By Margaret O'Hair
Love abounds in this rhyming story detailing a baby's busy day. A charming, round baby wakes with the sun. He and his mother enjoy the typical activities of babyhood: peek-a-boo, finding noses and toes, crawling, eating and napping. The bouncy rhymes use a great economy of language to tell the story, making it a fun read-aloud. The illustrations are warm and fluid, with lots of motion.
- Ruth Sias
This Jazz Man
By Karen Ehrhardt
Man, this book is so lively, maybe it'll read itself to you. Or perhaps even sing to you. This Jazz Man is a rhyming and counting book that sounds great sung to the tune of "This Old Man." This time around, the song is about nine American jazz greats. Each page celebrates a different musician with mixed-media collage art and a verse devoted just to him. Musicians' names aren't included on their pages, but subtle hints are. At the end of the book, readers find out who the musicians are and can read a list of classic pieces for which they are known. This wonderful tribute to a true American art form will please both children and adults.
- Alice Oakey
Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac
By Gabrielle Zevin
What would you do if you couldn't remember your past? How would you cope if you didn't recognize your best friend or even your boyfriend? How could you move on with your life when so many pieces of your past are missing? These are the questions 17-year-old Naomi faces when a terrible fall down the school's front steps leaves her without any memory of the last four years of her life.
Zevin adds to her repertoire another thought-provoking novel that is sure to get teens talking. Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac is a fantastic mix of witty dialogue, probing emotional situations and everyday high school scenarios. A great read for teens in grades 8-12 (and for adults who might wish they had amnesia about their high school experiences).
- Krissy Wick
Look At You! A Baby Body Book
By Kathy Henderson
One Naked Baby: Counting to Ten and Back Again
By Maggie Smith
You've heard of the importance of early literacy for babies and toddlers. You enjoy reading to your toddler, but finding books that have the right combination of pictures, text and length can be a struggle. Here are two titles that toddlers will enjoy and maybe even sit through to the end.
In Henderson's Look At You!, soft pastel drawings of a multiracial cast of babies and toddlers illustrate all aspects of baby-ness from bathing to learning to walk to trying new foods. Bold text conveys babies' feelings and actions in simple rhymes.
Smith's One Naked Baby follows a baby's day counting from one to 10 and back again. Baby, who could be a boy or a girl, starts the day escaping from the bath. The day progresses through play, lunch and a trip outside on a rainy afternoon. With only a simple counting phrase for each picture, the crisp cartoon illustrations portray the action of the story. There's a lot for adults and children to look at and talk about here.
- Ruth Sias