Remembering a great one: Maurice Sendak

Today is the anniversary of Maurice Sendak's birth. Because it SO AMAZINGLY COOL click over to the Google Doodle from June 10, 2013 and watch it again!

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 © 2007-2014 Cheryl Vanatti for

Here Comes Destructo-Saurus by Aaron Reynolds with illustrations by Jeremy Tankard

Author Reynolds has been featured on Reading Rumpus three times before (here, here, and here) for his Joey Fly Private Eye books. They are intended for an older reader, but have the same snarky, intelligent humor as Here Comes Destructosaurus!

Publisher's Synopsis: "Watch the unstoppable destructive force of a raging temper tantrum! Tremble at the enormous mess and disrespectful roaring! Despair as no amount of scolding can stem the heedless fury! Someone is heading for a time-out, Mister! Anyone who has witnessed (or been) a toddler in the throes of a full-blown fit will delight in this clever book's moviemonster rampage, and may just come away from it with a bit more sympathy for toddler and caregiver."

My Thoughts: In homage to Godzilla, this fun book about temper tantrums will make both kids and parents laugh. The illustrations are bright and black-lined comic style. Everything about this one screams fun. A cute ending joke sets it up for a possible sequel.

Snarky & intelligent humor for the preschool crowd!

Genre: Picture Book / Humor
Age: 4-8 / Pre-School - K
Pages: 32
Themes: Parental acceptance, manners
Get a Destructosaurus activity kit on the author's website HERE
Thank You to publisher Chronicle Books for my copy. It's making kids laugh in a kindergarten classroom near me
ISBN 978-1452124544

BUY Here Comes Destructosaurus! HERE

Aaron Reynold's has been a very busy author since I featured him in 2009! My favorite of his titles is probably Creepy Carrots!  You can read lots of fun stuff about him over on his website.

You can read more about illustrator Jeremy Tankard on his website too.

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© 2007-2014 Cheryl Vanatti for

Planet Kindergarten by Sue Ganz-Schmitt with illustrations by Shane Prigmore

I had originally planned to include Planet Kindergarten as part of an earlier picture book compilation post, but when I got halfway through it, I got all excited about a teaching idea for this book.

Here's what the publisher had to say, first: "This clever picture book will prepare young explorers to boldly go where they have never gone before: Planet Kindergarten. Suit up for a daring adventure as our hero navigates the unknown reaches and alien inhabitants of this strange new world. Hilarious and confidence-boosting, this exciting story will have new kindergarteners ready for liftoff!"

My Thoughts: What if you decorated your kindergarten room like Planet Kindergarten? You could label things the way the main character describes them ('commander' being the teacher, lessons for the day are 'flight plans,' 'crewmates' instead of classmates.... it can go on & on). Considering I live a stone's throw from Kennedy Space Center, and NASA is a huge part of our student's lives, I am bursting with ideas for how much fun this would be! I got the idea about halfway in, when the protagonist was napping under a sea of stars hung from the classroom ceiling.

I don't think I will ever teach kindergarten, but this book sure made me want to (for just a second, anyway). Great illustrations, a funny (inside, sort of) joke,  and a calming story that lets reluctant kindergarteners know that they'll be safe on their home planet soon.

Thank you to publisher Chronicle Books for my advanced copy.
Date: May 20, 2014
ISBN 978-1452118932
BUY Planet Kindergarten HERE

-------------------- That's all folks! --------------------
 © 2007-2014 Cheryl Vanatti for

Planes Go by Stephen Light

Planes Go is part of a wonderful series of board books. I was only able to see a copy of this title, but the other books in the series include: Trucks Go, Trains Go, and Diggers Go.

Publisher's Synopsis: " The helicopter goes, "PITTATATATA PITTATATATA PITTATATATA." The jumbo jet goes, "Wheeeeeeeee VRRRRRRRRRRUUUHHHHHHHHHMMM." The propeller plane goes, "HUK HUK HUK WHIRRRRRRR WHIRRRRRR." Prepare for liftoff with 8 exciting aircraft and the noises they make in this irresistible board book! The long, oversized format lends itself to the shape of the vehicles and stands out on the shelf, and the boisterous text begs to be read aloud."

My Thoughts: LOVE this little book. Perfect for preschoolers. It has an odd shape, is great for practicing sounds and ends with a really big bang. If I ever get a grandkid, all of these books are on my list for sure. Don't let the 'boy' theme fool you. Little princesses will enjoy these too! (Check out the Let Books Be Books! campaign!)

