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Library Finds: Great Books for Children

Here are the library finds for the month.

As the children's attention spans lengthen, the possibilities at Whittier Public Library increase. Rose too will sit through a fairly lengthy tale without squirming. However, that is because she is a naturally contented sitter.

Over the last several months, I've noticed an overabundance of stories called "So-and-so Finds a Way," and "When You Plant a Seed," and "Joey's New Sister."

Again, my rating criteria is based on illustrations, parental appeal, storyline, and whether or not my children requested them again and again.

Please Mr. Panda by Steve Antony. A quick story with simplistic bold-colored pictures for young readers ages 1-3. The story follows a panda who offers his donuts to different black and white animals. (Book Rating: 7)

Journey by Aaron Becker. Wordless book with gorgeous illustrations. Wildly creative. The story follows a bored girl who finds a magic piece of chalk. With it she draws the means of her escape from various situations in a magical world. Lee really liked this one. (Book Rating: 9)

Angelina's Birthday by Helen Craig. A book for a child older than 3 as it deals with somewhat complex emotions and relationships. Scrawly, watercolored illustrations with plenty for children to see and find. This is the story about a mouse who breaks her old bike and desires to have a new one. A fun read for our family right before Christmas and a new bike for Lee. (Book Rating: 8)

Strega Nona: An Old Tale by Tomie Depaola. Perhaps my rating of this book is based on Philip's hysterical way of reading it. He does great accents. Another lengthy tale, best for a toddler 3 or older. The storyline is similar to the magician's apprentice. I like the style of his illustrations too, simple, clear, bold, outlined in black. (Book Rating: 8)

A Child's Garden: A Story of Hope by Michael Foreman. This story was an excellent balance of fact and fiction. I believe the story was base on national conflicts in the middle-east. Scrawly watercolor illustrations using color and the lack thereof to represent states of poverty and growth. This story tells about a boy who nurtures a vine that is uprooted by soldiers. (Book Rating: 8)

Lights Out by Arthur Geisert. A devilishly creative book about a piglet that invents a device to turn off the light after he's fallen asleep. A wordless book with excellent illustrations that ooze of boyish invention.  (Book Rating: 10)

Sleep Like a Tiger by Mary Logue. A Caldecott Honor Book for good reason. This story is about a girl who doesn't want to go to sleep and so her parents tell her about how all the other animals go to sleep. Poetic and lovely cadence. If the pictures had been less bizarre this book may have rated higher. (Book Rating: 7)

The Bear Went Over the Mountain by Iza Trapani. Rose has taken a liking to songs and books that go with them. This book was the song "The Bear Went Over the Mountain" with a number of new verses. Each verse centered on one of the five senses. Very tactile and vivid. The pictures were just okay. (Book Rating: 8)

The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper. An old classic. For children 3 and older. (Book Rating: 9)

Tree-Ring Circus by Adam Rex. Clever rhymes and great illustrations with plenty for small children to discover. A counting book about all the animals that gather in a tree. (Book Rating: 8)

Harry, The Dirty Dog by Gene Zion. Another old classic that children like for whatever reason. I remember my mom reading this one to me as a child too. (Book Rating: 7)


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