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Library Finds: Great Books for Children

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett. A book for children 5 and up with oodles of creativity. The story is of a grandfather who tells his grandchildren a tall tell about a town where it rains food. I don't understand why authors tell stories about people telling stories. I think the middle man should be eliminated. (Book Rating: 8)

Mustache by Mac Barnett. An excellent book for an only child or any child with narcissistic tendencies, which I suppose might be anyone. The story is about a very bad king who is very handsome. I chuckled to myself throughout the first reading, and continued to chuckle as Philip read the book to the children again and again. He does great voices. (Book Rating: 9)

The Eleventh Hour by Graeme Base. As always, this author's illustrations are phenomenal: full of detail and hidden pictures. This book is a bit tough for a 5-year-old. Probably perfect for a 7-year-old. A mystery book with clues and extra items to find in the pictures. Great rhyming cadence too. (Book Rating: 10)

Pest Fest by Julia Durango. Despite being slightly grossed-out, this was a clever, well illustrated—perhaps too well illustrated—bug book about insects competing to be the best pest. (Book Rating: 7)

Beautiful Moon: a Child's Prayerby Tonya Bolden. Although this book seemed to be lacking in poetry, I loved how it compelled my children to think about the poor and worried and sick. The story is about a boy praying for different people. Lovely illustrations. (Book Rating: 7)

Mazeways A to Z, by Roxie Munro. A fabulous book for children who must sit still for long periods of time. Each page was a maze within a letter of the alphabet with instructions on where to go and other items to find along the way. (Book Rating: 10)

Rosie's Ballet Slippers, by Susan Hampshire. How could I not fall for a book entitled Rosie's Ballet Slippers? I have a daughter named Rose who likes ballet, but I suppose a Sandra or Lily or Ava would enjoy this book too. The illustrations look like they were pictures done from photographs and are done very well. This book outlines all the basics of ballet for a young child. (Book Rating: 7)

Locomotive by Brian Floca. A marvelously well illustrated book that explains all the inner workings of a train trip across the United States back in the day. Accurate (as far as I could tell), and easy to understand, though rather long for anyone under 5.  A Caldecott Award winner as well as a Robert F. Sibert Honor book. (Book Rating: 8)

Mister Bud Wears the Cone, by Carter Goodrich. This book had so many emotional interactions between two dogs and their owner that I must put it in my list of favorites. This is a great book to open discussion with children about shame, frustration, guilt, gloating, bullying, mocking, forgiveness, and sympathy. And it's just a simple book about a dog that has to wear a cone on his head. Nothing feels forced. Simple but well expressed illustrations. (Book Rating: 8)

Fairy Tales for Mr. Barker, by Jessica Ahlberg. Very creative perusal through various fairy tales. A little girl and her dog go on a journey through the book's cutout windows going from one fairy tale to the next. Minimal text, detailed illustrations with plenty for children to see and find. (Book Rating: 7)

The Z Was Zapped by Chris Van Allsburg. This is the author who also won picture book illustration awards for Jumanji and the Polar Express. Excellent alphabet book that acts something like a guessing game as parents and children try to guess what is happening to each letter on each page. I believe these are charcoal drawings. Excellent still life. Phil said this was his second favorite alphabet book. (Book Rating: 9)


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