Surgery on Sunday
Written by Kat Harrison
Illustrated by Shane Crampton
Age Level: 4 - 8
Grade Level: K – 4
This is more than a cute book – it’s also useful. If you have a kiddo who’s facing surgery, this is the perfect book for them. Meet its hero, Sunday, nicknamed Sunny. She’ll take you from the night before surgery to a couple weeks later. It’s also a great way to show your child what surgery looks like, feels like, through Sunny’s eyes. Nothing is better, or worse, than your own imagination. This book can help your child see what surgery looks like. It’s also a great way to get them talking about fear, then shrinking it down to size. Best of all I hope it helps your child face their own fears and discover their own brand of bravery, just like Sunny who’s better after surgery. Back matter includes ‘Sunny’s unofficial rules for surgery’ and ‘Questions to ask yourself, or someone else, before surgery.’
The Rough Patch
Written & Illustrated by Brian Lies
Age Level: 4 - 8
Grade Level: PS – 3
Everything is better with a friend. Evan and Dog do everything together, including grow a prize-winning garden. But when Dog dies, Evan hits a rough patch. He cuts down his favorite plants and lets the weeds in. Soon the garden looks as bad as Evan feels.
Then a vine begins to grow. It takes over the garden and turns into a pumpkin. Could it make a difference? You’ll have to read to find out how. Everyone hits rough patches, but sometimes it takes the unexpected to lead you out of them.
Tea Party Rules
Written by Amy Dyckman
Illustrated by K.G. Campbell
Age Level: 3 - 5
Grade Level: PS – K
I read this book and loved it so much that I took it to a writing conference. We were studying pitches. Amy’s is on the back cover. It says – ‘What’s stopping this little bear . . . from gobbling these delicious cookies? Her tea party rules.
Amy’s pitch describes the book perfectly! Whenever I look for new children’s books, I start with the cover, and I love this one. Then I read the pitch on the back. It’s a promise to the reader, and this one delivered with a great story about the bear, the little girl, and those tea party rules. I loved it so much I took it to a kids’ lit conference.
Ivy & Bean: Make the Rules
Written by Annie Barrows
Illustrated by Rachel Clowes
Age Level: 6 - 10
Grade Level: 1 – 5
What would you do when your big sister goes off to camp, and you’re too little? You start your own – Camp Flaming Arrow! Imagine the fun Bean could have doing crafts, nature, dance, first aid, and women’s history at a ‘real’ kids’ camp. Then read and enjoy!
PS- It’s no wonder this is #9 in a series of 11 books.
Strongheart: Wonder Dog of the Silver Screen
Written by Candace Fleming
Illustrated by Eric Rohmann
Age Level: 8 - 12
Grade Level: 3 – 7
This is a Cinderella story of a German dog who becomes an American movie star. Etzel’s taken away from his mother and litter mates as a puppy. Play and kindness are trained out of him to make him into a police dog.
Then Larry Trimble appears on the scene. He’s looking for the right dog to appear in his movies, and he sees something in Etzel, but it took his secretary/co-writer Jane Murfin to unlock it. How? She taught him how to play again. Jane’s also the one who renamed him Strongheart.
That was the beginning of his film career. He made 6 movies, and people are still amazed by the emotion he showed on camera and in real life when he was falsely accused of attacking a girl. From the beginning to the end, this story is as full of heart as the real Strongheart. I loved every page of his story!
The Dandelion Seed’s Big Dream
Written by Joseph Anthony
Illustrated by Cris Arbo
Age Level: 4 - 10
Grade Level: 1 – 2
The local garden club gave this book to the library. It’s the story of a little seed’s dream to become a flower, then grow new flowers. It reminds me of THE TINY SEED by Eric Carle, which is one of my favorite books.
It’s also got great end pages with a short encyclopedia article, a labeled diagram, and a debate about whether a dandelion’s a weed or a flower. You can decide which for yourself. Then try out the DIY activities with a magnifying glass, a life cycle study, and an interview about the book.
Babies Ruin Everything
Written by Matthew Swanson
Illustrated by Robbi Behr
Age Level: 4 - 7
Grade Level: 1 – 2
What happens when your mom brings home a new baby? For one big sister, it ruins everything. Kids will giggle at the trouble one small baby can get into. They’ll be surprised how one red marker can change a story. This is a great gift for big brothers and sisters who are wondering about the changes a new baby will bring.
Ally-Saurus and the First Day of School
Written & Illustrated by Richard Terry
Age Level: 3 – 6
Grade Level: PS – 2
The pictures are OK, but the story’s great! Imagine your first day of school, and you wake-up as a dinosaur. You’re ready to make friends, but there’s not a dinosaur in sight. A trio of princesses turn their noses at you. What’s a dinosaur to do? Don’t worry! Ally-saurus is Ally-creative. Enjoy!
PS – if you liked this story, try out it’s sequel, ALLY-SAURUS & THE VERY BOSSY MONSTER.