Saturday, January 16, 2016

More new picture books in my library

I'm still digging through all the new titles in my library and not to brag, but boy, did I make some great choices!

The first one is a picture book called "Egg Nature's Perfect Package" by Steve Jenkins.  I think Steve Jenkins is a genius.  His other books (like "What do you do with a tail like this?" or "Eye to Eye") have impressed me and my students for quite some time, but I picked this one up today during our free reading time during my fourth grade book club (I need to model for them, which is how I justify reading during the school day!).  I started reading and I don't think I even got to the second page before I started looking around for someone to show it to.  You have to know that this kind of behavior makes me insane when the kids do it (Look!  Look at this!  Oh my gosh, you have to see this!  Wow, can you believe this?) and I COULD NOT STOP MYSELF.  By the third or fourth page (when he's comparing the size of giant squid egg, which is like the head of a pin to a kiwi egg, which is like a baseball, it was all I could do NOT to stop all 30 of them to show them all).  I managed to show it to one group of four kids and they were as amazed as I was.  On top of the mind blowing facts about eggs (and I'm going to tell you straight up, that eggs were not particularly interesting to me before I read this book, other than for breakfast), the pictures are gorgeous.  Jenkins does a great job of showing the scale of the eggs and keeping the colors of the eggs realistic (I was completely gob smacked by the color of a crow's egg!).  So run out and get this one right away, because it's great.
Here's the cover.

The second two I found today when I went to Costco.  For our library, Costco is a great place to buy books because they are so much less expensive than a book store or the commercial booksellers we use.  The bindings are not always awesome but I can usually buy two for the price I would pay for one that is very well bound, so sometimes it's a good idea to buy the cheaper ones and see how they go.  Or for titles like "Diary of a Wimpy Kid", I may as well buy the cheap ones because the kids lose them or leave them on the playground in the rain or under their carseat for 11 years.  ANYWAY, today at Costco that had some awesome titles!  I hadn't heard that Jan Brett was putting out a new book, but there it was! "The Turnip"!  It's a retelling of an old Russian folktale where they find a turnip in the ground and it's so big that no one can pull it up.  This one stars a family of badgers with a guest appearance from Hedgie and has an adorable surprise ending.  Jan Brett's usual gorgeous art work has so much detail and is so visually rich that it will take several readings before you get it all, but it's worth it.  

Here's a video of how to make the turnip pancakes that end the story. 

The third one is the next installment of the Llama Llama story and it's called "Llama Llama, Gram and Grandpa" by Anna Dewdney.  Just in case you never heard of this series, it's about a little llama that has a kind, loving, and supportive family.  The little llama occasionally runs into trouble (he has a meltdown when a shopping trip goes on too long, he catches a cold, he deals with a bully) and the family helps him figure it out with patience and kindness.  In this one, Llama Llama goes to spend the night with Gram and Grandpa but forgets his little fuzzy friend in the car.   As usual, there is lovely, rich, expressive art work as well as kind and patient adults with great problem solving skills.  It's a great addition to the series.  This one would be great paired up with any of the Knuffle Bunny series by Mo Willems, which also deal with a misplaced stuffed animal.

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