City I Love is a love letter to the city. Which city? All of them! Eighteen poems by Lee Bennett Hopkins are skillfully illustrated by Marcellus Hall to take you on a whirlwind international journey. Hopkins and Hall praise the skyscrapers of New York, the traffic sounds of Paris, and the neon lights of Tokyo. The heat of Rio and Cairo, and the brisk temperatures of Moscow and Toronto. Landmarks like the The Golden Gate Bridge of San Fransisco and the Millennium Wheel of London. Subways, and taxis, even gondolas (oh my)! I hope you enjoy this urban romance as much as I did. It’s a great conversation starter–a fabulous lead in to discussion with your child about how people live differently in different parts of the world. One can never be to young to develop an appreciation and tolerance for foreign culture.
Meet arguably the most precocious bird in children’s literature, in Mo Willems’s The Pigeon Wants a Puppy, the latest in the ongoing saga of The Pigeon and multiple things he’d like to do. In this book the pigeon would like you to give him a puppy. He’s wanted one forever (or at least since last Tuesday). He promises to water it once a month. Don’t you want him to be happy? You better give him one before he throws a huge temper tantrum! But what happens when the pigeon actually runs into a dog? AAAAHHH!!! “The teeth! The hair! That wet nose! The slobber! The claws! I mentioned the teeth right?” I wonder what he’ll want now instead…
I really enjoy the “Sally goes to” series by artist Stephen Huneck. In Sally Goes to the Mountains, Sally, a black lab, and her owner are going camping. They pack up their van full of dog treats and head out. Sally is so anxious to make new friends in the mountains she falls asleep during the ride. She dreams of chasing rabbits, and climbing a tree to sing with a pretty bird! She imagines meeting an inquisitive owl (always asking “who? who?”) Maybe she’ll take a swim with the colorful fish, or find a stick (the beaver probably has one to spare). “A family of skunks is very nice,” Sally thinks, “except for one little stinker.” Soon she’s arrived, and it’s time for her mountain adventure to begin for real!
Rough Weather Ahead for Walter the Farting Dog is the third in a bestselling series by authors William Kotzwinkle, Glenn Murray, and Elizabeth Gundy, and illustrator Audrey Colman about the titular gassy canine. In this installment, Professor Kompressor claims to have a secret formula to stop Walter’s flatulence. Father and Mother think it’s working perfectly, but the farts are just building up inside, turning Walter into a blimp! One night he floats away from home! He floats to the edge of town, before he finds a way to get down, saving some frozen butterflies in the process. Finally his owners accept him for the wonder dog that he is!
Owney the Mail-Pouch Pooch by Mona Kerby is based on the true story of a remarkable terrier mix who became famous in the 1890’s. He was adopted by Albany, New York postal workers, and guarded the mail, only letting the men in blue uniforms near. One day he hopped on a train carrying mail across the country. The Albany men were sad, but a few months later Owney returned. He wanted to ride the train again! This time the railway postmen attached tags to Owney’s collar to show where he’d been. Soon he had so many, he had to wear a harness instead to hold them all! Owney traveled the world, guarding the mail on a steamship headed to Asia. This book is very well researched (the author even thanks a few Maryland librarians for helping get the facts straight) and features cute illustrations by Lynne Barasch.
Measuring Penny by Loreen Leedy is a fun book to help teach your child a bit about math and measurement. In the story, a little girl named Lisa has to measure something for homework. Her teacher says she can measure anything, so she chooses her Boston Terrier, Penny! Lisa measures all sorts of things about Penny–how much she weighs, how much she eats and drinks, how fast she can run, how far she can walk. Lisa even takes Penny to the park to compare her to the other dogs there–who is the tallest? who has the longest tail? who can jump the highest? Find out what Lisa learns about her favorite pet in Measuring Penny.