Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Perfect Nest


The Perfect Nest by Catherine Friend

The Perfect Nest is the perfect story to stir up laughter.

Jack, a sly cat, builds a perfect nest in an attempt to entice a chicken to come lay an egg, so he can have of all things- a perfect omelet!
Well, Jack's nest does lure a Spanish speaking chicken, a French speaking duck, and a country speaking Goose to the nest. All of these fine feathered birds fight over the nest because it is so perfect, so Jack builds another nest. The birds leave the perfect nest, only to leave Jack with 3 perfect eggs. What does Jack do? He finds 3 new perfect friends.

Monday, July 22, 2013

I Know a Wee Piggy by Kim Norman

I Know a Wee Piggy is a fun loving book about a pig who is tired of his usual skin color, so he tries out new colors. On each page, the reader is left wondering what color the pig will try next. At the end of the story, he ends up stumbling into an art contest at the county fair where his “new skin color” wins! This is a silly book that children of all ages will love!

This would be a great book to read aloud to preschoolers. There is a lot of repetition used throughout with many key words that the kids can help read with you as you read aloud. Not only does this book use a lot of repetition, but you can also talk about colors and have the students name the color on each page. There are a ton of great teaching points through this story and the action will keep the young kids interest as well. This book is a must see and is on the 2013-2014 Texas 2x2 booklist!

Norman, Kim. I Know a Wee Piggy. New York, NY: Dial Books For Young Readers, 2012. Print. ISBN: 9780803737358

Monday, July 15, 2013

Good News, Bad News by Jeff Mack

This silly book features two characters, a optimistic rabbit and a pessimistic mouse. The two characters are having a picnic (good news) when all of the sudden a storm blows through (bad news). The story continues with the rabbit pointing out the positives in each situation, followed by the mouse's negative statements. In the end, the mouse finally has it and ends up bringing the rabbit over to the negative side. Once the mouse sees how sad the rabbit is, he is motivated to find something good in the world.

Good News Bad News is wonderful story that children of all ages will enjoy. Preschoolers will love the repetition of words throughout and will have fun reading along with you. This book has great stopping points for the reader to explain what is happening in each picture and tell why it is good or bad. There is also a moral to the story, which offers a great teaching point to young readers. I highly recommend checking this book out and sharing it with the youngsters. They will immediately fall in love with the characters; rabbit and mouse, and will be wanting to find more good news/bad news situations in real life!

Mack, Jeff. 2012. Good News Bad News. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books. ISBN: 1452101108. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

A Texas 2x2: The Three Ninja Pigs by Corey Rosen Schwartz


The Three Ninja Pigs is a clever and funny takeoff of The Three Little Pigs.  The three pigs in this fractured fairy tale include two brothers and a sister who have had enough of the wolf and decide to train at the ninja school in town.  They each study a different method of self-defense (jujitsu, aikido, and karate), but only the female pig successfully masters her skill after lots of practice.  The two brothers weren’t committed to the work and dropped out of ninja school without mastering their craft.  When the wolf comes for the bothers, their rookie skills aren’t enough and they end up running to their highly trained sister’s house.  After watching Pig Three use her skills to send the wolf running, Pig One and Pig Two decide they want to head back to school to become Ninja Pigs. 

The Three Ninja Pigs uses rhyming text to tell a familiar fairy tale with a twist.  As an added bonus to this already great book, there is a strong, but not forced message of “hard work and perseverance pay off.”  Kids involved in martial arts will enjoy all the familiar vocabulary words and references to the Japanese sport.  For kids and adults with no background knowledge on martial arts, there is a glossary that includes pronunciations and definitions of the Japanese words used in the book.  It would be helpful to go over some of these words with kids before reading the book to them so they are not thrown off by the vocabulary.  The tricky vocabulary doesn’t take away from the funny story line and the message is still clear. 

This fractured tale is action packed and hilariously funny.  The author uses language that will have both kids and adults laughing out loud.  When Pig One is telling the wolf to go away she says, “Stay out of my hut/or I’ll kick your big butt.”  This type of humor is just what kids love.  The cleverness is what will keep the adults tickled.  Pig Three performs a perfect “pork chop” by breaking boards in half. 

This story would be perfect to pair with a traditional version of The Three Little Pigs during a story time.  See if you can notice any similarities and differences!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Horsefly and Honeybee

by Randy Cecil

When Honeybee decides to take a nap in the same flower as Horsefly, trouble ensues! They don’t want to share, and after quarrelling, run away in opposite directions. But it isn’t long until they meet again… They have both been captured by hungry Bullfrog! If Horsely and Honeybee are to escape before dinnertime, they must find a way to work together.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I Am So Handsome

I Am So Handsome by Mario Ramos is hilarious.  This conceded wolf will eventually  meet his surprising match! This book was first published in French and later translated into English. 

School Library Journal (November 1, 2012)
K-Gr 3-Readers will revel in this clever tale of comeuppance by an established Belgian author-illustrator who must have had so much fun with I Am So Strong (Gecko, 2011) that he decided to spin another. The big bad wolf, created in thickly textured gouache, stands out in the forest and beckons to everyone he meets to tell him who is the handsomest of all. He encounters the usual suspects in this homage to fairy tales, especially the woods dwellers and lone travelers first venturing out. Readers will relish the luscious, tongue-in-cheek language and well-chosen illustrative details. When the wolf sees Little Red Riding Hood picking flowers, he ventures condescendingly: "Hmm, nice get-up! Tell me, my little wild strawberry, who's the handsomest around here?" She defers to him as most handsome and off he goes, enraptured with himself, adjusting his tie, and proclaiming, "There we have it! Out of the mouths of babes, the truth. I am the most elegant, the most charming." The illustrations are executed in a painterly comic style. If his blatant bravado doesn't garner readers' bellowing laughter, wait until he meets the baby dragon, who calls him a "ridiculous little gizzard" before asking the infamous mirror-mirror-on-the-wall question. The wolf has met his match. A blow to vanity and chock-full of the deadpan humor, this book is a charmer and a keeper.-Sara Lissa Paulson, American Sign Language and English Lower School PS 347, New York City (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Oh No, George!

Oh No, George! by Chris Haughton

This is a fun, colorful, engaging book that will be enjoyed by all!

George is a loveable dog who wants to be good. He tries to be good, but a delicious cake, a cat, and some lovely dirt are powerful temptations! What will George do?

For activities and discussion topics go to

Please watch this trailor for Oh No, George.