11/14 – 11/20 Children’s Book of the Week: The Sweetest Fig

The Sweetest Fig 
by Chris Van Allsburg 
Bibot is a cold and calculating dentist in France. He has his little white dog for company, Marcel, but even Marcel only reminds Bibot that if he were really rich, he’d have a Great Dane. One day, Bibot pulls the tooth of an old woman who afterwards tells him she can’t pay him in money, but in two magical figs that will make Bibot’s dreams come true. Bibot quickly turns her out without giving her the pain medication he promised her.

Though he disbelieves the old woman’s words at first, the evidence after eating the first fig reveals that the figs are indeed magical, and capable of granting Bibot the limitless wealth he so dearly wants. Unfortunately for Bibot, the fruits of his nasty attitude are about to come back to haunt him.

Beautiful illustrations and a story with a twist, from the author of The Polar Express and Jumanji. Ages 5 and up.

~ Susan Chodakiewitz is the author of Too Many Visitors for One Little House. Susan is also a composer, lyricist and producer of musical theater. Too Many Visitors for One Little House is available as a musical DVD ~

7/11 – 7/17 Children’s Book of the Week: The Sun Egg

The Sun Egg
by Elsa Maarten Beskow
An unidentified, round and orange object has been spotted in the woods! To our little elf, it’s as big as as some of her woodland friends, but a lot more mysterious. Its beautifully bright color give it away; the elf is sure that it is a sun egg. Her friends all come to investigate the sun egg, fairy and fauna alike, but after some trial and error (and not a few tears), they decide that it is both edible and perishable. Eventually Owl points out that it is an orange, but not before all of these disarmingly sweet characters interact with the odd and beautiful find.

A charming story with beautiful illustrations. Makes for great storytelling because of all the different (and vocally interesting!) characters who come to investigate. Particularly great for ages 5-7.

~ Author Susan Chodakiewitz is  the founder of Booksicals. Her debut picture book: Too Many Visitors for One Little House is also a live musical and is now available as a musical DVD along with the SNOOZLE DANCE VIDEO for kids. Too Many Visitors for One Little House will soon be released as an e-book with READ to ME musical narration ~

4/25: Children’s Book of the Week; The Duchess of Whimsy

The Duchess of Whimsy
by Randall de Seve
illustrated by Peter de Seve
The Duchess of Whimsy is very particular about how things are done on her turf. Her friends must be fascinating, her clothes must be extraordinary, and food served must be the the most fabulous in the kingdom! In her court, there is no room for the hum-drum–which is too bad for the poor Duke of Norm, who the Duchess has dismissed as boring and plain, but who adores her nonetheless. One day though, the Duchess’ chef gets sick, and while the rest of the court goes digging for truffles, the Duke of Norm goes off and makes himself a nice grilled cheese sandwich. The Duchess in awe of the simple concoction, and wonders if there if something to this ‘ordinary’ business after all!

Illustrated by the famous New Yorker artist and author of the best-selling Toy Boat, this quirky love story is a “charming tale…This is a sure winner and a nice break from routine princess stories” (School Library Review), and I’m inclined to agree!

~ Susan Chodakiewitz is the Founder of Booksicals, Encouraging Reading Through the Arts and the author of the book
Too Many Visitors for One Little House ~

4/11: Children’s Book of the Week: The Three Little Javelinas

The Three Little Javelinas
by Susan Lowell
illustrated by Jim Harris
It’s the story of the Three Little Pigs – with a little tabasco sauce! In this American Southwestern retelling of the beloved story, the Three Little Javelinas (also known as wild peccaries) set out to make their forts and their fortunes. But instead of a big, scary wolf on their tails, they’ve got one mean, tricky coyote instead! Javelinas No. 1 and 2 have to rely on their resourceful sister and her resilient home of adobe brick to keep the trickster coyote out, and when he tries climbing in the chimney, the three light the stove and send him howling into the desert.

Expressive, detailed, and colorful illustrations. A Reading Rainbow Book. Great for kids 3-8 years old.

~ Susan Chodakiewitz is the author of Too Many Visitors for One Little House. Susan is also a composer, lyricist and producer of musical theater. Too Many Visitors for One Little House is available as a musical DVD ~

3/14: Children’s Book of the Week: Whoosh! Went the Wish

Whoosh! Went the Wish
by Toby Speed
illustrated by Barry Root
Henry, a sweet but lonely old man in a little cottage by the sea, wants a cat. A lot. He wishes for one everyday. One day, a wish fairy, sick and tired of the urban wishing-scene, goes to Henry in his little cottage to grant him his wish. Piece of cake, right? Not so much, as it turns out! Every time Henry makes his wish, parts of it catch on brambles, or get lost on the wind–and all sorts of crazy starts happening! The Wish Fairy will have to get inventive if she wants to help Henry get the right wish, but will this seriously fed-up fairy be able to make good on her wish to help Henry at all?

A sweet story about simple pleasures told through beautiful watercolors, this book is really ideal for K-3 readers and their parents.

~ Susan Chodakiewitz is the Founder of Booksicals, Encouraging Reading Through the Arts and the author of the book
Too Many Visitors for One Little House ~

 

2/7/2011: Children’s Book of The Week; The Rainbow Goblins

The Rainbow Goblins
by Ul de Rico

Originally painted on canvas three times the size of the actual illustrations, this beautifully illustrated book tells the story of the Rainbow Goblins. These goblins have drunk dry all the colors to all the rainbows everywhere but one, untouched valley.  The rainbow goblins journey to the valley, eager to get their lassoes around the last few rainbows…but they didn’t plan on nature fighting back! A story about the consequences of greed, The Rainbow Goblins is a great story set to wonderfully imaginative illustrations. Be sure to also check out its sequel, The White Goblin.

 

~ Susan Chodakiewitz is a composer, writer, lyricist and children’s book author.  She founded Booksicals in 2009 to encourage a love of reading through the arts.  Too Many Visitors for One Little House is Susan’s debut picture book ~