Thursday, February 10, 2011

Except If by Jim Averbeck

An egg is not a baby bird, but it will become one except if it becomes a baby snake.  So begins this wonderful exploration of the unexpected.  Even the shocking discovery the quickly loved main character (now known to be a dinosaur) is a fossil becomes joyful as readers learn of all the life the fossil harbors.  A nice cyclical ending pulls the whole together perfectly.  Simple, bright illustrations will capture even the youngest readers attention as will the expressive creatures they discover within it's pages.  I loved this one!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool

I was in the room when the Newbery Award winner was announced this year.  With my head filled with my favorites from the year, I was stunned into silence when I heard this title booming across the room.  I had never heard of it.  What was the committee thinking?  I left feeling let down and disappointed sure that this title I had not picked up would be a Newbery disappointment.  Still, I had to read the winner, so I put my new Kindle to use and downloaded the title on the spot and started to read.  I'll be the first to admit I could not have been more wrong.  This is a fabulous title - perhaps my favorite winner in decades.  I love this many-leveled tale of 12-year old Abilene Tucker who is sent by her roaming father to live with his old friend in Manifest, Kansas in 1936.  There, Abilene longs for stories of her father's youth, longs for a connection to the town, and longs to be reunited with the man she so loves.  The author deftly merges Abilene's story with the history of the town and the mystery of her father.  In these pages, readers will find a real winner - not to be missed!

Story Country: Here we Come by Derek Anderson

Bright illustration make this a fun storytime romp as farmer and his animals build their farm from top to bottom.  They include everything from pastures and sky to the barn where they all snuggle down for the night (farmer included).  Chicken reads them all a story and dozes off in her rocking chair on the end paper.  Just right for sharing with preschoolers.

Bedtime for Bear by Brett Helquist

Helquist's artistic talents shine through in this fun take on the bear needs to hibernate tale.  Here, bear is just settling down for his long winter nap when two little raccoons disturb his peace, attempting to get him to join them for some snow-time fun.  Bear finally gives in, enjoying everything from building a snowman, to a rollicking snowball fight, to sledding wildly down a hill.  The lovely detailed illustrations raise this outing above the ordinary.  My personal favorite - Bears sweet little stuffed bunny that he snuggles with in bead.  So cute!!!