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 ~

 

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

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 ~

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 ~

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 ~


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 ~

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 ~