Monday, December 31, 2007

Staff Picks of 2007

Staff Picks: Top Picture Books of 2007

With so many great children's books published each year, coming up with a "best of" list can be difficult!

Follow this link for a list of my top twenty picks in picture books for young children of this past year.

Every year the Caldecott Medal Committee of the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, convenes in January to choose the winner of the Caldecott Medal. The Caldecott Medal honors the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children. Stay tuned on Monday, January 14, 2008. Fans of children's book illustration can watch a live webcast of the Youth Media Awards that morning via the following link:

Happy New Year

Kristin recommends:
Twelve Hats for Lena: a Book of Months by Karen Katz (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2002)

Lena is celebrating the year by decorating her hat appropriately for each month. Karen Katz's usual bright, cheerful folk-art style illustrations offer a story to share with children as you introduce the calendar year and the activities and celebrations that are associated with each month. Feeling crafty? Have your preschooler make and decorate their own construction paper hat for the month. A simple pattern and instructions for making hats are located at the back of the book.

Snowy Flowy Blowy: a Twelve Months Rhyme by Nancy Tafuri (Scholastic, 1999)

Rhyming text provides a descriptive word for each month of the year and takes a country family through the changes and surprises of the year's cycle. Large beautiful illustrations in this over-sized book and the text based on an old poem by Gregory Gander bring young children a pleasing introduction to the seasonal changes in nature through the year.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Pick of the Week

Big Smelly Bear by Britta Teckentrup (Sterling, 2007).

Big Smelly Bear tells the story of a bear who can't stand to bathe. While this reluctance to keep clean seems to please Big Smelly Bear just fine, it's obvious that the other creatures in the forest can't stand the smell (fittingly, the flies "were the only ones that ever came close"). Then one day the yucky, muddy, dirty, stinky bear becomes so filthy that he starts to itch. What's worse, he can't reach his itch to scratch it! Along comes lovely Big Fluffy Bear who offers her help, but only if Big Smelly Bear agrees to a bath. Finally he surrenders to cleanliness and makes a new friend in the process. Read this one right before bathtime to persuade those preschoolers who avoid baths at all cost.

Pair the story with the following traditional rhyme:

I'm Dusty Bill

From Vinegar Hill

Never had a bath

And I never will!

Additional bathtime books to share:

Sticky People by Tony Johnston (Harper Collins, 2006)

"Sticky children playfully spread their stickiness around until bathtime changes everything." (Syndetics)

" In rhyming stories printed back to back, pigs from one to ten take baths to clean up and then get dirty again. This is an up-side down, turn-around bathtime counting book." (Syndetics)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

BookLetters - book alerts right in your inbox

The Corvallis-Benton County Public Library offers busy patrons a way to keep "in the know" about great books and DVDs. Subscribe to any number of the available topics on our Library's BookLetters web page and receive monthly newsletters featuring recommended books right in your email's inbox. Most newsletters are monthly, although a few are more frequently published. Subscribe to a variety of children's related topics: Children's Nonfiction, Children's Chapter, Children's Picture Books, Meet the Illustrator (featuring a new top children's illustrator each month), and books recently shared at each of the Corvallis storytimes. Other options include receiving the Library's newsletter ("Check It Out"), adult fiction/non-fiction and DVD bestsellers and staff picks. Additional features include Bestseller & Award Lists, Book of the Day, Authors A to Z, and the ability to receive alerts via RSS.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Pick of the Week

The OK Book by Amy Krouse Rosenthal & Tom Lichtenheld (HarperCollins, 2007)

From the New York Times bestselling author of Cookies: Bite-Sized Life Lessons comes a simple, reassuring picture book about self-acceptance. Using minimalistic illustrations, artist Tom Lichtenheld introduces the reader to the book's narrator - a figure constructed of the two letters O and K - who has an important lesson to share. "I like to try a lot of different things. I'm not great at all of them, but I enjoy them just the same," confides the stick figure character. The reader follows the figure as he tries activities including flying kites, making a sandwich, and standing on his head. The book arrives at a satisfying end with him lying in bed at night declaring that, "One day, I'll grow up to be really excellent at something. I don't know what it is yet...but I sure am having fun figuring it out." In an age of increasing pressure on children to master skills at an early age and outperform their peers, this is a modest, pleasant offering to share with all.

Youth Services Librarian Kristin (who is an OK skier).

Monday, December 3, 2007

Picks of the Week

This week I'm including my recommendations (new and old) for both children and the adults in their lives.

Penguin by Polly Dunbar (Candlewick, 2007)

Ben is delighted to receive a penguin for his birthday but Penguin will not answer or respond to him in any way, no matter what Ben does, until, at last, they discover the language of friendship.

Great illustrations, simple text, and a wonderful ode to friendship between a child and his play animals.

Bright From the Start by Jill Stamm, Ph.D. (Gotham Books, 2007)

This cutting-edge handbook for parents--from a pioneer in infant brain development--bridges the gap between the most current neuroscience and practical parenting techniques.

Topics included range from screen time to attachment and bonding to music to reading.

Mushroom in the Rain by Mirra Ginsburg, with illustrations by Jose Aruego & Ariane Dewey (MacMillan Pub., 1974)

This is a classic story for rainy, blustery days like today.

How can an ant, butterfly, mouse, sparrow, and rabbit all take shelter from the rain under the same mushroom when originally there was room only for the ant?

The Little Hands Art Book: Exploring Arts and crafts with 2-to-6-Year-Olds by Judy Press (Williamson Pub, 1994)

Need rainy day ideas for young children? Try this book!
The perfect introductory art book for little hands with lots to express! Individual artistic freedom abounds as children create unique works. The author has an uncanny understanding of how to inspire preschoolers' creative spirits.

December Spotlight: Childhood Immunization

Last month, the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library highlighted information on autism spectrum disorders available to the community. Childhood immunization is the focus of this month's Birth to Six Spotlight. As with any medical information, consult with your family doctor or pediatrician for health care decisions and advice.

Check out the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library's Birth to Six site for links to online resources on vaccines. For more children's health information, see the recommended links in our Parenting section.

You'll also find book recommendations to share with a young child about going to the doctor on the Library's Birth to Six site.