Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks. ~ Dr. Seuss

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Mr. Pout-Pout Fish

Mr. Pout-Pout Fish
by Deborah Diesen (Author), Dan Hanna (Illustrator)



 Deep in the water,Mr. Fish swims about

With his fish face stuck in a permanent pout.

Can his pals cheer him up?

Will his pout ever end?

Is there something he can learn

From an unexpected friend?

 Poor Pout-Pout Fish has a permanent frown on his face! Wherever he goes, he spreads his “dreary-wearies” in the deep blue sea.

Pout Pout Fish Inside

His friends, Ms Clam, Mr. Jelly, Mrs. Squid and Mr. Octopus, try to cheer him up every now and then. But all Pout-Pout Fish has to say is ..

“I’m a pout pout fish

With a pout pout face,

So I spread the dreary-wearies

All over the place.” 

“Blub… Blub… Bluuuuuuubbb!”

Pout Pout Fish Inside3

It seems like nothing could really cheer him up! Mr Pout Pout was doomed to be pouty for the rest of his life! Until, an unusual fish friend swims by and surprises him Smile

Reading the Pout-Pout series of book is a sheer delight.. and not just for the kids! Try this book to read aloud in class and you will hear the kids echo you when you read “Blub.. blub..bluuuuubbb”! Kids will love the gently rhythm, alliteration and rhyme of this tale.

Pout Pout Fish Inside2

Adults will love the simple but important message. Sometimes we all have “pouty” days like Mr. Pout-Pout Fish. Then, we need friends to show us the bright side of things and to give us a little pick up. This story is a great way to teach kids that there is always a rainbow after a storm Smile

Read this one, and you will be looking for more! Mr. Pout-Pout Fish is a series that you will keep coming back to for quite some time.Smile

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books

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Newbery Medal 2014

Newbery Medal 2014


The Newbery Medal was named for eighteenth-century British bookseller John Newbery. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.




2014 Medal Winner

Flora and Ulysses


Flora & Ulysses

by Kate DiCamillo (Author), K.G. Campbell (Illustrator)

Comic book fan and natural-born cynic Flora Belle Buckman and Ulysses, a flying, superhero, poetry-writing squirrel, join forces to overcome Ulysses’ arch-nemesis, Flora’s mother and encounter a quirky cast of characters. Through poignant, laugh-out-loud episodes, this homage to comic books is a testament to the power of love.

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books

2014 Honor Books

Doll Bones


Doll Bones

by Holly Black (Author), Eliza Wheeler (Illustrator)


In this distinctive coming-of-age tale, best friends Zach, Poppy and Alice set out on a life-altering quest driven by the presence of a sinister bone china doll who haunts their dreams and waking hours. Black explores complex questions of sto-rytelling, imagination and changing friendships in this superbly haunting narrative.


The Year of Billy Miller


The Year of Billy Miller


by Kevin Henkes (Author, Illustrator)


Seven-year-old Billy Miller starts second grade with a bump on his head and a lot of worries, but during the year he develops better relationships with his teacher, his little sister, and his parents, and celebrates a quiet triumph of his own


One Came Home


One Came Home


by Amy Timberlake (Author)


In 1871 Wisconsin, love, betrayal, grief and violence spur 13-year-old Georgie on a gripping adventure full of hardship, heartbreak and terror. As she tries to solve the mystery of her sister’s disappearance, Georgie and her brash, humorous voice pull readers along on her journey of self-discovery.






by Vince Vawter (Author)


Little Man, a sensitive and resilient 11-year-old boy who stutters, ventures beyond the familiar and finds his voice while taking over his best friend’s paper route. Set in the summer heat of 1959 Memphis, “Paperboy” is a moving coming-of-age novel.

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Caldecott Medal 2014

Caldecott Medal 2014



The Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.



2014 Medal Winner



by Brian Floca (Author, Illustrator)


The book was written by Brian Floca and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing.
All aboard! Accompany a family on an unforgettable weeklong train trip from Omaha to Sacramento in 1869. Brian Floca’s dramatic watercolor, ink, acrylic and gouache illustrations incorporate meticulously-researched portraits of the train, the travelers and the crew as they traverse the American landscape on the new transcontinental railroad.
Find it here: LibraryAmazon
2014 Honor Books


by Aaron Becker (Author, Illustrator)

Finding a magical red crayon, a bored and lonely girl draws a new door on her bedroom wall that leads her to a wondrous but perilous new world. Her drab, sepia-toned, humdrum reality gives way to sumptuous, lushly-hued watercolor and pen and ink landscapes

Flora and Flamingo

Flora and Flamingo

by Molly Idle (Author, Illustrator)


The budding relationship between an awkward young girl and a graceful flamingo is revealed through carefully orchestrated flaps. The minimalist setting, limited color palette, use of white space and page turns create a timeless and joyful visual experience.  The call-and-response of this balletic duet is cinematic and comedic.
Mr Wuffles

Mr Wuffles

by David Wiesner (Author, Illustrator)


Mr. Wuffles finds a new toy that is actually a tiny spaceship in this nearly wordless science fiction tale of epic and miniature proportions. Crisp watercolor and India ink illustrations shine in an innovative graphic novel, picture book hybrid featuring hidden worlds, alien languages and one peeved cat.
Find it here: Library, Amazon

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Penguin Cha-Cha

Penguin Cha-Cha
by Kristi Valiant (Author, Illustrator)

Tap-tap Cha-Cha-Cha!

