February 26, 2011

Dinosaur Week - Scientific Saturday

Dinosaurs: The Most Complete, Up-to-Date Encyclopedia for Dinosaur Lovers of All Ages by Dr. Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. and Illustrated by Luis V. Rey

I know you probably don't immediately think "encyclopedia" when you think of bedtime stories, but if your little one is a serious dinosaur fanatic like mine, they will love this book.  Jam-packed with illustrations and information, you could spend hours browsing through this book (I speak from experience!).  Did you know that a Pterodactyl is not really a dinosaur?  Or that Tyrannosaurus Rex and Stegosaurus never lived in the same time period?  This book makes the nerd inside of me very, very happy!  So if your child is interested in the scientific side of dinosaurs, think outside of the box and check out this encyclopedia. You won't be disappointed.

That brings Dinosaur Week to an end.  Thank you for joining us as we shared our favorite dinosaur-themed books with you.  We hope you enjoyed our collection and made a few new discoveries of your own.

February 25, 2011

Dinosaur Week - Ferocious Friday

My daughter loves going to the doctor because she knows the receptionist is going to give her a sticker and a lollipop on the way out.  But what if instead of the usual treats, she received a Triceratops with every visit to the doctor?  A Velociraptor with every visit to the barber?  A Stegosaurus with every fast food meal?  That is exactly what happens in When Dinosaurs Came with Everything by Elise Broach.  When a young boy sets out with his mother on a day full of boring errands, he discovers that every place offers a free dinosaur with purchase and his boring day becomes a lot more exciting.  What a deal!  It's a dream come true for the boy, but not so much for his mother.  What on earth are they going to do with all of these massive dinosaurs?  Luckily the boy's mom finds a creative way to put the dinos to good use around the house.  Problem solved!

The watercolor and ink illustrations by David Small capture the excitement of a city filled larger-than-life dinosaurs.  Let your imagination soar as high as a pterosaur with this fantastic book, When Dinosaurs Came with Everything

February 24, 2011

Dinosaur Week - Theropod Thursday

Today we offer up some goodies for the tiny tots who love dinos.

Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs! by Sandra Boynton - an adorable board book about opposites by one of our favorite authors

Dinosaur Babies by Charles Reasoner - a chunky board book perfect for your little dino lover

My Big Dinosaur Book by Roger Priddy - another fantastic picture book from the beloved My Big Board Book Series

My sleepy little dino gives these books two thumbs up!

February 23, 2011

Author Spotlight - Jane Yolen

We are big fans of Jane Yolen's entire How Do Dinosaurs? series of books.  How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? was the first book of the series we ever read and still remains our favorite.  Do dinosaurs use all of the classic toddler stall tactics when it's bedtime?  "Most certainly not. Dinosaurs give their mommies and daddies big hugs and kisses, tuck their tales in, and whisper 'Good night!'"  The rhyming text reads like a lullaby and we love that the name of each dinosaur is included in each entertaining illustration by Mark Teague.  How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? is the perfect bedtime story for your little dino lover.

No collection of dinosaur books would be complete without the How Do Dinosaurs...Pocket Library by Jane Yolen.  My daughter delights in seeing the dinosaurs in these tiny board books clean their rooms, play with their friends, learn their colors, and count to ten.  This set is just the right size for your preschool paleontologist.

February 22, 2011

Dinosaur Week - Triassic Tuesday

 Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs by Giles Andreae

What could be better than a book about dinosaurs?  A book about pirate dinosaurs, of course!  When a boy named Flinn goes into the supply closet in his classroom to get some new markers, his imagination runs wild, taking him on a swashbuckling dino adventure.  Rawr matey!

Dino-Baseball by Lisa Wheeler

It's a beautiful day for baseball!  Join in the play-by-play as the plant-eating Green Sox take on the carnivorous Rib-eye Reds at Jurassic Park.  Let's play ball!

Three Little Dinosaurs by Jim Harris

In this Triassic twist on the classic tale of The Three Little Pigs, three young Brachiosaurus brothers outwit, outsmart, and eventually outgrow the terrible Tyrannosaurus Rex.

February 21, 2011

Dinosaur Week - Mesozoic Monday

What better way to kick off dinosaur week than with our all-time favorite dinosaur book?  Ten Little Dinosaurs by Pattie Schnetzler is a terrifically Triassic counting book that flows with the rhythm of the playful children's rhyme "Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed."  Two large googly eyeballs appear on the front cover, and re-appear on a new dinosaur with each turn of the page.  Ten Little Dinosaurs features a zany cast of familiar favorites such as Stegosaurus, Tyrannosaurus, and Triceratops, as well as a few lesser known dinos like Chasmosaurus, Spinosaurus, and Saurolophus.  Beginning with ten dinosaurs bouncing on the bed, the book counts backwards as the story follows the misadventures of the unlucky dinosaurs until "they all disappear in a geologic wink."  The humorous illustrations by Jim Harris paint the perfect picture as Stegosaurus crashes his bike and smashes his spike, Tyrannosaurus breaks his tooth munching on a mooth, and Archaeopteryx jumps off a peak and tweaks his beak.  And never fear, the author thoughtfully included a glossary with a pronunciation guide inside the back cover, so saying a brain-bender like Pachycephalosaurus will be a breeze!

February 19, 2011

Dinosaur Week!

