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A Wynk, a Blynk and a Nod to Books

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A Wynk, A Blink and a Nod to Books

A Wynk, a Blynk, and a Nod to Books about Thanksgiving and Autumn

Tales and Traditions A Wynk, a Blynk, and a Nod to Books about Thanksgiving and Autumn Nothing says Thanksgiving quite like the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. One of our new Thanksgiving books, Rettie and the Ragamuffin Parade, sheds an interesting light on this annual event. In 1870, something known as a Ragamuffin Parade was introduced to New York City by its many immigrant residents. It took place on Thanksgiving Day. Children dressed like beggars and paraded through the streets asking, “Have you anything for Thanksgiving?” People referred to them as ragamuffins and gave them a penny or sometimes a piece of fruit. But as time passed, the parade fell out of fashion. Halloween became more popular, and it offered children a time to dress up and beg for treats. Also, with the passing of time, many of those immigrant children grew up and found themselves employed by Macy’s in Manhattan. These employees remembered with fondness the Ragamuffin Parades, and many historians believe that they asked Mr. Macy if he might consider sponsoring a parade for the children of New York City on Thanksgiving Day. In 1924, the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade took place, and as we all now know, a tradition was born. Oh, the things you can learn from a children’s picture book! We hope you enjoy the story of Rettie along with the others we’ve included …   Baby’s First Thanksgiving by Dawn Sirett This board book contains bright pictures and word labels that will help little ones identify all the favorites typically associated with Thanksgiving. They’re sure to gobble this one up!         Celebrate Thanksgiving by Deborah Heiligman This National Geographic publication, with its stunning photographs, celebrates [...]

A Wynk, a Blynk and a Nod to Books About Going to School

We can’t deny it any longer. It is August. Though technically still summer, many of us are now thinking “back to school.”  It’s time for new school clothes, backpacks, and school supplies. Why not include new books in that list? We’ve compiled a list of new titles to help your child with the transition - books to calm those first day jitters, lessen stress, and hopefully make the first day of school go much smoother. New School Stories: Amanda Panda Quits Kindergarten by Candice Ransom, illus. by Christine Grove Amanda’s first day of school doesn’t go exactly as she planned, so she decides to join her brother in second grade. The illustrations capture all of the emotion as Amanda learns that it isn’t the end of the world if things don’t always go according to plan.       Chicken in School by Adam Lehrhaupt, illus. by Shahar Kober Zoey the chicken sets up a classroom in the barn for all of her barnyard friends: Sam the pig, Clara the cow, Pip the mouse, and Henry the dog. This humorous story with playful illustrations celebrates creativity, friendship, and, best of all, tasty snacks!!       Class Pet Mess! by Dan Gutman, illus. by Jim Paillot This early reader is the latest in the My Weird School series. The students in Mr. Cooper’s class are excited to learn that they are getting a class pet. When they get a pet snake, lots of silly antics ensue.             Curious George Ready for School by Cynthia Platt, illus. by Mary O’Keefe Young George prepares for the first day of school, but will a curious little monkey be able to make it through [...]

April Showers Bring May Flowers

 A Wynk, a Blynk, and a Nod to Books about Flowers, Gardening, and Things that Grow   Did you know that this familiar rhyme was originally a poem written by Karen Chappell? We thought it might be fun to include the first stanza of this poem as an introduction to the many new and colorful books about flowers and gardening that can be found at your library. Enjoy! April showers bring May flowers, That is what they say. But if all the showers turned to flowers, We’d have quite a colourful day! New Picture Books Bee: A Peek-Through Picture Book by Britta Teckentrup This book provides children with a very simple explanation of the important job bees have of pollinating flowers. The mixed media illustrations include a die-cut with a bee at the center. The die-cut gets progressively smaller as the story unfolds. This is a very colorful and engaging picture book.     The Best-Ever Step-By-Step Kid’s First Gardening: Fantastic Gardening Ideas for 5 to 12 Year-Olds, from Growing Fruit and Vegetables and Fun with Flowers to Wildlife Gardening and Outdoor Crafts by Jenny Hendy Winner of the Practical Gardening Book of the Year, with 120 fun projects for kids.     The Butterfly Garden by Laura Weston This lift-the-flap board book presents the life cycle of the monarch butterfly. The illustrations are done in black and white, but the flaps reveal pops of color. Simple language explains the transformation.     Caterpillar Dreams by Clive McFarland Henri the caterpillar sets off on a great adventure beyond the walls of his garden, but in the end discovers there’s no place like home.       Fantastic Flowers by Susan Stockdale This book includes a [...]

