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Books categorized as 'Picture Book'

Little Dog Lost: The true story of a brave dog named Baltic

little dog lost coverLittle Dog Lost: The true story of a brave dog named Baltic by Monica Carnesi
Recommended for: PreK – 2

This is the true story of a dog that was stranded on an iceberg in Poland. The author heard the story of Baltic on National Public Radio (NPR) and knew it had to be shared with children and families. No one knows for sure how this little dog ended up stranded on an iceberg, headed down the Vistula River in Poland toward the Baltic Sea. Firemen tried to help, but with no success. The last best hope was the crew of a research boat…but even that looked bleak. On a final try, a seaman rescues the dog! This book arouses lots of empathy with minimal words and icy pictures. This is a great animal story to share with young children.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Wettergreen

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The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

boy who harnessed the wind coverThe Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer
Recommended for: Grades 2-5

When William was 14, he had a great interest in mechanical things. By learning English and reading from old textbooks, he replaced magical explanations of the natural world with scientific facts. He knew magical thinking could not bring rain to their drought stricken Malawi village. Because of the resultant drop in family income, he could not attend school, but he could go the library – a gift from the American government. There he read about windmills that could power electricity and pump water. With a broken bike, bottle caps, a plastic pipe and a small generator, he was able to provide electricity for their home and later water for the village! William now studies engineering at Dartmouth College, with plans to return to Malawi to work on renewable energy.  This is an inspiring biography about a young adult who really made a difference in his community.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Wettergreen

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And Then It’s Spring

and then it's spring coverAnd Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano
Recommended for: PreK – Gr 2

A boy and his dog are joined by a rabbit and turtle as they romp through weeks of planting, playing in puddles and outdoor exploring, hoping for signs of Spring’s green and warm return.  There is a lot to see and talk about as the little troupe wait and watch the natural world unfold.  The soft pencil illustrations add a warm and comfortable feeling to this gentle, seasonal picture book.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Wettergreen

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Mrs. Harkness and the Panda by Alicia Potter

Mrs Harkness coverMrs. Harkness and the Panda by Alicia Potter, illustrated by Melissa Sweet
Recommended for: All ages

In 1934, Ruth Harkness left NYC, bound for China via Ceylon and Singapore. Her goal was to bring a panda back to America for the first time. Among her 22 pieces of luggage, she packed dried milk and a baby bottle. Escorted by a guide through treacherous weather and travel conditions, Ruth finally found an adorable baby panda! She named the bear Su Lin, meaning “a little bit of something cute.” The baby bottle and milk turned out to be keys to the success of this mission! When they returned to the US, she cared for and nurtured Su Lin as a pet, before donating him to the Brookfield Zoo outside Chicago.  This engaging and colorful picture book biography would be a great read for all ages.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Wettergreen

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Extra Yarn

Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett
Recommended for: PreK – 2nd grade

Annabelle finds a stash of magic yarn, and begins to turn her dreary town into a colorful and warm place, one knitted garment at a time.  What will happen when the evil archduke wants to take the yarn from her?  The black, grey and pastel illustrations by Jon Klassen add a lot of humor and heart to this story, which has a bit of mystery and a lot of wonder woven into it.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

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The Scrimshaw Ring

The Scrimshaw Ring by William Jaspersohn
Recommended for Grades 4 – 6

This book, from the Family Heritage Series, is based on a true story about Rhode Island in 1710.  William, an imaginative boy, tells many tales of pirates and sea dragons to his parents after his daily play along the shore.  When left alone with the cook one day, William experiences a real meeting with some gruesome pirates, and has an object to prove it to his parents.  Jaspersohn’s description of the pirates – right down to the smell and toenails, makes the reader grimace.  Well illustrated with paintings, this book is a great introduction to history and has an endpiece about the value of heirlooms to historians!

Reviewed by:  Mrs. Baumgartner

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Scranimals

Scranimals by Jack Prelutsky
Recommended for All Ages

Jack Prelutsky and Peter Sis have surpassed earlier levels of rhyme, wordplay and humorous illustration.  On a journey to Scranimal Island, which is not found on the map, we meet many animal combinations with flowers, vegetables and other animals like the Porcupineapple, Bananaconda and a clutch of Spinachickens.  Families will be memorizing these poems and laughing at them in the bathtub, on walks and long car rides.  This book  is a great gift for a child and will be a favorite on the bookshelf for years to come.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Baumgartner

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Mr. Putney’s Quacking Dog

Mr. Putney’s Quacking Dog by Jon Agee
Recommended for: K and up

Mr. Putney has some unusual pets.  Who wakes him up in the morning?  His alarmadillo.  What pet annoys him by making too much noise?  His clangaroo.  The illustrations in this picture book for all ages are hysterical; Mr. Putney’s expressionless mustached face contrasts with the oddball animals and purely bizarre situations.  Kids will love figuring out how the book works and using the visual clues before the page turns to guess what the next animal will be.  Highly recommended for a fun and interactive storytime with older readers.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

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Nini Lost and Found

Nini Lost and Found by Anita Lobel
Recommended for: PreK-K

One day the back door is left open, and Nini, a well-loved house cat, wanders outside. Nini enjoys exploring the wondrous world outdoors until night falls, and threatening creatures emerge. However, Nini is brave and makes her way safely back home again, into the loving arms of her family.
This gentle adventure is gorgeously illustrated with lush and colorful full-page spreads. This is a wonderful book for sharing 1 on 1 or reading to a group.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

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Zen Shorts

Zen Shorts by Jon J. Muth
Recommended for: Grades K-3

Beautifully illustrated, Zen Shorts is filled with gentle stories and life lessons for both children and adults. The book is organized around three children, Michael, Addy, and Karl, who meet their new neighbor, Stillwater, a panda. As their friendship with Stillwater evolves, he tells them classic stories from Zen Buddhist literature. I freely admit that my own life has been impacted by some of these stories. Not for children only! A 2006 Caldecott Honor book.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Teixeira

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