You are currently browsing the archives for May 2012.
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Two poetry books you must have before we leave SLJ

  • Posted on May 31, 2012 at 8:20 PM

As of tomorrow, June 1st, Practically Paradise will no longer be hosted on the SLJ page, but instead on our new domain site at I am very excited about the new opportunity and cannot wait for you to follow us over there. Please pop in and leave a comment.

In the meantime, I cannot leave without mentioning two of my favorite poetry titles this year.

The Arrow Finds Its Mark: A Book of Found Poems edited by Georgbia Heard and illustrated by Antoine Guilloppe. Roaring Brook Press, 2012. ISBN 9781596436657. $16.99

This slim collection of poems is best for upper elementary and middle school students. It was fascinating to read and contemplate where these ideas originated, but it would be more meaningful to produce our own found poems. The rules were simply stated on the website. Now we sit back and see how this collection came into being through the rules stated in the introduction.

My favorite poem in this  book was by  Laura Purdie Salas. She created a poem Top Ten Rules for Our Zoo Field Trip by listing some titles of picture books she ran across on a library shelf. An example of a couple lines from this poem:

  • Don’t let the pigeon drive the bus
  • Please don’t feed the bears
  • Don’t go pet a porcupine, etc.

The other book of poetry I simply cannot neglect is by Gail Carson Levine and is called Forgive Me I Meant to Do It: False Apology Poems. I traded someone for this title. It is wonderfully wicked. As Gail Carson Levine points out, you have to be mean to read and enjoy these. Seems I have that ability.

Inspired by William Carlos Williams’ work, this collection of poems follow the sequence and rhyme structure of the original poem “This Is Just to Say”.  I was so worried that no one would be listening to me read this when suddenly it became popular. There is a little touch of meanness in everyone and this book provides the opportunity to creatively slam every person you’ve ever wanted and dazzle others with your ability use a formula to invent false apologies.

Perfect for middle school and upper elementary collections where the teacher enjoys leading the class in a little mayhem and madness, I’d definitely add this title.

Privacy and Getting ebooks on your reader

  • Posted on May 31, 2012 at 1:14 PM

Students come to peer over my shoulder and see what books are on my Kindle Fire. Sometimes I’m willing to show them, sometimes I’m not. Many of my Kindle ebook titles are lendable. I obtain many to share with students and my new grandchildren. However…, I have some titles that are for adult eyes only. During the day, I keep those in the Cloud and download them in the privacy of my home.

While discussing this with some former students of mine who are now in high school, we were able to talk about the need for privacy in reading choices. We agreed that digital downloading ebooks made it easier to obtain books that they didn’t want their friends to read. I used this as an opportunity to talk about ALA’s Choose Privacy week.

One example of a title I didn’t want everyone to know I was reading was

The Founding Fathers: American Legends by Charles River Editors. I love history and reading about heroes and legends. I discovered this title through a service called PIXEL OF INK. I am loving my emails from Pixel of Ink. Every day they email me titles that are temporarily available for free downloading from the Amazon store for my kindle. I specified that I wanted to receive their adult fiction, and their young edition. Here’s the description they provided for  The Founding Fathers: American Legends.

The Founding Fathers have held a special place in American society since the nation gained its freedom, and many of them had become national heroes even before then. Over 200 years later, Americans still look with reverence to these men, often debating with each other what the Founding Fathers would think about a certain issue, or how they would judge a certain law or legislation. In many respects, these men have become icons, whose words, thoughts and deeds are rarely questioned.

Like all legends, the staggering accomplishments of the Founding Fathers not only earned them monuments and memorials but helped enshrine their legacies, to the point that they are looked at almost as demigods above reproach. The Founding Fathers examines all of the colossal events and actions these men took, but it also analyzes what these men were really like, and how their personalities and passions helped shape the destiny of the country they founded and led.