Spring Into Reading

            Spring into Reading                                                                                                                                 It looks like spring has finally sprung, and it’s here to stay, hip hip hooray! In honor of this much anticipated season, we’ve included a number of books to help you celebrate spring’s arrival and spring into reading! A Wynk, a Blynk and a Nod to Books about Spring   New Picture Books Bunny Bus by Ammi-Joan Paquette, illus. by Lesley Breen Withrow A bunny shaped bus picks up many different animals on its way to the festive Easter Parade.  The playful illustrations and rhyming, repetitive text make this a fun read-aloud. Children will delight in the refrain “hop, hop, stop!”     Do Fairies Bring the Spring? by Liz Gardner Walsh, illus. by Hazel Mitchell This whimsical story suggests that fairies are responsible for the change in seasons, from winter to spring. Lovely pastel illustrations accompany the rhyming text. A list of outdoor fairy-related activities is included as well.     Dormouse Dreams by Karma Wilson, illus. by Renata Liwska This is a sweet story that describes the anticipation spring’s arrival. The soft illustrations and rhyming text breathe life into the forest as it transforms from winter to spring.     Easter by Kimberley Faria In this board book with tabs (that make turning the page so much easier), simple rhymes and colorful illustrations introduce Easter and spring.     Easter Crafts by Anita Yasuda, illus. by Mernie Gallagher-Cole After a brief introduction to the Easter holiday, instructions are provided for making six Easter and spring related crafts, including a spring hat, a bouquet of paper lilies, and an Easter egg garland.     Easter Fun! by Jo Ryan This touch and feel board [...]

Finding Home: The Immigration and Refugee Experience

            With immigration currently such a hot topic, picture books can be the perfect way to start a conversation about this complex and complicated social issue. These books, that are suited for a wide age range, can be used to inform and enlighten as well as encourage compassion and understanding. And for the child that may have lived such an experience, these books just might provide comfort or support. A Wynk, a Blynk and a Nod to Books about Immigrants and Refugees New Picture Books Adrift at Sea: A Vietnamese Boy’s Story of Survival by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch with Tuan Ho, illus. by Brian Deines Tuan Ho was just six years old when he and his mother and two sisters fled Ho Chi Minh City in 1981. Adrift at sea for several days, they were finally rescued by a U.S. aircraft carrier. The plight of the Vietnamese “boat people” is recounted in this moving story. Actual photographs and detailed author’s notes provide additional information about this period in world history. This is a powerful story with visually stunning illustrations.       Calling the Water Drum by LaTisha Redding, illus. by Aaron Boyd A young boy uses his drum to communicate and find solace after tragedy strikes as he and his family attempt to flee Haiti. The watercolor illustrations convey the emotions and resiliency of this tender story.       Chee-Kee: A Panda in Bearland by Sujean Rim The author wrote this story based on her own family’s journey from South Korea to the United States. A panda family leaves their home to seek new opportunity in Bearland where the bears are so very different from them. Young Chee-Kee [...]

Children’s Books Celebrating African American History Month That Will Inspire You

             “Because of Them, We Can …” Celebrating African American History Month    Our nation’s celebration of black history was expanded to a full month in 1976, the year of our nation's bicentennial. At President Gerald R. Ford’s urging, Americans were encouraged to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” In February, 1976, fifty years after the first black history celebration, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History held the first African American History Month. By this time, the entire nation had come to recognize the importance of African American history in the drama of the American story. Each year, many children’s books that focus on African American history are published. February is the perfect time to introduce those titles! New Picture Books The First Step: How One Girl Put Segregation on Trial by Susan E. Goodman, illus. by E.B. Lewis In 1847 four year old Sarah Roberts was removed from her all white school in Boston and told she could not return. Her parents fought back, and though they lost the case in court, their actions set in motion the events which led to Boston voluntarily integrating its schools in 1855. Lewis’s illustrations effectively capture the historical era and mood of the times.   Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford, illus. by R. Gregory Christie Slaves in New Orleans, Louisiana were allowed to congregate on Sundays in Congo Square to make music, sing and dance. The poetic text and folk-art style illustrations combine to pay homage to this bit of African American history.     Freedom over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives [...]

Snow Books for Children

            “The Weather Outside is Frightful …” … but reading is so delightful! A Wynk, a Blynk and a Nod to Books about Snow The first book that always comes to mind when we think of winter is the classic story of The Snowy Day, written and illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats. This 1963 Caldecott Award winner was groundbreaking as it showcased an African-American child as the central character. Recently published, A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and the Creation of THE SNOWY DAY, pays homage to this children’s classic. Written by Andrea Davis Pinkney and illustrated by Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson, the story of Keats and his infamous little boy in the red snowsuit are brought to life through lyrical text and acrylic, collage, and pencil illustrations. New Picture Books Andy & Sandy and the First Snow by Tomie dePaola and Jim Lewis, illus. by Tomie dePaola Tomie dePaola is a Caldecott and Newbery Honor winning author and illustrator. Lewis is an Emmy Award winning writer for The Muppets. They have collaborated on this new easy reader series about friendship. In this episode, Sandy wants to play outside in the snow, but Andy is not so sure. This book is perfect for those just beginning to read on their own.   Bears in the Snow by Shirley Parenteau, illus. by David Walker Big Brown Bear comes up with a fun solution when his four little bear cubs can’t all fit on the sled. The soft illustrations and lyrical text make for a fun read-aloud.     Best in Snow by April Pulley Sayre This prolific writer of non-fiction has created another visually stunning work. [...]

