Tag Archives: friendship

Happy Valentine’s Day

13 Feb

A word to the wise, when shopping for Valentine’s Day picture books check out the newest publications in addition to your old favorites. And, by check out, I mean your library shelves first. Then, check out your local bookstores before ordering online. Why? Because this year I found three terrific new books at my library went to the bookstore for my local shopping AFTER I did my online shopping for my out-of-town valentines. To my disappointment, only ONE of these brand-new books was available at the brick and mortar store. And since I waited until two days before Valentine’s Day, I couldn’t get my top picks for my hometown valentines. It turned out okay though, because I was able to pick up some wonderful titles anyway.

Click on the titles for a link to my Goodreads review of each book.

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Be A Friend

written and illustrated by Salina Yoon (2016)

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Here Comes Valentine Cat 

written by Deborah Underwood and illustrated by Claudia Rueda (2015)

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Worm Loves Worm

written by J.J. Austrian and illustrated by Mike Curato (2016)

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Hedgehugs

written by Steve Wilson and illustrated by Lucy Tapper (2014)

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Penguin in Love

written and illustrated by Salina Yoon (2013)

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I Wish You More

written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld (2015)

Be A Friend

10 Feb

February 11th is National Make a Friend Day. Two years ago I added this day to my Celebrate Every Day With A Picture Book tab. This year I’m excited to find a brand new picture book friend to celebrate this day.

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Be A Friend by Salina Yoon (Bloomsbury, 2016)

Dennis expresses himself through mime. But not everyone appreciates Dennis’s unique form of communication. He is often alone and lonely. Then one day Joy notices him and he has someone he can give his heart to. They find that being different is okay and soon so does everyone else. This is a great example of how actions speak louder than words.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Love You Already!

27 Jan

 

 

25817276I Love You Already!

written by Jory John

illustrated by Benji Davies

Harper, 2015

Bear and Duck keep their fans giggling over their unlikely friendship. Bear only wants to spend the day alone with his tea and his books. Duck only wants to go on a walk… with Bear. After constant badgering, Bear gives in to Duck. Poor Bear, Duck’s ceaseless pestering doesn’t stop once they start walking. But when Duck falls from a tree, Bear suddenly feels sorry about his treatment of Duck. With the tiniest encouragement, Duck goes back to his annoying habits.

Kids will understand the feeling of frustration when a friend insists on doing things his or her way. Sometimes though you do things your friend’s way just because you love them.

This is the second book featuring Duck and Bear. You can read more about this comical duo HERE.

 

Little Elliot, Big City

30 Dec

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Little Elliot, Big City written and illustrated by Mike Curato (2014)

Little Elliot was an elephant who was different from everybody else. He lived in a big city, where he had to be careful because he was so little. The one thing Elliot wanted more than anything, was a cupcake. But he was too small to reach over the top of the counter and so he was never even noticed. Then one day, Elliot found someone who was even smaller than he was, a mouse. And the mouse had even bigger problems than Elliot because of his size. Elliot was able to help the mouse by lifting him up. And the mouse was able to help Elliot when he was lifted up over the top of the counter at the bakery. Now Elliot finally got a cupcake… and something even better, a friend.

Mike Curato first picture book is treat for the eye and ear. His artwork has the perfect balance between vintage and modern. And his story has mass appeal for children and adults alike.

Little Elliot’s sweet innocence and sweet tooth will capture your heart. It has mine!

Pig and Small

29 Dec

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Pig and Small written and illustrated by Alex Latimer (2014)

Pig and Bug want to be friends but they don’t seem to hit if off. When they rode a bike, Pig did all the work. When Bug made a cake for Pig, he ate it in one bite without even noticing all the beautiful decorations. When they played chess, But couldn’t move the pieces. When Bug knit a sweater for Pig, he couldn’t get it over his head. It just wasn’t working, so they decided to part ways. Just then, Pig noticed an ad for an upcoming movie he thought Bug would enjoy. They bought one ticket, shared one box of popcorn, and talked about the great movie all the way home. As they were talking they thought of a few other things they could do together. So Pig and Bug went to an art gallery, aquarium, theater, restaurant, zoo, and beach. As a matter of fact they forgot that one of them was big and the other was small.

Alex Latimer wrote a great little story about friendship despite differences. The art work is friendly and engaging. And the story is universal.

I love that just as the characters are learning to appreciate each other for who they are and find common ground, a third character enters the scene… Elephant. Yes, size is relevant.

Maple and Willow Together

24 Nov

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Maple and Willow Together written and illustrated by Lori Nichols (2014)

This is the follow up to the delightful story Maple published earlier this year. Maple was Lori Nichols debut picture book. You can read my review of Maple HERE.

