First Grade Book List
by Judith Viorst Year Published: ChallengingA Synopsis by Barnes and Noble...He could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. He went to sleep with gum in his mouth and woke up with gum in his hair. When he got out of bed, he tripped over his skateboard and by mistake dropped his sweater in the sink while the water was running. He could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Nothing at all was right. Everything went wrong, right down to lima beans for supper and kissing on TV. What do you do on a day like that? Well, you may think about going to Australia. You may also be glad to find that some days are like that for other people too. by Bill Martin Year Published: Easy ReadingFrom the editors.... Eric Carle's double-page tissue collages and Bill Martin's friendly chant unite to create this vibrant introduction to colors. The first line of the book is the title, to which a big brown bear responds,"I see a redbird looking at me." The redbird responds with another animal and so on, until a mother (or a teacher, depending on the edition) asks a group of children what they see. A wonderful read-aloud for either a group or individuals, this book is a favorite for teachers. by Bill Martin Jr. Year Published: Challenging
A synopsis from Barnes and Noble...One-hundred-and-one numbers climb the apple tree in this bright, rollicking, joyous book for young children. As the numerals pile up and bumblebees threaten, what’s the number that saves the day? (Hint: It rhymes with "hero"!) Read and count and play and laugh to learn the surprising answer. A spectacular follow-up to the two-million-copy best-seller Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, this is the book for any child learning to count.
by Bill Martin Year Published: Challenging
A Synopsis from Barnes and Noble...In this lively alphabet rhyme, all the letters of the alphabet race each other up the coconut tree. Will there be enough room? Oh, no -- Chicka Chicka Boom Boom!
by Doreen Cronin Year Published: Challenging
A synopsis from Barnes and Noble...This is the diary . . . of a worm. Surprisingly, a worm not that different from you or me. Except he eats his homework. Oh, and his head looks a lot like his rear end. Doreen Cronin, the New York Times best-selling author of CLICK, CLACK, MOO and GIGGLE, GIGGLE, QUACK, teams up with illustrator Harry Bliss for this hysterical journal about the daily doings and the hidden world of a lovable underground dweller.
by Arnold Lobel Year Published: ChallengingA synopsis from Barnes and Noble...The inseparable Frog and Toad are introduced to readers through five wonderfully silly adventures. Like an innocent Laurel and Hardy, the two amphibians show the true meaning of friendship - Toad tells stories to Frog when Frog is sick, Frog helps search for Toad's lost button, and Frog writes a letter to Toad because he never receives any mail. These marvelous tales touch both the heart and the funny bone. by Giles Andreae Year Published: Challenging
A synopsis from Barnes and Noble...Gerald the giraffe longs to dance, but his legs are too skinny and his neck is too long. His knees buckle whenever he tries to twirl. At the Jungle Dance, the warthogs waltz, the chimps cha-cha, and the lions tango. "Giraffes can't dance," they all jeer when it's Gerald's turn to prance. But there is one little creature who believes in Gerald. "Everything makes music," the cricket explains, "if you really want it to." So Gerald starts swaying to his own sweet tune. With light-footed rhymes and high-stepping illustrations, this tale is gentle inspiration for every child with dreams of greatness.
by Cynthia Rylant Year Published: ChallengingThis is the first in a series of Henry and Mudge books. They are very popular in first grade. by James Howe Year Published: ChallengingFrom The Critics Publisher's Weekly After the frog at the pond's edge tells him that he's ugly, the cricket of Swampswallow Pond loses his zest for life and for singing. The glowworm and the ladybug try to persuade the cricket that he's just as good as the rest of them, while the dragonfly declares, ``Wishing is a waste of time.'' Finally, the Old One, a spider who lives on the other side of the pond, spins a wise tale about the real beauty of friendship and convinces the cricket to sing again. The author tells the familiar story of the loss of identity and the uniqueness of individuals in a wistful, not particularly fresh, way. While Howe gives insects a human dimension, Young perceives that world with the eye of a cricket or a dragonfly, noting the color variations and luster on that particular wavelength. The resultant paintings are extraordinary, almost abstract works, much worthier of praise than this oft-told tale. Ages 4-8. or this oft-passed-back-and- forth-review!!!(October) by Denise Flemming Year Published: Easy Reading
From The Critics... Publisher's Weekly Soup's on in this tummy-tempting concept book. A very hungry mouse nibbles and crunches his way through the various components of a vegetarian repast, while the text introduces readers to the individual foods and their respective colors. The book's design also allows for some guessing games-each right hand page presents visual and textual clues about what comes next in the progression. The brief, adjective-rich prose lists Mouse's menu-sour purple grapes, juicy pink watermelon with black crunchy seeds-in a large boldface type that is a boon for group sharing (and often a confidence builder for newly independent readers). Mouse with his protruding stomach (much like Templeton the rat in Charlotte's Web) appears on the final page, covered with the feast's rainbow remnants, each smudge labeled to serve as a color/food recap. Fleming's pulp painting technique drenches each page with vibrant hues. A black-and-white-checked tablecloth appears throughout, further punching up the color contrasts-shiny red apples stand out, even on a red background. Bon appetit! Ages 2-7. (Sept.)
by Harry Allard Year Published: Challenging
A summary by a third grade reviewer on Barnes and Noble.com...Miss Nelson is Missing by Harry Allard is a great book. In room 29 kids were being bad and went listing to the teacher and went behaving then the next day Miss Nelson was gone. All of a sudden an ugly woman came through the door and the kids were worried about Miss Nelson and the rest you have to read. My favorite part was the ending. But if you want to find out my favorite part of the storey you have to read the book to find my favorite part.
