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Archive for the month “May, 2013”

New Elephant & Piggie Coming!

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A BIG GUY TOOK MY BALL! BY MO WILLEMS (Hyperion, 2013)

The entire Elephant & Piggie series tickles me and kids absolutely love them. I just happened to see that the new one will be out on May 21st . It is called A Big Guy Took My Ball? and the cover makes it look like it will be a hoot. Mark your calendars! Barnes & Noble has a preorder offering at $5.48 each and that’s with free shipping if you are a B&N member. I like to have multiple copies of E&P because they are so great for Reader’s Theater and at that price, I can afford extra copies!

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Brief Thief by Michael Escoffier

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BRIEF THIEF BY MICHAEL ESCOFFIER (Enchanted Lion, 2013)

Sometimes a book does not come to my attention but, instead, a good friend finds it and let’s me know. Cicely Shelton-Barnes brought this book to a Virginia Readers’ Choice meeting and had all of us in tears from laughing. This book is a sure-fire hit for young children and the fact that the word “underpants” is in it is part of the reason. Cicely is a gifted 2nd grade teacher so she knows well what makes kids laugh. Lizard has had a lovely breakfast and realizes soon afterwards that he has to (ahem) do his business. He hides behind a tree, takes care of business but finds there is no paper. He does spy a pair of discarded briefs hanging on a branch and uses them. A short time he hears  voice saying, “Who do you think you are?” It says it’s his conscience and begins to make Lizard think that maybe he did take a pair of underpants that weren’t meant for him. The voice makes him wash out the underpants and hang them out to dry. Lizard scampers away and then a bunny appears who says, “Old underpants full of holes, indeed?” What happens next will have your kids rolling on the floor laughing! You didn’t think I’d give away the ending, did you? Buy this book – it’s a guaranteed crowd pleaser.

That Is NOT a Good Idea!

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THAT IS NOT A GOOD IDEA! BY MO WILLEMS (Balzer + Bray, 2013)

Straying from his well-known Duck and his Elephant & Piggie series, Willems’ new book is a clever spin on an old tale of a fox outsmarting his prey. This fox may be clever but watch out for goose! The chicks who act as the “audience” keep us distracted enough to let the table turns without us noticing it. All in all, a fun farce that packs an unexpected punch. 

Ball

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BALL BY MARY SULLIVAN (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013)

From a first glance at the cover, the sense is that this book is going to deliver some laughs. Dogs lying on their backs look so vulnerable and, well, silly, and this one cannot take his eyes off of his ball. The ball. What is it about balls that make dogs go so bonkers? It’s a toy, yes, but it also is a connection with their human. A ball dropped at a human’s feet means, “Play with me, pleeeeeez” and the message is so packed with neediness that one can never turn them down. This single-mindedness obsession is evident on the first page where our dog is waking up in his little girl’s bed with a ball already in his mouth. As she dresses for school she throws the ball every chance she gets. But he knows what it means when she walks out that door and the expression on his face with a clock on the wall behind him shows how desperate he is for ‘ball!” He tries to play with mom, baby, cat, and even clothes hamper. Not so much fun. He finally falls asleep and dreams of “ball!” When he hears movement near the front door he goes apoplectic as he anticipates his little girl coming in to play “ball!” This wordless picture books needs absolutely no words because EVERYTHING is in the illustrations. This is a wonderful adventure with a wonderfully insane dog and kids who know and love dogs will love it. 

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