In this book, Maple and her little sister Willow do everything together. They play together, sleep together, and even have their own special language together. But one day, Maple gets angry and Willow gets angry and they are sent to their rooms alone. The girls don’t like being alone, and make-up across the hallway. Pretty soon they are playing outside together and sleeping together in the same bed.

Lori Nichols has done it again! This second book is just as warm and loving as her first book. The relationship between the sisters is so real. And the artwork is beautiful. It shows how sisters can be each other’s best friends even when they don’t always get along.

I love this story and I think you will too. I can’t wait to share it with my granddaughter who just became a big sister last month!

Duck, Duck, Moose

12 Sep

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Duck, Duck, Moose! written by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen and illustrated by Noah Z. Jones (2014)

Duck and Duck are so neat, organized, polite, mannerly…  Moose, not so much!  Duck and Duck spend all morning cleaning the house, Moose crashes through the wall wrecking the table they have just set. Duck and Duck work at creating pieces of art, Moose falls splattering paint and destroying the statue. Duck and Duck hang balloons and bake a cake, Moose is ordered to leave the house. Duck and Duck hang the banners, wrap the gifts, make the punch… but where is Moose?

Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen writes a two-word simply perfect picture book. Children will love the rhythm of the familiar playground game transposed in this funny and touching story of a clumsy misguided Moose and the Ducks who love him!

Noah Z. Jones adds the details of this almost-wordless picture book. Even without knowing how to read, preschoolers can follow along and retell the story to themselves without missing a thing!

I so admire writers and illustrators who work together to tell a whole story! I couldn’t help but feel sorry for poor Moose. His tears broke my heart… and the Ducks’ love for him melted it. This is definitely one for my bookshelf!

Tea Party Rules

12 Sep

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Tea Party Rules written by Ame Dyckman and illustrated by K.G. Campbell (2013)

Cub follows his nose to a tea party in progress. Very politely, he asks the other bear if he could have a cookie. But the other bear doesn’t answer, and Cub realizes that the other bear can’t talk… or eat cookies! So Cub takes his place at the table. Just as he’s about to taste his first bite, a little girl comes along. She looks at Cub and decides that he needs a bath before they can eat… tea party rule number one ‘you must be clean’. Cub isn’t a big fan of baths, but he does like cookies so he goes along with the girl. But that’s not the end of it, there are lots of rules to follow. He must have his hair done, he must be dressed up, and he must eat daintily. Finally Cub has had enough of tea party rules and he helps himself WITHOUT FOLLOWING THE RULES! Luckily for Cub, the little girl decides that they should play BEAR instead. He liked that game better, after all, he already knew the rules.

Ame Dyckman tells an endearing story of friendship and rules. Imaginative play and appreciating differences are two underlying themes in this sweet Girl-meets-Bear story.

K.G. Campbell gives the reader the illusion of really being on the scene. He lets you feel the nip in the air and the bubbles on your nose, smell the fall leaves and the just baked cookies, and understand the sense of anticipation, dread, and playfulness.

I love this story for so many reasons! Maybe most of all, because I love the conflict Cub feels about not wanting to follow the rules but really wanting the cookies. And then there’s the duality of the little girl. On one hand, she loves fancy tea parties with friends and is determined to make sure everyone follows the rules exactly. And on the other hand, she embraces the natural tendency of Cub and is willing to play a game that he likes as well.

Goldi Rocks and the Three Bears

11 Sep

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Goldi Rocks and the Three Bears written by Corey Rosen Schwartz and Beth Coulton and illustrated by Nate Wragg (2014)

‘Once upon a rock-and-roll time’… the Bear family played in band. However, they didn’t have very many fans yet. Papa Bear decided that what they needed was a soprano who could sing all the high notes. And it just so happened that as soon as they left their house in search of a soprano, a little girl came to their house. Inside, the little girl hurried over to their practice stage and began preforming a do-whop dum-diddy-do until she fell and broke the microphone. Then she tried Papa Bear’s drum set, Mama Bear’s guitar, and Baby Bear’s keyboard. She played and played until she fell asleep on the stage. When the bears came home from an unsuccessful day of listening to tryouts, they found the mess and the little girl drooling on the keyboard. Papa Bear disrupted her sleep and she awoke with a scream, which just so happened to be a perfect high C. Instead of running away, the girl stayed with the bears and together they wrote a new hit single – ‘Too Hot, Too Cold, or Just Right?’ They topped all the rock charts and their new fans were crazy about… Goldi Rocks and the Great Three Bear Band!

Corey Rosen Schwartz and Beth Coulton have come up with a modern twist to a favorite old fairy tale. Written in rhyme and set with a rock and roll background, this story delivers a punch!

Nate Wragg brings the timeless characters to life. The illustrations are both nostalgic and edgy.