by Jeanne Titherington Year Published: AverageA synopsis from Barnes and Noble...Jamie plants a pumpkin seed in the spring and, after watching it grow all summer, carves a face in it for Halloween! But best of all, he saves some seeds that he will plant again next spring. by Marilyn Tolhurst Year Published: AverageFrom The Critics.... Publisher's Weekly The three Blairs--humans all--go for a walk, and Somebody--looking mighty like a bear--makes himself right at home in their cozy domicile. In their picture book debut, these collaborators offer a vivacious version of the classic tale. The book's crisp, deceptively simple design features a pleasing symmetry (much of the cheery artwork is arranged in threes on the verso pages) and ample white space. The pink-cheeked Blairs seem delightfully average, with the possible exception of Baby Blair, who has an endearing way of getting to the heart of things. Planning their outing, Baby exclaims, ``Feeda ducks''; surveying the post-bruin mess, the wise toddler cries, ``Naughty!'' (He is the first, in fact, to spot the sleeping intruder: ``Issa big teddy bear.'') The up-to-date details will provoke chuckles, as when Somebody holds a flexible shower nozzle over his head and realizes, ``This rain is too hot.'' This book, however, is just right. Ages 3-6. (Mar.) by Janell Cannon Year Published: ChallengingFrom the Publisher... Knocked from her mother's safe embrace by an attacking owl, Stellaluna lands headfirst in a bird's nest. This adorable baby fruit bat's world is literally turned upside down when she is adopted by the occupants of the nest and adapts to their peculiar bird habits. Two pages of notes at the end of the story provide factual information about bats. by Audrey Penn Year Published: Challenging
A synopsis from Barnes and Noble...In this contemporary classic Chester Raccoon seeks love and reassurance from his mother as he ventures out into the world to attend his very first day of school.
by Jon Stone Year Published: AverageA synopsis from Barnes and Noble...Many, many adults name this book as their favorite Little Golden Book. Generations of kids have interacted with lovable, furry old Grover as he begs the reader not to turn the page . . . for a monster is at the end of the book! “Oh, I am so embarrassed,” he says on the last page, for of course the monster is Grover himself! by Jon Scieszka Year Published: Challenging
A review from publishers weekly...In this gaily newfangled version of a classic tale, Scieszka and Smith ( Flying Jake ) argue in favor of the villain, transforming the story of the three little pigs into a playfully suspicious, rather arch account of innocence beleaguered. Quoth the wolf: ``I don't know how this whole Big Bad Wolf thing got started, but it's all wrong.' According to his first-person testimony, the wolf went visiting the pigs in search of a neighborly cup of sugar; he implies that had the first two happened to build more durable homes and the third kept a civil tongue in his head, the wolf's helpless sneezes wouldn't have toppled them. As for his casual consumption of the pigs, the wolf defends it breezily (``It seemed like a shame to leave a perfectly good ham dinner lying there in the straw') and claims cops and reporters ``framed' him. Smith's highly imaginative watercolors eschew realism, further updating the tale, though some may find their urbane stylization and intentionally static quality mystifyingly adult. Designed with uncommon flair, this alternative fable is both fetching and glib. Ages 3-8.
by Felicia Bond Year Published: Easy ReadingA synopsis from Barnes and Noble...When a tiny bug decides to go for a walk, anything can happen! He might meet a cat, a crocodile, a pig, or even a bee to dance and play with, and that means more friends for everyone! This adorable story by renowned author and illustrator Felicia Bond is now available for the youngest set. by Maurice Sendak Year Published: AverageA review from a third grader on Barnes and Noble.com...Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak is one of my favorite books. The story is about Max Max’s room grew a forest until Max’s room became the whole world. Then Max went where the wild things where then the wild things tried to scare Max but Max didn’t get scared so Max tried to scare the wild things then things got scared so Max became king of the wild things. What I thought the cool part was Max’s room became a real forest.
by Jonathan London Year Published: ChallengingFrom the Publisher... It's a special occasion, so Froggy and his parents are going to eat dinner in a fancy restaurant. When they arrive at the restaurant, Froggy's mom has a few rules for him: "Be neat, be quiet, and don't put your feet on the table." But it's so hard for Froggy to sit still. He fidgets, he squirms, and he sssllluuuurrrrpppps his spaghetti. Then he spots Frogilina across the restaurant-now it's impossible for Froggy to follow the rules! by Jonathan London Year Published: ChallengingFrom the Editors.... Froggy wakes up while it's snowing and gets dressed to go out and play. Each time Froggy gets outside, his mother calls "Frrrooggyy!" to remind him of something he forgot to wear. Froggy hops back into the house, gets undressed, redresses with the missing article of clothing, then hops back outside. After his mother calls to tell him forgot his underwear, Froggy is so exhausted that he climbs back into bed to sleep for the rest of winter. The silly sounds punctuating Froggy getting dressed will have toddlers in stitches. by Jonathan London Year Published: ChallengingFrom the Publisher... There are so many ways to postpone going to bed—and Froggy knows them all! First he has to find the lost boat that's essential to his bath, next the toothbrush that finally turns up in the cookie jar. Then he moves on to the familiar routine of a last drink of water, a favorite bedtime story and one more goodnight kiss. With inventive antics every child will recognize, Froggy makes bedtime rituals hilariously his own. by Jonathan London Year Published: ChallengingBRAND NEW FROM JONATHAN LONDON 2008! Here's a synopsis from Barnes and Look out, Camp Run-A-Muck! Here comes Froggy. . . . Froggy's off to camp-and Camp Run-A-Muck will never be the same! Froggy packs a lot into one week: hikes and archery lessons, K.P. and food fights, scary stories and funny songs around the campfire. But only Froggy could also manage to lose his trunks during swim class and overturn his kayak with the camp director in it. Lovable, bumbling Froggy will keep his many fans laughing with his latest antics. by Jonathan London Year Published: