Posts Tagged ‘friends’
Tuesday, March 6th, 2012
Mr. Prickles: A Quill-Fated Love Story by Kara LaReau, illustrated by Scott Magoon (A Neal Porter Book/Roaring Brook Press, 2012)
As Mr. Prickles tries to find a friend, a raccoon, a chipmunk, and skunk, tell him that he’s not cute, cuddly, and playful, like them. Mr. Prickles believes he is adorable on the inside, but as he’s kept from joining in, he does feel prickly on the inside, too. Fortunately he meets Miss Pointypants, who understands him, plays with him, eats with him, and shows him that “porcupines do hug, very carefully.” This is a quick book to read, filled with love, humor, a bit of prickliness, wordplay, and food for thought. Pick up a copy of Mr. Prickles.
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Want more recommendations from The Carle Bookshop? Click here to read for Top of the Shelf book reviews.
Thursday, November 24th, 2011
Happy Thanksgiving! On this day of family, friends and delicious fall foods, I want to talk about one of my favorite Thanksgiving treats…pie! Lovely fall pies like apple, pumpkin, and pecan pie will be filling my family’s table this holiday season, but I’m a sucker for summer fruit pies as well. What about you? Do you have a favorite kind of pie?
Here are some picture books from our Shop’s shelves that highlight this favorite sweet treat.
Pie in the Sky by Lois Ehlert (Harcourt, 2004)
With her beautiful cut paper collage illustrations, Lois Ehlert shows how a cherry pie is made, starting from the tree that cherries grown on. With each turn of the page, the reader observes the natural world of this cherry tree through the seasons, waiting for the time to finally pick the cherries and make the pie. Look closely on each page for hidden details, including Ehlert’s own cherry pie recipe!
Pecan Pie Baby by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Sophie Blackall (Putnam, 2010)
Everyone is excited about Mama having a new baby except Gia. She likes having Mama all to herself and sharing special moments between just the two of them like telling silly stories, snuggling in the morning, or sharing a piece of their favorite treat — pecan pie. But even now, before the baby is born, Gia has to share their love of pecan pie with the baby in Mama’s belly. “This baby sure loves itself some pie,” says Mama, giving in to her cravings. “Well,” says Gia, “I love pecan pie. And you love pecan pie. So that baby’s just being a copycat.” This book gracefully navigates the complexity of a child’s feelings about a new sibling and Gia’s mother is able to gently reassure Gia that the baby won’t ruin their special mother/daughter bond.
Apple Pie ABC by Alison Murray (Hyperion, 2011)
A fresh take on the classic A Apple Apie alphabet book with bold retro-style illustrations.
A apple pie
B bake it
C cool it
D dish it out.
Told with great humor in the point of view of a very determined dog who wants a piece of that apple pie.
The Apple Pie that Papa Bakes by Lauren Thompson, illustrated by Jonathan Bean (Simon & Schuster, 2007)
A fun retelling of “The House that Jack Built” cumulative style tale. Instead it’s the pie that papa baked. With a nod to classic Virginia Burton illustration, the reader gets a bigger and bigger view of all the parts of the natural world that go into making one delicious apple pie from scratch. A wonderful read aloud.
How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman (Knopf, 1994)
In Marjorie Priceman’s beautiful and whimsical style, readers are taken on a worldwide scavenger hunt for the ingredients to make an apple pie. To Italy to harvest the wheat, to France to gather the eggs, to Sri Lanka for some cinnamon and so on, until finally picking the apples close to home in a Vermont orchard. A wonderful reminder for all ages to know and appreciate all the places our food comes from.
For older readers, check out
Pie by Sarah Weeks (Scholastic, 2011)
This book is a wonderful and quick middle-grade novel, perfect for ages 9-12, about a girl named Alice, whose beloved Aunt Polly makes the town’s BEST pies. When Aunt Polly passes away, she leaves her famous piecrust recipe surprisingly to her cat, Lardo and then leaves Lardo in the care of Alice. The town goes in a frenzy trying to get the recipe, even including a cat-napping and a suspicious stranger snoping around town, getting poor Alice caught up in the middle of it all. It’s up to Alice to show everyone that Polly’s pies were about bringing family and friends together. This funny and well-written book is interspersed with recipes (warning: don’t read on an empty stomach — it will make you hungry!) so you can try out the famous pies yourself.
On this day of giving thanks, we’re thankful for our food — and delicious pies — and for our family and friends like you who we can share our love of books with. Happy Thanksgiving!
Friday, August 5th, 2011
Come On, Rain by Karen Hesse, illustrated by Jon J. Muth (Scholastic Press, 1999)
This is one of those books that I just love to read during the hot and muggy New England summer. There’s nothing quite like a rainstorm to cool an oppressive heat wave. It makes you want to go out in the rain in your bathing suit and dance around. With delicate image-rich prose and beautiful watercolors that seem to blur in the heat and rain, Karen Hesse and Jon Muth bring these feelings to life. You can feel the heaviness of the heat, the impatient anticipation right before it rains, and then the joyful relief as the world finally cools off.
