12/5 -12/11 Children’s Book of the Week: Flotsam

by David Wiesner 
In this wordless tale, a young boy equips himself to find and examine flotsam – anything that washes in from the sea to the shore. To the boy’s unbounded excitement, an old-time camera, the kind you have to hold in both hands, washes upon the shore! The young boy rushes to get the pictures in the old, barnacle-covered camera developed – and discovers a whole world of deep sea society, captured by countless tentacles and passing fish, and a tradition of human stewardship in passing on the findings.

Winner of the Caldecott award, Flotsam is a beautiful, illustrative tale revealing the possibilities in everyday discovery and inquiry. Great for K – 4th grade, and an excellent opportunity for blossoming readers to tell the story themselves.

~ 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 ~

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 ~

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 ~

8/22 – 8/28 Children’s Book of the Week: You Can’t Take a Balloon into the Metropolitan Museum

You Can’t Take a Balloon into the Metropolitan Museum
by Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman and Robin Preiss Glasser 
Told entirely through illustrations, the story follows the (mis)adventures of a loyal museum guard who makes the mistake of promising to look after a little girl’s yellow balloon. Confident her balloon is in good hands, the little girl and her grandmother look at all the wonders of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Meanwhile, the balloon escapes, the guard gives chase, and panic ensues! Each new wreck of a scene that the balloon creates in its passing is cleverly paired with a famous painting at the museum, which the girl and her grandmother obliviously enjoy.

A fun, whimsical story! The lack of words also provides very young readers the chance to embellish the story themselves, and let their imaginations run wild with the wonderful illustrations.

~ 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 ~