I love this new take on an old favorite! The traditional theme of breaking-in and destroying the bear’s belongings is freshened up with the final working together of Goldilocks and the Bears. The story is music to my ears!

The Only Alex Addleston in All These Mountains

29 Aug

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The Only Alex Addleston in All These Mountains written by James Solheim and illustrated by Jeffrey Ebberler (2014)

Alex Addleston arrives in her kindergarten room just to find that there is another Alex Addleston in her class, and he’s sitting in her seat. The two Alex Addleston become best friends. They collect blueberries and catch fireflies together. And they trade Captain Moonbeam message rings. They trade secret messages. ‘Harp slyamor, me zip pal fwip’ means ‘Best friends, no matter what’. But then Alex goes away for the summer and when he returns Alex has moved to Africa with her family. Alex lay on top of the mountain and counted the stars – alone. While Alex lay on the savanna and counted the stars – alone.  And even though they were a zillion miles apart, they never give up on each other. Then one night, six years later, Alex is catching fireflies at the top of the mountain and Alex goes after the exact same firefly. ‘Harp slyamor?’ they both ask at the same time. ‘Me Zippal fwip’ they answer each other.

James Solheim tells a story about a unique friendship that lasts over many years and many more miles.

Jeffrey Ebberler adds the dimension of time in the future with his photos of Alex and Alex as adults, getting married and having children.

Readers will be enchanted with Alex and Alex. It’s more than just a story of friendship, it’s a story of a bond stronger than time and place.

 

The Invisible Boy

20 Aug

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The Invisible Boy written by Trudy Ludwig and illustrated by Patrice Barton (2013)

 Brian is the invisible boy. Even his teacher, Mrs. Carlotti doesn’t notice him because Nathan is too loud and Sophie is a whiner. When it’s time to pick teams, Brian is left out. And at lunchtime, Madison invited everyone to her birthday party except Brian. Brian loves to draw, it’s what he does best. He sits quietly at a table and draws fire-breathing dragons, space aliens, pirates, and superheros. Then one day, Mrs. Carlotti introduces a new boy to the class. His name is Justin, and looks a little different than the rest of the kids. At lunch, Madison makes fun of his chopsticks, and J.T. makes fun of his bulgogi, calling it Booger-gi. All the kids laugh, except Brian, he just sits there feeling invisible. The next day Justin finds a note in his cubby. It was from Brian and it said, ‘I thought the bulgogi looked good.’ And he drew a picture of himself eating with chopsticks. That afternoon, Justin played with Brian on the playground. But when it was time to team up for a special project, Emilio pairs with Justin, leaving Brian out again. Luckily for Brian, Justin adds him to their team. When Mrs. Carlotti gives the directions, the boys are work together to put on a three-man play. From then on, Brian didn’t feel invisible anymore. Justin and Emilio make room for him at their lunch table and they share a bag of cookies together.

Trudy Ludwig tells a very important story about friendship and inclusion. She gets right to the meat of the problem that both Brian and Justin face in school, and helps the children solve their own problem. Her examples of inclusion serve as real-life solutions for countless children in schools everywhere.

Patrice Barton’s illustrations are soft and tender. She allows the reader to see Brian in outline form only when he is feeling invisible, and adds color a little at a time as he becomes accepted by his peers. In contrast, all of the other characters are painted in soft watercolors further emphasizing Brian’s feelings throughout the story, and I think also showing that the other characters are not necessarily mean-spirited just unaware of Brian’s feelings.

Inclusion doesn’t have to be a major event, it can be as simple as inviting someone to sit at your lunch table or letting them join your group at work or play.  I adore the paintings in this story. My heart goes out to the invisible Brian on every page. This is a beautifully written and illustrated book. I highly recommend it to my teacher friends, parents, and children.

Two Speckled Eggs

25 Jul

18209401Two Speckled Eggs written and illustrated by Jennifer K. Mann (2014)

Ginger is having a birthday party. Her mother tells her that she either has to invite all the girls in her class or none. That means Ginger has to invite weird, smelly, spider-loving Lyla Browning. On the day of the party all the girls arrive wearing pretty dresses and bringing beautifully wrapped gifts, all except Lyla Browning… she wore a plain brown shirt and pants and her gift was in an old taped-up brown cardboard box. When the party started, Lyla Browning didn’t participate… she was watching a ladybug with her magnifying glass. However the other girls weren’t playing very nicely either and Ginger was starting to feel sorry she had invited them at all. No one seemed to like Ginger’s favorite silver-and-gold birthday cake, except Lyla Browning. And they all fought over Ginger’s new birthday presents, except Lyla Browning. Then Ginger opened the old brown cardboard box. Inside was a nest made of paper, tinsel, ribbon, and string. And in the nest were two speckled malted milk chocolate eggs. After all the other girls left the house, Ginger gave Lyla one of the eggs and they pretended to be birds eating the rest of the silver-and-gold cake until Lyla had to go home.