At the Romping Chomping Park and Zoo, there is much to see. Julia loves to visit as often as she could. Most of all she loved to visit the Zoo on the weekends. That’s when she would get to watch all the performances.

One Saturday, Julia watched the dancers move and groove. She watched them whirl and twirl. She watched them hip-hop and boogie-bop! But wait! Julia’s eyes catch a little flipper swiping away a feather costume backstage!

“Just what are those fishy penguins up to?” Julia thinks to herself as she decides to follow them to the Penguin Cove.

Penguin Cha Cha Following

At first Julia sees nothing. No clothes. No scarves. No costumes! So she spies on them from high up. And what does she see?

Penguin Cha Cha twirling

The penguins! They are whirling and twirling, moving and swinging! They are dancing! So Julia grabs a dance hat and runs to the Penguin Cove. “Lets dance!” she shouts.

But these naughty creatures don’t lift a flipper. They just stare at her! But when no one was around, they danced and swirled!

Julia decided that maybe they are shy. So she dresses up as a penguin to try and make her way as a penguin in the Penguin Cove. Still, the penguins don’t dance.

So penguin decides to get a dance partner. Still no luck!

Penguin Cha Cha Not Listening

Julia is disappointed. She is about to give up. But the next day, she comes up with another idea. This time she knows that the penguin won’t be able to resist!

This is a lovely picture book, colorfully illustrated, well narrated and most of all a great read-aloud. Kids and adults will love the swinging, dancing, feet tapping rhythm of the Penguin Cha Cha.

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books

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Three Little Dinosaurs

Three Little Dinosaurs
by Charles Fuge (Author, Illustrator)

Perfect for Read-Alouds!

Scratch, Spike and Lofty are three little dinosaurs and they are best friends. They like to play hide and seek in the forest. They like splashing around in the lake. Sometimes they liked to do cave-painting. But most of all they liked to pretend to FLY!

Three LIttle Dinosaurs playing together

One day Lofty wonders if Dinosaurs could really fly! Along with his friends, they decide to find out for themselves.

Three Little Dinosaurs learning to fly

But of course, they all ended up tumbling down instead. Sniff declares that dinosaurs really can’t fly! Suddenly, they hear a voice call out to them and say “Of course they do!”. Who does this voice belong to? And where is it coming from?

Three Little Dinosaurs Who is that

Three Little Dinosaur is a simple story about exploring, playing and making new friends. The characters of Scratch, Spike and Lofty are very appealing.  The story although simple, weaves cleverly into themes of friendship and play. Charles Fuge is well known for his “Wombat” series of books for this age group. The illustrations of dinos in this book will be a hit with the little ones.

A wonderful story for bedtime reading or a school read-aloud for the young ones.

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books

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Mr.Rabbit and the lovely present

Mr.Rabbit and the lovely present
By Charlotte Zolotow (Author), Maurice Sendak(Illustrator)

In Memory of Charotte Zolotow

Author Charlotte Zolotow was an American author, poet, editor and a publisher of many children’s books. She published over 70 children’s books during her lifetime. Although Charlotte is no longer with us( she passed away this November) many remember her through her beautiful stories.

We read some of her children’s book this week, but chose to write about “Mr. rabbit and the lovely present”, a 1963 publication for its timelessness and simplicity. Here’s the story line…

A little girl has a problem. Her mother’s birthday is coming up. But little girl doe not know what gift to give her mother. So she asks for help from Mr Rabbit. Mr. Rabbit and little girl wonder what her mother likes. “Red” says the little girl. But they can’t give “red” itself , so they look around to find what “things” that are red could make a good present.


Mr Rabbit and the lovely present Red.

Mr Rabbit and the lovely present inside

But that’s not enough ! Having found a ” red thing”, they continue to walk about and look for things that are green. They can’t give “green” itself, so they look for things that are green. And so the story continues. In pursuit of a gift, the two friends finds a colorful gift to put together.

Mr Rabbit and the lovely present green

This is a wonderful story for read aloud to the little ones. The repetitive nature of the task and the soothing conversation between Mr. Rabbit and girl make for a warm delightful tale.

We loved how the story so naturally lead to a beautiful  conclusion. We also tried to guess as we read, on what things the girl and Mr rabbit would find together. The idea of making an intangible idea of “color’ into something concrete is wonderfully done through story-telling. Also, I could come up with quite a few lesson plans around this tale of find and seek. Since my daughter is older, we talked about working in groups and how to break down a bigger problem into little steps.

On illustrations, I found Maurice Sendak’s illustrations to be warm and inviting. They add to the soothing nature of this story. It is no surprise that the combination of Zolotow and Sendak should result in a Caldecott Honor Book.

