
October 2009.
Review Copy provided courtesy of: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

A little frog finds a book and wishes about all the things he could read about. However, this is only just a book of spells... until frog learns to put the spells to use to make magic happen! This interactive books allows readers to feel as though they're exploring the book of spells alongside frog, as they are encouraged to make words and the half-page illustrations promote the spells as they take place. While there is no moral, this book might be interesting to use in a classroom to teach children about making new words and word families, as it could easily inspire the entire concept to be taught as "magic" happening!

Phillips, J.C.
Wink: The Ninja Who Wanted to be Noticed.
March 2009.
Review Copy provided courtesy of: Viking

Ninjas are typically known for their stealthness. However, Wink's enthusiasm gets him in trouble as he finds himself unable to prove his stealthy ways. A little help for an unexpected friend finds him able to show off his enthusiasm and stealthiness in an entirely unexpected manner. The scrapbook paper-style collages will likely appeal to girls, while the story of the ninja will seem most appealing to boys.

Blue, Rose and Corrine J. Noden.
Ron's Big Mission.
January 2009.
Review Copy provided courtesy of: Dutton Children's Books.

Young Ron McNair dreamed about being able to check books out his local library. However, being African American, Ron faces discrimination that deems him unable to check out his own books. One day, he decides to "walk over the edge," as the message of the story is, "you can only be a winner if you are willing to walk over the edge," in attempt to make his dream come true. Interestingly enough, Ron McNair happened to be second African American astronaut to enter space, thanks in big part to his success in walking over the edge to check out those library books. Children will love learning how one astronaut came to be and will be even more inspired after learning how his childhood playing into his success later in life.

Beaty, Andrea.
Firefighter Ted.
September 2009.
Review Copy provided courtesy of: Margaret K. McElderry Books.

Ted's imagination allows him to education readers about fires in this latest book in the "Ted" series. This is a great book for teachers and parents wishing to introduce young children to fire safety as Firefighter Ted's closing reads, "There is so much to know about fire safety. A poster could help everyone understand. This book is mostly appropriate for younger children who will enjoy the though to f a bear teaching them about fire safety, as they will begin to feel comfortable with the concept of fire.

Robbins, Jackie and Matt Phelan.
Two of a Kind.
July 2009.
Review Copy provided courtesy of: Antheneum Books for Young Readers.

Anna ditches her friend Julisa (a very special friend) to spend time with Kayla and Melanie (popular girls). She quickly learns how little she has in common with her new friends, as they find it fun to pick on Julisa, her real friend. This is an important story to share with children who are struggling with feeling they don't have the "right" friends, as it teaches the message that true friends will bring out the best in you. This book also stood out to me because it includes a potential interesting science project, how colors mix to form new colors (using black markers and coffee filters). Books that kill two birds with one stone are great for teaching!

McClements, George.
Dinosaur Woods: Can Seven Clever Critters Save Their Forest Home?
June 2009.
Review Copy provided courtesy of: Beach Lane Books

Seven endangered animals must work together to save their woods from being cleared for developers. Together, they come up wtih a plan to build a dinosaur to scare the developers away, ultimately accomplishing their goal - and founding Dinosaur Woods, a nature preserve. The message, if you put your heads together and cooperate you will likely come up wtih a successful solution to your problems, is a very useful one when trying to encourage children to work together cooperatively.

Darbyshire, Kristen.
Put It On the List.
February 2009.
Review Copy provided courtesy of: Dutton Children's Books.

No one in the Chicken family seems to remember to put their grocery needs on the list and instead remind Mom after she's done the weekly shopping. Together, they must come up with a plan to be sure all the purchases they need to make are made. Grocery shopping parents and children who have certain food needs will be chuckling at this one! And... it would make for a great book to introduce children to the concept of sorting, as a grocery list would make a perfect sorting activity to ensure that they get everything off the list without having to back track the aisles - sorting categories include: dairy, freezer, paper products, deli, fruit and veggies, etc.

VanDusen, Chris.
The Circus Ship.
September 2009.
Review Copy provided courtesy of: Candlewick Press.