Another title that has totally fascinated me has been Chemistry for Everyone by Suzanne Lahl and illustrated by  Cris Qualiana. In high school, I loved chemistry taught by Mrs. Pope. I found chemistry finally made mathematics useful and interesting. I was also thrilled to have a female science teacher and admired her greatly. When my #1 son decided to take Chemistry and Advanced Chemistry in high school, I was so thrilled to be able to share this love of science with him. Imagine my surprise when I saw just how far the field had gone since my studies 20 years earlier. His textbook resembled the college textbooks  I drooled over in the college bookstore. I wanted to read his entire book, yet thought I wouldn’t be able to bridge the gap.

Allow came Chemistry for Everyone. It is intended to provide a big picture of chemistry for those who want to take a chemistry class in high school or in college. The author encourages the reader to read this during the summer before class to have time to absorb some of the concepts and to contemplate the larger world.

Last night I was reading aloud Chemistry for Everyone to my husband while we sat drinking coffee in a local Waffle House. I couldn’t contain my excitement over quickly grasping and refreshing myself on chemistry topics. I couldn’t wait to share this with my friends. I got so excited over contemplating Mole and Molarity, Solubility, and Bonding that I looked up and said it was making me shiver with glee. Then I asked the question we librarians should never ask, “Does liking this make me a geek?” The answer is always yes, so why do I even bother to ask?

Back to why I like getting my ebooks on my Kindle Fire reader — PRIVACY. Those at Waffle House listening to my mesmerizing read-aloud at eleven p.m. last night may not always appreciate my choices, but through my device, no one else has to know what’s exciting me.

If you haven’t checked out Pixel of Ink or similar services, please do give them a look. They save me a great deal of time and have provided a wide variety of titles available free of charge for limited times. They save me time looking and lots of money sampling. If I like the first title in a series, I do go back and buy the rest of the series. I think authors and publishers who offer these freely are doing a good job marketing their titles. While libraries have to worry about those publishers charging ten times what a title costs a general citizen, services like Pixel of Ink help fill in my reading gaps at greatly reduced or free rates.

Already this summer I’ve read 22 adult titles with dystopian worlds, disasters, zombies, and more. Some of these include: Ruling Passion by Alyxandra Harvey (one of my favorite romantic without any naughty stuff vampire titles for teens), Zomblog, The Last Jump: A Novel of WWII, Bad Waters, The Walking People, Sector C by Phoenix Sullivan, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, Smoke and Magic, Murder on a Girl’s Night Out by the late Anne George, Sleepers, Breathless, Algebra Unplugged, Star Wars Lost Tribe of the Sith,Christine Feehan’s The Leopard Series Books 1-3, and a few others I choose not to name.

Pixel of Ink offers several different lists on their blog as indicated below.


Children’s Books


You can sign up to receive one, some, or all; alternately you can just visit their site daily or follow them on facebook and twitter. I chose Free & Bargain Books plus the Pixel of Ink Young Edition. If you receive notice about something else that looks great from a different list, be sure to share it on my new blog domain as of tomorrow:

Libraries are all about sharing and I don’t mind paying for a good book if you recommend it.

Is Flocabulary the "Schoolhouse Rock" for Today's Students?

  • Posted on May 31, 2012 at 3:09 AM

Have you heard anything about Flocabulary? I received an email advertisement that’s subject stated “The “Schoolhouse Rock” for Today’s Students” yet in the advertisement at the bottom it clearly states that it is not affiliated with The Schoolhouse Rock.

I am definitely a child of Schoolhouse Rock. Meet me at the ALA Conference and sing the beginning of any of their tunes, and I’ll chime right in with you. Could there be something as good for this generation? Here’s the advertisement I received:

15,000 Schools Can’t Be Wrong

  • Standards-aligned content for all subjects, K-12
  • Unlimited access for all teachers and all students
  • Any device – at school or at home – 24 hours a day

Learn more or get a quote here:

Over 15,000 schools use Flocabulary to engage students, increase achievement and make learning exciting. Songs, videos and research-based lessons increase retention of key academic content and help teachers connect with their students.

Preview free videos from across the curriculum.

* Flocabulary is not associated with or endorsed by Schoolhouse Rock.

