During the day, Abe practices his violin to please his Jewish grandfather. His African-American neighbor Willie works to be as good at baseball as his father, a starter in the Negro leagues. But at night, the two boys meet Across the Alley in this story by Richard Michelson. Leaning out their bedroom windows, they swap hobbies and share dreams, until the night they are discovered.
Joyce Sidman’s and Rick Allen’s Winter Bees & Other Poems expresses in verse the wonders of wintertime while teaching about what is going on while the world is frozen. The poems themselves are delightful for young readers as they look out at the forest through the animals’ eyes:
When a blizzard buries her hometown of Geoppolis, it’s up to tough tractor Katy to switch from pushing a bulldozer to pushing a snowplow.
A hunting party tiptoes through the dark woods, nets in hand. They spot their quarry, a beautifully colored bird, resting on a branch. The littlest member of the group greets the bird, but the others hush him. "Shh! We Have A Plan."
Home is a visual exploration of the many dwellings in our world. Each illustration shows the sheer variety of places where we live. Some people make their homes in the country, while others might live in apartments.
The book is not limited to people or even planet Earth. We see beehives, moon colonies, and the old woman who lived in a shoe. Many of the homes we visit are depicted as intricate, double-page spreads, giving the reader much to discover.
Druthers whisks us to the rainiest of days, where a young girl is bored beyond belief. Her father asks her, "If you had your druthers, what would you do?" The girl has never heard of the term before. Her father explains that druthers are what you would rather do if you could do anything at all.
In a matter of seconds, the girl and her father imagine all sorts of exciting adventures. The pair visit the zoo, ride ponies in the Old West, and sail a fearsome pirate ship to the island of dinosaurs!
“The Mona Cheese is missing, and debonair cat-detective William is on the case!”
"I Will Chomp You!" growls a pointy-toothed beast. Either stop turning the pages of the book he lives inside of, or else there will be dire consequences. His teeth may be jagged and sharp, but he seems more chump than chomp.
Accuracy is thankfully not one of our monster's strengths. Every CHOMP attempt ends up just missing us. Whew!
In Goodnight Already, Bear prepares for a long sleep, but his coffee-guzzling neighbor Duck knocks on the door. It appears that this quacker is more of a night owl. Duck tries to convince the exhausted bear to take part in all sorts of activities.
As fun as making smoothies and starting a band might be, perhaps Duck should have called ahead. Our berobed bear is growing grumpier by the second as Duck lists all of the ingredients he will need to borrow in order to bake cookies.
When mom discovers the living room dripping with every imaginable color, she quickly determines the culprit and hides the art supplies. Her son exclaims, "I Ain't Gonna Paint No More!" Easier said than done.
One cannot simply quit creativity. Our protagonist reclaims his tools of expression. This time though, he is going to be the canvas. Things are about to get messy!