Scooter in the Outside
Holiday House, 2012
Arf-arf-arf-a-ROOOOO! That’s Scooter saying that this book has it all: humor, adventure, unconditional love, and a memorable dog named Scooter.
Scooter LOVES the outside. He loves it so much that one day when Lucy accidentally leaves the door ajar, Scooter goes out all by himself. But without Lucy, the outside is a scary place, with trucks that go WEEEEE-OOOOO-WEEEEE-OOOOO and BEEP-BEEP-BEEP! Luckily, Lucy finds Scooter. Children will relate to Scooter’s curiosity as well as his fears, and will enjoy the endearing pictures and the fun read-aloud sounds.
Lucy and Scooter have a routine. Every evening they take a walk in “THE OUTSIDE,” tromping the same route all the way to the corner, but never past it. Lucy sings, Scooter wags and barks, and they arrive home safely to a treat, a water bowl, and Scooter’s doggy bedtime. One morning Scooter finds the door ajar and heads out alone, venturing past the corner, where he discovers that “THE OUTSIDE” is bigger, better, and scarier than he imagined it to be. Lucy finds him, routine is restored, and all is well. The pattern of the pair’s regimen makes for a sturdy story arc, complete with predictable communications (Lucy with her words and Scooter with tongue and tail) and woof-to-English translations. Carter’s sunny watercolor sketches hum with energy, filling the neighborhood setting with friendly detail. Children with dogs at home will recognize the familiar responsibilities of canine care, and those without may well inquire about getting a pet of their own. Preschool-Grade 2. –Thom Barthelmess
Tooth Fairy’s First Night
Carolrhoda Books, 2005
Children’s Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children’s Book of the Year, nominated for the Nevada Young Reader’s Award, the Nebraska Golden Sower Award and the Georgia Picture Book Award.
Sally the Tooth Fairy’s first day on the job is a challenge when a toothless little girl hides her tooth and makes Sally follow a series of clues to find it.
From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 2–When Sally turns seven, she is given a chance to earn her tooth-fairy wings and follow in the footsteps of her mama, grandma, and great-grandma. With her very own purse, she flies off into the night armed with plenty of advice–to be patient, optimistic, persistent, and, most importantly, never to wake a sleeping child. Her first assignment, however, presents unexpected challenges when, instead of finding a tooth under Miranda Kay’s pillow, there is a note designed to test her credibility. She is led on a scavenger hunt from one note to another until, finally, her persistence pays off and she can claim her first success. Playing along with the game, she leaves the child a set of clues to finding her reward. Whimsical watercolor illustrations of the perplexed but determined young tooth fairy perfectly capture the spirit of the story. An imaginative tale with a satisfying ending, and a suitable addition to the tooth-fairy picture-books collection.– Sally R. Dow, Ossining Public Library, NY Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Christmas is Coming
Carolrhoda Books, 2007
As Anna eagerly awaits the arrival of Christmas, she describes to her new baby brother all of the wonderful ways in which her family prepares for this special holiday, including choosing a tree and decorating with lights.
This book always brings a tear to my eye on the last page. I bought it for my daughter for my son’s first Christmas. I was amazed at how similar our family traditions are to the family in the story. And they have a cat just like us! My daughter LOVES it and reads it year-round. And ever since she got it, she’s taken to calling my son “our present” because he is “the best gift of all” (that’s the part that always gets me).
Great story. Great pictures. Love it!
The Great Math Tattle Battle
Albert Whitman & Company, 2006
Harley Harrison is the best math student in second grade; he is also the biggest tattletale. Then Emma Jean arrrives. She is good at math too but is also a tattletale. Soon they’re using their math skills to tattle on each other every chance they get.
“The book is a winning combination of math problems and a true-to-life story.” – School Library Journal
When You Visit Grandma & Grandpa
Carolrhoda Books, 2004
A sister explains to her new baby brother the excitement and activities surrounding a trip to Grandma’s and Grandpa’s house.
A Children’s Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children’s Book of the Year.
PreS-Gr. 3. In a story that’s part car-trip memories and part reminiscence of past visits, a little girl gives her baby brother an excited account of what to expect on a visit to their grandparents and a crash course on surviving the long trip to get there (“take lots of books, three games, and all your crayons”). The really fun bits are the girl’s comic accounts of driving her parents to distraction by asking “Are we there yet?” over and over. The illustrations are what bring this somewhat prosaic tale leaping to life. Bogacki, who illustrated Emily Jenkin’s Five Creatures (2001), breaks the traditional double-page-spread mold by filling the pages with panels of varying sizes–ovals and slashes and curving cutaways–that will fully engage children while perfectly illustrating a narrative that shuttles between dreams and reality. Connie Fletcher Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
What Do Teachers Do (After You Leave School)?
