As summer comes to a close, we think of things we love: walks on the beach, watermelons, and time to read whatever we want. So as you gear up for the fall, take that last walk on the beach, go to your farmer’s market and select fresh fruits and vegetables for dinner, and settle down in your cozy backyard chair with a pile of books from your favorite authors. Take a look at these new titles from some of our literature stars.
ASTON, Dianna Hutts. A Rock is Lively. illus. by Sylvia Long. Chronicle. 2012. ISBN 9781452106458. JLG Level: NEK: Nonfiction Early Elementary (Grades K-2)
The team that brought us An Egg is Quiet (Chronicle, 2006) is back this fall with a new nonfiction picture book about a well-loved topic—rocks. In their award-winning style, Hutts and Long tell the multi-faceted story about how rocks are made, how they help us, and how we use them. Gorgeous illustrations (even on the end pages) strengthen the text. You’ll want to add this to your geology collection and perhaps put a few rock samples nearby.
BANG, Molly and Penny Chisholm. Ocean Sunlight: How Tiny Plants Feed the Seas. illus. by Molly Bang. Scholastic/Blue Sky. 2012. ISBN 9780545273220. JLG Level: SCE: Science Nonfiction Elementary (Grades 2-6)
The pair behind Living Sunlight (Scholastic) brings us Ocean Sunlight for the fall. Though it may seem there are so many facts included in the few short pages of the picture book, there are far more phytoplankton in the seas. The earth’s surface is 75% water. From those that eat the phytoplankton to those who eat marine snow (“poop and mucus, carcasses and guts”), the ocean is full of life and food. Back matter includes even more facts to share with our voracious readers.
HALL, Michael. Cat Tale. illus. by author. HarperCollins/Greenwillow. 2012. ISBN 9780061915161. JLG Level: P: Primary (Grades K-1)
It’s math. It’s language. It’s art. It’s lots of fun. Hall is back (My Heart is Like a Zoo) with a new geometrical rhyming adventure for the young and young at heart. Lillian, Tilly, and William J. explore the world as words lead the way. “They pack some books and kitty chews. They choose a spot. They spot some ewes.” Somewhere along the way, things get jumbled up, but they straighten out the tale, and start their adventure again. Bright pictures and a large font add to the ease of sharing this book with a group.
HOOD, Susan. Spike, the Mixed-Up Monster. illus. by Melissa Sweet. S & S/Paula Wiseman. Sept. 2012. ISBN 9781442406018. JLG Level: K: Kindergarten (Grades PreK-K)
Sometimes a picture book does more than entertain at storytime. Such is the case in this title. Spike wants to be a big scary monster, but he’s actually tiny and cute. When a scary Gila monster arrives on the scene, Spike accidentally saves the day and becomes the hero. Readers will love the underdog theme and the surprising Gila monster. In addition to offering a moral to the story, the book includes photos and facts about Spike and his friends. It’s also bilingual and includes a Spanish word glossary. Brilliant!
WILLEMS, Mo. Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs. illus. by author. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray. 2012. ISBN 9780062104182. HE: Humor Elementary (grades 2-6)
Once upon a time, there were three Dinosaurs: Papa Dinosaur, Mama Dinosaur, and “some other dinosaur who happened to be visiting from Norway.” Even without the illustrations, you can’t help but laugh. The story begs to be read aloud–again and again. Willems’ hilarious retelling of Goldilocks is a surefire winner. And it’s Mo Willems. Enough said.
Junior Library Guild is a collection development service that helps school and public libraries acquire the best new children’s and young adult books. Season after season, year after year, Junior Library Guild book selections go on to win awards, collect starred or favorable reviews, and earn industry honors. Visit us at www.JuniorLibraryGuild.com.
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