55 Washington Street Ste.#259
Brooklyn, NY 11201

When I visited the website to try out the videos, my first thoughts were that the topics were for older students than elementary. Middle and high school could gain the most here. Schoolhouse rock was for a much younger crowd. These topics were middle school and up. FOr example, the video  Week in Rap May 11th, includes topics as diverse as Guantánamo Bay Trial & Same-Sex Marriage.

I was much more excited about the video on the five elements of a story which included this rephrain. I can see myself using this one next year. How about you?

Plot, Character, Conflict, Theme,
Setting, yes these are the 5 things
That you’re going to be needing
When you’re reading or writing
A short story that’s mad exciting.

I still want to hear your opinion. In case the commenting feature doesn’t work in June on SLJ since we are moving, , we anticate any comments will go on my new domain name blog

We Made You Out of Love

  • Posted on May 28, 2012 at 6:04 PM

We Made You Out of Love: The Answer to the Number One Question on Every Child’s Mind: “Where Did I Come From?”  written by Dr. Greg Marconi & Michael Marconi.

Twenty-one years ago when I was expecting #2 son, doctors told us to use anatomically correct words in explaining where babies come from. For two year old #1 son, that meant when others would ask if he was excited about the baby growing in his mommy’s tummy, he’d reply “Actually, the baby is growing in her uterus. Your stomach is where food goes.”

Today, parents can use this book to explain where babies come from. Written for children the authors suggest are too young to be burdened with technical terms and too many details about the facts of life, this book does actually state that the baby grew in mommy’s tummy. One tiny detail that doesn’t prevent me from liking this title greatly.

The authors have managed to take a controversial subject and treat it with enough distracting humor and various facts that  parents can decide how much additional information they choose to provide. This title will become a standard for all public library collections and preschool-1 collections.

I watched as a parent shared this with her second and fifth grader. They were intently listening, laughing along, and looking at the illustrations. They wanted to hear the story again and to look at the pictures themselves. They particularly loved the illustrations because they were digitally familiar, like in a videogame. See this one below:


The fifth grader did laugh and ask, “Wait a minute! Does that mean you are making babies everytime you stand close to the daddy?”” The second grader said, “Of course not, there has to be some of that yucky stuff, too, like kissing.”

Fortunately for their mom, they were still laughing over all the funny ideas Jeffrey had as possibilities for where he came from, and they were distracted.

I enjoyed this story because it was heartwarming and loving. Two parents talking to their young son about making him from love and acknowledging that he is the best thing they ever made to become a family. This was sweet, yet not too icky-sweet.

Visit their website to see a video with the authors explaining their choices in creating this story.

I’m happy to see at least one book about making babies that won’t be challenged by parents or staff.

How the Troll Hunters helped with grieving

  • Posted on May 28, 2012 at 10:12 AM

Skyfall by Micahel Dahl. #1 Troll Hunters series. Stone Arch Books, 2012. ISBN: 9781434233073. $17.99. Reading Level: 2-3; Interest Level: 5-9. 112 pages.

Librarianship is a wondrous profession. Seeking and receiving information, matching it to the needs of patrons, and watching interests grow is a wonderful thing. One disadvantage to being in a school library is the end of the school year when all checkouts stop. Public libraries never have to close down yearly to inventory, put their books exactly in order, and cease checkout.

This year because I was part of the related arts team and served as teacher’s planning release, I had classes even the last day of school but had to shift classes to the computer lab instead of the library. Unfortunately, checkout stops ten days before then and we are expected to get our inventory done, shelves in order, and the end of the year reports turned in. (Mine isn’t finished yet, ahem!) School librarians often have the textbooks for classrooms to be returned and inventoried; moreover, the  technology must be returned, repaired, and surplussed.

This is the only time of year when I allow my volunteers and library assistant to get territorial and tell the kids not to touch the books. If I had my way, I’d be paid for a week extra to stay and put things in order. Since I don’t and my working next week is volunteering, I compromise and watch the shelves fill up with all the titles that we haven’t seen on the shelves all year. This is a mixed blessing because the students sneak in to view all the books in their place and marvel at titles they were waiting for all year. They always discover something new — maybe a new series, the rest of the books by an author they liked, an entire shelf of baseball books that “magically” appeared. And they beg. They plead. They bargain. Please, Mrs. Kelly, let me just checkout this one book.