Based on the events of October 25, 1836, when the Royal Tar (a side-wheel steamer) carrying 103 passengers and a complete circus, ran into a gale off the island of Vinalhaven. While intending to accurately retell the story of the Royal Tar, some details were changed to create a new adventure for children. The caricature-style illustratsions make the pictures funny for children, who will also love the animals and should enjoy seeing them "saved" in this story. The book also provides a fun activity for children, as one of the two-page illustrations encourages them to find all of the circus animals! I will definitley be sharing this at story-hour!

Dempsey, Kristy.
Me With You.
May 2009.
Review Copy provided courtesy of: Philomel Books

A little girl shares how much the time spend with her grandfather is treasured by sharing that her time with him brings out the best in her. Beautiful, captivating illustrations, coupled with a wonderful story make this book appropriate for children who treasure their time spent with grandparents. Not only is the story beautiful, it also shares a special message with children - time spent with someone you love and who loves you allows both parties to be completely themselves and make an even better twosome!

Seeger, Laura Vaccaro.
Dog and Bear: Three to Get Ready.
September 2009.
Roaring Brook Press.
Review Copy borrowed from: local library

Three more stories compressed into one book, shares with readers more adventures of Dog and Bear. Dog and Bear: Three to Get Ready, takes readers on an adventure with a troublesome bucket, a bouncy bed and a lost sock monkey. The series is perfect for beginning readers, as text is simple and repetititive. The bright, colorful illustrations allow the youngest of readers to create a story all their own, allowing them an instantaneous connection to the book!

Paul, Chris.
Long Shot: Never Too Small to Dream Big.
September 2009.
Review Copy provided courtesy of: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

Eight-year old Chris is smaller than everyone in his class. He doesn't let that discourage him from trying out for the basketball team. Thanks to the message everyone in his family gives him - you're never too small to dream big, as long as you're willing to work for what you want - Chris surprises only himself as he makes the basketball team as the smallest player! Boys and athletic girls will love the story here and will find Chris an inspiration to all!

Dokas, Dara.
Muriel's Red Sweater.
February 2009.
Review Copy provided by: Dutton Children's Books

Muriel the duck is excited to pass out invitations to her birthday party - in fact, she's so excited she doesn't even notice her red sweater shrinking as she goes about, passing out the invitations to each of her friends. Luckily, her friends took notice and because of that, were able to come up with the perfect birthday gift! Children will love reading a birthday themed story, especially if its their own birthday (I'll be adding this to my birthday shelf, which I'm sure I've mentioned on the blog somewhere before - on each student's birthday, he/she will be allowed to pick a birthday-themed read aloud for story time).

Walker, Anna.
I Love Christmas.
October 2009.
Review Copy provided courtesy of: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

Ollie loves Christmas for a whole slew of reasons, from stars to individual pieces of the nativity set. This book is perfect for young readers looking for simple, somewhat repetitive text. The illustrations, which provide ample context clues, also make this appropriate for young children. Families that celebrate Christmas will find this a pleasant read-aloud throughout the holidays, but those celebrating other holidays, not so much. An interesting activity to complete with children after reading I Love Christmas would be to have children write about the things they love about Christmas, but to discourage writing about the specific gifts they receive, as Christmas isn't truly about receiving gifts, but moreso making memories and thinking of the "reason for the season."

Fox, Mem.
The Goblin and the Empty Chair.
September 2009.
Review Copy provided courtesy of: Beach Lane Books

While many consider goblins almost creepy, this story will certainly change that thought! This lonesome goblin takes notice of a family in need after they've obviously suffered a loss and takes steps to help ease their burder, ultimately earning a warm welcome. While this may be obscure for children to understand, the message that I clearly noticed is that family, friendship and companionship has the ability to unite and help heal. I think this is an important read for families that have experienced such a loss. They will appreciate seeing what a huge difference simple gestures can make.

Kalz, Jill.
No Snow for Christmas.
August 2009.
Review Copy provided by: Picture Window Books

The people of Pfeffernut County are anxious for the arrival of snow to greet the Christmas holiday. However, despite all their efforts to have snow for Christmas, readers will quickly pick up on the message to be learned - sometimes, no amount of effort will make something happen, patience is just needed sometimes. Children who live in snowy areas know the anxious feeling of waiting for snow. This is a light-hearted read for all who enjoy celebrating the Christmas holiday!

If you're interested in finding out more information about any of the books reviewed or if you'd like to purchase the books, click the cover image for a link to