This is the first book that Jennifer K. Mann has both written and illustrated. And when you see it you’ll agree, it should not be her last! The story is heartfelt and sweet. And the illustrations are pure and simple. It’s a completely honest look at the dynamics of childhood friendships and relationships.

I loved sharing in Ginger’s transformation as a character. As a reader, you can feel Ginger’s emotional journey from embarrassed & annoyed, to angry & sad, and finally pleased & appreciative. But I think the magic in this story is in also feeling Lyla’s sense of being different, akward, and alone until she finally has a friend who likes her just the way she is.

Nugget and Fang

23 Jul

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Nugget and Fang written by Tammi Sauer and illustrated by Michael Slack (2013)

Fang the shark and Nugget the minnow were best friends until Nugget went to school. That’s where he learned that sharks and minnows can’t be friends. Nugget showed Fang his science Food Chain test. Fang felt awful. He couldn’t help being toothy and he had to prove he wasn’t scary. He tried dressing up like a mermaid, that didn’t work. He tried inviting Nugget to dinner, that didn’t work either. He tried and tried until he was all out of ideas. Then one day the school of minnows got caught in a net, Fang used his scary sharp teeth to cut the net and free the minnows. The minnows finally accepted Fang, sharp scary teeth and all.

Tammi Sauer takes a funny look at an unlikely friendship. The friendship is contradictory to the laws of nature and the timing impeccable. Her use of language will delight readers young and old.

Michael Slack’s simple and bright illustrations bring life to the pages. The expressions on the faces of the shark and the minnows are priceless.

I love the conversational text between Fang and the minnows. These little asides amp up the humor. I especially love the ending, ‘And everyone was all smiles. Especially you-know-who.’

Ten Things I Love about You

14 Jul

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Ten Things I Love About You written and illustrated by Daniel Kirk (2013)

Rabbit interrupts Pig’s work to tell him that he is making a list called Ten Things I Love About Pig. However, Rabbit only has one thing on the list… I love pig because he is very pink. He suggests that Pig make a list too. It’s obvious that Rabbit is bothering Pig. As Pig becomes more and more upset, Rabbit adds more and more things to his list. He turns all of Pig’s brush-offs into positives. So he ends up with a list that reads, I love Pig because he knows how to keep busy, he believes in me, he gives good compliments, etc. When he has almost finished his list, he finds out that Pig has been working on a list of his own. Pig’s list turns all of Rabbit’s interruptions into something positive as well. His list reads, I love Rabbit because he always drops by, he smiles so much, he gets so excited about things, etc. They each finish their lists with the same sentence, I love Pig/Rabbit because he’s my friend.

Daniel Kirk ‘s simple text and pictures, show readers what friendship is really all about. He turns minor, bothersome quirks into positive characteristics. His child-like characters are basically kind.

I love that the characters Pig and Rabbit, find the best in each other and aren’t afraid to express their feelings for each other. This is a valuable message for children and adults alike. Daniel Kirk’s book has moved into my top ten books about friendship!

Hooray For Hat!

9 Jul

18222766Hooray For Hat! written and illustrated by Brian Won (2014)

Elephant woke up grumpy. He stomped down the stairs yelling “Go Away! I’m Grumpy!” To his surprise there was a huge box on the doorstep. Inside the box, Elephant found a wide assortment of hats. There’s no way he could be grumpy with all these hats. Elephant cheered, “Hooray for Hat!” and stacked all the hats on his head and went to see his friend Zebra. But Zebra woke up grumpy too, and yelled “Go Away! I’m Grumpy!” So Elephant shared one of his hats with Zebra. Now Zebra wasn’t grumpy any more and they both shouted “Hooray for Hat!” And they went off to show their friend Turtle, and guess what… he was grumpy too, until he got a hat. And so was Owl, until he got a hat as well. By the time the friends reached Lion’s house they were all out of hats, which was really too bad because Lion was grumpy too. He was grumpy because his friend Giraffe was not feeling well. Everyone got together and decided that they should put all the hats back in the box and surprise Giraffe. Now Giraffe had all the hats, he did feel better, and everyone was happy!  “Hooray for Friends!”

This is Brian Won’s first picture book. He wrote a happy tale about being grumpy, and what preschooler has never been grumpy before? The illustrations are clean and simple. And the text is sincere and easy to understand.

I read this book to my toddler granddaughter who squealed with delight at each turn of the page. After reading it twice, we had a parade through the house wearing hats and giving them to our stuffed animal friends. This is a great feel-good story. I love any book which can bring so much joy seemingly effortlessly. HOORAY FOR HAT!

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