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Monday, December 14, 2015

Storytime: New & Notable Picture Books (29)

This week's Storytime features a tiny elephant, a grumpy cat, a truthful look at mommy, an unconventional friend, and a book that begs to be opened.

Strictly No Elephants
Written by Lisa Mantchev; Illustrated by Taeeun Yoo
Ages 4-8, Available Now

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When the local Pet Club won’t admit a boy’s tiny pet elephant, he finds a solution—one that involves all kinds of unusual animals in this sweet and adorable picture book.

Today is Pet Club day. There will be cats and dogs and fish, but strictly no elephants are allowed. The Pet Club doesn’t understand that pets come in all shapes and sizes, just like friends. Now it is time for a boy and his tiny pet elephant to show them what it means to be a true friend.

Imaginative and lyrical, this sweet story captures the magic of friendship and the joy of having a pet.
  Lisa Mantchev's picture book debut is a darling story about friendship and acceptance. Taeeun Yoo's illustrations are incredibly sweet and fit the text perfectly. For more elephant love, pair with one of my old, out-of-print favorites, But No Elephants or the more recent Special Delivery. I'm looking forward to more from both Mantchev & Yoo!

Here Comes Valentine Cat

Written by Deborah Underwood; Illustrated by Claudia Rueda
Ages 3-5, Available 12.05.2015

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Cat does NOT like Valentine's Day. It's much too mushy, and no way is he making anyone a valentine—especially not his new neighbor, Dog. Dog refuses to respect the fence: He keeps tossing over old bones and hitting Cat in the head! But just as Cat’s about to send Dog an angry "valentine" telling him exactly what he can do with his bones, Dog throws a ball over the fence. What is Dog playing at? Cat is in for a hilarious—and heartwarming—surprise in this story about being perhaps too quick to judge.
If you aren't already reading the Here Comes Cat books, you are seriously missing out. Cat is a colorful character, full of personality and sass. This newest books, in which Cat has to deal with a new neighbor who happens to be a dog - ugh! - is just as hilarious as the previous books. Nab Here Comes Santa Cat during this holiday season as well!
Is Mommy?
Written by Victoria Chang; Illustrated by Marla Frazee
Ages 2-5, Available Now

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In this irreverent, hilarious, and charming picture book, award-winning poet Victoria Chang and celebrated artist Marla Frazee show that all toddlers love their mommies—no matter what.

Is Mommy tall or short?

Is Mommy fun or boring?

In this joyous ode to hardworking mothers everywhere—who may not always be fun or organized or neat—Victoria Chang asks, do their toddlers love them anyway? Of course! Marla Frazee’s colorful and humorous illustrations bring this simple text—perfect for reading aloud—to vivid life.
With Chang's minimal text and Frazee's always wonderful illustrations, little listeners and parents will get a kick out of this book's truthfulness. Mommy might night always be perfect, but she's loved all the same!

Lizard from the Park

Written & Illustrated by Mark Pett
Ages 4-8, Available Now

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While walking through the park, Leonard finds an egg. Inside is...a lizard!

Leonard soon has a problem, though, and it's bigger than you can imagine.

Will Leonard be able to keep his lizard under wraps, or is it becoming too much trouble to handle?
Leonard and his lizard friend Buster will quickly win readers' affection! This is one that you'll want to read multiple times to really explore the pictures. There are so many great details, including multiple sightings of the little boy Leonard becomes friends with by the end of the book. Pair with To the Sea, another story about an unconventional friend.

Please, Open This Book! 
Written by Adam Lehrhaupt; Illustrated by Matthew Forsythe
Ages 4-8, Available Now

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Books are made to be opened. Especially this one. But, guess what...

Someone closed this book! Who would do that?

Luckily, you can fix this. All you need to do is open it. You can do that. Can't you?

We need your help!

Please, Open This Book!

They warned you, but you just couldn't listen--now, the creators of Warning: Do Not Open This Book! are back with their zany monkey crew, and they need your help!

In Warning, Do Not Open This Book!, which School Library Journal called "more fun than a barrel of monkeys," turning pages meant increased chaos and delight. Now the tables have turned, and opening the book is the only way to save the desperate group of monkeys trapped between its pages. This irresistibly entertaining rescue effort puts power in the hands of the page-turner, and giggles into everyone!
I'm a huge fan of books that engage with and speak directly to the reader/listener like this book and Warning, Do Not Open This Book. Pair with Warning and/or Count the Monkeys for a rollicking, interactive storytime!

Love any of the books featured this week? Let me know in the comments!


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