Monday, July 30, 2012

THE COPY CROCS by David Bedford, illustrated by Emily Bolam

Lexile     Not Rated          Pages     32          Ages     4 - 8
AR Quiz No. 86530 EN Fiction
  IL: LG - BL: 3.0 - AR Pts: 0.5
  AR Quiz Types: RP

Crocodile has lived in the same pond his whole life.  But now his pond has become so crowded.  Every time he moves either he bumps into someone or someone bumps into him.  So he decides to find a new place to live.  Crocodile moves first to a mud hole, then a river, then a mountain top. But everyone keeps following and copying what he is doing.  "Why do you keep copying me?" Crocodile shouts.  "Because you always think of the fun things to do," one of his friends replies.

In the middle of the night he sneaks away and goes back to his pond, where it's nice and quiet.  And big.  And lonely.  Crocodile finds that he doesn't like being alone ALL the time.  Suddenly, "SURPRISE!"  All of his crocodile friends come jumping into the pond, laughing and playing.  Crocodile discovers that while he likes to be alone some of the time, he also doesn't mind sharing his pond with others too.

"MOM! Joey's copying me and he won't stop!!"  How often do you hear this complaint?

Crocodile's story lets children know that when someone copies what they are doing it's because they think it's cool. You can also let them know that imitation is the highest form of flattery, and that all things, when all is said and done, are copied. Someone rode the first horse, built the first house, made the first telephone, and the first video game.

Copy Crocs also shows children the value of friendship but also lets them know that everyone needs some alone time now and then.

Happy Reading,
Miss Laurie

Copy Crocs can be checked out at any Lake County Public Library, or click here and with your library card number and PIN you can place a hold for easy pickup at your favorite branch.

Friday, July 27, 2012

JUMPY JACK & GOOGILY by Meg Rosoff & Sophie Blackall

Lexile     Not Rated               Pages     32               Ages     3-8

Jumpy Jack is afraid of monsters.  VERY afraid.  He goes through his day always worrying what will be around the corner.  Lucky for him he has his friend Googily who helps him out, looking for the monsters behind the tree, in the shed, and under the bed.  The thing is, Googily IS a monster!  He is also as it turns out, a very kind friend. He looks for all of Jack's monsters, assuring him that there is nothing to fear.  Finally, at the end of the day, relieved of all his fears Jack settles down to go to sleep and Googily asks him, "Will you check under my bed? I think I heard a sock and I am VERY afraid of socks!"

Jumpy Jack & Googily helps make monsters a not so scary thing.  As Jumpy Jack describes what he perceives to be a monster, the young reader will soon realize that Jack is describing his friend to a "T" without ever realizing that Googily is, in fact, a monster.  At the end, Googily's fear of a sock is a funny way to help children realize that most fears are not scary at all, it just depends on how you look at things.

Happy Reading,
Miss Laurie

  Jumpy Jack & Googily can be checked out at any Lake County Public Library, or click here and with your library card number and PIN you can place a hold for easy pickup at your favorite branch.

Monday, July 23, 2012

STICK by Steve Breen

Lexile    Beginning Reader               Pages    44                 Ages    4 - 8

Stick is a very independent little froggy, always telling Mama Frog that he can do things "all by himself."  One day, aiming for a tasty mosquito lunch, Stick misses and latches on to a big, strong dragonfly instead.  With his sticky tongue, Stick can't let go and WHOOSH!  Stick is yanked off his lily pad and into the sky.  He sails along - through the swamp, a back yard, a living room, and into the city where animals and people alike are astounded to see a flying frog.  He is finally able to let go but his journey isn't yet done.  Stick is far, far from home and feels very alone.  He realizes that it is time to ask for help so he asks a heron, who flies Stick back to his lily pad and Mama Frog, who is thrilled to have him back.

Little Stick is full of confidence and independence - which is a good thing!  But children need to know that there comes a point in every one's life that they need to ask for help, and that it's not only okay to ask, but smart.  The colorful and humorous illustrations get this across in a fun way.  Steve Breen's Stick, a 2009 Young Hoosier Award nominee, would be a great addition to your collection.

