Saturday, April 20, 2013

Pick of the Week: The Boy and the Airplane

The Boy and the Airplane by Mark Pett
I love wordless picture books, as they are wonderful opportunities for storytelling and stretching your imagination. It's the perfect way for children (and adults) who are not confident readers yet to tell a story. Take a break from reading aloud to your child and have them read to you - no matter what their age or skill! In this book by author and illustrator Mark Pett, a boy receives the gift of a red toy airplane. Unfortunately, it's not long before the toy airplane gets stuck up on the roof. But he has a plan to retrieve it. It's a long term plan and is a bit humorous, but eventually he accomplishes his task and passes the gift on to a child.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Picture Books as Art - Part 1

Picture books are more than just stories for children - they are often works of art, in and of themselves. I'm going to highlight some books that work as both story and works for art in a series of "picture books as art."
The summaries below are courtesy of Syndetics, Inc. 

The Table That Ran Away to the Woods by Stefan Themerson, illustrations by Franciszka Themerson
(Tate, 2012. First published 1963.)
The Table That Ran Away to the Woods tells the story of a writing desk that one day “grabbed two pairs of shoes / ran downstairs, and took flight,” escaping into the countryside with its owners in barefoot pursuit. This is the first time the tale—first published in a Polish newspaper in 1940 and re-created in this exquisite collaged version in 1963—has been made available to an English-speaking audience.

Praise forThe Table that Ran Away to the Woods:
"The story, an afterword explains, ties into the Themersons’ avantgarde filmmaking, writing, and artwork in the 1930s (an early version appeared in an expatriate newspaper published in Paris). Readers needn’t be familiar with the backstory to appreciate the collage-like images of the table scampering over hills and reclaiming its existence."
Publishers Weekly

Henri's Walk to Paris by Leonore Klein, illustrated by Saul Bass (Universe, 2012)
 Henri’s Walk to Paris is the story of a young boy who lives in Reboul, France, who dreams of going to Paris. One day, after reading a book about Paris, he decides to pack a lunch and head for the city. 
“Like many of us Henri wants to see Paris.
In Paris, there are thousands of buses. In Reboul, where Henri lives, there is only one bus.
In Paris there are many parks and rows and rows of trees. The park in Reboul has only five trees. In Paris there are many zoos full of animals for the people to see.  So one fine day Henri packs up some lunch and starts off to see all the things he had read about.” 
Along the way, Henri gets tired and falls asleep under a tree. And this is when the story gets really charming. What Henri sees, we see, in a flowing panorama of pictures conceived by the eminent graphic designer Saul Bass. 

Hip Hop Dog by Chris Raschka, illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky (HarperCollins, 2010)
From top dogs Chis Raschka and Vladimir Radunsky comes an uplifting tale of canine self-reliance told in acrobatic, infectious rhyme.

I'm the zoom-est and the boom-est, spread no gloom-est, say no doom-est. I'm the top-est, never stop-est, Boston Pop-est, be be bop-est. I'm the jazz-est, razzmatazz-est, dazzle dazz-est, most pizzazz-est.

Think I kinda like it as the Hip Hop Dog.

In an empowering story of an underdog who finds his voice and sense of self-worth through music, here is one hip dog who starts out as a dejected mutt but finds his groove—and his place in the world—through hip hop.
The Heart of the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers (Philomel Books, 2010)
There is a wonder and magic to childhood. We don’t realize it at the time, of course . . . yet the adults in our lives do. They encourage us to see things in the stars, to find joy in colors and laughter as we play. But what happens when that special someone who encourages such wonder and magic is no longer around? We can hide, we can place our heart in a bottle and grow up . . . or we can find another special someone who understands the magic. And we can encourage them to see things in the stars, find joy among colors and laughter as they play. Oliver Jeffers delivers a remarkable book, a tale of poignancy and resonance reminiscent of The Giving Tree that will speak to the hearts of children and parents alike.

