Friday, December 02, 2011

friday's five

It's been one helluva few weeks in my working life, and now that I've approached the crest of the gigantic hill, I'm preparing for the quick descent toward the holiday break. Twelve glorious days to spend in stretchy pants hanging around the house and enjoying time with my own wacky kids, as opposed to the crew that keeps me laughing in my classroom. During our time home, I know we'll be reading even more books together than usual, and these are five more Cybils-nominated picture books that will be added to our mix.

1. What to Expect When You're Expecting Larvae: A Guide for Insect Parents (and Curious Kids) by Bridget Heos and illustrated by Stephane Jorisch -- Okay, I thought this one was going to be really cheesy from the title, but I've really grown to like this picture book that's probably best for an audience of older elementary school children. My kids and I happen to be big on bugs, so that definitely influences my opinion, but I can objectively say that it's got some great information here and the presentation is clever and humorous.

2. The Snow Blew Inn by Dian Curtis Regan -- As the weather gets colder, my kindergartener daughter Red has made the observation a few times that "it smells like snow." It will be here soon (hopefully, says this teacher who would love to be home with her kids!!), and this is a simple story that evokes a community feel during a large snowstorm. Cartoon-like illustrations will appeal to young children, and the story is a nice one to snuggle up with on a cold and snowy day.

3. The Rabbit Problem by Emily Gravett -- Talk about creative and unique! This book (that's NOT about math from the note on the back cover) can be understood on multiple levels, and having been many years removed from any lessons about the Fibonacci problem, I'm pretty sure I don't get it on the highest level. But, I do love Gravett's twist here, and her pictures and the fun additions to the book (mini-books, pop-up feature, fun fun fun!) make this a truly one-of-a-kind picture book.

4. Miss Dorothy and Her Bookmobile by Gloria Houston and illustrated by Susan Condie Lamb -- Another book for the older set, this is a lovely true story of a woman's mobile library, created for a community that was without one. As a book lover myself, I'm happy to share this with my kids for they couldn't imagine a life without our city's public library! Here's another case where the gentle story is well-matched with the soft illustrations providing perfect depictions.

5. Waiting for the Biblioburro by Monica Brown and illustrated by John Parra -- How could I not follow the last book with this one about a library on a donkey?! I definitely plan on reading these within a day or two of each other to the kids, and I am confident that they will make the connections between the two. I love that this way naturally introduces a multicultural world perspective, for this story takes place in Colombia and talks about other mobile libraries around the world, too.

As always, all opinions expressed here are mine alone, and not representative of the other judges or the Cybils Awards. I hope you find some books here that will bring a smile to your kids' faces! I encourage you to check out all the other nominated titles over at the Cybils Awards, and I am having a ton of fun reading through all the books and sharing my opinions with you all!

Loving being surrounded by picture books,