ChallengingFrom The Critics ...Children's Literature It's Froggy's first day of school and he is so worried about missing the school bus that he doesn't realize he is only wearing underwear until he is on the bus. Of course he is mortified and tries to hide until his teacher spies him and shouts out his name. Suddenly, his teacher becomes his dad! It all turns out to be a nightmare and it is the voice of his dad calling his name that awakens him from this crazy dream. Froggy starts his day again. This time it really is the first day of school and he climbs aboard the school bus, fully clothed. He does all sorts of fun things at school, including teaching the principal to swim! When he returns home from school without his lunch box or his baseball cap, his mom wonders if he'll ever learn! A humorous look at the first day of school jitters. The illustrations are bright and colorful. by Jonathan London Year Published: ChallengingFrom the Publisher.... Froggy's a little nervous about his check-up. "What if the doctor wants to give me a shot?" he thinks. He worries as he dresses, and then he can't sit still in the waiting room. Finally, Dr. Mugwort is ready to examine him. But as Froggy undresses he realizes he forgot something important . . . his underwear! Ooops! And that's just the beginning of Froggy's hilarious doctor visit that ends reassuringly with a gold star and a lollipop. by Jonathan London Year Published: ChallengingFrom the Publisher.... Frogs are supposed to be good swimmers. "Not me!" says Froggy, who's afraid of the water. But with a little encouragement, some practice, and the help of a silly song or two, Froggy develops into an expert frog-kicker! by Jonathan London Year Published: ChallengingFrom the Publisher... Here comes Froggy's marching band, led by the one and only Frogilina. Froggy and hispals are sure they can win the big prize in the Apple Blossom Parade, even though they haven't been playing together very long. They just need to remember the rules: Don't look left. Don't look right. And DON'T STOP FOR ANYTHING! But when Froggy's around, things never go quite as planned…. by Jonathan London Year Published: ChallengingFrom the Publisher.... It's the day of the big game, and Froggy is ready. His soccer team is playing the Wild Things for the City Cup. All Froggy has to do is remember the rule: "Head it! Boot it! Knee it! Shoot it! BUT DON'T USE YOUR HANDS!" But Froggy's busy doing cartwheels and picking daisies. Uh oh, Froggy! Here comes the ball! Budding soccer players and Froggy's many fans will welcome Froggy's latest hilarious adventure. by Jonathan London Year Published: AverageA synopsis from Barnes and Noble...It's Froggy's first day on the T-ball team, and he couldn't be more excited, with his dad as the coach and his whole family cheering him on. But when Coach Dad tells him to catch some flies out in right field, he takes the advice with his usual gusto—literally! Froggy can't seem to do anything right, but once he starts paying attention, his playing improves. He even hits a home run, and runs all the way—to his house! The perfect introduction to a favorite sport, Froggy Plays T-Ball reminds kids that it's not whether you win or lose—it's how you play the game (without getting bonked on the head!). by Jonathan London Year Published: AverageA synopsis from Barnes and Noble...Froggy just got his very first bike, and it’s exactly what he wanted. Almost. Finishing touches like a bell and a horn have to be added before Froggy is ready to ride. Then, surrounded by cheering friends, Froggy starts to pedal. Oops! He falls off. He tries again. Oops! Riding a bike is hard! After a long day, and a few bumps and bruises, Froggy finally learns to ride—and once he does he can’t wait to go again. by Jonathan London Year Published: ChallengingFrom the Publisher... Froggy's parents are expecting a new baby, and Froggy is hoping for a brother. So when his parents introduce him to Pollywogilina, his new baby sister, Froggy is disappointed. Not only is she a girl, but Polly is too little to do anything! Froggy isn't even allowed to take care of her until her tail falls off. Waiting is hard, but just when he's ready to give up, Polly's legs finally grow and big brother Froggy steps in to show her the ropes. by Jonathan London Year Published: ChallengingFrom the Publisher.... Froggy has never celebrated Christmas; usually he's taking his long winter's nap. But not this year! Froggy's best friend, Max the beaver, wakes him up to join the fun. Soon, Froggy's gotten into the swing of things: finding a tree, wrapping presents, singing carols, and enjoying a holiday feast. Join Froggy as he celebrates his very first, and very best, Christmas! by Jonathan London Year Published: ChallengingFrom the Publisher.... It's Father's Day at last, and Froggy is so-o-o excited."We're going to play golf!" he tells his dad. Oh no. Dad says Froggy's too little for golf. "But you're just the right size to play miniature golf!" he explains. At the fun park, Froggy discovers mini golf is fun especially once he figures out how to face the right way. With his beginners' luck, Froggy makes a hole in one! But his next shot hits his dad on the head bonk! and that's only the beginning. All ends well, though, when Froggy presents his dad with a special coffee mug he decorated in school: To the Best Dad I Ever Had! by Jonathan London Year Published: ChallengingFrom The Critics... Children's Literature - Carolyn Mott Ford Can a frog be in puppy love? Apparently so, for that certainly appears to be the case when Froggy falls for the new girl in class, the prettiest girl he has ever seen. When she smiles his insides feel funny, "like he'd just had caterpillar for breakfast." Teacher has to keep reminding Froggy to pay attention to his class work. Froggy does suffer some misadventures because he does not pay enough attention to what he is doing, and because first love can make a person-or a frog-a bit awkward. One day at lunch Frogilina, the object of his affections, presents Froggy with a heart-shaped cookie, so when Froggy makes valentines for his class he makes one very special card. However, Frogilina has another surprise for Froggy, a much bigger surprise than a heart-shaped cookie. She gives him a big, fat, kiss! Classmates tease Froggy and he flops home in embarrassment. On Valentine's Day, Froggy gives his mother breakfast in bed and the special card he'd made. A big red heart saying I LOVE YOU. Froggy's mother gives him special kisses. They are candy kisses and, in this story, sweets win out over puppy love. by Jonathan London Year Published: