In the stacks:New picture books for young readers

Posted: Friday, October 14, 2005

"Hurry and the Monarch," by Antoine O Flatharta, illustrated by Meilo So. Every year, just as Hurry the tortoise starts thinking about winter, monarch butterflies begin making their way from their summer home in the north to their winter home in the south, and this year one of the monarchs lands in Hurry's garden in Wichita Falls. While Hurry hibernates, the monarch spends her winter in a warm green forest, returning with the warmth of the sun. After laying eggs, which Hurry watches over with patient interest, the monarch flies away. This is a wonderful introduction to the life cycle of monarchs as well as a beautiful and elegant story.

"Snip Snap! What's That?" by Mara Bergman, illustrated by Nick Maland. Suspense mounts as an alligator creeps up the stairs of an apartment building, intent on the three children in apartment 13 who, sensibly enough, are SCARED! Closer and closer slithers the alligator, until the kids can take no more. Can they scare off the alligator? You bet they can!

"If Frogs Made Weather," by Marion Dane Bauer, illustrated by Dorothy Donohue. This lovely and poetic what-if book imagines the different sorts of days frogs, birds, turtles, and other animals like best; frogs, for instance, prefer the rain, while for birds it would always be just spring. And what about humans? Well, if the little boy narrating the story made weather, he'd choose a little of everything.

"Punk Farm," written and illustrated by Jarrett J. Krosoczka. What happens when the farmer goes to bed in this silly book? Well, the animals on this farm give a rockin' performance for all their friends. With Chicken on keyboard, Cow on drums, Pig on guitar, Sheep doing vocals, and Goat on bass, the barn is HOT! And their showcase tune? Old MacDonald, of course.

"Lizette's Green Sock," written and illustrated by Catharina Valckx. A morning walk brings an exciting find - a single green sock! Lizette is delighted until she's teased by Tim and Tom, who point out that socks come in pairs. After searching fruitlessly for the second sock, she goes home dejected, is comforted by her mother, and introduced to a new way to wear a single sock by her friend Bert. By the end, though, there are three green socks. What will Lizette do with all those socks?

"The Little Book of Not So," written and illustrated by Charise Mericle Harper. With the help of a funny little cartoon girl, this book introduces kids to opposites. Bees buzz around flowers to illustrate "good," but when they notice the little girl's floral ponytail holders they quickly become "not-so-good." Pretty flowers become "not-so-pretty" when all that's left are the stems. And somehow, the dark is not-so-dark when the little girl has her flashlight.

"Looking After Louis," by Lesley Ely, illustrated by Polly Dunbar. Though sometimes puzzled by her deskmate Louis, the little girl narrating this school story tries hard to be his friend. She lends him crayons and compliments his drawings (even though she doesn't understand them), and tries to play with him at recess (though all he does is run around aimlessly). But one day while the boys play soccer, Louis joins in. The focus is on kindness: that Louis is autistic is never mentioned in the text, though there is a note to parents and teachers at the end of the book to help with further discussions.

The Downtown and Douglas Libraries will be closed Tuesday, October 18th for Alaska Day. The Mendenhall Valley library will be open from 10-9 pm. Also, tomorrow (Saturday) is the last day to turn in bookmarks for the 24th Annual Children's Book Week Contest.

Placing a hold on our material is easy: call the Juneau Public Library at 586-5249, or, if you have internet access, your library card, and a PIN, you may place your own holds by going to our website ( and looking at our catalog. Placing holds on items featured in In the Stacks is now even easier! The new columns are hyperlinked to the catalog: simply look up the column on our website, click on the title you want, and you will be ready to place a hold.

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