Picture Books

10/02/2017 - 1:43pm

During World War II, victory gardens were important to Americans around the country. The steel and tin industry was working hard on supplying the army with weapons, so there were not enough raw materials to make these and tin cans for vegetables. Trains were being used to carry soldiers instead of civilian food supplies. And, to make matters worse, Japan controlled most of the rubber factories overseas, which meant there was no rubber for new tires on trucks that carried food across the country.

10/02/2017 - 1:42pm
Under the Sea by Kate Riggs, illustrated by Tom Leonard

Let Kate Riggs’ Under the Sea take you and your toddler on a dreamy trip to the ocean’s depths. Bonus! This is also a concept book, teaching relative positions—over/under, bottom/top, and so on. Clownfish wiggles OUT of an anemone. Octopus waits IN a dark den. Sea turtle swims AFTER jellyfish but BEFORE tuna. Learning these direction concepts and the names of sea creatures happens happily when accompanied by Tom Leonard’s lovely, glowing illustrations.

10/02/2017 - 1:44pm
Cover to Rain by Sam Usher

The narrator, a young boy with a striped shirt, striped socks, and curly, red hair, is very excited when it starts to rain. There are so many things he could do in the rain! He could catch raindrops, splash in puddles, and look at everything upside down.

But Granddad said, “Let’s wait for the rain to stop.”

They wait and wait, but it doesn’t stop. The boy tells his granddad that, if he were out in the rain, he could go on a voyage with sea monsters!

10/02/2017 - 1:44pm
The Shady Tree by Demi

Once upon a time in China, there was a spoiled boy named Tan Tan who lived in a very big house, shaded by a very big tree.

10/02/2017 - 1:46pm
Cover to Caroline’s Comets: A True Story by Emily Arnold McCully

Caroline Herschel had a very hard life early on. Born into a family of royal musicians in what is now Germany, two childhood illnesses left her face pockmarked and her body stunted. Her mother treated her very much as a servant while worrying that no man would ever want to marry her. In the 1700s, this was a real concern, for it was hard for women to make enough money to survive on their own. Caroline's life was pretty miserable as she was expected to do exhausting housework, including knitting stockings for everyone, over and over again.

Fortunately, Caroline’s older brother William wanted to help her. He had moved to England where he was working as a choral conductor and piano teacher. William had the idea that Caroline could learn to sing and be paid for it, and that is exactly what she did. But that is not where her story ends.

10/02/2017 - 1:48pm
Cover to Over and Under the Pond

A boy and his mother are canoeing on a pond in the Adirondack Mountains. It is peaceful place, maybe even dull. Or, is it? The boy asks his mother, “What’s down there?”

So many things! His mother tells him about them, from the minnows, crayfish, and bullfrogs to beavers hunting “delectable roots” found in the mud and otters clawing for freshwater mussels.

And, over the pond? A great blue heron catches one of those minnows for his dinner. A moose munches a mouthful of waterlilies. As the sun sets, mother and son paddle back to shore and head for home. In the dark, life goes on at the pond. Raccoons come out to prowl, and catfish glide as they seek their suppers in the cool of the night.

Kate Messner’s Over and Under the Pond does several things very nicely. First, it tells a soothing story, perfect for bedtime. But it also introduces an ecosystem, making the science of living things and the secrets found below a pond’s surface very accessible, and it manages to do so without sounding like a textbook.

10/02/2017 - 1:48pm
Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast by Josh Funk

Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast are the best of friends. The best of friends any leftover could ask for.

But their neighbor, Miss Brie, tells them that the syrup is almost all gone! "A single drop's left! Just a drop!"

10/02/2017 - 1:49pm
Pete the Cat and the Cool Cat Boogie

Pete the Cat is learning a new dance—the COOL CAT boogie! Pete knows he can dance, but once his friends come along show them their dance moves, Pete thinks his moves are bad. 

"Dancing is like magic!" Pete says. "When I hear a groovy beat, I'm full of happy in my feet! I won't give up! I love to dance. Let me give it one more chance."

Pete repeats this mantra every time he feels like giving up. Eventually, Wise Old Owl tells Pete, "It doesn't matter how you move, as long as you are being you!"

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