ChallengingFrom the Publisher.... Froggy needs a Halloween costume. But what should he be? He could be Super Frog, faster than a dragonfly, stronger than a bullfrog! Maybe he should be something scarier, like Vampire Frog! Finally, Froggy knows just what to be. With a zwoosh!, a zup!, and a zunk!, Froggy is dressed and ready to go trick-or-treating-as the Frog Prince. Froggy's new costume is perfect, until Princess Frogilina spots him! Uh-oh, looks like this could be the scariest Halloween ever! by Jonathan London Year Published: ChallengingFrom the Publisher.... It's a beautiful morning, and Froggy can't wait to go on a picnic with his dad. But first he needs his bicycle helmet, butterfly net, and trading cards--will Froggy get on the road before sunset? With kid-pleasing effects and punchy illustrations, this sequel to Froggy Gets Dressed is "a fun-for-all, tongue-tangling, giggle-getting, rousing read aloud" (School Library Journal).Full color. by Jonathan London Year Published: AverageFrom the critics...School Library Journal In this rollicking and warm picture book, rhyming couplets catalog things that a puppy-person and his mother enjoy over the course of a day, such as hiding places and wild chases, and read-alouds and sunset clouds. Schmidt's double-page watercolor illustrations are effective from a distance and depict this active pair with vigorous and varying perspectives. They sing, jump, hug, and have fun together right up to bedtime. While literal-minded young listeners may wonder how that little guy can read a big chapter book or where the hiding places and park slides are since they're not depicted, the overwhelming energy of the book prevails. Preschoolers will relate to London's selection of cheerful activities and will no doubt want to add things they love to do with their moms.-Susan Hepler, Burgundy Farm Country Day School, Alexandria, VA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
by Kevin Henkes Year Published: Challenging
From The Critics... Publisher's Weekly Chester's ways are fairly circumscribed: this young mouse has definite likes and dislikes, and there is no changing his mind. His friend Wilson is just like him; they're quite a pair. Then Lilly moves into the neighborhood. She speaks backwards (``YLLIL MA I''), travels only in disguise and carries a water pistol wherever she goes, ``just in case.'' She intimidates Chester and Wilson, until she terrorizes some bullies who are picking on the two friends. Suddenly, Lilly's ways don't look so bad, and the threesome becomes just as like-minded and inseparable as Chester and Wilson's former twosome. Henkes's vision of friendship captures the essence of the childlike; his mice live in a sunny, imaginative world mixed with secure routines and the safety of known factors. The story unwinds at a deliberate pace; every sentence is either downright funny or dense with playful, deadpan humor. The artist/author, as always, gently grants room for differences between people (the turnaround in A Weekend with Wendell , for example, and the reconciliation between Wedge and his stepfather in Two Under Par ). Behind each book is a wide-open heart, one readers can't help but respond to, that makes all of Henkes's books and especially this oneof special value to children.
by Kevin Henkes Year Published: ChallengingFrom the Publisher... She was a perfect baby, and she had a perfect name. Chrysanthemum. When she was old enough to appreciate it, Chrysanthemum loved her name. And then she started school. "I'm named after my grandmother," said Victoria. "You're named after a flower." Chrysanthemum wilted. Life at school didn't improve. In fact, it got worse. Then the students were introduced to their music teacher, Mrs. Twinkle. Mrs. Delphinium Twinkle. And suddenly, Chrysanthemum blossomed.... by Kevin Henkes Year Published: ChallengingFrom the Publisher.... The riotously funny Lilly, last seen in Chester's Way (Greenwillow), thinks her new baby brother, Julius, is disgusting—if he was a number, he would be zero. But when Cousin Garland dares to criticize Julius, Lilly bullies her into loudly admiring Julius as the baby of the world. Julius is the baby of the world, said his parents. But Lilly, his older sister, disagreed. She thought he was disgusting. She hoped he would go away. But he didn't. He stayed and stayed and stayed. Nothing her parents said or did could change Lilly's mind about Julius. But when Cousin Garland had a thing or two to say about the situation, Lilly had a change of heart. by Kevin Henkes Year Published: ChallengingFrom the critics...Meredith Kiger Lilly loves everything about school and her teacher, Mr. Slinger. One day Lilly brings her new purple plastic purse to school. She is so excited to show and tell everyone about it that she can't keep quiet. When Mr. Slinger takes the purse from her, Lilly is angry and resentful. During writing lab, Lilly draws an unflattering picture of Mr. Slinger and sneaks it into his book-bag. Mr. Slinger returns Lilly's purse to her at the end of the day. On the way home, Lilly discovers a treat and an encouraging note from Mr. Slinger. She is embarrassed and sorry for her actions. With her mother's understanding and encouragement, Lilly writes a story and draws a flattering picture of Mr. Slinger in hopes of his forgiveness. The ending is joyful and restores Lilly's positive feelings for school life. by Kevin Henkes Year Published: ChallengingFrom The Critics.... Publisher's Weekly A worthy addition to Henkes's ( Chester's Way ; Julius, the Baby of the World ) impressive, engaging oeuvre, this animated tale takes up the case of a wee mouse's devotion to a no-longer-fuzzy blanket named Fuzzy. Imbued with Henkes's characteristically understated humor, spry text and brightly hued watercolor-and-ink pictures chronicle how Owen's next-door neighbor, Mrs. Tweezers, suggests to Owen's parents a series of ploys to separate their son--who is soon to start school--from Fuzzy. The ingenious mouse foils each attempt, until his resourceful mother stumbles upon ``an absolutely wonderful, positively perfect, especially terrific idea.'' With some snipping and sewing, she transforms the beloved blanket into a batch of very portable handkerchiefs, a stratagem that not only keeps Owen happy but manages to silence the meddling Mrs. Tweezers. Even youngsters unattached to a Fuzzy-like object will feel a kinship with the winningly wily Owen--and parents of the attached may find a useful solution to an age-old dilemma. Ages 3-up. (Sept.) by Kevin Henkes Year Published: ChallengingFrom the Publisher... Sheila Rae is not afraid of anything. She