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Recommended Reads


April 2014

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Camping Trip


Cheers for a Dozen Ears: A Summer Crop of Counting by Felicia Sanzari Chernesky, ill. By Susan Swan (jE)

Just in time for summer, Cheers for a Dozen Ears takes readers on a trip to a farmers market during a hot day in August.  Children can count and rhyme their way through favorite summertime fruits and veggies, including watermelon and a dozen ears of corn. There is plenty to see on each page of brightly colored collages. Find a cozy spot in the shade to read this book before your next outing to the local farmers market.

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch by Anne Isaacs, ill. by Kevin Hawkes (jE)

This is a witty story about the widow Tulip Jones who inherits a whopping thirty five million dollars and a ranch in By-Golly Gully, Texas. She soon learns that everything in Texas grows bigger, from her crops to her pet tortoises. But the biggest things in Texas are the stories that come out of it! In this tall tale one thousand untamed ranchers and cowboys, along with a few genuine Texas scoundrels like Sheriff Arroyo and his brother Spit, are out to win her fortune through marriage. Widow Jones hires a humble baker, Charlie Doughpuncher, to help her feed the single cowboys who drop by to win her hand, but only one man can win her heart. How will she ever get rid of them all? Saddle up and get ready for a wild ride in this uproarious original folktale.

Over and Under the Snowe

Maple by Lori Nichols (jE)

Before she was born, Maple’s parents planted a maple tree in her honor. Together Maple and her tree grew. She loved to lie beneath the branches and watch the leaves dance. Though she loved her tree and it loved her, Maple was still lonely. After a long winter on a bright spring day a willow tree begins to sprout next to Maple’s tree. What does it mean? That soon Maple and her tree won’t be lonely anymore. Maple is the first picture book by Lori Nichols. It is a wonderful story about growing up and becoming a big sister. The illustrations, drawn in pencil and then digitally colored, are sweet and charming. This is a great book for preschoolers who are about to become big siblings.

Welcome to Dog Beach by Lisa Greenwald (Tween)

Remy, Micayla, and Bennett have been best summer friends since they were very small and their families first began spending the season on Seagate Island. This year is different, though, because Remy is without her other best friend and constant companion - her dog, Danish. When she is asked to help out with a neighbor’s dog she and her friends decide to start a full-time doggie day care business. Even as they work and hang out together every day, their summer friendship is strained as new faces and interests start to come between the three of them. This first installment of the Seagate Summer series is a light and airy exploration of the changes that take place in relationships as children become teenagers. Remy on the cusp of young womanhood will strike a comforting chord with girls who are experiencing that fine line between the fear and excitement of growing up.



Extraordinary Warren, A Super Chicken by Sarah Dillard (J)

Warren is an ordinary chicken who is tired of pecking and peeping. So when he overhears Millard the rat wishing for a special chicken, a chicken supreme, Warren jumps at the chance to be something special. Millard is excited to hear there are more chickens, and invites everyone to a barbecue. But when Warren realizes that having “chickens for dinner” could mean two totally different things, he jumps into action. With graphic novel like panels interspersed with short chapters containing bright pictures, this eye-catching title defies expectations, just like Warren.


Over and Under the Snowe


Eye to Eye: How Animals See the World by Steve Jenkins (j573.88 Je)

Did you know that the colossal squid has eyes the size of basketballs? Or that the blue mountain swallowtail butterfly can see colors that are invisible to us? Or that one eye on a halibut migrates to the other side of its head as it gets older?  These are some of the amazing, but true facts in this latest installment from Steve Jenkins. Here the reader will gain fascinating insight about animal eyesight. Included is a brief lesson at the beginning of the book on the origin and different types of sight. Helpful sections on the evolution of the eye, animal facts, and a glossary of terms encourage further learning. And as always, Jenkins’ vibrant, torn paper illustrations are a delight.

The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life by Lois Ehlert (jB EHL)

Lois Ehlert, when asked why she chose art as a career, says that art chose her, and that is easy to believe while reading this illustrated biography. Her life is as colorful and whimsical as her picture books for which she collects folk art, vibrant paper, and treasures from the natural world. She has illustrated 35 books, 25 of which she also wrote, and her ideas and inspiration seem boundless. This is a wonderful book for budding artists, rich in images from her books and advice for creating a picture book, and even including ideas for art projects based on her stories. It’s a feast for the eyes and the artistic soul.