This year a fourth grade  African-American boy quietly slipped in the library and wandered the shelves one morning. Finally, he stood at the desk with my assistant and just waited. When she asked what he wanted, he said he had just hoped to check out something. Through their conversation we discovered his beloved grandfather who was practically raising him, had just died. He’d had to move back in with his mother. He was at school but trying to deal with his emotions. He just needed to read something.

How can you help grieving children? Love, care, listening? Being there? Of course, but I helplessly clutched at the one thing I am good at doing – offering a book. I knew this boy had read the Library of Doom by Michael Dahl and was systematically reading everything Michael Dahl had written. I happened to have the new series Troll Hunters #1 and #2 to review on my desk, so I quickly grapped Skyfall and pressed it into his hands, asking him to tell me what he thought.

He loved it. He came back three times during the day to update me on where he was in reading. He asked if he could have the second and how quickly I could get the others. His teacher stopped me in the hall and said she had allowed him to just sit and read for two hours straight while he was coping. When we asked him for details about the book, he talked about how exciting it was. How quickly the action happened. How there was so much going on to keep track of.

We even had a funny moment when he pointed out Doctor Hoo was in the book. He knows how much I love the Doctor Who tv series so we had a giggle while we guessed Michael Dahl is a Doctor Who fan, too.

He showed me how interesting the color pages are in the front and back and that they made this book feel special and old-like. He liked the illustrations because they were scary. I pulled out my camera and showed his a real photo of Michael Dahl to compare to the artistic rendering in the back. He even mentioned to me that he liked the feel of the pages. I pointed out that these books were all printed in the U.S.A. in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, and he mentioned that his grandfather would have been proud that he was reading a book made in the USA.

Coming in and chatting about Troll Hunters kept this sweet young man interested and involved throughout the chaos of the last days of school and the various “celebrations” that occur for milestones. We talked about questions we would like to ask Michael Dahl and about having a Skype session with him in the fall. When he realized he’d be at the middle school by then, he asked if he could come by to join in. He wanted me to pass on to the author that these books are exciting and easy to read and that they hook you. Finally, as he was getting on the bus the last day, he hollered out the window (yes, hollered, we are in the South) and said he would come by to visit me to help review books next year.

I cannot take away the pain of my students’ lives. I can help them escape, learn more, and get involved in reading and living someone else’s life.

How did I like the Troll Hunters? Troll Hunters is going to be the most sought after new series for my reluctant readers in fourth grade. The vocabulary is accessible, the action intense, and the characters intriguing. The second book Dark Tower Rising is my favorite because it introduced constellation mythology.

Both titles I read involve science and applying scientific ideals to myths from the past. I’m already seeking new constellation titles like the one pictured here to satisfy the growing interest in mythology.

Neither Troll Hunter title I read tries to answer all questions, wrap up all the problems, or even provide happy endings. The action keeps the reader involved and leaves lots of storyline possibilities open.

The series is giving my students something to look forward. I contemplated the correlations to the Common Core Standards including:

  • Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text. Subskill: Analyze in detail how a key individual, event, or idea is introduced, illustrated, and elaborated in a text (e.g., through examples or anecdotes).
  • Analyze how particular elements of a story or drama interact (e.g., how setting shapes the characters or plot).
  • Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot; provide an objective summary of the text.

These are skills I can work with informally and formally as students read through the series. The Tennessee skills I can focus on include:

  • Predict and determine the sequence of events in a story including possible problems and solutions.
  • Identify the conflict of the plot.
  • Continue to identify how point of view (i.e., first person or third person, limited and omniscient) shapes the plot of the story or the perspective of the characters and audience.
  • Identify and interpret the main incidents of a plot, their causes, how they influence future actions, and how they are resolved.