walks backwards with her eyes closed, steps on every crack, growls at stray dogs, and bares her teeth at stray cats. But when Sheila Rae becomes lost on the way home from school, it is her "scaredy cat" sister, Louise, who shows her a thing or two about bravery and sibling love. by Kevin Henkes Year Published: ChallengingFrom the Publisher.... Wendell was spending the weekend at Sophie's house. Playing house, Wendell was the mother, the father, and the children; Sophie was the dog. Playing bakery, Wendell was the baker; Sophie got to be the sweet roll. Wendell shone his flashlight in Sophie's eyes when she tried to sleep. But when he gave her a new hairdo with shaving cream, it was the last straw, and Sophie made up a game that left Wendell speechless for a time — and won the day for friendship. by Kevin Henkes Year Published: ChallengingFrom Our Editors.... Fans of Kevin Henkes's loveable mice heroines from Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse, Chrysanthemum, and Sheila Rae, the Brave, will be delighted to meet little worrywart Wemberly. Poor Wemberly worries about everything: What if the tree in the front yard falls on her house? What if no one comes to her birthday party? Or worse: what if too many mice come and there isn't enough cake? Now, her newest worry is her biggest one yet: the first day of nursery school. But when she meets another mouse who is just like her, she has one less worry: Now she has a friend -- and school is fun. A fresh, funny, heartwarming book, Wemberly Worried offers a reassuring look at starting school, making friends, and growing up.
by Mem Fox Year Published: AverageFrom Our Editors.... "Goodness gracious me!" exclaims Hattie, a splendid black hen, "I can see a nose in the bushes!" The other animals in the yard only answer with boredom and disdain. Hattie continues to warn the others as, bit by bit, a fox emerges. When it pounces, Hattie flies up a tree, but all the other animals are thrown in confusion--except the cow, who gives such a mighty MOO! that the fox is frightened away. The animals' languid indifference and the silly illustrations make this an extremely enjoyable read-aloud. by Mem Fox Year Published: ChallengingFrom The Critics... Children's Literature - Mary Quattlebaum An international bestseller, Possum Magic casts two Australian bush possums in starring roles but also features wombats, dingoes, and emus, rendered endearing by Julie Vivas' soft-toned watercolors. In addition to introducing Australian animals, Fox takes her possums on an eating adventure in search of the Australian foods-vegemite sandwiches, pavlovas, and lamingtons-that will work a necessary magic. The book provides a warm, wonderful first exploration of Australia! by Mem Fox Year Published: ChallengingFrom The Critics... School Library Journal Gr 1-3 A small boy, Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge, knows and likes all of the old folks in the home next door, but his favorite is Miss Nancy Alison Delacourt Cooper she has four names, too. Hearing that she has lost her memory, he asks the old folks what a memory is (``Something from long ago'' ; ``Something that makes you laugh;'' ``Something warm;'' etc.), ponders the answers, then gathers up memories of his own (seashells collected long ago last summer, a feathered puppet with a goofy expression, a warm egg fresh from the hen) to give her. In handling Wilfrid's memories, Nancy finds and shares her own. The illustrationssplashy, slightly hazy watercolors in rosy pastelscontrast the boy's fidgety energy with his friends' slow, careful movements and capture the story's warmth and sentiment. John Peters, New York Public Library
by Eric Carle Year Published: ChallengingFrom The Critics... Publisher's Weekly Hermit Crab moves out of his small shell on the sea floor, in search of a new residence. When he finds a bigger place, a sea anemone offers to move in with him; a starfish agrees to decorate the joint. A snail and a sea urchin are employed for cleaning and protection, a lantern fish for lighting and smooth pebbles are used for a wall. Hermit lives happily for a while, until it is time to move again, to a still larger place. Carle's underwater neighborhood is snug, dynamic and full of possibilities. Droplets of color enrich the sea bottom and blades of seaweed are superimposed on the bright white background, in pictures that are occasionally quite abstract, but always engaging. All ages. by Eric Carle Year Published: ChallengingFrom Our Editors.... The Barnes & Noble Review Award-winning author-illustrator Eric Carle creates an undersea world of dads in this effervescent, educational picture book. Starring Mr. Seahorse -- who grows Mrs. Seahorse's eggs inside a pouch in his belly -- Carle's look at sea creatures follows the hero as he floats through the water, talking to other fathers along the way. As readers see Mr. Seahorse's belly get bigger, they learn about the nest-building Mr. Stickleback, the egg-carrying Mr. Tilapia, and Mr. Kurtus, who keeps Mrs. Kurtus's eggs on his head until they hatch. Mr. Seahorse comes across other fish, too, such as a school of trumpet fish hiding behind a patch of reeds and a lionfish behind a reef -- illustrated acetate pages throughout the book hide the fish until the reader turns the page -- but when Mr. Seahorse's tummy grows big enough, the little seahorses come out and swim away into their new sea world. Carle has dreamed up another winner, sure to transfix readers with its marine-colored illustrations and enlighten them with its message. Buoyant in atmosphere, each page will dazzle you with the author's signature artwork, mixing white space and bright colors that appear gentle yet deeply complex. A perfect way to talk about a family's love and different kinds of dads, especially when paired with Todd Parr's The Daddy Book or Laura Numeroff's What Daddies Do Best. Matt Warner by Eric Carle Year Published: ChallengingFrom The Critics Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot The grouchy ladybug is making her board book debut. She is an unpleasant personality who won't share, is belligerent, and doesn't know how to say please or thank you. The story begins very early in the morning with two lady bugs arriving to feast on a bunch of aphids covering a leaf. The grouchy ladybug won't share and she heads off to pick on someone bigger to fight. She travels for twenty-four hours and ends up right back where she started and somewhat more contrite. In this amusing story, there are lessons about the passage of time, relative sizes, and the importance of manners and good humor. Clocks appear in the upper corners showing the passage of time and the board book pages increase in size as do the creatures the ladybug challenges. It is all delivered in a nondidactic manner through Carle's beautiful collages. 1999 (orig. by Eric Carle Year Published: AverageA synopsis from Barnes and Noble...The chameleon's life was not very exciting until the day it discovered it could change not only its color but its shape and size,too. When it saw the wonderful animals in the zoo, it immediately wanted to be like them -- and ended up likeall of them at once -- with hilarious results. by Eric Carle Year Published: Challenging
