These books are really new; some actually won’t be released until later this month, which is a little bit of a pain. I mean, I routinely check out an enormous number of books from the library and buy very few. So… this fresh off the presses (err, some not even quite off the presses)? Mmm… most libraries don’t have the books listed in their catalogs. Ergo – no way to put them on hold. Yet. Soon though.
You know about that put-it-on-hold-at-the library button, right? Well… just in case… From here (or other lists on this site), when you see a book you like, click on the image of the book or the “read more” link. That takes you to the book’s page. On the right you’ll see a button that says, “Find in a Library Worldcat.” That’s the one you want. Here's what it looks like...This button is your friend. Worldcat’s a totally legit, awesome site that librarians use all the time to hunt down books for patrons. You enter your zip code – and you’ll only have to do this once – and it’ll give you a list of the libraries closest to you that have the book. Click on your library. Place the book on hold. Swing by the library and grab your book(s) in a couple days. Voila! All sorts of free goodies. Pretty cool, eh?
Anyhew… Books! I am so excited about Rain Fish by Lois Ehlert. Ehlert won a Caldecott Honor for illustrating Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. This book is a really cool kind of whimsical. The artwork in Rain Fish is a series of collages made out of found materials, which Ehlert demonstrates come to life in streams of rainwater as storms come in. It’s something that I think children can really connect with because this is the exactly the sort of thing that kid’s imaginations naturally produce. They’ll find a bottle cap or bit of lint, and to us, their discovery just seems like garbage. Then the child explains what it is and what you do with it, and poof, the garbage is transformed into treasure! And can you, mom or dad, ever help but smile? I love that.
Another book I can’t wait to read is Are We There Yet? by 2015 Caldecott Medal winner Dan Santat. Are We There Yet? promises to be a spectacular story of a boy’s imagination during a boring car trip. The boy feels that time is going so slow, that it actually starts going backward. He races through time to meet pirates, knights, and dinosaurs. Expert reviewers are all saying that the book is awesome and that the format is inventive/unique/never-seen-before. But how exactly? Guess we’ll have to find out. I can’t wait to read it!
Next on my list is The Night Gardener. Ahhh, it looks awesome, beautiful, stunning, amazing. It’s about an orphan boy whose town is transformed, one magnificent topiary at a time, by a mysterious night gardener. The boy’s awe and wonder at these works of plant sculpture is instantly felt when viewing the illustrations. Be sure to check out the Amazon preview and images. Amazing.
Also, by the New York Times bestselling author and illustrator team of Wolfie the Bunny… Horrible Bear! When a girl discovers that Bear has crushed her kite, she shouts, “Horrible Bear!” and storms away. This explosion upsets Bear, and the reaction is only quelled after the girl has time to calm down and apologizes. The girl and Bear’s friendship is soon mended. According to reviewers this burst of temper may look familiar to parents of preschoolers. J Humor and heart – my kind a’ combo.
I’m also super excited about Spot, the Cat, which is a rich, artistic I Spy or Where’s Waldo-esque picture book. A boy’s cat leaves through a window and the boy tries to track him down, but is always a step behind. Intricate drawings of vibrant city life compliment the story of the search. Apparently, finding the cat in the drawings is a genuine challenge, even for grown-up eyes. There’s so much to love about this wordless picture book.
I’m looking forward to Be a Friend, which is a story about a boy who is a mime. No one really gets him, until one day somebody does. So sweet.
I also can’t wait to read The Wheels on the Tuk Tuk! Sometimes good kids books can be heavy. On the contrary, this nursery rhyme transformed takes readers on a joyful ride through the city streets of India. There is so much liveliness and color in the illustrations, you’ll be bouncing along as you sing. There’s a lot of cool cultural info in this book, but it most definitely doesn’t feel like a lesson.
Seeing stars? Professional book reviewers only award a star to exceptional books. More than one star means experts from multiple organizations felt the book was outstanding.
by Lois Ehlert
published April 26, 2016
School Library Journal Booklist
Get to know the “rain fish” that come to life during rainstorms in this gorgeous exploration of nature with vibrant collage artwork from the Caldecott Honor–winning illustrator of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.