Board Books – A Color Game for Chester Raccoon

  • Posted on May 20, 2012 at 6:04 PM

A Color Game for Chester Raccoon Written by Audrey Penn. Illustrated by Barbara L. Gibson. Tanglewood Publishing, May 2012. Board book, 14 pages, Ages 1-3, $7.95 ISBN: 978-1-933718-58-3. Guided reading level: G; Grade level: 1; Reading Recovery level: 11-12

A Color Game for Chester Raccoon by Audrey Penn takes our friend Chester once again down to the board book level with this title focusing on colors found in a forest. Most board books that focus on color are simplified with one large colored item or several same colored items for each page. Not so here. In A Color Game for Chester Raccoon, the reader must use observation skills to identify colors within the forest. There are not too many colors on the page to make this difficult, but to those children just guessing by pointing at objects, this will be more challenging. I can see this helping parents prepare preschoolers.

The first page has Chester Raccoon gleefully pointing out a bird with white feathers. Astute children may notice that the background of this and all following pages is white. Since some of the bird’s feathers are other colors, there are opportunities for calling forth more vocabulary. The bird has black feathers with white spots and striped brown and tan feathers, also. While the author focuses on white, blue, yellow, orange, brown, black, and red, sharp parents will point out a color present on each page that isn’t identified – a pale forest GREEN.

I like this title because it encourages observation and suggests parents help children make color identification a game. Learning to play with a child is not always instinctive so this is an excellent choice for new parents. I can’t wait to take this north to Michigan for my new step-daughters’ baby shower. Since she’s having a boy, I am having a wonderful time choosing board book titles that I can’t wait to share with you. I think I could get the hand on being a grandma. I’m not even worried about them calling me anything other than grandma. I like it!

There is a moment of the kissing hand being given to both Chester and Ronny Raccoon. I love The Kissing Hand, and others in this series: A Pocketful of Kisses, A Kiss Goodbye, Chester Raccoon and the Big Bad Bully, Chester Raccoon and the Acorn Full of Memories, and the board book A Bedtime Kiss for Chester Raccoon. I am still waiting for an adapted version of The Kissing Hand for babies in board book format. I have used the stickers from The Kissing Hand and created my own stickers for kindergarten class’ storytime early in the year. For some of my students, simple affection like a heart-shaped sticker in their hand or a quick-politically-correct-one-arm-hug may be the most they receive in a day.

I was thinking about this recently while kissing wounded elbows and toes of my other new grandchildren. Just how many body parts do parents kiss while they are teaching? Fingers, chin, eyes, nose, cheeks, knees, elbows and toes? Perhaps we could produce the new parents guide to boo-boo’s and owies? Next, I’d like to buy the Chester Raccoon puppet to help in storytime. I hope that Audrey Penn continues to help Chester Raccoon face life as he grows.

School Libraries are Practically Paradise!

  • Posted on May 20, 2012 at 11:56 AM

School Libraries are Practically Paradise! I have believed this since the moment I walked in the door as a school library media specialist in August 1989 exactly one week after giving birth to my oldest son #1son. Although my job titles have varied to include school librarian, teacher-librarian, library information specialist, instructional media coordinator, and even “book babe” (thanks to a special student with autism), I remain as passionate about taking our students and teachers to paradise every day through practical, dynamic leadership.

Thanks for joining me at Practically Paradise and come back often to be revitalized.

Fundraisers and School Libraries

  • Posted on May 7, 2012 at 2:01 PM

Are fundraisers worth it anymore for school libraries? In Tennessee we can only have two tax-free fundraisers a year in a school. After that all fundraisers – even those occurring earlier in the year are taxable. If I have a bookfair and charge tax as I’m legally supposed to do then the PTO can only hold one more fundraiser in the year. That means one taxed fundraiser and one untaxed fundraiser. If I tried to hold two untaxed and the bookfair, both of the others would be taxed. It just doesn’t make sense anymore.

My Book Fairs do not earn much over $1000 cash profit. The PTO candy sales can earn $5000 easily. So why do I still bother with a book fair?

