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December 9, 2005 Edition

Moo Who? written by Margie Palatini, illustrated by Keith Graves

Hilda Mae Heifer, sporting an enormous plume of red hair a la Elvis, loves to sing but isn’t very good at it. One day she gets hit on the head by a cow pie while tra-la-la-ing and loses her moo. Confused, she tries out a few of the animal sounds around her, but is told that she’s obviously not a goose, chick, cat or pig, and therefore doesn’t honk, peep, mew or oink. Palatini is at her wacky best here, turning a basic plot into a laugh-out-loud read. (elementary school kids)

A Really Good Snowman, by Daniel J. Mahoney

Jack’s little sister Nancy loves helping him with things. She’s illustrated his homework, cleaned his tuba, and even shoveled snow, all with disastrous results for Jack. Now she wants to help Jack and his friends build their snowman for the big contest, and Jack dreads the result. But when he decides to help her instead, he discovers that helping is fun, and together they build a really good snowman. (preschool through early elementary grade kids)

Wow! City! by Robert Neubecker

The author catches his toddler daughter’s reaction to traveling from her country home to a vacation in the Big City perfectly. Izzy greets absolutely everything with awe, amazement, and “Wow!” from the airplane and taxi they travel in to the buildings, people, and places they visit. Vibrantly colored illustrations feature Izzy and her father in every energetic toddler-pleasing picture. (toddler and preschool read-aloud)

The Yellow Balloon, illustrated by Charlotte Dematons

This exquisite wordless book is like a Where’s Waldo with little stories. The story of the yellow balloon begins inside the cover with a blue van driving away from a house. When the van stops for gas on the next page, the balloon drifts away, only to reappear over a variety of landscapes in the succeeding pages. Each page has several stories going on at once: you can follow the progress of the blue van, the yellow balloon, and the guy on the flying carpet as they travel around the world, watch for bits of fairy tales, history, and legends to appear, or spurred by the evocative vignettes, tell your own stories about what you see. (kindergarten through adult readers)

I, Doko, by Ed Young

A folk tale retold from an unusual perspective, this is the story of the basket that is an integral part of a Nepalese family’s life. Used to carry wood, babies, and food, it is about to perform a final task of abandoning the elderly head of the household at a temple, when the youngest member of the family makes a simple, poignant request. Beautiful illustrations in rich colors help bring this tale to life. (elementary and middle school kids)

Shhhhh! Everybody’s Sleeping, written by Julie Markes, illustrated by David Parkins

A quietly delightful bedtime story featuring a variety of community members - teachers, librarians, policemen, bakers – all asleep in their place of work, cuddled up with a stuffed animal. The creative illustrations reward close attention as you and your child notice the grocer’s lettuce headboard and the doctor’s bandaged teddy bear. (toddler and preschool kids)

My Big Brother, written by Miriam Cohen, illustrated by Ronald Himler

The unnamed narrator of this tender story idolizes his big brother, who helps his little brother shoot hoops, reminds him of his manners, and lets him help repair the car. When Big Brother, who can’t afford to go to college, enlists in the army and goes away, Little Brother misses him terribly, but knows that it is his turn to be the big brother to his own little brother. Expressive illustrations say more than words can about this close-knit family. (elementary school kids)

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