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July 7, 2006 Edition

The Pirate’s Eye, written and illustrated by Robert Priest

This quirky book imagines what stories a pirate’s glass eye might tell, if it found the right person. When Captain Black, engaged in a friendly skirmish with another pirate ship, loses his glass eye, he’s desperate to get it back. But it has been found by a poor man whose life it changes: Sandpiper looks through it and sees scenes from the pirate’s life. Using the stories he sees in the eye, Sandpiper writes a book he names “A Pirate’s Life,” and gives copies to everyone who has been kind to him. One copy ends up in the library, where Captain Black sees it while looking in Lost and Found for his eye, and the Captain goes on a new hunt, this time for the book’s author. When the Captain and Sandpiper meet and the eye returns to its original owner, it is the Captain’s life that is changed. Blocky, colorful drawings help create a playful mood.

Pirate Girl, by Cornelia Funke, illustrated by Kerstin Meyer

Captain Firebrand and his band of scurvy pirates take on the wrong boat in this delightful story. Young Molly is traveling alone in her boat to see her grandmother when she’s picked up and held for ransom by the pirate band, even though she warns them they’ll be sorry. She’s put to work polishing boots and cutlasses, peeling potatoes and scrubbing the deck, until one day the pirates are shocked to find that Molly’s mom has come to her rescue – and she’s a better pirate than they are!

Dinosnores, by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by Ponder Goembel

Perhaps you think that the world was quiet at night when the dinosaurs fell asleep – but think again. After the dinosaurs brushed their teeth and washed their faces, and got kissed goodnight, they fell asleep and SNORED! Wonderfully expressive drawings detail the destruction the sleepers inadvertently cause, and the rhyming text makes this an exciting and fun read.

Hard Hat Area, written and illustrated by Susan L. Roth

Follow Kristen, an apprentice iron worker, as she takes snack orders, gets a look at the progress of a skyscraper and learns to be comfortable and safe hundreds of feet off the ground. The story is straightforward and simple, and each picture has several labeled objects (tools, equipment, and people) which are explained in smaller text. The collage illustrations are composed in part from photos from real construction sites, making them rich food for the eyes.

The Gift of the Inuksuk, by Mike Ulmer, illustrated by Melanie Rose

This original story of how the Inuksuk came to be markers in the Arctic takes place years and years ago, when a little girl named Ukaliq lived on the tundra with her family. One of her favorite things to do was build friends out of stones and everywhere she went, a trail of stone figures traced her path. The figures finally gained a name, Inuksuk (in the image of man), when Ukaliq and her stone friends helped hunters find their way home after a big storm, and ever after, they have been built to show travelers the way home, mark great events, or warn of dangers. Beautiful oil paintings bring Ukaliq and her family to life.

Chicken Bedtime is Really Early, by Erica S. Perl, illustrated by George Bates

How early do you go to bed? Probably not as early as the chickens in this book! Farm bedtimes start at 6 pm, after the chicks have washed behind their ears and gotten pecks on the head goodnight. At 7, it is time for the calves and lambs to follow their mamas into the barn, and at 8, the bunnies put on their footy pajamas. The hamsters sleep last of all, with a quick nap before the rooster wakes up to start the farm day out the traditional way in this bouncy and colorful bedtime book.

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