Publisher: Chronicle Books (Thanks for my advance copy!)
Release Date: August 12, 2014
 ISBN: 978-1452128993
Author Steve Light loves drawing and making things. He collects fountain pens and sharing his art & stories with kids. You can read more about him on his website: HERE.

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 © 2007-2014 Cheryl Vanatti for

Chronicle picture books in all shapes and sizes!

Who doesn't love picture books?  Kindergarten uses them for read alouds. First and second to teach reading. Intermediate to teach writing. Struggling readers can practice reading to younger kids with them. And cuddle time with a picture book is just about the best thing in the world....

Here are a collection of picture books, all published recently from Chronicle Books:

The Bear's Sea Escape
Publisher's Synopsis: "More adventures await The Bear's Song's Little Bear and Papa Bear. When the bears seek warmth from their chilly perch atop the Paris Opera House, Little Bear is mistaken for a toy bear and whisked away . . . to a tropical island! Papa Bear sets out on a frenzied journey to find Little Bear, traveling to a bustling wharf, beneath a sea brimming with coral and mermaids, onto a busy beach, and all the way to a sun-drenched island. As in The Bear's Song, Little Bear is featured in every spread. Will Papa Bear—and the reader—find him? Children and parents alike will savor Chaud's lush, detail-rich illustrations and the sweet story as well as the book's bonus seek-and-find elements"

My Thoughts: Young children love finding hidden characters and they will enjoy helping Papa Bear find his Little Bear. The illustrations are packed with lively visuals which can launch great discussions.I haven't read the prequel,The Bear's Song, but now I want to!

Busy Bunny Days: In the Town, On the Farm & At the Port

Publisher's Synopsis: "Join the Bunny Family for a busy day in their home town, on a fun-filled farm adventure, and at the port for an exciting outing in this seek-and-find book where there is always something to discover. From the time they wake up until the time they go to sleep, there is so much to see and do. Don't forget to keep an eye out for that pesky Benny Badger—he is always up to no good! With a fresh and adorable illustration style, and so many details on every page, this picture book begs to be read again and again."

My Thoughts: Reminiscent of Richard Scarry's Busy, Busy Town, this book has a clock to help with time telling and also keeps kids engaged in looking for hidden characters. The large size assists in the search and I can picture many a kid, laid out on their tummies, tennis shoes to the sky, looking for the Bunny Family.

Lately Lily: The Adventures of a Travelling Girl
Publisher's Synopsis: "Where has Lily been lately? Everywhere! In this heartfelt picture book from illustrator Micah Player, Lily—a worldtravelling girl with boundless curiosity—goes on enviable adventures with her best friend Zeborah, travelling by plane, train, boat, and even by camel. Whether venturing far away or staying close to home, Lily knows that the joy of discovery is the best way to travel each and every day. Readers and fans of the apparel line Lately Lily will appreciate this chance to join Lily on a world tour and experience the many delights of travel through her eyes."

My Thoughts: Too cute! Lily's little friend Zeborah is too cute too! Seriously, readers can imagine all the fun places she goes and parents/teachers can discuss some of those places along with the greetings in various languages. Great for kids who like to daydream (like me).

Jumping Jack
Publisher's Synopsis: "From award-winning Swiss author-illustrator team Germano Zullo and Albertine comes this unforgettable tale of Jumping Jack, a champion show-jumping horse whose partnership with his rider has earned him international fame. Victory is expected when Jumping Jack is on the course! Unfortunately, Jumping Jack's success has mysteriously stalled. He tumbles and struggles. What could possibly be wrong? Jumping Jack's loyal rider is determined to find out! What the duo discover will charm readers, not to mention reaffirm their faith in second chances, the power of friendship, and the potential for triumph despite stumbling blocks. A true winner!"

My Thoughts: First off, I LOVE the author illustrator's previous collaboration on Little Bird
and have meant to write about it for a LONG time. Judging by these two titles, a sweetness shines from their work, that fuzzy, warm feeling you get when you read something touching. The themes in both books are acceptance and unconditional love. What better message is there?

A GREAT BIG Thank you to publisher Chronicle Books for all these advanced copies (excepting Little Bird). They have been donated to an elementary classroom.
You can click on any of the titles to purchase them.

-------------------- That's all folks! --------------------
 © 2007-2014 Cheryl Vanatti for
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