Tess and her mother are wilting and cranky in a summer heatwave. “Up and down the block, cats pant, heat wavers off tar patches in the broiling alleyway.” Tess finally sees rain clouds rolling in on the horizon and she gets an idea that will cool herself off. She rounds up her friends, all barefoot in their bathing suits in the street, and wait. “We meet in the alleyway. All the insects have gone still. Trees sway under a swollen sky, the wind grows bold and bolder…and just like that, rain comes.” The girls play and splash joyfully together, until they are surprisingly joined by their mothers, cheering and whooping uncharacteristically in the cooling rain.Together, mothers and daughters all dance and laugh, enjoying the break of hot weather, feeling rejuvenated and happy. “I hug Mamma hard, and she hugs me back. The rain has made us new.”
The seed for Karen Hesse’s Newbery-winning novel, Out of the Dust, came from this picture book, and you can clearly see the parallels of characters in both books waiting desperately for rain. Jon J. Muth complements Hesse’s poetic prose with watercolors that fully emote. The beginning pages are drenched in yellow and orange, radiating heat, blurry with the haze of a hot summer day. Double page spreads show, first, just hands, reaching to the heavy clouds, and then bare feet in the street, as the first drops fall. As the characters dance and splash, the illustrations become even more watery, as if the reader is looking at them through a wall of rain. I especially love how the mothers and daughters are dressed in matching colors, complementing each other as they dance.
Need a break from the heat? This is just the book for you.
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At The Carle Bookshop we specialize in backlist picture books. Backlist is bookseller talk for the not-so-new picture books that you often can’t find at other bookstores. We carry the fabulous new books too (make sure to read our weekly Top of the Shelf posts for new book recommendations), but we know what makes us unique are the shelves and shelves of picture books you remember from your childhood or books you read to your own children. Each Friday, we’ll highlight one of these special older titles in case you may have missed it or forgotten about it along the way. Let’s keep the picture book alive and loved, shall we?
Thursday, March 31st, 2011
Sometimes in early spring we can feel a little stuck. We want it to be sunny and warm but things aren’t quite happening as quickly as we like. Or maybe, with all the rain and melting snow, we are quite literally stuck in the mud!
Getting stuck in the mud is a pretty common theme in picture books. Often the scenario is the same, a bunch of animals pile into a truck, barrel down a muddy road and…you guessed it…get stuck. Even though the situation is the same, it doesn’t keep each book from being wonderfully funny and silly in its own way. Here are some “stuck in the mud” favorites:
Duck in the Truck by Jez Alborough (Kane/Miller, 2008)
Wonderful rhyme and wordplay, complemented with silly and bright illustrations, make this book an absolute joy to read aloud. Duck finds himself stuck in the mud and needs the help of a variety of different barnyard animals in their own transportation (a goat in a boat, a sheep in a jeep, etc) to help pull and push him out.
Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw, illustrated by Margot Apple (Houghton Mifflin, 1986)
Another wonderful book written in rhyme. A family of sheep squeeze into a tiny jeep for a ride, but these sheep are not the most conscientious of drivers! A variety of mishaps will keep preschoolers giggling and adults will love all the funny details added by illustrator Margot Apple. Two strong pigs help to push the jeep out of the mud (check out their tattoos) but once the sheep are back on the road, they find their troubles are not over yet!
Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle, illustrated by Jill McElmurry (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2008)
This sweet book combines a cast of barnyard animals with anthropomorphized cars. The friendly little blue truck is nice to all the animals as he casually drives down the road, but the big important dump truck honks rudely for everyone to get out of his way. When the big dump truck gets stuck in the mud, however, the little blue truck and the animals all work together to get him out, showing the true value of manners and friendship. This book is wonderfully designed with the shape of the text sometimes mirroring the action, bumping along or HONKING LOUDLY. (I especially love the illustration of the little blue truck tiny in the dump truck’s rear view mirror!) The sound effects in the text make it a great book to read aloud, with your whole audience chiming in.
Pigs in the Mud in the Middle of the Rud by Lynn Plourde, illustrated by John Schoenherr (Scholastic, 1997)
The hilarious rhyming text of this book bounces along in this sort of cumulative tale, filled with funny slang and nonsense words to make everyone giggle. As a farm family tries to drive down the road, they find pigs in the mud blocking their way! One by one a family member gets out of the car to try to move an animal, but as the story progresses more and more farm animals are stuck in the mud – pigs, chickens, sheep, even a bull! – but they nothing the family does can get them to budge. Good think they have a spunky grandma to save the day!
We all get stuck sometimes, but these books show that good friends are always there to help pull you out. Do you have a favorite picture book about getting stuck in the mud? Tell us about it!