Happy Reading,
Miss Laurie

Stick can be checked out at any Lake County Public Library, or click here and with your library card number and PIN you can place a hold for easy pickup at your favorite branch.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

DADDY, COULD I HAVE AN ELEPHANT? by Jake Wolf, illustrated by Marylin Hafner

Lexile   Not Rated
Pages   32
Ages    3-8

I suspect that Tony, the main character of Daddy, Could I Have an Elephant?, had a plan. Plans are good - especially when they work!

One morning Tony's father awakens to Tony, up close and personal. Tony, nearly nose to nose with him says, "Daddy, I need a pet."

"You do?" says, Daddy, "What kind?"

Tony starts out with, "Could I have an elephant?"  Daddy gives him several reasons as to why an elephant would not be a good choice for their small apartment.  So Tony makes another suggestion - "How about a pony?" and receives the same response.  So Tony moves on - a 20 foot python, a flock of sheep, a dolphin, or a flamingo.  For every animal Tony asks for, Daddy comes up with a good reason not to have that particular pet.  Finally Tony says, "Maybe we should get something small," to which his father responds that something small was just what he was thinking.

Tony says, "Puppies are small," and Daddy agrees. In the end Tony and his dad are headed off to the pet store to start the search for puppy.

This is a great book to introduce the responsibility of pet ownership to your children. In a fun and silly manner it shows them that different animals need different things and as the owner, you are responsible for providing their needs and that sometimes an animal's requirements just aren't practical in a home designed for humans. Also, reasonable discussion and making compromises are good lessons that can be discussed.

Marylin Hafners illustrations are colorful and humorous and will quickly make Daddy, Could I Have an Elephant? a favorite read.

Happy Reading,
Miss Laurie

Daddy, Could I Have an Elephant? can be checked out at any Lake County Public Library, or click here and with your library card number and PIN you can place a hold for easy pickup at your favorite branch.

Monday, July 16, 2012

THE GRANNYMAN by Judith Schachner

Lexile:     AD610
Pages:     32
Ages:      4 - 8
AR Quiz No. 34576 EN Fiction
  IL: LG - BL: 4.1 - AR Pts: 0.5
  AR Quiz Types: RP

I am a cat lover. A really BIG cat lover! Given the time and money, I could be the "Crazy Cat Lady!" : ) But, even if I wasn't cat-crazy, The Grannyman would still fall into my Top Five Favorite Children's Books of All Time!

Simon is an old Siamese cat. An OLD cat! He has lived with his loving family for a long time, and they have pampered and loved him and he has loved them right back. But Simon is tired. Things just don't work like they used to. He goes through his memories, one by one - he remembers being a kitten, the runt of the litter with the runny nose and crooked tail, that no one wanted. He remembers how happy he was when a nice couple thought he was just perfect and took him into their loving home, loving him even through all the trials and tribulations of cathood - clawing the furniture, climbing the drapes, and eating the houseplants. He has had the perfect nine lives. But now he is old, mostly blind, toothless; he sees no reason to go on, until . . . .

What's that smell? Hey, it's a kitten! WELL! Simon decides that maybe he isn't quite done yet. I mean, if he gives up now who will teach this kitten to be a proper CAT?  Simon teaches the kitten about life - from the milk saucer to the litterbox. His loving care of the kitten earns him a new name: The Grannyman.

You can teach your children so much from this book! It starts with the lesson that you don't have to be perfect - even if your tail is crooked there is someone out there that will love you. Then there's the lesson that everyone needs a purpose in life, to feel needed and useful. And last but not least - that old age should be respected and revered - your elders have much they can teach you.

Anyone who has ever owned and loved a cat will surely be delighted with The Grannyman.

Happy Reading,
Miss Laurie

The Grannyman can be checked out at any Lake County Public Library, or click here and with your library card number and PIN you can place a hold for easy pickup at your favorite branch.