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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Story Time: New & Notable Children's Books

Story Time is a new feature at The Hiding Spot in which I share some of my favorite new, old, & overlooked picture books.
Not a parent, teacher, or librarian? Picture books make fantastic gifts, from baby showers to birthdays and holidays. As bookworms, we all know how important books are – be the one who hands that special kid in your life the book that will make them fall in love with the magic of reading!

New & Notable

There Was An Old Sailor
Written by Claire Saxby, Illustrated by Cassandra Allen

There Was An Old Sailor is a clever twist on There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. It all starts when a tough, old sailor makes the mistake of swallowing a krill, though it will, no doubt, make him ill. As the story progresses, the sailor makes some rather extreme food choices in an attempt to rid himself of the pesky krill. Before the end of the book he's swallowed all manner of marine life, including a squid, a ray, a seal, a shark, and a whale. Then, with a burp, he sets sail. The book is finished with a quick, amusing facts about the sea creatures found within the book (and the sailor's stomach). Vibrant illustrations of the sailor and the creatures he fearlessly swallows will no doubt captivate young readers. Recommended!  Add on Goodreads.
The Noisy Paintbox: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky's Abstract Art
Written by Barb Rosenstock, Illustrated by Mary GrandPre

Vasya Kandinsky is a well-behaved child, always doing what he's told and what's expected, but he just can't seem to conform when it comes to his art. When his aunt insists that he learn to appreciate art like all proper Russian boys, Vasya tries, but his paint box is simply too noisy. He can't paint proper houses and landscapes with music that erupts from his colors. He has to create music with his paintbrush... and something entirely new and different. The NOISY PAINT BOX is a beautifully illustrated story about a boy who decides to be true to himself and let the colors sing! This book teaches a worthwhile lesson while opening the table for discussion about synesthesia and abstract art. **The illustrator, GrandPre, is notable for having illustrated the covers of the Harry Potter novels! This book is especially notable, as it, inexplicably, made me cry.** Add on Goodreads.
Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch
Written by Anne Isaacs, Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes
 Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch is straight out of Texas, where, under the full penalty of the law, exaggeration is forbidden to every person (unless that person is an elected official or anyone who has ever ridden a horse), so the reader can take sometimes unbelievable tale as fact. It's 1870 when Tulip Jones, a widow from Greater Bore, England, inherits a ranch in By-Golly Gully, Texas. She sets off to set up residence, armed with plenty of tea, twelve pet tortoises (named January, February, March, and so on), and her three capable servants, Linsey, Woolsey, and Calico. Tulip quickly learns everything is bigger in Texas, including vegetables, tortoises, and the lines of bachelors who line up to marry eligible ladies. As a swarm of unmarried men descend upon By-Golly Ranch, Tulip and her ladies struggle to run the ranch and entertain the endless stream of suitors. It takes Tulip no small about of wit and cleverness to rid herself of the gold-digging suitors and, along the way, she just might find true love. Add on Goodreads.
Eddie and Dog
Written & Illustrated by Alison Brown

Eddie and Dog meet by chance and an immediately form an unbreakable bond rooted in friendship and their shared love of adventure. Eddie's mom insists that their lack of yard could never make Dog happy and promptly sends him away to a home better suited to an adventurous canine, but, much to Eddie's delight, Dog returns the next day. Eddie's mother continues to separate the friends, but Dog never gives up and eventually comes up with the perfect solution to make everyone happy! Stunning, bold illustrations that heavily favor blues and purples carry this simple story of friendship and determination. Add on Goodreads.
Because I Stubbed My Toe
Written & Illustrated by Shawn Byous

When a boy stubs his toe, he sets off a hilarious chain of events that will no doubt leave from kids and adults laughing right up to the deliciously unexpected ending. The resulting chaos builds in silliness as the novel progresses: a dropped ice cream cone sends a biker of the road, to a child's flight after being launched from a teeter-totter, to an escaped herd of elephants. Energetic illustrations of the unforeseen consequences that ensue pair perfectly with the simple text. Add on Goodreads.

Love any of the books featured this week? Want to see a certain theme explore, author, or illustrator explored in an upcoming Story Time post? Let me know in the comments!


  1. It's kind of the same effect THE GLASS CASKET has. I'm a fan of both covers!

  2. The book sounds really intriguing but I've always been kind of turned off at being an organ donor. I just don't think I could do it though I think it's a really great idea :)

  3. I can't be an organ donor because of my medical issues, but I admire those who are able to do it.

  4. This doesn't sound like a plot that's easily accommodating of a romance. I think I would find it distracting too.

    I'm an organ donor. If I can't use them anymore, I want someone else to be able to.

  5. I am and have always been an organ donor. I certainly won't be able to use them anymore once I'm dead, and if they can save someone else, or even better, multiple organs to save multiple people, then I am all about it! Thanks for the giveaway - this sounds like an amazing book about a topic that I am really interested in.


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