Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A Story About Perspective

Most of life is about perspective. Do you look at a bee and see a stinger or a flower pollinator? Do you look at the ocean and see monsters or calm and new discoveries. Your perspective on an event or circumstance can determine whether or not you enjoy your experience.

In Bob and Joss Get Lost!, a picture book written by Peter McCleery and illustrated by Vin Vogel, Bob and Joss have two different perspectives. Bob is bored so Joss suggests taking a boat trip. Bob doesn’t like the idea. He thinks they will get lost. Joss doesn’t agree. The two end up going on a boat trip and their reactions to the circumstances that follow illustrate how each boy’s interpretation of events transforms their situation into either a fun or a scary experience.

The two boys’ personalities play off of each other in a comical way. Joss remains calm and cool while Bob freaks out. Joss goes with the flow while Bob sees danger around every corner. Kids will see the two boys’ perspectives depicted in their facial expressions and body language.  They might try to predict where Joss is getting his treats and why Bob doesn’t notice.

If your kids enjoy picture books with funny dialogue and lots of action, they will enjoy going on this journey with Bob and Joss. They might even find relief from boredom…for a little while.

Watch the author, Peter McCleery, read the book:

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A Story About Love.

If your kids liked Finding Winnie by Lindsay Mattick and Sophie Blackall, they will love Rhino in the House: The True Story of Saving Samia, a non-fiction picture book by Daniel Kirk, the author of the Library Mouse Series. 

Rhino in the House is the story of Anna Merz, founder of the Lewa Wildflife Conservancy, and Samia, the the baby rhino she rescued and raised to adulthood. Anna nursed Samia with a bottle and read to her at night and along the way Anna learned a great deal about rhino intelligence. She learned that Samia’s sounds had specific meanings like “what’s that?” and “where are you?”. Your kids will laugh at the adventures Anna and Samia shared together while Samia was growing up. They will probably wish they had their own rhino in the house. Here is a trailer from the publisher:

The author’s note in the back matter has more information on Anna and Samia as well as photographs of the real woman and rhino. It also shares information about the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and the plight of the rhinos in Africa.

Many characters in books stay with us long after the back cover is closed, but true stories remind us that people and animals are capable of amazing feats. They inspire us to imagine the potential inside ourselves to accomplish great things for the animals and people we love.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

A Story About Friendship

One of the things I am most grateful for are the friends who have blossomed in my life over the years. It isn’t always easy to make new friends. I have watched new students in my class sit down in a corner looking anxious and a little lost. Usually this lasts about a day before they are enveloped by their curious and helpful classmates.

How to Grow a Friend, a picture book by Sara Gillingham, compares making a friend with planting a seed and nurturing it until it blossoms into a flower. It is a simple story that kids will enjoy listening to, although it will also resonate with adults. It even covers those times when you and your friend might be at odds and how you can work together to find a solution.

“Good friends make things brighter,” it says. And who can deny that when we find a friend--a really, really good one--the kind of friend that we can always trust in good times and in bad, that our lives don’t seem just a little bit happier. This book shows kids how to cultivate these positive relationships. It encourages them to create a whole garden of friends.

How to Grow a Friend is a celebration of the kind of friendship that sees the beauty in every human being even when they are different from you. It is appropriate for any young child, but especially for a child who might be nervous about making new friends.