Archive for the ‘Top of the Shelf’ Category
Thursday, September 19th, 2013
ARE YOU LOOKING FOR FRIENDS?!
Well look no further!
This year, Eric Carle wows us again with his brand-new, heartwarming story about two friends. When one moves away, the other braves rivers, mountains and meadows just to see his friend again. Inspired by Eric’s enduring relationship with his wife, Bobbie, and based on real friendships lost and kept, Friends will resonate deeply. Read this book! Read it with your friend! Write your friend a letter and tell them to read it! It will remind you how important your closest friendships truly are.
Friends releases November 19, 2013, but here at the Carle are lucky enough to have Eric Carle’s latest book EARLY!
Books can be pre-ordered and picked up at the Eric Carle book signing on September 21, 2013 in Amherst, MA. If you pre-order on our website, make sure to choose “Pick-Up in Store” at the checkout. No copies will be shipped until November 19, 2013. Reserve your copy now!
Click here to pre-order!
Sunday, March 3rd, 2013
Twelve Kinds of Ice byEllen Bryan Obed, illustrated by Barbara McClintock (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
This beautiful book is about the size of a grown-up’s mitten. Short chapters with lots of black and white illustrations follow a family through a winter in which skating is central to peoples’ joy. The children in the narrator’s family unite around anticipation and memories of skating, while neighbors join them to skate in the yard a father carefully floods and tends, with the children’s help. We see people who live close to nature, with the emphasis on its pleasures. Few could read this book and not take a keener interest in varieties of ice, and want to skate. All will be glad to spend a short time with the people met here — gliding over frozen fields, through pastures, across a pond, and the flooded garden turned rink, after homework was finished, in the moonlight. The text is poetic and Barbara McClintock’s drawings are full of movement, grace and the charm of a particular time and place.
Friday, February 1st, 2013
Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger (Roaring Brook)
A 2013 Caldecott Honor book!
This book shows not only many shades of green, all beautiful, but gives views into different parts of the world from many angles. We can see sings of a confident paintbrush and canvas, beginning with a forest, moving under the sea, then stopping for a quiet moment to honor limes, then peas. Tension rises again with a tiger peering through thick glasses. We see more animals, and nature in both day and night time. The book pauses for winter, noting “no green,” before ending with a picture of a boy planting, and a girl standing with her dad to look up at a tree, and the words “forever green.” There’s not really a plot, but we feel we’ve traveled to many green places, and done enough marveling to want to turn back the pages and look all over again.
Tuesday, January 15th, 2013
I Have a Dream by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., paintings by Kadir Nelson (Schwartz & Wade)
Most children know the holiday dedicated to the civil rights movement leader, and for those who aren’t familiar with the 1963 speech that makes up the text for this big, colorful book, this will be a wonderful introduction. The paintings not only keep to the tone of hope and dignity in the speech, but amplify it. The book begins with the Lincoln Memorial setting, first seen as if from above, then in a close-up of Dr. King with a shadowed Lincoln statue behind him. Then, again, we get a long view, with the placards listeners hold catching the light, looking almost like lanterns under a big pale sky. The dream gets illustrated movingly, and we see the beautiful and varied hills and mountains that Dr. King mentions in his “let freedom ring” refrain. White doves under a blue sky end the book, along with the complete text of the speech. The book includes a CD of the speech, too, one which is worth listening to again and again.
Tuesday, December 18th, 2012
The Christmas Quiet Book by Deborah Underwood, illustrated by Renata Liwska (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012)
I loved The Quiet Book, which was also written and illustrated by this team, but the idea of a holiday follow-up didn’t charm me. So I’m glad that my local librarian gushed about this, and when I shrugged, left her desk to seek it out. A few pages through, we were smiling and reading favorite pages aloud to each other. How could that little bit of Grinch in me last while looking at three contented bears enjoying “Cocoa quiet,” or on the opposite page “Nutcracker quiet,” which showed an audience on red chairs including a proud mother rabbit, dozing bears, and a bored little moose. As in the other collaborations, the words are sparse and perfect. The animals are painted with textures that bring out their cuddliness, and expressive eyes that pull you right into an episode such as “hoping for a snow day quiet” or “shattered ornament quiet.” This is exactly the kind of book that will make you want to leave a desk to share it, or better yet, pore over before a sparkling tree on long nights that might include “listening for sleigh bells quiet” and “trying to stay awake quiet.”
Thursday, October 11th, 2012
Bear Has a Story to Tell
by Phillip C. Stead, illustrated by Erin E. Stead (Roaring Brook Press)
This big-bellied bear with fur that’s many shades of brown won me over from the first two pages. He is sleepy, but sets out, for he has a story to tell. This desire leads him to Mouse, who has seeds to gather. Duck is getting ready to fly south. Frog must find a warm place to sleep, and Mole is already sleeping. Bear helps them all, before watching snow fall in a sky painted in marvelous shades of blue, green, and violet. He sleeps, then rolls around to celebrate spring and his chance to tell his story to friends who seem even closer after their time apart. Readers will learn about friendship and the cycles of seasons, in a book whose last page sends them back to the first.
Monday, September 24th, 2012
by Sally Sutton, illustrated by Brian Lovelock (Candlewick)
Rhyme, a zippy rhythm, repetition, and onomatopoeia (Whirr! Churr! Crunch!), which ends each stanza in big print, make this book feel loud and brisk. Wonderful pictures of enormous machines are shown in action, and the text brings in a sense of danger, dust, and change. We also learn some of what happens with what not only gets destroyed, but recycled. The book ends with a playground being built, and a page of Machine Facts. The fast pace, variety of machines including trucks, wrecking balls on cranes, cement crushers, and excavators are sure to engage readers who love action and stories with noise.
Monday, September 17th, 2012
by Jane Buchanan, illustrated by Charlotte Riley-Webb (Peachtree)
The book reads almost like a song, starting with Birdman’s joy in feeding pigeons. He sees a beauty those around him don’t, though the bold paintings make it clear to readers. Rose accepts the seeds Birdman usually scatters for birds, and sets them on a windowsill. After watching, waiting, and dreaming, she’s rewarded with a singing garden of birds. The short, simple, and beautiful text is a perfect match for the vivid colors, painted with wide, wonderful strokes.
Monday, September 10th, 2012
House Held Up by Trees
by Ted Kooser, illustrated by Jon Klassen (Candlewick)
Former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser is the author of this picture book that addresses the themes of change and nature. The story was inspired by seeing a house help up by trees, and this tale shows how that might have come to be. The book begins with a house that looks rather lonely on a newly planted lawn, but we soon see it from the woods as the house is inhabited by a family. Time moves swiftly in this book, so within a page turn, the children have grown up, and before too long the beloved house is abandoned. But not by nature. Beautiful illustrations show changes wrought by time and weather, and trees with layers of texture that suggest their power. Jon Klassen, who created droll animals for I Want My Hat Back, here uses some of the same brown tones and elegant textures to fit this story’s meditative tone.
Tuesday, September 4th, 2012
UnBEElievables: honeybee poems and paintings
by Douglas Florian (Beach Lane Books)
This volume contains poems that often burst with humor, puns, alliteration, and rhyme. Each poem is accompanied by a nugget of scientific fact and faces a page of bees with attitude, sometimes wearing fancy hats or jewelry. Many poems feature different bees, including queens, workers, scouts, and drones. Other poems focus on life cycles, pollination, the recent disappearance of bees, and beekeepers. We learn a lot, and with pleasure in the inventive language and simple, funny paintings with lots of green and gold, which are sometimes amid collage and rubber stamp work. Further reading is suggested at the end, along with a BEEbliography.