28 April 2018

4 Books by Amy Hest

Happy birthday, Amy Hest!

Mr. George Baker
written by Amy Hest, images by Jon J. Muth

The Friday Nights of Nana
written by Amy Hest, images by Claire A. Nivola

Don't You Feel Well, Sam?
written by Amy Hest, images by Anita Jeram

 My Old Pal Oscar
written by Amy Hest, images by Amy Bates

14 April 2018

3 Books about Thailand

It's the second day of Songkran in Thailand, a three-day water festival for Buddhists to celebrate the new year.

Peek! A Thai Hide-and-Seek
written by Minfong Ho, images by Holly Meade

Breath of the Dragon
written by Gail Giles, images by June Otani

Hello, Bumblebee Bat
written by Darrin Lunde, images by Patricia J. Wynne

12 April 2018

Beverly Cleary: An Appreciation

Sara and Ramona finally meeting
in Portland, Oregon.
photo by Flo Bright

I've spoken about my love for Ramona Quimby before, but since it's her creator's birthday, I'm going to talk about my love for Beverly Cleary.

That's right. It's Beverly Cleary's birthday! She's 102 years old today.

It's almost impossible to believe that the creator of Ramona Quimby, Henry Huggins, Ralph S. Mouse and so many other characters is still alive. Her books were such an integral part of my childhood, and they seemed like they were always there.

The first book of Beverly Cleary's I ever experienced was The Mouse and the Motorcycle. My second grade teacher read it aloud to the class. That, in and of itself, was kind of miraculous. I don't recall any other teacher reading a story aloud, especially over the course of several days.

But the story captivated me. I'm not usually a fan of talking animal stories -- at least not in novels -- but I adored Ralph S. Mouse and his little red motorcycle. Perhaps it was because I like toy cars myself. I wanted to find a little mouse (or a hamster or a gerbil or any tiny rodent) and put them in a toy car to drive. I still think that would be fun.

I read the other books about Ralph myself and enjoyed them, but then I met Ramona.

She was a delight. She got in trouble (like me). She was punished (like me). She had a temper (like me). She was so real that I honestly thought if I could get to Portland I would find her and we would be best friends.

Ribsy, another adored Beverly Cleary creation,
in Portland, Oregon.
photo by me
I read those books over and over and over. When I got Ramona Forever, we were on a vacation to Florida. That was the first hardcover book I ever bought. It was the first book I ever read where people lived in Alaska. It might even have been the first book I read that featured a wedding.

Ramona's World came out when I was in graduate school (to be a librarian like Beverly Cleary!). Did that stop from buying it and reading it in one sitting? Of course not! After classes were over for the day, I immediately went to the bookstore, drove home and devoured the story.

For Beverly Cleary's 100th birthday, her publisher had a huge birthday card for people to sign at the Texas Library Association Annual Conference. I proudly signed my name and included my small hometown. I wanted her to know that even people from places she had never heard of had adored her stories.

Happy birthday, Beverly Cleary!

01 April 2018

26 Poetry Books

A Children's Treasury of Poems
images by Linda Bleck

A Crossing of Zebras: Animal Packs in Poetry
written by Marjorie Maddox, images by Philip Huber

A Kick In the Head
edited by Paul B. Janeczko, images by Chris Raschka

A Maze Me: Poems for Girls
written by Naomi Shihab Nye, images by Terre Maher

A Moose Boosh: A Few Choice Words About Food
written and illustrated by Eric-Shabazz Larkin

A Poem of Her Own: Voices of American Women Yesterday and Today
edited by Catherine Clinton, images by Stephen Alcorn

A Whiff of Pine, a Hint of Skunk: A Forest of Poems
written by Deborah Ruddell, images by Joan Rankin

A World of Wonders: Geographic Travels in Verse and Rhyme
written by J. Patrick Lewis, images by Alison Jay

A Wreath for Emmett Till
written by Marilyn Nelson, images by Philippe Lardy

African Acrostics: A Word in Edgeways
written by Avis Harley, images by Deborah Noyes

Alice Yazzie's Year
written by Ramona Maher, images by Shonto Begay, Navajo

All In a Day
written by Cynthia Rylant, images by Nikki McClure

All the Wild Wonders: Poems of Our Earth
edited by Wendy Cooling, images by Piet Grobler

Amazing Places: Poems
written by Lee Bennett Hopkins, images by Chris Soentpiet and Christy Hale

America at War
selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins, images by Stephen Alcorn

America the Beautiful
written by Katharine Lee Bates, images by Wendell Minor

American History, Fresh Squeezed! 41 Thirst-for-Knowledge-Quenching Poems
written by Carol Diggory Shields, images by Richard Thompson

Ancient Voices
written by Kate Hovey, images by Murray Kimber

Animal Ark: Celebrating Our Wild World in Poetry and Pictures
written by Kwame Alexander, images by Joel Sartore

Animals Anonymous
written by Richard Michelson, images by Scott Fischer

Applesauce Weather
written by Helen Frost, images by Amy June Bates

Are You An Echo? The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko
written by David Jacobson, Sally Ito and Michiko Tsuboi, images by Toshikado Hajiri

Around the World in Eighty Poems
selected by James Berry, images by Katherine Lucas

Around the World on Eighty Legs (More or Less)
written by Amy Gibson, images by Daniel Salmieri

At the Sea Floor Café: Odd Ocean Critter Poems
written by Leslie Bulion, images by Leslie Evans

Awful Ogre Running Wild
written by Jack Prelutsky, images by Paul O. Zelinsky