“Mr rabbit and the lovely present” was a great read. We are off to find more from this author.

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books

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Bustle in the Bushes

Bustle in the Bushes
by Giles Andreae (Author), David Wojtowycz (Illustrator)

 Creepy Crawly FUN!

“What’s that in the bushes?” you ask.. come take a closer look, come out and see! Your backyard is alive with some marvelous, energetic bugs Smile

This is wonderful collection of poems introducing 15 amazing insects. Meet snail, slug, worm, spider, fly, beetle, earwig, stick insect, ant, caterpillar, ladybug, centipede, bee, dragonfly and the grasshopper.

Bustle in the Bushes Beginning


Each poem is written in a gentle rhyme. Each poem features a different bug and includes an interesting fact about it. And each poem about these “minibeasts” are accompanied by bold colorful illustrations! Aimed at readers 3-7 years, this book is an instant charmer. Curious kids will discover adorable creepy, crawly, slimy creatures that hide in plain sight.

 Bustle in the Bushes S

It was hard to pick a favorite one! They are all delightful and easy to read and listen. Now we are looking forward to Giles’ “Commotion in the Ocean” and “Rumble in the Jungle”!

“Did you like those minibeasts?

What a lot there are!

Flying, crawling, slithering

And jumping, oh so far!”

So grab this adorable book of poems and head to your nearby park. Dig into those bushes and maybe you will find a “ladybug or a dragonfly or maybe a beetle or bee”! Smile

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books

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Blucy : The Blue Cat

Blucy : The Blue Cat
by Julia Dweck (Author), Erika LeBarre (Illustrator)

A Blue cat? 

Little Mandy wants to adopt a “special” cat. But in a roomful of cats, Mandy is confused. They all look the same, how is she ever going to choose a “special” cat? But then she spies a cat snoozing on a blue mat. And blue being her favorite color, she chooses “Blucy” for her new pet!


Like all other cats, Blucy is mischievous, adventurous and spontaneous. But little did Mandy know that “Blucy” is really special! She has a talent that no other cat has. Smile

At first Mandy tries hard to figure out what would make Blucy happy. She tries training this stubborn cat, but Blucy was on her own! However will Mandy and Blucy become friends? Did Mandy make a mistake in picking Blucy for her pet?


Blucy is a wonderful read aloud rhyming book by Julia Dweck. The pace of the book is gentle for the very little ones. The illustrations are gorgeous and bright, just right for younger audiences. The rhyme and rhythm of the story is engaging and fun!

“Although she hated pudding, Blucy loved a Jello mold,
She wanted only BLUE – the other colors left her cold!
Now Mandy didn’t laugh or think that she was acting cute,
When Blucy dove right into the bowl and swam among the fruit!” 

We loved reading this story over and over again. DD loves cats and she had a ton of fun reading through all the shenanigans that Blucy is up to. Cat owners will instantly relate to the “first” days of having a cat at home. I like the fact that there is a “Cat Fact” section for beginning “cat lovers” Smile and a lovely “cat activity” for kids to do as well.  Also, the author/illustrator team have thought about the format for the book. This book is a kindle book and hence the format of the book needs to be intuitive to the young readers or parents for that screen size. A job well done!

* Where’s Blucy? *
Before we get to the $100 Book Blast Giveaway, we have a special treat for you.  If you head on over to Julia Dweck’s Facebook Fan Page, you will find the “Where’s Blucy?” contest.  Julia Dweck fans are invited to post suggestions of “blue” places Blucy could be hiding, (e.g., near Elvis’ blue suede shoes). The most creative answer will win a print of the Blucy cover by the artist, Erika LeBarre.  Head on over to Julia Dweck’s Facebook Fan Page to enter and…

Pssssttt… if you enter the contest before August 20th, 2013, you gain 5 entries in the $100 Book Blast Giveaway below!
Find it here: Amazon

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The Story of Ferdinand

The Story of Ferdinand
by Munro Leaf (Author), Robert Lawson (Illustrator)

A Classic!

Published more than 50 years ago and one of the bestselling children’s book of all time, the simple sweet story of Ferdinand the Bull will remain a classic for a very long time.

The Story of Ferdinand little

 Ferdinand is unlike all the other bulls. While the other bulls like to run and jump and play, Ferdinand liked to sit under his favorite tree and smell the flowers. Ferdinand grows to be a big and bold bull, just like the other bulls. But while the other bulls liked to jump and snort and butt heads, Ferdinand liked to stroll over to his nice shady spot under his favorite tree and spend the day just smelling the flowers. Now one day a group of men come around to pick the best bull for the arenas. All the bulls are busy showing off except Ferdinand. Suddenly Ferdinand gets stung by a bee and goes howling across the farmyard. Impressed by the “show”, the men immediately choose Ferdinand for their bull fight. But little do they know that they are in for a surprise!

The Story of Ferdinand inside

This is one story that will be passed on for generations. The book has so many talking points. Whether it is about Ferdinand being different from the others or how Ferdinand is always true to who he really is, there are many conversations around this story. Truly a timeless tale!

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books

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