From the Publisher Dazzlingly colorful collage illustrations and a simple but dramatic text tell the fascinating story of the life cycle of a flower in terms of the adventures of a tiny seed. Carried aloft by the autumn wind, the tiny seed, along with other bigger seeds, travels far over the world. the journey is perilous: one of the bigger seeds is burned by the sun; another falls into the ocean; still another is eaten by a bird. Even after those that are left have landed on fertile ground and begun to grow, danger is near: one small plant is stepped on; one little flower is picked; but the tiny seed keeps growing almost unnoticed. Young readers will cheer at the happy outcome of this exciting tale. And they will long remember the heartening message of the tiny seed's steadfast perseverance in the face of many hazards and obstacles until its final joyful success.
by Eric Carle Year Published: AverageFrom the Publishers... The farm animals try to divert a busy little spider from spinning her web, but she persists and produces a thing of both beauty and usefulness. The pictures by Eric Carle Year Published: AverageFrom The Critics... Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot One Sunday a very hungry caterpillar hatched. He eats his way through a variety of foods that are boldly and colorfully illustrated. The story progresses with the caterpillar spinning a cocoon and waking up into a butterfly, illustrating one of nature's common but lovely marvels. by Eric Carle Year Published: AverageA Synopsis from Barnes and Noble...One night a very lonely firefly goes off in search of friends. Each time he sees a flicker of light he flies off toward it, but none of them turn out to be fireflies. He sees a lantern, an owl's eyes, even headlights shining in the darkness. Will the lonely firefly ever find creatures like himself? by Eric Carle Year Published: AverageA synopsis from Barnes and Noble...A very quiet cricket who wants to rub his wings together and make a sound as do so many other animals finally achieves his wish. The cricket's sound is reproduced at the end of the book.
by Barbara Park Year Published: ChallengingFrom The Critics..... Publisher's Weekly One of the initial titles released under the First Stepping Stone imprint, chapter books aimed at newly independent readers and arranged in series, Park's ( Skinnybones ) jolly caper is the first installment to feature Junie B., a feisty almost-six-year-old who is not at all happy about riding the bus on the first day of kindergarten. In fact, she doesn't like a single thing about this vehicle: not the kids who get on it (``Loud kids. And some of them were the kind who look like meanies''); not the door (``If it closes on you by accident, it will cut you in half, and you will make a squishy sound''); and not the black smoke it emits (``It's called bus breath, I think''). Other equally candid, on-target perceptions fill Junie B.'s first-person narrative, which is peppered with reader-involving questions (``Only guess what?''; `` 'Cause guess why?'') that help to propel the story at a whiz-bang pace. When a classmate tells Junie B. that kids will pour chocolate milk on her head on the way home, the spunky child finds a way to avoid the dreaded bus. Park convinces beginning readers that Junie B.-- and reading--are lots of fun. Ages 6-9. (Aug.) by Barbara Park Year Published: ChallengingFrom the publisher... Through a misunderstanding, Junie B. thinks that her new baby brother is really a baby monkey, and her report of this news creates excitement and trouble in her kindergarten class. by Barbara Park Year Published: ChallengingFrom the Publisher.... When Mrs. announces Job Day at School, Junie B. gets carried away (as usual!), coming up with the "bestest"—and strangest—job description in Room Nine. "Another hilarious, easy book about Junie B. Jones."—Booklist. by Barbara Park Year Published: ChallengingFrom The Critics... School Library Journal Gr 1-3-Kindergartener Junie B. Jones is back, and she has decided to become a spy. Curious to discover where her teacher, ``Mrs.,'' lives, she takes her sneaky feet out on the case. When she thinks that she has witnessed Mrs. committing a crime, she tries hard to keep quiet, even when a friend warns her that keeping secrets can make your head explode. Junie's chatty narrative style, reminiscent of Eloise, becomes a bit much at times, but her five-going-on-six viewpoint rings true. Young readers ready for short chapter books are close enough to their own kindergarten memories to find Junie B.'s adventures, illustrated with black-and-white drawings, both familiar and funny.-Elaine E. Knight, Lincoln Elementary Schools, IL by Barbara Park Year Published: ChallengingFrom the Publisher.... Junie B. is having a run of bad luck, losing every game at the school carnival. When she finally wins the Cake Walk on her last ticket, she chooses a fruitcake as her prize. But who in the heck knew that sparkly foil-wrapped fruitcake was really a lethal weapon in disguise? "The innocent first-person narrative will make lower-school readers laugh out loud at her mispronunciations as they recognize their own confusion and failure."--Booklist by Barbara Park Year Published: ChallengingFrom the Publisher... "That Jim," Junie B.'s least favorite classmate, is having a birthday party, and guess who's not invited? Hilarious high jinks are sure to ensue when somebody snubs our spunky heroine! by Barbara Park Year Published: ChallengingFrom The Critics.... School Library Journal Gr 2-3--Junie's kindergarten classmates convince her that an invisible monster lives under her bed. Her parents and grandmother are unable to convince her otherwise until Junie hits upon the idea of putting her unflattering school picture under the bed to frighten the monster. In Junie B. Jones Is Not a Crook, the little girl discovers that "finders keepers losers weepers" is not an appealing philosophy when she loses the special gloves her grandfather gave her and the child who finds them doesn't take them to the lost and found. Junie's first-person narration is sprinkled with deliberate grammatical errors and misunderstood word usage in an attempt to show a five-year-old's viewpoint ("I runned home," "They got stoled on purpose."). Precocious use of sophisticated language is also used to achieve an intended humorous effect. The black-and-white, full- and half-page illustrations reflect Junie's cockeyed view of the world and will help attract beginning chapter-book readers. The issues the child is dealing with are right on target for the intended age group, but Junie's personality is more annoying than endearing and the humor lacks freshness and spontaneity. Buy where the series is popular.