children’s books

PATTERNING Prevails in “My Grandfather’s Coat”

Title: My Grandfather’s Coat Author: Jim Aylesworth Illustrator: Barbara McClintock Publisher: Scholastic Press Year: 2014 Word Count: 614 My Grandfather’s Coat is based on the old Yiddish folksong, “I Had a Little Overcoat.” The song was later turned into a story called  “The Tailor” which I first heard told by Judy Sima during a youth… Read more »

Introducing the CHARACTER of “Backhoe Joe”

Title: Backhoe Joe Author: Lori Alexander Illustrator: Craig Cameron Publisher: Harper Year: 2014 Word Count: 500 (estimate) Last November I completed Tara Lazar’s Picture Book Idea Month challenge, and lucky me, I was the winner of a prize — a copy of Backhoe Joe by Lori Alexander! The book just arrived in the mail, and… Read more »

CONFLICT in “The Midnight Library”

Title: The Midnight Library Author/Illustrator: Kazuno Kohara Publisher: Roaring Book Press Year: 2014 Word Count: 405   The Midnight Library is an adorable story that teaches children about some of the great services provided by our public libraries. I have to give a shout-out to libraries here. They provide so many fantastic services to our… Read more »

The Dandelion’s Tale: A Creative Approach to a Universal THEME

Title: The Dandelion’s Tale Author: Kevin Sheehan Illustrator: Rob Dunlavey Publisher: Schwartz & Wade Books Year: 2014 Word Count: 974   Wow! That’s all I can say about this breathtakingly beautiful book. I’ve read lots of children’s books in the last year, and this one really stood out to me for its timelessness. The Dandelion’s… Read more »

WORD PLAY in “Harold Finds a Voice”

Title:  Harold Finds a Voice Author/Illustrator:  Courtney Dicmas Publisher:  Child’s Play Inc. Year:  2013 Word Count:  300 (estimate)     Last year I came across this great list of 100 Character Driven Picture Books.   I have been steadily making my way through the list with plenty of trips to the local library ever since…. Read more »