Carolrhoda Books, 2006
This humorous picture book answers the question all kids want to know―what do teachers do when the bell rings at three? Once the students go home, teachers finally have the run of the school. They skate down the halls, have a food fight in the cafeteria, even mix up wild concoctions in the science lab with disastrous results! All night long, teachers are busy goofing off at school. Kids will never look at their teachers the same way after reading this book!
Society of School Librarians International Honor Book and a CBC Children’s Book in 2007.
From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3–After the students leave for the day, the teachers at this school are naughty and noisy and break all the rules: dancing in the gym, roller-skating in the halls, stealing leftovers from the cafeteria, and writing on walls. An enormous food fight results in a chaotic, messy time; when the teachers break into the chem lab, they create their own slime! The rhyming text is mostly fine, but occasionally a bit forced: They change into jeans/and get ready to play./They shout to their friends,/’The day’s over! Hooray!’ Gott’s computer-generated cartoon illustrations are energetic and colorful with lots of whooshy movement and splashy action, supporting the atmosphere of mayhem and fun.
I Know an Old Teacher
Carolrhoda Books, 2008
Meet Miss Bindley—an ordinary teacher with an unusual appetite. Miss Bindley doesn’t eat the usual fare like tuna melts and meatloaf. Instead, when her stomach grumbles, it’s the class pets she has her eye—er, stomach—on. Watch out! You never know who might be next.
I Know An Old Teacher, Carolrhoda Books, 2008, illustrated by Caldecott winner, Stephen Gammell, A Children’s Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children’s Book of the Year, finalist in the ForeWord Children’s Picture Book category of their Best Book of the Year award, a Florida Reading Association Honor Book and a Scholastic School Book.
From School Library Journal
Grade 2–4—Miss Bindley takes the class pets home for a long weekend and develops an eerie, extraordinary craving. Following the traditional cumulative rhyme, all of them disappear in a round of Fear Factor-inspired eating—a flea, spider, fish, rat, Jake the Snake, and, as students cry in horror, “She’s got our Lizzie!”—the class lizard. Miss Bindley, in turn, grows less appealing with the turn of each page. Hair becomes flyaway and frizzy, her cozy robe falls into a frumpy sack, and her face turns-well, a bilious green. Gammell’s lively artwork is a colorful combination of watercolor, colored pencils, pastel, and crayon framed by a mix of font sizes and colors. Assisted by conversational responses from Miss Bindley’s students, who are spying on her, the tale progresses as tails disappear until the unlikely becomes the outrageous—”I know an old teacher who swallowed a child….” Would she really try that? The horrifying notion is entertained, but to the relief of readers, is tossed aside in this unusual offering.—Mary Elam, Forman Elementary School, Plano, TX
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. –This text refers to the library edition.
I Loved You Before You Were Born
HarperCollins Children’s Books, 2001
A loving grandmother eagerly awaits the arrival of her grandchild. She dreams of the baby’s soft sighs, sweet smells, and tiny toes, and imagines the infant smiling, rolling over, and crawling for the first time.
Finally, the baby arrives and Grandma is ready with a very special message: Even before you were born, I was your grandma and I loved you.
From Publishers Weekly
Shed’s (The Butterfly House) intimate, soft-focus oil portraits add a nostalgic quality to this sweet story of a grandmother recollecting the arrival of her grandchild. “Even before you were born, I was your grandma and I loved you,” muses the narrator as if addressing the child directly. She then goes on to enumerate all the wonders of babyhood (“I imagined your soft sighs and sweet smells/ and your tiny toes lined up/ like pink pearls on a necklace”) and times shared (“I imagined holding you close,/ rocking you,/ watching you make faces as you dreamed”). Her imaginings span a full year, through baby’s first Christmas and birthday (“I saw you eating birthday cake, pink and yellow frosting finger painted across your face”) and culminate with the infant’s actual birth. Debut children’s author Bowen captures the eagerness and anticipation attendant upon the birth of a new family member, and her poetic descriptions (“hands spread out, like little starfish”; “ribbons of autumn sunlight weaving through your hair”) brim with sentimental tenderness. Shed’s realistic portraits evoke the feeling of a family photo album, including close-ups of the fetching baby and various beaming family members. Just right for sharing on Grandma’s lap. All ages.