--Lisa Smith, Lindenhurst Memorial Library, NY by Barbara Park Year Published: ChallengingFrom the Publisher... Junie B. Jones knows what she wants to be when she grows up — a beauty shop guy! All she needs is a little practice. Okay, a lot of practice. And a few volunteers. Like her bunny slippers. And her dog. And maybe even...herself? by Barbara Park Year Published: ChallengingFrom the Publisher.... Junie B. Jones is a very grown-up little lady—So how come everyone treats her like a baby? It's not fair—and Junie B. knows just how to fix the situation. Her aunt Flo is getting married. What a perfect chance for her to show everyone how grown-up she is! Too bad she wasn't picked to be the flower girl in the wedding so she could really show off. But surely Junie B. can still find some way to get everyone's attention— by Barbara Park Year Published: Challenging
From the Publisher... Hurray! February 14, Valentine's Day, as Junie B. calls it, is just around the corner. Junie B. can't wait to see all the valentines she'll get. But she never expected a big, mushy card from a secret admirer! Who is this secret mystery guy, anyway? Junie B. is determined to find out!
by Barbara Park Year Published: ChallengingFrom the publishers... It's almost the end of the school year and Room Nine is taking a field trip to a farm, where the children can see a real barn, an actual farmer, and live animals. But Junie B. wants to know, Where's the gift shop? Surely no one would want her to go home empty-handed! by Barbara Park Year Published: ChallengingFrom Our Editors The Barnes & Noble Review We all love Miss Junie B. Jones, the wonderfully outrageous and infinitely amusing six-year-old created by author Barbara Park. In Junie B. Jones Is a Graduation Girl, our little moppet is set to graduate from kindergarten into the mysterious first grade, where she wonders if she'll see her friends, her school, or her principal again. Then she receives her starched white graduation gown -- a garment simply made for twirling about and dancing -- and all such worries go out of her head. In spite of her teacher's warning not to touch the caps and gowns until graduation day, Junie can't resist trying them on for everyone: Mom, Grandpa, even her stuffed animal friends. Before she knows it, there's purple grape juice on her gown. (As Junie puts it, "Grape juice can go wrong.") Devastated, she hides the evidence until the big day, when she dresses at school. When her purple stains are discovered, she bursts into tears -- but in a commendable act of kindness and friendship, her classmates dot their gowns with colored markers so Junie will not stand out. by Barbara Park Year Published: ChallengingFrom the Publisher... Something very wonderful is happening to Junie B. Jones. And it’s called—hurray, hurray!—she’s getting to be a professional lunch lady! And that means hanging out with Mrs. Gutzman in the cafeteria. And standing behind the counter. And even wearing a real actual hair net! Who knows? Pretty soon she could be the boss of the whole entire lunch operation! by Barbara Park Year Published: ChallengingFrom Our Editors The Barnes & Noble Review... Who'd ever want to be a lunch lady? Junie B. Jones, that's who! In Barbara Park's chapter book starring that spunky first-grader, a hairnet-wearing, apron-sporting Junie B. is helping take care of the cafeteria and serving up lots of laughs. When Junie B. hears that bought lunches are better than brought lunches, she's not thrilled to be carrying her new lunch box. But her dismay turns to elation when she learns that Mrs. Gutzman, her favorite kindergarten snack bringer, is a worker in the school's cafeteria. Junie quickly finds herself recruited for kitchen duty, and she gears herself up for the new responsibilities and uniform. Yet when her classmates jab her about not being a legit lunch worker, she ends up creating a scene that kills their appetites and gets her job revoked. After a little time on the class "stinkle" list, Junie finally gets to be Boss of Cookies when Mrs. Gutzman asks her to help pass out some sugary snacks. Barbara Park's Junie B. Jones is as clever and feisty as ever. A great read for any kid wanting to find out what's behind the lunchroom door, Boss of Lunch will have everyone giggling out loud and nodding their head at Junie B.'s exuberance and embarrassment. Adults will also appreciate this series because it encourages the younger set to read longer chapter books on their own. Junie B. Jones knows how to dish out the fun! by Barbara Park Year Published: ChallengingFrom the Publisher.... Afternoon kindergarten is having a field day, and Junie B. Jones is team captain! Only, here's the problem. Room Eight keeps on winning too many events. And so how will Room Nine ever become the kindergarten champions? As Captain Field Day, will Junie B. find a way to lead her team to victory? Or will it be up to someone else to save the day? by Barbara Park Year Published: ChallengingFrom the Publisher... Illustrated in black-and-white. The world's funniest kindergartner is on a mission! Junie B. revamps her image in hopes of snagging Lucille's boyfriend, handsome Warren. Is Junie B. Jones dressed to kill? by Barbara Park Year Published: ChallengingFrom the Publisher.... Junie B.'s missing mittens are not in the Lost and Found. So when she finds a wonderful pen on the floor, it's only fair that she should get to keep it, right? Right? by Barbara Park Year Published: ChallengingFrom the Publisher... Lucille is having a sleepover party, and Junie B. Jones can't wait! That's because Lucille lives in her richie nanna's big giant house. But before Mother and Daddy will let her go, Junie B. has to learn all the rules of spending the night. Like no running. And no head-butting. And no talking back to the nanna. Only, what kind of dull party is that? Surely Junie B. will find some way to make things interesting...