Thursday, February 3rd, 2011
It’s February, a time to celebrate love and friendship, and this month we want to let our friends know how much we love you! Each Thursday in February we are going to be giving away fabulous products from our store to lucky blog readers.
Today we’re kicking it off with one of our favorite books (and one of Eric’s personal favorites too!) about friendship: Do You Want to Be My Friend? by Eric Carle.
Two lucky winners will receive a copy of the book (in hardcover or cardboard book form, your choice!) and a signed Eric Carle bookplate. All you need to do to enter this giveaway is leave a comment below before Noon EST Friday, Feb 4th and we’ll randomly pick two winners. Become a fan of The Carle Bookshop on Facebook and leave a comment there too and you can be entered in twice to improve your odds of winning!
Good luck and I’ll see you back here tomorrow to announce the winners.
Comments closed. Our random number generator chose two winners from the comments below and on our Facebook page. Congratulations to Alison Ney and Kayti Purkiss! We’ll be in touch with you about sending your prizes.
Thank you to all of you for your wonderful comments! Make sure to stop back here next week for another exciting giveaway!
Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011
February is here and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. While there are lots of wonderful books about valentines and love, some kids get grossed out or bored by that lovey-dovey mushy stuff. I’ve found that books about friendship make for great Valentine’s Day reading (and every other day of the year, too!) and they encourage us to appreciate the best friends in our own lives. Here are a few of my favorite picture book pairs.
Toot & Puddle (Little, Brown & Co., 1997) by Holly Hobbie
Toot & Puddle are best friends. Toot is adventurous, but Puddle is more of a homebody. When Toot decides to set off on a year-long world adventure, Puddle decides he’d be happier at home. I love that these two like different things and they’re okay with that. Puddle’s not resentful that Toot’s going on vacation without him and Toot doesn’t get mad that Puddle won’t come along. Author/illustrator Holly Hobbie shows how they each have such a great time doing what they love, even though they miss each other. The sweet watercolor illustrations are funny and oh-so-adorable and the inclusion of Toot’s handwritten postcards to Puddle is delightful to young readers.
Frog & Toad (Scholastic, 1970) by Arnold Lobel
In a few short stories and with carefully chosen words, Arnold Lobel captures the essence of friendship with simplicity and humor. This now famous pair have shown readers over the years that friends are always there to cheer you up when you’re sad, care for you when you’re feeling sick and friends will always tell you the truth. Yes, you do look funny in that bathing suit.
George & Martha (Houghtin Mifflin, 1972) by James Marshall
Another classic picture book pair also reinforces that friends always tell each other the truth. If you don’t like pea soup, just say so! In five short stories, these two hippos get in all kinds of silly predicaments that their friendship can always find ways to solve. With delightful humor and gentle honesty, James Marshall reminds readers that everyone has flaws.
Rosie & Michael (Simon & Schuster, 1974) by Judith Viorst, illustrated by Lorna Tomei
Rosie and Michael understand that everyone has their flaws and that friends love each other despite (and maybe even because) of them. The two alternate telling the reader why they are friends along with humorous black-and-white illustrations. Friends always tell each other the truth, are there for each other when they’re sad, forgive each other for pranks, stand up for each other and they try their hardest to keep the others’ secrets (and if Michael is tortured to tell Rosie’s secret, well…Rosie will understand). Like in her popular Alexander & the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Viorst’s writing is funny and feels absolutely genuine. Instead of sounding like an adult glorifying what childhood is like, this book is 100% real elementary school.
Bink & Gollie (Candlewick Press, 2010) by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee, illustrated by Tony Fucile
Like so with so many great pairings, these two prove that opposites attract. Bink is energetic, eccentric, and impulsive while Gollie is calm, imaginative and often the voice of reason. Together, they make a hilarious pair. In three short vocabulary-building stories, the two always seem to find adventure, fun and compromise.
Dog & Bear (Roaring Book Press, 2007) by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
In three sweet vignettes, these friends must work through solutions to simple problems and help each other out. Using simple language and bold illustrations, this book is perfect for reading aloud to a younger audience or for an emerging readers to enjoy on their own.
Gossie & Gertie (Houghton Mifflin, 2002) by Olivier Dunrea
This series of books about a pair of super-cute ducks tackles with ease the issues with friends that all preschoolers must navigate, like sharing, following, and patience. The small trim size makes it perfect for little hands.
A Visitor for Bear (Candlewick Press, 2008) by Bonny Becker, illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton
Bear insists he doesn’t like visitors and when Mouse invites himself over, Bear does anything he can to turn him away. Luckily, friends sometimes know what we need before we even realize it ourselves. Mouse’s friendly persistence finally softens Bear and he realizes he had needed a friend all along.
Stay tuned for more books about love, friends, and unlikely pairs as we count down to Valentine’s Day. In the meantime, why not share a book with one of your friends today? Do you have a favorite picture book pair? Let us know in the comments below.