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November 17, 2006 Edition

Mouse’s First Snow, by Lauren Thompson, illustrated by Buket Erdogan

Mouse and his Poppa venture out into a snowy day, where Poppa shows his son how to sled, skate, and build snow houses. Watching his Poppa, Mouse thinks “I can do that, too!” and discovers many ways to have fun in snow. Bright, cheerful snow scenes highlight the warm relationship between father and son.

Setting the Turkeys Free,” by W. Nikola-Lisa, illustrated by Ken Wilson-Max

Most of us have made a hand-print turkey or two, but the little boy in this book creates a whole flock of them, decorates them with colorful bits of paper and sequins, and even makes a pen for them out of popsicle sticks. But then a cartoon fox shows up, intent on a turkey dinner, and try as he might, the boy can’t drive him off. Opening the gate, he sets his turkeys free, and when the fox has gone, entices his turkeys home again with corn kernels and green grass. Set squarely in preschool territory, this lightly worded but deeply imaginative story celebrates the worlds kids create for themselves.

In the Snow, by Sharon Phillips Denslow, illustrated by Nancy Tafuri

Written for all of us who watch for tracks in the snow, this charming book shows a variety of birds and animals coming to snack on seeds left by a child on a snowy day. Chickadees and sparrows, squirrels, an opossum, and more, are clearly identified as they arrive to eat and leave footprints (and sometimes tailprints, too). The inside of the back cover shows the snowy field now empty of animals, but marked by their presence and ready for young readers to identify the prints left behind.

Keeper of Soles, by Teresa Bateman, illustrated by Yayo

Colin is a master cobbler and a good man with a big heart. He can’t stand to see anyone in need of a good pair of shoes, and when Death comes calling one evening, Colin immediately starts worrying about all the people whose feet would be cold without his shoes. Fortunately, Death is barefoot, and Colin sees a way to extend his life. After the sandals come the warm boots, then walking shoes, slippers, fancy shoes, and more, until finally the day comes when Death puts his foot down, determined to collect Colin’s soul for once and for all. But Colin has the last laugh, and so will readers who understand a good pun.

Down the Back of the Chair, by Margaret Mahy, illustrated by Polly Dunbar

Dad’s lost his car keys and “no car, no work, no work, no pay” says the worldly child narrator in this superbly silly story whose pictures fairly leap off the page. The family’s fortunes brighten when Dad takes his daughter’s advice and pokes his arm down the back of the chair and finds… well, no car keys, but a whole lot of other important things (the other twin! a conger eel! and Uncle Bill’s long-lost will!) Some of the found items might need explanation, but the rest will produce giggles (and wishful thoughts) from anyone who’s ever dared put her arm down the back of a chair.

Thelonius Monster’s Sky-High Fly Pie, by Judy Sierra, illustrated by Edward Koren

This revolting rhyme features Thelonius Monster, who once ate a fly by accident and found it quite delicious. After a consultation with a spider, he creates a sticky pie crust, collects thousands of flies (eww!), and invites his monster friends for a feast. The finished fly pie glistens and glitters, it hums and it buzzes, and … it flies away because Thelonius has forgotten to bake it! All is not lost - Koren’s signature monsters still have a feast (and no flies die) in this wild romp.

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