by Jan Brett Year Published: AverageA synopsis from Barnes and Noble...Jan Brett's beloved character Hedgie stars in this charming story about a little Tomten who gets tired of porridge for breakfast and starts stealing Henny's eggs. But Henny wants a brood of chicks and she needs her eggs. With the help of clever Hedgie, she substitutes an acorn, a strawberry, a mushroom and finally a potato in her nest. But nothing stops that Tomten until the little hedgehog hides in Henny's nest: when the Tomten reaches in to get his morning treat, all he gets is a handful of prickles. He runs home for porridge and never comes back again! by Jan Brett Year Published: ChallengingFrom the Publisher..... Jan Brett's highly original version of the Gingerbread Boy story has quickly become a family classic. Now, the charming tale of Matti's clever trap for the runaway Gingerbread Baby is available as a beautiful board book for younger readers. And it still features a surprise lift-the-flap gingerbread house at the end! by Jan Brett Year Published: AverageFrom The Critics... Publisher's Weekly In this agreeable companion to The Mitten, a Scandinavian girl prepares for winter's arrival by hanging her woolens out to air. When a red-and-white patterned sock falls from the line and gets stuck on his prickles, a hedgehog (who bears the too-cute name of Hedgie) acquires a curious-looking hat. Various farmyard animals mock him, but when Hedgie explains that his new headgear will protect him from the impending snowfall, they are inspired to search out similar garb. Leaving a more lasting impression than this sparse plot, Brett's signature art introduces animal characters as endearing and expressive as those who congregated in her earlier book's expandable white mitten. The format here is familiar as well: the artist frames her double-page pictures with broad borders depicting additional goings-on that hint at the tale's outcome. As before, Brett demonstrates an expert eye for color, rendering the child's embroidered coat and lush, patterned knits in vivid primary hues that pop boldly from the cool, subdued tones of the northern winter landscape and sky. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) by Jan Brett Year Published: ChallengingFrom The Critics..... Publisher's Weekly Baba, Nicki's grandmother, knits pure white mittens for him, even though she is afraid that he will lose them in the snow. Sure enough, the first time Nicki is out, he drops one and some animals promptly move into its snug wool interior. First comes a mole, then a rabbit, a hedgehog, an owl, a badger, a fox, a bear and, finally, a mouse. That mouse tickles the bear's nose and he sneezes, dislodging all of the animals at once. Nicki finds his mitten, and takes it home, but Baba is left to wonder about how it became so enormously stretched out. Brett's magnificent paintings feature her usual array of folk details, and this time, intricate knitting tracks, ornate embroidery, the crusty, peeling texture of the birch bark borders and the exquisite patterns found in Baba's homey rooms. Readers will sit back, suspend belief and welcome this tall tale from the Ukrainian tradition. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) by Jan Brett Year Published: AverageA synopsis from Barnes and Noble...Aloo-ki glances up from fishing and sees her sled dogs floating off on an ice floe. She races after them and comes upon an igloo. Being a curious girl, she goes inside only to find no one home. That's because the polar bear family who lives there is out walking while their breakfast cools off. Aloo-ki eats some soup, tries on their boots, and finally crawls into the smallest bed for a nap. Meanwhile, Papa, Mama, and Baby Bear see her dogs adrift, swim out to rescue them and return home to find Aloo-ki fast asleep in Baby Bear's bed. by Jan Brett Year Published: ChallengingA synopsis by Barnes and Noble...A walk through the Costa Rican cloud forest provides a wonderfullylush setting for Jan Brett's beloved animal illustrations. When Carlos drops his umbrella to climb a tree for a better view of the animals, they all cram into the banana-leaf umbrella as it floats by—from the little tree frog to the baby tapir to the big jaguar and more. It gets so crowded in the umbrella that there isn't even enough room for a little hummingbird! So over the umbrella tumbles, everyone falls out, and poor Carlos comes back wondering why he didn't see any animals all day. In the spirit of Jan Brett's The Mitten and The Hat, this cheerful tale of escalation will have readers poring over every illustration for the world of details Jan packs in. With its classic story, exotic jungle setting, and brilliantly colorful menagerie, The Umbrella is sure to take its place among Jan's many family favorites.