A Wynk, a Blynk and a Nod to Books About Fall

“Goodbye Summer … Hello Autumn” This is the perfect book to introduce our next blog entry on new books about fall – the season and the holidays that come with it … so perfect, in fact, that we even stole the title! This stunning picture book by Kenard Pak follows a young girl as she converses with nature and greets all the signs of the coming of fall. The gorgeous watercolor and pencil illustrations, all done in double-page spreads, evoke that childlike sense of wonder at the changing of the seasons. This one is not to be missed. Enjoy all of our selections … and enjoy the season! New Books for Younger Readers Amazing Autumn by Jennifer Marino Walters, illus. by John Nez This picture book introduces the reader to autumn and also includes the concepts of colors, shapes, and sizes. The text engages the reader by asking questions and encouraging participation.     The Autumn Visitors by Karel Hayes This is the fourth and final book in Hayes’ Visitor series. The bear family experiences autumn in New England in this nearly wordless picture book accompanied by pen and ink and watercolor illustrations.     Bella’s Fall Coat by Lynn Plourde, illus. by Susan Gal This is a beautiful story about the fall season and a little girl who has outgrown her favorite coat made by her grandmother. Bella, however, must learn to deal with this change. The collage illustrations are visually appealing and convey the sense of autumn.     Birdie’s Happiest Halloween by Sujean Rim Birdie loves everything about autumn and especially Halloween, though this year she’s having trouble deciding what to be. A trip to the museum provides inspiration! The ending is [...]

Election Year Children’s Books

Duck for President by Doreen Cronin ; illustrated by Betsy Lewin From the duo that brought us Click, Clack, Moo, Farmer Brown’s Duck pursues the highest office in the land.     President Taft is Stuck in the Bath by Mac Barnett ; illustrated by Chris Van Dusen This is a fictionalized account of President William Howard Taft, a man of great stature, who according to some got stuck in his bath on his inauguration day. Others say it happened later in his term, while many say Taft never got stuck at all. Nevertheless, this is a fun read about our 27th president! Lillian's right to vote : a celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by Jonah Winter A 50th anniversary tribute to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 finds an elderly woman reflecting on her family's history, from the passage of the 15th Amendment through her participation in the protest march from Selma to Montgomery.   Of Thee I Sing : a Letter to My Daughters by Barack Obama ; illustrated by Loren Long Illustrated by local artist, Loren Long, this book is a tribute to thirteen great Americans and their achievements, including the patriotism of George Washington, the courage of Jackie Robinson, and the strength of Helen Keller. This is a very moving book with stunning illustrations. My Name Is James Madison Hemings by Jonah Winter This historical picture book about the life of the child of Thomas Jefferson and his slave, Sally Hemings, brings to light the many contradictions in Jefferson s life and legacy.   Have a Mice Flight! Lindsey Leavitt ; illustrated by Ag Ford This is the third book in the Commander in Cheese chapter book series [...]

A Wynk, a Blynk and a Nod about Back to School

“Back to School” A Wynk, a Blynk and a Nod to Books about Back to School for Younger Children Move over summer, a new school year is coming! It’s that time of year again … time for new school supplies, uniforms, backpacks and more.  Some kids are probably feeling excited, while others are a little sad that summer is coming to an end.  Others may feel nervous or even a little scared. New teachers, new friends, maybe even a new school are worrisome. But we all know that these new worries will only stick around for a little while. We’ve selected several new books, for both younger and older readers, to help with the excitement and concern that a new school year brings. New Books for Young Readers Bear’s Big Day by Salina Yoon This is the third book in Yoon’s Bear and Bunny series. Together, these two face a brand new experience – going to school for the first time. The illustrations are adorable right down to the endpapers, which feature a variety of animal themed backpacks!   Charlie Chick Goes to School by Nick Denchfield, illus. by Ant Parker This cute pop-up book follows Charlie on his first day of school.       Frank and Lucky Get Schooled by Lynne Rae Perkins This is the story of a young boy, Frank, and his newly adopted dog, Lucky. They both go to school, Lucky “ten times” and Frank “thousands of times”.  Through their relationship with one another and with the world around them, the author is able to introduce school subjects through imagined scenarios between the two of them. This is a very interesting take on the subject, and the watercolor illustrations vary [...]