When blue sky turns gray and it rains all day, sometimes rain fish come out and play.
Are We There Yet?
by Dan Santat
published April 12, 2016
Booklist Kirkus Reviews Publishers Weekly
Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat takes readers on the road trip of a lifetime!
The Night Gardener
by Terry Fan
illustrated by Eric Fan
published February 16, 2016
School Library Journal Kirkus Reviews Publishers Weekly
In the spirit of Goodnight Moon and The Curious Garden comes a stunning debut picture book filled with whimsy and creativity from brothers Terry and Eric Fan.
One day, William discovers that the tree outside his window has been sculpted into a wise owl. In the following days, more topiaries appear, and each one...READ MORE
Be a Friend
by Salina Yoon
published January 5, 2016
Dennis is an ordinary boy who expresses himself in extraordinary ways. Some children do show-and-tell. Dennis mimes his. Some children climb trees. Dennis is happy to BE a tree . . . But being a mime can be lonely. It isn't until Dennis meets a girl named Joy that he...READ MORE
by Ame Dyckman
illustrated by Zachariah OHora
published April 5, 2016
School Library Journal Booklist Publishers Weekly
The New York Times-bestselling duo behind Wolfie the Bunny presents a hilarious new book about accidents, outbursts, manners...and the power of saying "I'm sorry."
Bear didn't mean to break a little girl's kite, but she's upset anyway--upset enough to shout "HORRIBLE BEAR!" Bear is indignant. He doesn't think he's horrible! Then Bear gets a truly Horrible...READ MORE
The Wheels on the Tuk Tuk
by Kabir Sehgal,
by Surishtha Sehgal
illustrated by Jess Golden
published January 12, 2016
School Library Journal
From the mother-son duo behind the New York Times bestselling A Bucket of Blessings comes a zany picture book about a wild ride on a tuk tuk taxi in India!
This picture book brings an international twist to the beloved nursery rhyme, The Wheels on the Bus, by bringing you aboard a busy three-wheeled...READ MORE
The Cow Who Climbed a Tree
by Gemma Merino
published March 1, 2016
School Library Journal Booklist
Tina isn't like the other cows. She believes that the sky is the limit and that everything is possible. But her sisters aren't convinced--and when Tina tells them she has climbed a tree and met a dragon, they decide that her nonsense has gone too far. Off they go into...READ MORE
Olinguito, de La A a la Z!/Olinguito, from A to Z!
by Lulu Delacre
published February 15, 2016
School Library Journal Booklist Kirkus Reviews Publishers Weekly
With lyrical text in both Spanish and English, we travel to the magical world of a cloud forest in the Andes of Ecuador. We discover the bounty of plants, animals, and other organisms that live there as we help a zoologist look for the elusive olinguito, the first new mammal...READ MORE
Listen to Our World
by Bill Martin Jr.,
by Michael Sampson
illustrated by Melissa Sweet
published March 15, 2016
School Library Journal Booklist
From beloved storytellers Bill Martin Jr. and Michael Sampson and with shimmering illustrations by Caldecott Honor artist Melissa Sweet comes a celebration of the animals all around us!
Squawk! Hiss! Grr! Roar!
Big, small, black, brown—all kinds of animals make their home in our world. From the jungle to the...READ MORE
Spot, the Cat
by Henry Cole
published March 1, 2016
School Library Journal Booklist Kirkus Reviews
Simple and stunning images tell the story of a cat named Spot as he weaves his way in and out of a city in this wordless picture book from award-winning author-illustrator Henry Cole.
Through this gorgeous visual narrative, Henry Cole shows us a day in the life of a cat...READ MORE
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Hi! I'm Sarah. I'm a former librarian and mother of two -- a teen daughter and a preschooler son. We love to play outdoors... and read. :)
This site is all about discovering great books to share with kids and teens. ...Read more