To say that my daughter, Bailey, loves dinosaurs would be a bit of an understatement.  The girl lives and breathes dinosaurs.  Given the chance, she will talk your ear off about Velociraptors, Pterodactyls, and Tyrannosaurus Rex.  It took us several weeks after her baby brother was born to convince her that his middle name was not actually Triceratops like she had requested.  Her fascination/obsession with dinosaurs began at an early age with Bill the Brachiosaurus, the only known species of Cheerio-avore...

When Bailey turned 3, I let her pick any theme her little heart desired from the party supply store.  Would she choose Care Bears?...Minnie Mouse?...My Little Pony?  Nope!  Dinosaurs! 

Dinosaurs, dinosaurs, dinosaurs!  Dinosaur puzzles, dinosaur pajamas, dinosaur toys, dinosaur stickers, dinosaur dishes, dinosaur crafts, dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets, and of course, dinosaur books! 

In honor of Bailey's love of dinos, we bring you DINOSAUR WEEK!  Stay tuned for a week jam-packed with our favorite dinosaur books!  Rawr!

February 14, 2011

Puppy Love

"I love...
the way you always care, 
the way you're always there.
That's the way I love you."

There is nothing sweeter than the love between a child and a cherished family dog.  The Way I Love You by David Bedford and Ann James is an adorable book that celebrates "puppy love."  From playtime to snacktime, bathtime to bedtime, the tender poem and charming charcoal and watercolor drawings perfectly illustrate the bond between a little girl in pink overalls and her beloved canine companion.  The Way I Love You is the perfect valentine for the four-legged friend in your life.

"I love...
the way you understand,
the way you show me how,
the way we are right now.
That's the way I love you."

February 11, 2011

That's What it's All About!

Hokey Pokey: Another Prickly Love Story by Lisa Wheeler tells the tale of Cushion the love-struck porcupine.  Cushion's true love, Barb the hedgehog, really loves to dance, but poor Cushion has two left feet when it comes to dancing.  His "rumba was rumpled, his waltz always wobbled, and his tango was totally tangled."  His friends try to help him find his rhythm, but with disastrous results.  While learning the fox trot from Tally-ho, he steps on the fox's tail.  Clover attempts to teach him the bunny hop, but Cushion hops on the rabbit's foot.  And when Biddy tries to show Cushion how to do the funky chicken, she gets a bottom full of quills for her trouble.  Cushion, feeling "lower than a limbo stick" is ready to give up dancing for good when he hears a sweet voice say "I can teach you."  It's his true love Barb!  Barb lovingly teaches Cushion the fox trot, the bunny hop, and the funky chicken, but best of all, she teaches him her favorite dance, the Hokey Pokey, and the two friends dance the night away.

February 10, 2011

All You Need is Love

It's been a whirlwind of craziness here in Dallas lately.  Between snowstorms and stomach bugs, there hasn't been a lot of time for blogging.  But we're back now, just in time for Valentine's Day!  Over the next few days we'll share with you some of our favorite love-themed books.  We hope you enjoy them!

Mole's in Love by David Bedford featuring illustrations by Rosalind Beardshaw

It's springtime, love is in the air, and Morris the Mole is searching for his true love.  Although he can't see very well, he knows exactly what he's looking for.  He finds an animal with "luscious shiny black fur" and immediately falls head over heels.  But it's not his true love after all...it's a horse!  He comes across a "pretty pink nose," only to find out it's really a pig, not his true love.  He thinks he struck gold when he finds someone with "gorgeous big wide feet," but alas, it's a duck, and his heart is broken once again.  Just as Morris decides to throw in the towel, someone places a present on his nose, and when Morris peers through the gift, he sees all the things he has been looking for..."luscious shiny black fur, a pretty pink nose, gorgeous big wide feet and best of all" a matching pair of "perfect sparkly eyeglasses!"  And suddenly Morris isn't looking for love anymore because his love, Mini the Mole, has found him!

February 4, 2011

There's No Place Like Home

"I'm off to find a planet where everything's just right!"

As I've mentioned before, we love a wacky twist on a traditional tale, and Goldilocks and the Three Martians by Stu Smith doesn't disappoint.  This zany take on the classic Goldilocks and the Three Bears is one of our family's favorite books.  I've lost count of how many times we've checked it out from the library!

Goldilocks is fed up with chores, homework, and her mom's strict rules, so one day she builds a rocket and prepares to set off on a quest to find a place where moms don't pack beets in your lunch, don't make you wash behind your ears, and actually let you eat on the couch!  "She filled her tank with porridge, packed cookies just in case, took her cat and dog along...and blasted into space."  Goldilocks and her pets scour the universe looking for a place that's just right.  After traveling to each planet in the solar system and finding a flaw with each one, they finally settle on Mars.  Upon landing, Goldilocks enters a quaint Martian house where she gobbles up a bowl of yummy Martian stew, rests her feet in a comfy Martian chair, and snuggles down for a nap in a cozy Martian bed.  The Martian family returns home to find their house in disarray and soon discover Goldilocks sleeping in the baby Martian's bed.  "Aliens for dinner! they all began to cheer."  Sleepy Goldilocks awakens to find the Martian family "ogling her like a burger and some fries", but her cat and dog come to the rescue and the whole crew scrambles back to the rocket to make a narrow escape.  The trio zooms back to Earth where they land with a crash.  As Goldilocks hugs her worried mom, she realizes that maybe the planet Earth isn't so bad after all.

The vibrant computer-generated illustrations by Michael Garland bring life to the action-packed story.  Unfortunately Goldilocks and the Three Martians is currently out of print, but we hope you will find it available at your local library.  It is definitely worth the search!