Old Bear is the latest book from celebrated author and illustrator Kevin Henkes. It’s the story of a bear who goes to sleep, to hibernate for the winter. It’s snowing outside his cave, but he’s dreaming of seasons past, the springs, summers, falls, and winters of his youth. He dreams of being a cub again, frolicking amongst the flowers, chasing butterflies in the light rain, and playing in the autumnal leaves by a river full of fish! He even dreams of the winter world covered in snow, staring up at beautiful northern lights. He sleeps and dreams a very long time, but to him its as if no time has passed at all. When hewakes up to look outside his cave he expects to see snow, but is happily suprised to walk out into a wonderful spring day!
Toni Buzzeo offers us The Library Doors, a playful media-centric reinterpretation of the popular children’s sing-along chant, “The Wheels on the Bus” with the help of illustrator Nadine Bernard Westcott. Join some elementary school students on a trip to their library. There’s a lot of fun things to do there, but you have to be quiet! You can go to story time, look up books in the catalog, browse the shelves for things you like, and of course read read read! There’s also computers to help you do your homework or find information you’re interested in. When you go to check your books out, be sure to wave goodbye to the librarian, and let her know you’ll be sure to come back “all through the year!” This is a fun book to recite with your child, or if you’re feeling up to it, sing! You know you know the tune…
Polar Bear Puzzle is part of the Adventures of Riley series by Amanda Lumry and Laura Hurwitz, endorsed by the Smithsonian Institute and the World Wildlife Fund. This series is really creative in that it mixes photographs with drawn illustrations, and stories with non fiction facts. For instance in Polar Bear Puzzle Riley goes to visit his biologist uncle Max in Churchill Canada, Polar Bear Capital of the world. Due to climate change, Uncle Max must tag and transfer bears to colder parts of the country, and Riley gets to help! On the way they meet several other arctic animals, and even see the northern lights. This is a very cool book with tons of timely information.
Ghosts in the House is a charming picture book by Kazuno Kohara. The illustrations are all orange, black, and white, making it a perfect read for Halloween! The story begins with a little girl and her cat who’ve gone to live in a nice big house on the edge of town. Unfortunately, the house is haunted! But that’s just fine with this little girl because she happens to be a witch. She’s going to whip this house’s ghosts into shape! Before you know it, she’s caught and cleaned them all, and turned them into linens for her new home. She’s got ghosty curtains, ghosty table cloths, and ghosty blankets for her bed! Ghosts in the House is an adorable story about a girl, a cat, and some ghosts, that all live happily ever after.
You may have already heard about And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell. It was the most challenged book of 2008. If you’re at all curious to see what the fuss was about, I highly recommend you check it out, because beneath all the controversy this is a story for children about an unconventional family of penguins. Roy and Silo were two real male penguins at the Central Park Zoo who played surrogate fathers to an egg, helping to bring little Tango into the world, and you can still visit them all today in New York City! Heartwarming illustrations provided by Henry Cole.
Jabberwocky by Christopher Myers is a fantastic re-imagining of the nonsensical poem from Lewis Carroll’s classic Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There. Myers interprets the piece to be about a particularly intense game of basketball (an analysis, by the way, he backs up with a tremendous amount of research on both Carroll and James Naismith, the “inventor” of basketball, and their mutual interest in an ancient Aztec ritual called ollamalitzli). The words of the story are practically gibberish, for instance, the narrator warns us to “beware the jubjub bird and shun the frumious bandersnatch!” The illustrations that accompany the poem really tell the story of a David-and-Goliath-esque courtside battle of epic porportions, held on a hot summer day in the inner city.