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 ~

7/24 – 7/31 Children’s Book of the Week: The Giving Tree

The Giving Tree
by Shel Silverstein
A little boy makes a playground of a great, leafy apple tree, and the tree loves him  for it. The little boy is happy, and so the tree is happy. Soon the little boy grows, and grows away from his tree. At each new stage of his life the boy comes back, and the tree, always delighted to see him again, invites him to play around her like he used to and be happy. But each time, the once little boy has a different idea of what will make him happy, and asks the tree first for her apples, then her branches, and finally her trunk. The tree gives these things to the boy, happy to see him happy. As an old man, the boy comes back – by now the tree is just a stump, with nothing left to give. The boy is happy simply to have a place to sit and rest, and so boy and tree reclaim (though in a different way) the joy they shared when they were younger.

The ending makes for an interesting, open interpretation, and  still very beautiful. Children of all ages will enjoy this classic story.

~ 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 ~


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 ~

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 ~

3/21: Childrens Book of The Week; The Great Kapok Tree

The Great Kapok Tree
by Lynne Cherry
“Señor, how much is beauty worth? Can you live without it? If you destroy the beauty of the rainforest, on what would you feast your eyes on?”

Since it’s publication in 1990, The Great Kapok Tree has been a huge favorite with parents, teachers, and children of all ages. A young man is sent into the forest to chop down a mighty kapok tree, but falls asleep at its base. As he sleeps, the rain forest’s inhabitants whisper to the sleeping man the many functions that single tree holds to all of their lifestyles, and entreat him not to cut it down. The final question will be if the man will remember all the wonderful things the rain forest made him see and hear in his dreams when we wakes up.

The Great Kapok Tree has been named an IRA Teacher’s Choice book of 1991, a Reading Rainbow pick, and an American Bookseller’s ‘Pick of the Lists’. A children’s environmental book with a really beautiful story.

 ~ 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 ~