Thursday, September 27, 2018

Happy Birthday, Bernard Waber

                                               United for Libraries, in partnership with Empire State Center for                                               the Book, the Children’s Book Council, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and the Yorkville Community School PTA, designated Yorkville Community School in New York City a Literary Landmark in honor of Bernard Waber.    

Author/illustrator Bernard Waber would have been 94 years old today.  He wrote and illustrated the Lyle, Lyle Crocodile series  and a total of 33 books for children.  He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He enjoyed drawing as a child and took art classes in school.  After a year in college where he majored in finance, his education was interrupted by World War II.  During his time in the army, he got interested again in drawing and painting.

After the war Waber attended the Philadelphia College of Art. He and his wife moved to New York after he graduated, where he started a career as a commercial artist.  Their family expanded to include three children. When his children were small, he spent evenings after work and on the weekends writing his books.


His first illustrated book was published in 1954.  The House on East 88th Street, published in 1962, introduced children to a most lovable character, Lyle the Crocodile. Children aged 4-8 have enjoyed all 8 books in this series for decades.  He introduced us to a little friend, Ira, who slept over and said goodbye, in two different books.


Waber's most recent book was Courage was written following the attacks on 9-11.  It takes about all kinds of courage we should celebrate in our lives.

 Take time to dig out some of these old favorites to share with your students and your own children.




Monday, September 17, 2018

Who's Ready for Fall?


We have a few leaves thinking about turning here in northeastern Oklahoma.  As fall edges nearer, our thoughts begin to drift toward the tastes of the season.

Porcupine’s Pie by Laura Renauld is the perfect fall book to read to PreK to third graders.  Fall Feast Day has come, and Porcupine is excited to make her famous Cranberry Pie.  She must walk to the river to wash the cranberries, so she can make her pie. Along the way she meets three different friends, who are each missing an ingredient to make their own special dish.

Porcupine displays the book’s theme of friendship as she generously offers her friends the needed items from her own home.  By the time she gets back home, however, she finds she is missing the key ingredient to her special recipe.  Because her friends return her kindness, Porcupine can make a Festive Friendship Pie.  The author even includes the recipe for the pie.  I plan to try it out as it sounds delicious!


Author, Laura Renauld, is a former third-grade teacher and makes her home in Virginia with her family.  Jennie Poh, uses fall tones and her unique illustrative style to enhance this precious story.  She and her family reside in England.

For your chance to win this delightful picture book, leave a comment with your favorite fall pie.  Check back 9/23/18 to see if you are the winner.


Kara Snider, you're the winner!! 

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Spectacular Space Book and Give Away


If you/your child/your class like space, you must get your hands on this book!  This is the third in the series of Max in Space books.  Max the Dog was following in the paw steps of his grandfather Max, who went to the Moon and Mars.  Max, the younger, was headed for Jupiter, however.  His human friends accompanied him up, up, up the Space Elevator 60,000 miles above Earth where the Jupiter ship was docked.  The children wished Max and the crew a fond farewell and took the elevator back to Earth.


In an imaginative story the reader follows Max and the crew where they explore two of Jupiter’s moons, Io and Europa.  They can’t land on Jupiter itself because it doesn’t have a solid surface and the winds are too terrible.  However, they dropped a probe on the planet which sent pictures and data back to Earth.   On their trip home they passed close to Ganymede, Jupiter’s largest moon. 

Not only was lots of scientific information tucked seamlessly throughout the story, but generous
sidebars on each page presented even more.  Your space-geek heart will be totally satisfied in reading this book!  Rest assured they’re all accurate facts.  Authors Jeffrey Bennett and Erica Ellingson are astrophysicists while Nick Schneider is a planetary scientist.  They give information about how you can best view Jupiter for yourself.  They also have a page of notes for parents and teachers.

Space artist, Michael Carroll, created beautiful paintings for this book.  The gray-tone end pages make you feel like you are right there with Max as he romps across the surface of Io.  There is also a photo of Galileo’s notebook entry of 1610 about the four “stars” he had discovered near Jupiter.  Later he figured out these were moons of the planet.  Another photo is of the planet Jupiter taken from the Cassini spacecraft.

A wide range of ages will enjoy this book.  If you’d like to win a copy of this fascinating book, leave a comment telling who you’d like to share it with.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Home and a Give-Away



Home, by Adam Leitman Bailey, is the story of a young boy who lives in a very small apartment in a very large city. Looking out his window causes him to wonder if there were better places to live.  This starts his adventure of homes.  From a mansion to an igloo to a farm to a mobile home and even a bird’s nest containing two eggs, the boy looks at what it was like to live there.  His journey leads him to the conclusion his own home with him with his own family is the best place to live.




Lovely pastel-toned drawings support this sweet story well.  Sentence length may be a little daunting for beginning readers, so they may need a little support to read it alone.  Home makes a nice read-aloud. 

Bailey’s inspiration for this story was his young sons.  Proceeds from Home go to Building Foundations andDreams, the author’s non-profit with the mission of assisting students of all ages in pursuing their professional and personal dreams. The illustrator generously donated the drawings and chose to remain anonymous.


If you'd like to WIN a copy of this book, follow my blog and leave a comment below about who you'd like to read this book to.