Book Review: Buddy and the Bunnies in: Don’t Play with Your Food! by Bob Shea

dont-play-with-your-food-by_bob_sheaRARR!!  Buddy the monster has his eye on some bunnies!  But how can he eat them when they’re about to make delicious cupcakes?  Or go swimming?  Or go to the fair?  Every day Buddy promises to eat them tomorrow.  But Buddy may have forgotten the rule… you don’t play with your food!  Buddy and the Bunnies in: Don’t Play with Your Food! is fun and colorful and hilarious in the way only Bob Shea can be.  The headline implies that there will be more of these books, and I for one can’t wait!

– Emily

Buddy and the Bunnies in: Don’t Play With Your Food! by Bob Shea; Hyperion Books; 16.99; 3-6 years old

Miss Megan’s Five Star Favorites, Part I

I’m a pretty critical reader. I guess that’s because I read a lot of things, so inevitably I start to feel a little jaded. But when a special book crosses my path, one that jolts me out of my stupor with its originality or voice or what have you, I get very excited.

For this reason, I love Goodreads. Not only can I keep track of what I’ve read, but I can organize books based on how I rated them. And at the tippy-top of the list is my handful of five star picks, the books that I think are just plain extraordinary.

This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen; Candlewick Press; 15.99; Ages 3-adult

Opening line: “This hat is not mine. I just stole it.”

For fans of: I Want My Hat BackI’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean

Also, it’s this year’s Caldecott medalist.

Chloe and the Lion by Mac Barnett, illus. by Adam RexHyperion (HarperCollins); 16.99; Ages 3-8

Opening line: “This is me, Mac. I’m the author of this book.”

For fans of: The Three PigsOh, No!: or How My Science Project Destroyed the World

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland by Catherynne M. ValenteSquare Fish (Macmillan); 6.99; Ages 9-adult

Opening line: “Once upon a time, a girl named September grew very tired indeed of her parents’ house, where she washed the same pink-and-yellow teacups and matching gravy boats every day, slept on the same embroidered pillow, and played with the same small and amiable dog.”

For fans of: The Chronicles of NarniaAlice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Breadcrumbs by Anne UrsuHarperCollins; 6.99; Ages 9-adult

Opening line: “It snowed right before Jack stopped talking to Hazel, fluffy white flakes big enough to show their crystal architecture, like perfect geometric poems.”

For fans of: Peter PanLiesl and Po

Okay for Now by Gary SchmidtClarion (Houghton Mifflin); 16.99; Ages 10-adult

Opening line: “Joe Pepitone once gave me his New York Yankees baseball cap. I’m not lying. He gave it to me. To me, Doug Swieteck. To me.”

For fans of: The Wednesday WarsAl Capone Does My Shirts

Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy SchlitzCandlewick Press; 17.99; Ages 10-adult

Opening line: “The witch burned. She tossed in a sea of blankets, dizzy with heat. It was fever, not fire, that tormented her, fever and the nightmares that came with it.”

For fans of: Charles DickensCatherine, Called Birdy

And it’s a 2013 Newbery Honor Book!

Want to read more from any of these awesome titles? Call us and we’ll put them on hold! (703) 548-4092.

Read on, readers!

Miss Megan

Are you ready for Shark Week?

Shark Week is soon, very soon according to this countdown, and we have the books to teach you everything about sharks!

Did you know that “a great white’s coloring makes it difficult to see in the water, so it can sneak up on its victims”? Neither did I until I looked through this book.  This SHARK book is full of fantastic photos and every inch of the page is covered in facts about sharks, from shark attacks to how we study sharks to the life of a young shark. This book will have the answers.

Now, if the DK Eyewitness books are too detailed for you, DK has also published Everything you need to know about sharks and other creatures of the deep. This book has a lot of information about sharks, with real pictures and cartoons. There are fewer words than in the DK Eyewitness book, so it is easier for beginning readers to  read, and it is fun for a read aloud. This book also has information about other creatures of the ocean; for example, angler-fish, porcupine fish, seahorses, and more.

Looking for a book that’s more than a book? Shark-Tastic is another fact book about sharks which includes little known facts about sharks, what sharks eat, and of course, shark attacks. It comes with real shark teeth!  (Be careful with those). We also have a beginning reader book that has pictures in 3-D. View Sharks and the World’s Scariest Sea Monsters with the fun shark 3-D glasses that come with this book. It is great for kids just learning to read, but it still has plenty of information about sharks.

Have you done all the research that you possibly can about sharks? We have shark fiction, too!

Just like 3-6 year olds, sharks are not afraid of anything (except for spiders). I’m A Shark by Bob Shea, is a hilarious read-aloud about a shark who isn’t afraid of dinosaurs or shots or scary movies or anything! If any of those things had spiders though, then shark would not be singing the same “not afraid of anything” tune. Don’t miss out meeting the author of this book at our Story Festival in September.