Bear Despair by Gaëtan Dorémus (Enchanted Lion Books, 2012)
Don't ever take a bear's teddy bear, no matter how cute you think it is. If you do, you'll be in for trouble. Big trouble. For a bear whose teddy has been stolen isn't simply heartbroken, but determined to get it back. So determined that he might just gobble up more than honey to do so! However, should he succeed in getting his teddy back, then there just might be a surprise in store. This is a book that all readers will relish, and one they will want to read again and again.

Born in 1971,Gaetan Doremus received his degree from the School of Decorative Arts in Strasbourg, France, in 1999, after which he picked up a few other degrees while creating picture books and illustrations for the press. Doremus has illustrated over twenty books and has produced hundreds of freestanding illustrations and cartoons. He loves to bicycle ride, walk in the mountains, and eat green tomatoes with cinnamon. In 2006, he became a Papa.
Little Owl Lost by Chris Haughton (Candlewick Press, 2010)
Uh-oh! Little Owl has fallen from his nest and landed with a whump on the ground. Now he is lost, and his mommy is nowhere to be seen! With the earnest help of his new friend Squirrel, Little Owl goes in search of animals that fit his description of Mommy Owl. But while some are big (like a bear) or have pointy ears (like a bunny) or prominent eyes (like a frog), none of them have all the features that make up his mommy. Where could she be? A cast of adorable forest critters in neon-bright hues will engage little readers right up to the story’s comforting, gently wry conclusion.

Seasons by Blexbolex (Enchanted Lion Books, 2010)

In this graphically stunning picture book, Blexbolex explores the cyclical nature of time by looking at the seasons. Using objects, landscapes, activities, and different types of people that are associated with each season (such as a skier, a swimmer, a roasted chestnut seller), Blexbolex evokes the sense of permanency given to life by its cyclical nature, despite the fact that time is always passing. The purpose of this book is to encourage observation of the world around us and lead the reader to form all sorts of logical and imaginative associations having to do with the seasons, the cycles of life, and time.
An illustrator of graphic genius,Blexbolexentered art school with the intention of becoming a painter, but left having discovered his talent as a silksceen artist. Since then, he has worked regularly with book publishers in France and Germany, as well as for the press. In 2009 he received the prestegious Golden Letter award for best book design throughout the world.

The Velveteen Rabbit retold by Komako Sakai (Enchanted Lion Books, 2012)
The tender relationship between the boy and his stuffed rabbit shines through gorgeous, luminous illustrations, transporting adult readers into the world of childhood while giving children a picture of themselves. In her retelling of The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams, Komako Sakai's text flows beautifully with her evocative, color-saturated illustrations. Written in gentle tones, the text resonates with the tender relationship between the boy and his toy rabbit. And, as always, Sakai's sensitive illustrations succeed in an absolute sense in evoking the interior world of the child, with all of its playful energy and poignant solitude. Her depictions of child and rabbit are memorable and may well become part of our collective, culturalmemory of Williams' original book. Sakai's text is simpler than Williams', allowing her illustrations to convey much that is left unsaid, making for a fine integrity between word and image.

Komako Sakai was born in Hyogo, Japan. After graduating from Tokyo's National University of Fine Arts and Music, Sakai worked at a kimono textile design company. She is currently one of the most popular authors and illustrators in Japan. She is well known in the United States for In the Meadow, Emily's Balloon, and The Snow Day.

Along a Long Road by Frank Viva (Little, Brown, 2011)
Follow that road!
Speed off on an eventful bicycle ride along the bold yellow road that cuts through town, by the sea, and through the country. Ride up and around, along and through, out and down.

Frank's striking graphic style is executed in just five joyous colors, and his spare, rhythmic language is infectious.

Hit a bump?
Get back on track!
Reach the end?
Start again!