I believe the value of our bookfair is not just in the cash profit we earn, but in the entire experience of the bookfair. We try to make it an event with decorations, contests, family participation, food, and with building excitement about reading. We integrate standards into booktalks and mini-lessons. We read aloud from some of the titles and watch students eagerly purchase that title for their own collection. We talk books. We talk authors. We talk series. We talk about matching our personal interests with reading.

You cannot do those things with a candy bar or lollipop. So even though we don’t make much profit, we will continue to want to hold the event.

I am wondering though if schools will open their eyes in the future though and decide that our profit is too small to justify giving up a slot to the bookfair.

How does your state handle fundraisers?

Limitless Libraries and Weeding lists

  • Posted on May 7, 2012 at 9:01 AM

The day has arrived. It looks like Nashville’s budget is going to include the elementary school libraries in the Limitless Library program next year. This will add tremendous access to the Nashville Public Libraries to our collections. It has been a wonderful program at the high school and middle school level. I am very supportive and excited to be part of this.

At the same time the program is geared towards cleaning up collections to weed out older materials and create gaps or opportunities for the public library to help the school library. One of the first steps involves the public library using Karen Lowe’s weeding formulas to create lists of materials to either keep, evaluate, or discard. These are simply quick guidelines and it is still up to the school librarian to make the final decisions. They are formula based on the copyright age only.

I received my lists last week. When I came to my school this year, I realized the reference collection needed serious weeding. I took out the worst offenders, but left some series since the principal was concerned that I not take all without replacing. To comply with the weeding lists, my principal is going to be shocked at how little is left.

I purchased the Britannica Student Encyclopedia this year and have been teaching all my encyclopedia skills through it and my online sets of Britannica and World Book. That expense took a major portion of my budget and I couldn’t afford any other reference sources.

When I received the weeding list for reference, only five titles are listed in the keep section. All the others are listed as to be evaluated or discarded. I can discard the 167 other titles and I will be left with these five titles.

  • The World Book dictionary from 2007
  • 2006 World Book Student Discovery Encyclopedia
  • 2008 World Book Encyclopedia
  • Britannica student encyclopedia 2012
  • Titanic by Jenkins, Martin. 2008 (although I think it’s only in reference because it’s oversized).

All the science encyclopedias, biographical dictionaries, atlases, dictionaries, thesaurus, picture dictionaries, and even the only Tennessee biographical dictionary are slated for removal. Do I take a leap of faith and just get rid of all of those?

I had left the endangered species encyclopedia set from 1995 since next year the entire school will have a theme of dinosaurs and endangered/extinct animals as their PBL (project based learning project) for nine weeks. My thoughts were those sets would at least provide names of animals for my students to research whether they continue to be on the endangered and extinct list or whether their status had improved. If I simply go with the weeding lists, I will have nothing.

My school is a STEM school – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. I need access to up-to-date reference materials and nonfiction. Will the public library budget be able to replace titles to meet our needs? I will keep you informed as we progress.

I don’t even want to mention how ridiculous the list is for easy books. According to a computer formula, all old picture books would go including Newbery and Caldecott winners, early Berenstain bear titles, Miss Nelson is Missing and more. I’m glad that I will be able to use my own judgement on these lists because a computer will never be able to replace the brain of a librarian.

Spring books

  • Posted on May 1, 2012 at 2:28 AM

Springtime and Easter present challenges. Most librarians have spent their book budgets, yet students get spring-book-fever and want new titles. What should you add to your list?

10 Hungry Rabbits: Counting & Color Concepts by Anita Lobel. Alfred A. Knopf, 2012. ISBN: 978-0-375-86864-1. $9.99.

10 Easter Egg Hunters: a holiday counting book by Janet Schulman; illustrated by Linda Davick. Alfred A. Knopf, 2011. ISBN 978-0-375-86787-3. $8.99.

Home for a Bunny (A Little Golden Book) by Margaret Wise Brown; illustrated by Garth Williams. Random House Little Golden Books Classic, 1989. ISBN: 978-0-307-93009-5. $3.99.

