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Kids’ Book Corner: We’re Thankful for Books!

Posted By Karen Young On November 19, 2012 @ 11:42 pm In Children,Featured,Literary Corner,My Daily Find,Shop | No Comments

BY JO PERRY

If you want your children to become lifelong readers, show them that you value books by giving them as gifts. Below is the first of two columns devoted to books your kids will enjoy giving and receiving during the holidays.

A reminder that the best things in life often find us, not the other way around

Cecil, The Pet Glacier by Matthea Harvey with wry watercolors by Giselle Potter reminds us that the best things in life often find us, not the other way around. When Ruby, the conventional daughter of eccentric parents (one is a topiary artist, the other a tiara designer) wants a pet, she is unprepared for the tiny glacier that chooses her as mistress. This is funny and touching story about acceptance and surprise. And no one will resist Cecil, the sweet little glacier who reminds me of a dollop of Cool Whip. 4 and up.

The hilarious story of a limber and active squirrel named Mario, his wise friend Isabelle.

Mario Makes a Move by Jill McElmurry is the hilarious story of a limber and active squirrel named Mario, his wise friend Isabelle, and the way Mario learns that cooperation beats competition. McElmurry’s illustrations are funny enough to make even grown ups jump for joy. 3 and up.

What Can A Crane Pick Up? by Rebecca Kai Dotlich with illustrations by Mike Lowery is a celebration of heavy machinery and the stuff they lift, move and transport. Youngest readers will love the rhyming text and the joyful paintings that show what cranes can really do.  1 and up.

Take Two! A Celebration of Twins by J. Patrick Lewis and Jane Yolen with illustrations by Sophie Blackall is a collection of joyous poems about twins from their time together in the womb to famous twins. Blackall’s illustrations are incredibly appealing and adorable. This is a book twins and their families will return to over and over. 6 and up.

A magnificent story of freedom, flight and imagination

Falcon by Tim Jessell  is the magnificent story of freedom, flight and imagination.  Jessell’s paintings of a falcon alone in a vast sky, soaring above the sea and aloft in the city will take your breath away. The sparse but beautiful text–– “With the sound / of tearing paper/my wings would/slice through/the air”––will appeal to even emerging readers.  3 and up.

A colorful and clever introduction to strange and amazing undersea life.

What Sea Creature Is This? by Nancy Kelly Allen with illustrations by Gloria Brown is a colorful and clever introduction to strange and amazing undersea life.  The text works on many levels and even young children can learn from the informative text.  4 and up.

An eye-popping book  full of facts, statistics, puzzles, tricks and illusions for kids who love numbers.

I wish I’d had How to be a Math Genuis: Your Brilliant Brain and How To Train It by Mike Goldsmith when I was a kid. This eye-popping book is full of facts, statistics, puzzles, tricks and illusions for kids who love numbers. Goldsmith begins with fascinating information about how our brains work, especially when they’re doing math, and moves to famous women in math, problems people have with math, visualizing problems, number systems, zero and on through Pythagoras to World Word II code breaker Alan Turing. 10 and up.

The story, told in poetry, of fourteen animals who live in unexpected, even extreme habitats

A Strange Place to Call Home: The World’s Most Dangerous Habitats & The Animals That Call Them Home by Marilyn Singer with illustrations by Ed Young is the story, told in poetry, of fourteen animals who live in unexpected, even extreme habitats, among them Humboldt penguins who live in the heat of coastal Chile and Peru; ice worms under glacial ice; blind cave fish; flamingos; tube worms on the ocean floor; petroleum flies and urban foxes. The poems are evocative and the collages are full of movement. End Notes provide information on the animals. This is a welcome departure from the bunnies, puppies and farm animals that usually populate children’s books.  6 and up.

A Little Golden Book originally published in 1963 that remains fresh and appealing today

The Cow Went Over the Mountain by Jeanette Krinsley with illustrations by Feodor Rojankovsky, is a Little Golden Book originally published in 1963 that remains fresh and appealing today. It tells the story of a Little Cow who thinks that the grass will be “munchier,” the bugs “crunchier,” and the mud “slushier” on “the other side of the mountain” and what happens when they get there. Readers 2 and up will be delighted.

Jo Perry has a Ph.D. in English, taught literature and writing, and worked as a college administrator and as a television writer and producer. She is a reviewer for BookBrowse.com and is an ongoing contributor to kidsLA Magazine for which she writes about the city, children’s books, and conducts interviews. For two years she wrote the Kids’ Book Club column for the L.A. Times’ Kids’ Reading Room page.

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