2/13 – 2/19/2012: How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?

How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?
by Jane Yolen
illustrated by Mark Teague
Dinosaurs have a lot of strategies for not going to bed at night. They can mope, hide, bargain – they can heft their great spiky tails, or shake their huge horned heads. They can jump, they can fly, they can thrash, they can pout – but they don’t. There’s as many ways to refuse to go to bed as there are kinds of dinosaurs, but even dinosaurs know when to call it a night.

A hilarious romp through kid’s postponement tactics, put to endearingly drawn dinosaurs. Great for ages 2 +. Great rhythm – excellent for reading aloud! Be sure to check out my review of another wonderful book by the award-winning Jane Yolen, “The Seeing Stick” .

~ Susan Chodakiewitz is the author of the children’s picture book Too Many Visitors for One Little House and the founder of Booksicals, Encouraging Reading Through the Arts.  Too Many Visitors is now available  as an ibook for ipad and iphones with a fun read-aloud musical narration.  http://bit.ly/ibookVisitors ~

 

1/16 – 1/22/12 Children’s Book of the Week: Gilbert Goldfish Wants a Pet

Gilbert Goldfish Wants a Pet
by Kelly DiPuccio 
illustrated by Bob Shea
Gilbert Goldfish has it all – gorgeous home, plenty of food, even a chest full of treasure. But Gilbert has a dream. He thought he got his dream when a great, yappy, lappy dog prances around his little fishbowl – but no; the dog just liked barking, and anyway it didn’t stay. Or when a sweet little mouse stops by to nose the glass of his tank – but no; the mouse splits as soon she realizes Gilbert is not a big, swishy chunk of cheese. Gilbert’s heart-broken when his “pets” don’t work out, but he does get his wish eventually, though perhaps in a somewhat different form than he thought.

A fun, rhythmic story with some adorable pictures. Great for preschool and up.

Be sure to also check out the Make Your Own Fishbowl craft on the Crafts For Kids page for an excellent activity to go with this excellent story!

~ Susan Chodakiewitz is the author of the children’s picture book Too Many Visitors for One Little House and the founder of Booksicals, Encouraging Reading Through the Arts.  Too Many Visitors is now available  as an ibook for ipad and iphones with a fun read-aloud musical narration.  http://bit.ly/ibookVisitors  ~

12/26 – 1/1/2012 Children’s book of the Week; King Hugo’s Huge Ego

King Hugo’s Huge Ego
by Chris Van Dusen 
King Hugo is a very small man with a very big problem. He cannot and will not consider the ears and feelings of anyone at the recieving end of his epic boasting. He is so haughty, he doesn’t even notice the sorceress he was so discourteous towards casting a very telling little spell on him. Everytime King Hugo boasts, his head literally swells! The king doesn’t even notice for the longest time (with some funny consequences), but even the big-headed King Hugo must realize the consequences of his excessive arrogance and insensitivity, and earn himself a valueable ally in becoming a better person.

Hilarious story with rich, animated illustrations. Best for ages 3 -7.

~ Susan Chodakiewitz is the author of the children’s picture book Too Many Visitors for One Little House and the founder of Booksicals, Encouraging Reading Through the Arts.  Too Many Visitors is now available  as an ibook for ipad and iphones with a fun read-aloud musical narration.  http://bit.ly/ibookVisitors  ~

 

9/12 – 9/18 Children’s Book of the Week; Robot Zot!

Robot Zot!
by Jon Sciezka 
illustrated by David Shannon
The earth had better prepare itself, quick – Robot Zot is going to conquer our planet! Robot Zot will destroy anything (inanimate) that stands in his way, and even plans to rescue the princess of all earth…a tall order for a 3 inch toy robot. Robot Zot’s triumph over kitchen appliances (his enemies) and eventual success in finding the pink toy cell phone (his princess) leave an action-packed, over-the-top, intergalactic ride through hilarity that fascinates kids and endears parents.

Great for ages 4 -8.

~ Susan Chodakiewitz, Founder of Booksicals is also a composer and song writer.  Her company Booksicals is dedicated to encouragin a love of reading through the arts by taking picture books and bringing them to life ~

7/4 – 7/10 Children’s Book of the Week: The Gooch Machine

The Gooch Machine : Poems for Children to Perform
by Brod Bagert
Illustrated by Tim Ellis
This playfully illustrated collection of poems is a great chance for kids to show off (or develop) their reading skills! Each poem is funny on its own, but when taken as a monologue provides a great chance for kids to really engage in their reading; either by simply reading aloud or going all out and making a performance out of it. The poems vary in length too, which means that even a timid reader could find something fun and non-threatening, or even work up to reading the book’s namesake (and longest) poem; The Gooch Machine. All told, the expressive illustrations really helps such timid readers feel at right home in this book!

Any age would like this book, but 6-8 would probably get the most out of the reading aloud experience.

Be sure to check out Brod Bagert’s and Tim Ellis’ other collection of poems, Elephant Games.

Bio: Susan Chodakiewitz is the Founder of Booksicals, dedicated to encouraging a love of reading through arts, crafts, music, theater and dance.  Check out the  Muscial: Too Many Visitors for One Little House and the SNOOZLE DANCE VIDEO based on the picture book.

~ 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 ~


5/16: Children’s Book of the Week; Knuffle Bunny, a Cautionary Tale

Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale
by Mo Willems
Trixie is having a great day – she’s accompanying her Daddy on a journey down the block, through the park, past the school, to the Laundromat. She puts the coins in the machine, watches the clothes go round and round, and is on her way back home when she’s forgotten something. Where’s Knuffle Bunny?! Trixie tries to tell her Daddy but he doesn’t understand; she know real words yet! Mom brings him up to speed, and Daddy must save the day and rescue (the now very soggy) Knuffle Bunny.

A Caldecott honors book, this story is more than just another lost and found tale. It’s illustrations are very unique; cartoons drawn on top of sepia-tone photos. Great for Preschool-1st grade. Hurray again for Mo Willems!

~ Susan Chodakiewitz is the author of the picture book Too Many Visitors for One Little House. She is the founder of Booksicals books and theatrical.  Booksicals currently performs the picture book Too Many Visitors at schools, libraries, book stores, and special literacy events ~

5/2: Children’s Book of the Week; Children Make Terrible Pets

Children Make Terrible Pets
by Peter Brown
Lucy has found the cutest critter in the whole forest…it’s a little human boy! She’s calling him Squeaker because he makes such funny sounds, but Lucy’s mom sees the situation differently.

“Don’t you know that children make terrible pets?”

Lucy promises her mama that Squeaker will be her responsibility alone, but for as cute as he is, Squeaker is a very tricky pet! Lucy has to learn that some critters are better kept out in the wild, but she and Squeaker have a good run while it lasts.

Adorable story with a format that reads more like a comic book. Great for ages 4-7.

~ 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 ~


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 ~

3/7: Children’s Book of The Week: Stephanie’s Ponytail

Stephanie’s Ponytail
by Robert MunschChildren's Book Review
illustrated by Michael Martchenko
 

Stephanie is a one-of-a-kind sort of girl. So, when she sees that no-one in her class at school wears a ponytail, she decides the be the first to try it out. When she gets to school, all the kids say make fun of her for it, but Stephanie never loses her cool: “It’s my ponytail, and I like it!” So of course everyone copies her the very next day! Stephanie has to up her game if she wants to best the copycats—but how can she top ideas that were originally hers to begin with?

A hilarious story for kids and their parents—and a blast for kids to memorize and tell their own versions of!

~ 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 ~