Ice Caves of Leelanau

This visual feast captures the ice on the Great Lakes from Winter 2013-14, a year that IceBookCover_4-21-14lgc2resulted in 90% of the Great Lakes covered in ice. But the lakes weren’t just frozen, they were covered in caves, ice balls, pancake ice and volcano formations. There were shapes, fan-shaped icicles, blue ice and pressure ridges. Who knew that there were so many different kinds of ice? Ken Scott captured it all with his ubiquitous camera, and informs us with how these natural phenomena occur.

With an introductory essay by Jerry Dennis, this book is a Michigan must-have.


Posted in Books with science links, Love that art, Michigan author/illustrator, Nonfiction, Picture books | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

The Right Word: Roget And His Thesaurus

ResizeImageHandler.ashxMelissa Sweet is a master of collage and book illustration, and The Right Word: Roget And His Thesaurus showcases her nuanced work. Written by Jen BryantRoget chronicles the life of the famous thesaurus maker. Lists of synonyms are hard to make, and even harder to organize and reference. Roget grew up listing events, plants, insects and finally words themselves.

This nonfiction picture book is a springboard for topics ranging from European history, botany, collage art and words.

Posted in Biography, Nonfiction, Picture books | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Brown Girl Dreaming

jwoodson_browngirldreamingJacqueline Woodson‘s autobiography-in-verse looks like a novel with its silhouette in front of a sunrise (I know it’s a sunrise because she wasn’t allowed outside at sunset time) and reads beautifully. Starting from birth, Jacqueline tells her story of living in Ohio, South Carolina and Brooklyn, New York. Each place leaves its influence for her lifetime. Family relationships are explored; friendship and moving; the way it is and the way it should be; and always that inner knowledge of who she is: a writer who makes up stories.

Longlisted for the National Book Award for Young People’s LiteratureBrown Girl Dreaming is a thoughtful retrospect on the experience of growing up to be Jacqueline Woodson.

Posted in Biography, Nonfiction | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Have You Heard The Nesting Bird?

In rhyming text, we learn the bird calls of blue jays, cardinals, crows and more. The robin, HYHTNB_Cover_Large_1648_1648however, stays quiet, sitting on her nest.

Beautiful illustrations in a muted green and brown palette show which bird is which, a boost for a nonfiction book that flows so well you’ll forget you are learning about birds.

In the end, there is a question and answer session under the heading “A Word with the Bird” in which we learn why the robin is so quiet when she’s nesting, when the male robin joins in to help and what to do if you see a bird in her nest.

Written by Rita Gray and illustrated by Kenard Pak, this would be a great book to compare to the fictional Froodle.

Posted in Books with science links, Love that art, Nonfiction, Picture books, Rhyme | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

The Lion And The Bird

The Lion and the Bird by Marianne Dubuc is a picture book about a lion dressed in le_lion_et_l_oiseau-127x169overalls who helps out a bird with a broken wing. Because the bird can’t fly south with its flock, it stays the winter with Lion taking care of it, eating meals together and reading by the fire. When spring comes, the bird flies off with the other birds. “And so it goes. Sometimes life is like that.” Lion gardens and fishes, but summer passes slowly. Then in fall, the lion is raking leaves again and looking out for the bird, hoping. And the bird comes back, to spend another winter with Lion.

Fabulously simple illustrations round out this lovely story of friendship crossing the boundaries of species.

Posted in Canadian author/illustrator, Love that art, Picture books | Tagged , , | Leave a comment


FlashlightWordless picture books can say so much, and Flashlight is a perfect example. First, the illustrations are exquisite, mostly glowing white on black paper except where the flashlight’s beam falls and a few other choice spots.

The story: A boy leaves his tent with his flashlight and finds the woodland creatures foraging or flying or swimming or being startled at the light. Peek-a-boo holes highlight the scene’s continuity while the page turns. Then, bump, the boy trips on a rock and the flashlight tumbles and turns on him. Several creatures take turns spying on the boy, until he crawls back into his tent.

Illustrated by Lizi Boyd, this book is rereader friendly and interactive.

Posted in Books with science links, Love that art, Picture books | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Day At The Lake

A Day At The Lake is all fun and excitement. There are no problems and worries, just a A day at the lake coverday swimming, exploring nature and watching the sun set, all delivered in snappy rhyme with loads of onomatopoeia:  flittery flee, ziggity jig, yodelly song. Written by Stephanie Wallingford and Dawn Rynders, illustrated by Erica Pelton Villnave, this is a great nostalgic read for those end of summer blues.

Posted in Picture books, Rhyme | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

May The Stars Drip Down

FC9781419710247More than a lullaby, May The Stars Drip Down is a love song to a child about light and beautiful travels and always love. Nikki McClure‘s blue, white and yellow palette highlights pinpricks of light, all of it cut and torn from black paper. Simple and striking, especially the first page where the pinholes show through to the next page.

The author, Jeremy Chatelain, is a musician in an indie rock band.

Posted in Picture books, Poetry | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment


Oh how I love gibberish, especially rhyming gibberish. Froodle is the word Little Brown Bird says when she is tired of the same old “peep”, except the crow, dove and cardinal are counting on her to continue the rhythm of “caw, coo, chip, peep”. Can 159643922Xanyone help it when they need a change? No! Especially not Little Brown Bird. Crow flies away while the rest of the birds convert to “sliggy” and “zoggen”. For birders and readers alike, Antoinette Portis’s  Froodle  will have you bouncing and laughing, ready to read again. 

Posted in Love that art, Love that prose, Picture books | 1 Comment

Like Carrot Juice On A Cupcake

9781419710339_s3.jpgSometimes we need a light read about life in school, a best friend and the new girl who changes everything. Like Carrot Juice On A Cupcake by Julie Sternberg fits the bill, and it’s in light verse to boot. It’s all hard knocks for Eleanor, whose dog ate her mom’s scarf and now has to go to doggy camp, whose best friend now spends Mondays and Wednesdays tutoring the new girl instead of hanging out with her and who gets cast in the lead role for the school play (which includes a solo–horrific for the voice-shy Eleanor). It all works out, it does, and mostly because “We all make mistakes…The important thing is to keep trying to make up for them, for as long as it takes.” (p.132)

Posted in Chapter Books | Tagged , , | Leave a comment