For the older crowd, the series Shark Wars by EJ Altbacker has everything you would want having to do with sharks. “Since the dawn of time, prehistoric shark clans called Shivers have ruled over the earth’s oceans, fierce protectors of all who swim. For eons, the Big Blue has prospered under Shiver Law, and the delicate balance of sea life kept sacred. Until now. Rising sea temperatures and overfishing have caused food to become scarce, and the battle for new hunting grounds has brought with it corruption and warfare.” – indiebound

Miss Megan’s Storytime Favorites

If you’ve ever walked through our front door on a Friday morning, you’ve experienced the delightful mayhem that is Wee Ones Storytime. Every week I’m amazed at the number of toddlers that manage to fit in the reading corner–and the amount of strollers in the aisles! It’s one of my favorite times of the week, and that’s saying a lot, since once upon a time, when I started doing storytimes, I was terrified of the responsibility that comes with keeping a crowd of two-and-unders entertained for a whole thirty minutes! Thankfully, though, I’ve discovered some tried and true books that little ones simply can’t resist. The following, in no particular order, are my absolute favorites to grab for an interactive storytime for infants through preschoolers.

Hooray for Fish, by Lucy Cousins, Candlewick Press

One of our all-time bestsellers at HFB! The fantastic thing about this book is that it grows with your wee one. For the smallest children, the large, vibrant illustrations are enough to keep them engaged. As they get older, though, the various concepts (counting, colors, emotions) will begin to take hold. A central character (Little Fish) describes his various “fishy friends,” and in so doing gently introduces the idea of storyline and narration without ever becoming wordy or overly descriptive.

Cows in the Kitchen, illustrated by Airlie Anderson, Child’s Play International

I was thrilled to find a version of this raucous story in print! I’ve found that stories that can be sung are usually an instant hit with the storytime crowd, and this title is no exception. Sung to the tune of “Skip to My Lou,” Cows in the Kitchen presents the conundrum of how to get a group of rowdy farm animals out of Tom Farmer’s house. This is one of my favorites to use when introducing animal sounds, since there’s a wide array here–pigs, goats, ducks, and of course the requisite cows.

Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, by Eileen Christelow, Houghton Mifflin Publishing

These five naughty monkeys are as popular as ever! This version by Eileen Christelow gives us a brief introduction and conclusion to the chant, rounding everything out into an inclusive story. I love to pull this one out when we’ve got excess energy to burn during Wee Ones Storytime. There’s nothing like turning the reading corner into a toddler mosh pit to get all the wiggles out!

Is This My Nose?, illustrated by  Georgie Birkett, Barron’s Educational Series

I don’t think this book is meant to be sung, but that hasn’t stopped me yet! I’ve freely adapted the text to fit the rhyme scheme of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” and it’s become one that I use nearly every week. Each two-page spread is targeted at identifying a certain facial feature. Simple, colorful illustrations of children and animals aid in identifying eyes, nose, ears, chin, etc. This title is slightly larger than the typical board book, which is always an asset when trying to keep the back row engaged!

Dinosaur vs. Bedtime, by Bob Shea, Hyperion Books

A book that gets little ones involved with vocalization and storytelling is a winner in my opinion. This is one of my newest favorites, and it’s possible that I have as much fun with it as the two-year-olds do. Our friend the dinosaur is an energetic little guy who likes to ROAR (cue the vocalization!) when he is confronted with various challenges. Dinosaur versus a pile of leaves! Dinosaur versus a big slide! Dinosaur versus a bowl of spaghetti! This prehistoric beast is sure he can conquer anything–until bedtime rolls around. This is a great title to use with wiggle worms who aren’t too thrilled with the prospect of saying goodnight.

Of course, I like to rotate my list of titles for Wee Ones Storytime, but these are the ones I simply couldn’t do without! Don’t be surprised if you consistently see books from this list making appearances on Friday mornings–sometimes I just can’t resist.

Happy reading!

Miss Megan (G.)

Oh, Daddy! & Other Great Father’s Day Books

Looking for the perfect Father’s Day gift? Give Dad the gift of quality time with his favorite kids–everyone loves a good story!

Daddy Calls Me Doodlebug by J.D. Lester, illustrated by Hiroe Nakata

This book shows all the imaginative ways Daddy and his little one play together. Father and child are transformed into different animals in this rhyming adventure. This is a charming book for ages infant to three.

Oh, Daddy! by Bob Shea

Daddies can be so silly sometimes! Their smart kids sometimes need to remind them how to get dressed, sit in the car, eat carrots, and water flowers. These colorful illustrations are humorous and light-hearted, sure to be a hit with Dad this year. Kids three to six will enjoy it, too.

My Father is Taller Than a Tree by Joseph Bruchac, illustrated by Wendy Anderson Halperin

This sweet, lyrical picture book is a perfect gift for Father’s Day. The illustrations, which have a wonderful classic feel, show all kinds of different dads and their special gifts.  Kids three to six will appreciate this gem, and fathers will be touched to receive this book.

We have lots of other Father’s Day books and gifts, so stop by the store and we’ll help you pick out something great for your Dad!