Tag Archives: love

Bagel in Love

10 Feb

 

9781454922391_jkt.indd

 

Bagel in Love

written by Natasha Wing

illustrated by Helen Dardik

published by Sterling Publishing, 2018

Just in time for Valentine’s Day!

Sweet tale of rejection, acceptance, and finally love. Bagel gets the brush-off from all the bakery pastries. He gets treated like day old bread by everyone from Doughnut to Pretzel and everyone in between. He feels totally crummy. His dreams of tap-dancing like Fred Eclair are dashed, until he meets a tempting little tap-dancing cupcake. They make a tasty pair winning the dance contest and each other’s hearts.

Oh, did I mention puns? You figured that out, huh? Between the  flat out rejection from the Matzo to the icing on the cake, you’ll be happy you found this scrumptious treat.

And hungry? Don’t get me started… had to search Pinterest for some yummy valentine pastries. Which is your favorite? Send me your recipes!

 

Sure, and if this isn’t enough… there’s glitter! The cover art and final page is fancy, sparkly, shimmery heaven for glitter junkies!

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)

Papa Jethro

16 Dec

1160924Papa Jethro written by Deborah Bodin Cohen and illustrated by Jane Dippold (2007)

Rachel is always so happy to see her Grandpa Nick when he comes to visit. Grandpa Nick keeps candy in his pockets for Rachel, they play games together, and Grandpa Nick tells her bedtime stories. One day Rachel asks Grandpa Nick why he goes to church and she goes to synagogue. Grandpa Nick tells Rachel the story of Moses’ father-in-law, Papa Jethro. Papa Jethro was a leader of a people called the Midianites, but Moses and his son, Gershom, were Jewish. Grandpa Nick explains that Gershom’s father and mother (Moses and Zipporah) fell in love and started a family even though they came from different backgrounds. And when Moses was called to return to Egypt and lead his people to freedom, Gershom and his mother and baby brother stayed behind in Midian with Papa Jethro until he returned. Gershom played games with Papa Jethro and Papa Jethro told him stories too. But when Moses crossed the Red Sea with the Israelites, Papa Jethro took Gershom, his mother, and baby brother back to the desert to be with Moses and returned to Midian alone. Sometimes Papa Jethro would travel back to the desert to visit his grandsons. He would give them delicious Midianite candies, play games, and tell stories. Papa Jethro taught Gershom a few Midianite words, they called it their secret code. And Gershom told Papa Jethro all about being Jewish. Even though they came from different backgrounds they still loved each other. Papa Jethro didn’t want to change something that was very important to him, and he didn’t want Gershom to change something that was very important to him either. Just as Rachel is about to fall asleep she asks Grandpa Nick if it matters to him that she is Jewish and he is Christian. Grandpa Nick replies, “You are my granddaughter. Nothing else matters. I love you just like Papa Jethro loved Gershom.”

Deborah Bodin Cohen writes a beautiful story within a story about interfaith families. She treats both stories and all the differences between the families with dignity and respect. Her words help children understand that it is love that holds families together, not their differences.

Jane Dippold’s illustrations have an ‘ancient feel’ about them. The reader is transported from a modern day bedroom with a Grandpa in a shirt and tie to biblical period in history with a Papa in robes and sandals. And in both settings, she depicts love and happiness.

I really love this story. It’s not the traditional quirky picture book. It takes a serious look at family differences and helps the reader understand that interfaith relationships have been around for thousands of years, and that the love that keeps a family together that is more important than what differences they may have.

Hug Machine

16 Oct

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Hug Machine written and illustrated by Scott Campbell (2014)

The Hug Machine is very good at hugging, the best! He goes around town cheering people up, calming them down, or just driving them nuts with his hugs. He doesn’t just hug people he hugs trees, park benches, bears, rocks, even snakes.   But, can he hug a porcupine? Or a whale? Yes, he can! He refuels with pizza and hugs until he’s exhausted. Just when he can’t hug one more thing, he receives a hug… “Hug Machine is always open for business.”

Scott Campbell shows us the openness and love of one little boy through text and pictures. The sweet little face of the boy no the cover is quiet and sincere with every single hug. And the faces of the people and animals he hugs are happy, surprised, touched, and even a little apprehensive about the unsolicited hugs.

One of my favorite lines is, “Hug Accomplished!” Scott Campbell accomplished more than just creating a picture book. He also created an atmosphere of honest acceptance of everyone and everything in the boy’s world. What a great message to give our little readers.