"The overall effect is one of speed: the rider is leaning forward, the road whips away like ribbon, and each word puffs out like a bicyclist's panted breath. Eccentric and peculiar, but handsome, too."--Kraus, Danie. Copyright 2010 Booklist 

Ganesha's Sweet Tooth by Sanjay Patel and Emily Haynes (Chronicle Books, 2012)
The bold, bright colors of India leap right off the page in this fresh and funny picture book retelling (with a twist) of how Ganesha came to help write the epic poem of Hindu literature, the Mahabharata. Ganesha is just like any other kid, except that he has the head of an elephant and rides around on a magical mouse. And he loves sweets, especially the traditional dessertladdoo. But when Ganesha insists on biting into a super jumbo jawbreakerladdoo, his tusk breaks off! Ganesha is terribly upset, but with the help of the wise poet Vyasa, and his friend Mr. Mouse, he learns that what seems broken can actually be quite useful after all. With vibrant, graphic illustrations, expressive characters, and offbeat humor, this is a wonderfully inventive rendition of a classic tale.

Red Knit Cap Girl by Naoko Stoop (Little, Brown, 2012)
Red Knit Cap Girl is a little girl with a big dream -- to meet the Moon.

Red Knit Cap Girl lives with her animal friends in an enchanted forest. There is so much to see and do, but more than anything Red Knit Cap Girl wishes she could talk to the Moon. Join Red Knit Cap Girl and her forest friends on a journey of curiosity, imagination, and joy as they search for a way to meet the Moon.

Gorgeously illustrated on wood grain, Red Knit Cap Girl's curiosity, imagination, and joy will captivate the hearts of readers young and old as her journey offers a gentle reminder to appreciate the beauty of the natural world around us.

The Beetle Book by Steve Jenkins (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2012)
Beetles squeak and beetles glow.
Beetles stink, beetles sprint, beetles walk on water.

With Legs, antennae, horns, beautiful shells, knobs, and other oddities--what's not to like about beetles?
The beetle world is vast: one out of every four living thing on earth is a beetle. There are over 350,000 different species named so far and scientists suspect there may be as many as a million.

From the goliath beetle that weighs one fourth of a pound to the nine inch long titan beetle, award-winning author-illustrator Steve Jenkins presents a fascinating array of these intriguing insects and the many amazing adaptations they have made to survive.

Infinity and Me by Kate Hosford, illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska (Carolrhoda Books, 2012)
Uma can't help feeling small when she peers up at the night sky. She begins to wonder about infinity. Is infinity a number that grows forever? Is it an endless racetrack? Could infinity be in an ice cream cone? Uma soon finds that the ways to think about this big idea may just be . . . infinite

Unspoken: a Story from the Underground Railroad by Henry Cole (Scholastic Press, 2012)
A young girl's courage is tested in this haunting, wordless story.
When a farm girl discovers a runaway slave hiding in the barn, she is at once startled and frightened. But the stranger's fearful eyes weigh upon her conscience, and she must make a difficult choice. Will she have the courage to help him? Unspoken gifts of humanity unite the girl and the runaway as they each face a journey: one following the North Star, the other following her heart. Henry Cole's unusual and original rendering of the Underground Railroad speaks directly to our deepest sense of compassion.

House Held Up By Trees by Ted Kooser, illustrated by Jon Klassen (Candlewick, 2012)
From Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Ted Kooser and rising talent Jon Klassen comes a poignant tale of loss, change, and nature's quiet triumph.
When the house was new, not a single tree remained on its perfect lawn to give shade from the sun. The children in the house trailed the scent of wild trees to neighboring lots, where thick bushes offered up secret places to play. When the children grew up and moved away, their father, alone in the house, continued his battle against blowing seeds, plucking out sprouting trees. Until one day the father, too, moved away, and as the empty house began its decline, the trees began their approach. At once wistful and exhilarating, this lovely, lyrical story evokes the inexorable passage of time - and the awe-inspiring power of nature to lift us up.

Philomath Storytime Changes!