The Bunny’s Night-Light: A Glow-in-the-Dark Search by Geoffrey Hayes. Random House, 2012. $11.99, 32 page. ISBN 9780375869266.

10 Hungry Rabbits. I’ve been a fan of Anita Lobel’s since she illustrated Princess Furball and spoke at a literature symposium in Illinois in the early 90’s. When I saw 10 Hungry Rabbits, I knew there would be little artistic touches added to each page. While not as elaborate as the flowers in Allison’s Zinnia or as amazing as her recent paintings of flowers in gouache on rice paper, Anita Lobel creates and hides beautiful flowers throughout the scenes of 10 Hungry Rabbits. She correlates colors of vegetables with the colors of each rabbits clothes while she counts vegetables. The most unusual food item is the page with ten black peppercorns. I’m glad I keep peppercorns on hand for grinding to show to students.

This idea for creating flannelboards to tell the tale of 10 Hungry Rabbits is perfect for spring storytime. I am a big fan of Reading Chick’s flannelboard blog posts. Here is a photo from her take on this tale.

Kirkus reviews notes the details in their review of 10 Hungry Rabbits, too.

There is an interesting tie-in between these two counting books. Anita Lobel dedicates her book to Janet Schulman “fine author, excellent editor, and very good friend. With love always.”

Janet Schulman’s rhymes in 10 Easter Egg Hunters are what caused this title to be added to my list. While I may not be a big fan of creepy teeth kids in the Linda Davick illustrations, I did find many hidden treasures (and eggs) in the photos. I can imagine reading this to a small group, possibly 2-4 students and having them find eggs in the illustration that are not referenced by the words until later on in the story. When students become accustomed to facts and details being strained out so they only focus on the “correct” image or answer, it can be disconcerting to be exposed to the larger picture throughout the book and having to focus oneself.

Home for a Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown; illustrated by Garth Williams remains one of the classic Little Golden Books. For tiny toddlers, looking for a bunny home under a rock, under a stone, under a log, or under the ground becomes a chant throughout this tale. Garth Williams sweet bunnies will always remind me of spring. He created such happy animals that the reader couldn’t help but feel happy for spring.

As for the book, The Bunny’s Night-Light: A Glow-in-the-Dark Search, I think Angie Mangino nailed this title with her review at the City Book Review at The publisher description isn’t as sweet.

“When Little Bunny can’t sleep because “there’s too much dark at night,” it’s up to Papa to find just the right night-light for his little bunny. The pair go for a walk around the woods and Papa points out the possibilities. Perhaps the moon is the ideal night-light? Or maybe the fireflies will be able to help? Or even the little glowworm? Featuring luminescent nighttime illustrations that glow in the dark, and a comforting text, this bedtime story will resonate with little bunnies and their parents.”

This was the last of a group of titles I picked up because my first impression was that it was just a gimmicky book of glow in the dark pictures. I was sooooo wrong! This is truly a reassuring bedtime story that is perfect for daddies to read to their little ones. The illustrations have the perfect balance of sweetness with variations in expression that will keep little ones looking at pictures again and again. The wording is perfectly paced with gentle rhythm and repetition.

I first read the story in the daytime and was very satisfied. Later at night I pulled out my flashlight to watch the pages glow around the edges and with aspects of night that naturally have light. As PaPa tries to find the perfect light to reassure Bunny, Bunny easily points out the flaws in each suggestion. At the same time, Bunny is opening his eyes to the night objects that glow or produce light. This will help toddlers realize that the night is not all dark.

The Bunny’s Night-Light is such a charmer that I have to take it with me to Michigan to show #3 grandchild while we wait the arrival of #4. I am prepared for the necessity of producing a nightlight after reading and anticipate shopping for a three year old. Will he want a bunny light or perhaps some type of monster truck light? Perhaps the glow in the dark objects will be a better gift to accompany this story. Whatever we follow up with, I am most anticipating that sweet moment of cuddling and reading. We’ll reach the end when Papa and Mama say Good Night and then we’ll go back to read it again.

Hopefully you are taking note of these titles to add to your collection so you’ll be ready next year when the bunny season arrives. Good luck.