Granddad’s Fishing Buddy

10 Jun

1538575Granddad’s Fishing Buddy written by Mary Quigley and illustrated by Stephane Jorisch (2007)

Sara wakes up early and goes fishing with her granddad on the lake. She’s excited to meet his fishing buddy. Granddad seems to know all the fishermen on the lake. They greet each other quietly and continue fishing.  Sara starts to wonder who Granddad’s fishing buddy is since they don’t join any one of the fishermen they meet on the lake. Then Sara noticed ‘a shadow skimmed over the lake’. It was a beautiful heron who landed near the lily pads. The heron fished for his dinner and Granddad tells Sara to row toward the heron. They fish in the same area as the heron. When the heron moves to another part of the lake and catches more fish, Granddad tells Sara to follow him. Granddad, Sara, and the heron catch lots of fish that morning. When Sara and Graddad return to the pier, Sara asks when he will be going out with his fishing buddy again. Granddad winks and asks, “When are you coming back to the lake?”

Mary Quigley writes with the experience of a real fisherman. She tells the story quietly and with love. Her use of language transports the reader to the fishing boat on the lake. Even without the gorgeous illustrations, the reader can see ‘the sky was still blue-black and the stars shone like night-lights’ and feel ‘We pushed off the dock with a splash, sending ripples across the glassy lake. Steam lifted from the water like clouds.’ And if you’ve ever been fishing you’ll identify with this line,’Granddad reached into a bucket of dirt and pulled out a worm that coiled around as it swayed from his fingertips.’

Sephane Jorish paints the lake as if it’s a living thing. You can feel the water ripple and hear the splash of the paddle as it slices through the lake. But, more than that you can feel the love between a grandfather and his granddaughter. And that is the most precious emotion of the story.

I recommend this book whether you enjoy fishing or not. I’m sure you will identify with the quiet activity and the peaceful surroundings. And the loving relationship transcends the fishing experience.

Swim! Swim!

3 Jun

0-545-09419-4Swim! Swim! written and illustrated by Lerch aka James Proimos (2010)

Lerch is a lonely goldfish living in a tank. He tries unsuccessfully to make friends. The pebbles don’t talk to him and the underwater diver has nothing to say either. Lerch cries but is reassured that we can’t see tears underwater. Then he hears bubbles. He swims to the bubbles to make friends by talking in their language. But the bubbles pop as they reach the surface of the water and Lerch is afraid that he has killed them. Just when he is resigned that no one loves him, Lerch meets someone who seems to like him… a cat! He introduces himself, but the cat mistakes his name for Lunch. When Lerch realizes what might befall him next, he is surprised to meet Dinner… Dinah! Now Lerch has a friend. Lerch and Dinah swim together and hold fins in Dinah’s tank.

Lerch, also known as James Proimos, tells us his story through speech bubbles. It feels as if he is really talking to the reader. In turn, the reader feels his loneliness and sadness at not being loved. The twist of the cat who loves the fish Lunch and Dinner, is funny and touching. Once the reader realizes that Lerch will not become the cat’s lunch, he/she can breath a sigh of relief and share in Lerch’s happiness at finding a friend.

James Proimos does an excellent job of illustrating the small world of Lerch and Dinah. Every page takes place in (or just above) the fish tanks. There is no question that Lerch’s world is limited to his four walls, yet he still finds love and happiness.

Awwww! I love this little story. I love the play on words and the juxtaposition of cat and fish. It’s a concept even the youngest readers will appreciate. I can see this becoming a ‘read it again’ story in many homes and schools.

My Heart Is Like a Zoo

2 May

6766826My Heart Is Like a Zoo written and illustrated by Michael Hall (2010)

This is a simple bedtime story of a reader (parent, grandparent, auntie, brother, etc) telling the listener how much he/she is loved. Each page depicts a different zoo animal with a phrase about the love shown by that animal for the child. After every two similes there is a rhyming third. The pages are illustrated with large and small hearts to create each animal. By the end of book, the reader shows the child as the zookeeper who is tired and has gone to sleep in his bed with all his toy animals around him.

My favorite rhyme is ‘silly as a seal, rugged as a moose, happy as a herd of hippos drinking apple juice’.

This is a perfect baby board book for the youngest babies to giggle with, learn new animal names, and of course chew on. It is also a perfect toddler book for older babies to mimic verses, identify animals, and read along with the storyteller. And upward, it is a perfect children’s book for young children to read independently, learn about similes, and recreate or design their own animal art.

Did I just use the word ‘perfect’ three times? Yes, I did! And when you read it, you will find your own reasons to call this book ‘perfect’ too!

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