The last Starlight Storytime at the Philomath Community Library will take place on Tuesday, April 30th.

In May we are launching our first Philomath Community Library Baby Storytime! This is something the public and various community organizations have asked for and we are super stoked to finally be able to try it out.

Baby Storytime will be held on the first and third Monday of each month at 10:00 am. The content will be appropriate for babies ages 0-12 months with a parent or caregiver. 

We'll still be offering the Rise and Shine Storytime on Wednesdays at 10:00 a.m.  Come join us for storytime fun!

For more Philomath Community Library events, head here. Questions? Call 541-929-3016. Keep up with us on our Facebook page, too!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Prehistoric Reads Revisited!

With The Croods (the latest DreamWorks kids movie) out in theaters now, I thought it might be time to revisit the Prehistoric Reads I posted awhile ago:

Me Hungry! by Jeremy Tankard (Candlewick Press, 2008)
 A little prehistoric boy decides to hunt for his own food, and makes a new friend in the process.

Picks of the Week: Prehistoric Reads!

Mammoth and Me by Algy Craig Hall (Boxer Books, 2012)
When a BIG (but oh-so-cuddly) mammoth knocks on the door of one small boy, it's the beginning of a beautiful--and funny--friendship. Though the boy loves his new pet immediately, the mammoth is just too huge for his home, the park, and the town. But the friendly creature will soon prove to everyone that he is about to become the town's hero. A heartwarming and gentle tale of learning to be friends no matter what differences there may be.
Kali's Song by Jeanette Winter (Schwartz & Wade Books, 2012)
Renowned picture book author and illustrator Jeanette Winter brings us the enchanting story of a boy named Kali who lived thousands and thousands of years ago. Kali must learn to hunt, like the rest of the men in his tribe. But when Kali plucks the string on his bow, he forgets about shooting arrows, and makes music long into the night. Even the stars come close to listen.

This lovely story, celebrating the uniqueness in all of us, the beauty of the natural world, and showing the power of music and art over violence, will be cherished by children everywhere.
Caveman: A B.C. Story by Janee Trasler (Sterling Children's Books, 2011)
This clever picture book utilizes only 26 words, all in alphabetical order, to tell the story of a caveman and his prehistoric friends.
Meet Mammoth (an Ogg and Bob book) by Ian Fraser (Marshall Cavendish, 2010)
Two cavemen, Ogg and Bob, capture a mammoth and then try to train him as a pet. (A fun beginning chapter book read-aloud!)
Summaries from Syndetics, Inc.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Spring Events

We've got some great events at the library this spring! Don't forget to check out the Spring Early Literacy Newsletter, too! 

Children's Day / Book Day, El día de los niños / El día de los libros
dia_mark72Tuesday, April 30th
Program 1: Make Your Own Pan Flute Workshop*, Ages 8-14, 3:30 p.m.
*Preregistration Required, beginning April 15th. (Space is limited.)
Program 2: Special Aztec Music Presentation, suitable for all ages, 4:15 p.m.
Experience Aztec music and culture with Oregon artist and educator, Samuel Becerra. Read more.
Can Do!: a preschool family science program
Can Do!: exploring basic science concepts of color, geometry, magnets, motion, and sinking/floating. A Mother Goose Asks “Why?” Preschool Science Program: introducing science through picture books and family activities. Thursday, April 11, 10:00 a.m., Corvallis-Benton County Public Library.
Joseph Bruchac, Storyteller & Writer
Joseph Bruchac
Keepers of the Earth: Native American Stories and Music
Thursday, May 9th, 2013 from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m., Corvallis-Benton County Public Library, Main Meeting Room. A free storytelling event for adults, teens, and school-aged children. Joseph Bruchac is the author of more than 120 books for children and adults.
Spring Early Literacy Newsletter
Check out the Spring Early Literacy Newsletter for recommended children's books, literacy ideas, and music picks to share with young children.