Google+ bakers and astronauts: New to me Books (and why I chose them)

13 March 2013

New to me Books (and why I chose them)

I love books.  New books, used books, antique books, children's books, novels, cookbooks - you name it.  We have moved quite a bit over the years and I think my book collection has been a reason that my husband HATES moving.  I'm not strong enough to pick up a box with 60 picture books, so that work falls on him and generous (and muscular) friends!  But we moved again a few weeks ago, and I have been so good about not buying books this past year, knowing our housing was relatively temporary.  But we've settled in, and I'm adding to my collection!

There was a library book sale, and I got lucky.  I had a $10 bill, and these books are just a part of what I walked away with (I'll be sharing the other half of my treasures soon)!

I'd like to share why I bought the books that I did.  There are so many books out there, and so many are not worth our time.  But wonderful books are so wonderful, they are like having 25 mediocre books.  And so...

Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! by Mo Willems is the Mo Willems book I bought because it was the only one there.  I already own Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, and it is a favorite of mine to use with preschoolers because it is so easy for children to interact with, and they often choose to read it to themselves.  This is a crucial step in early literacy - children retelling stories using bold and memorable images.  I also love the use of text boxes in this series, and in all of Mo Willems books.  I don't own any Elephant and Piggie books, but if there had been any at that book sale, they would currently be in my possession.

Herman and Marguerite is one of my favorite audio stories from Jay O'Callahan, and I had no idea that it was a picture book as well, with illustrations by his daughter.  I encourage you to listen to him tell a story - not Herman and Marguerite, but another excellent one - to appreciate him.  I don't think this book is in print, but you can find it on Earth Stories, and you can find it used on Amazon.  Rest time in your classroom will be amazing with Jay O'Callahan in charge.

Paper, Ink and Roller was not necessarily any new information about printmaking, but it is nice to have images of the tools and processes for a little inspiration from time to time.  I can also imagining showing this to children and having them choose printmaking techniques that interest them.

Boing! is a picture book that has interesting illustrations, and stars an accessible superhero.  That has early childhood written all over it to me.

The Crane Maiden is a retelling of the Crane Wife, a Japanese folktale.  The illustrations are beautiful, and in my opinion, the more fairy and folk tales I have around the better.  It doesn't hurt that The Decemberists wrote beautiful songs that are based on this story.  This is an example of a story that has been told many ways, and having a collection of a few to compare and contrast would be a great conversation starter.

Nina Crews' High, Low, Near, Far, Quiet Story is a fantastic book that uses photography to illustrate different concepts.  But Crews does this without making it too simple - she uses photographs that children can relate to and talk about.  I have a soft spot for Tana Hoban, so it is not hard for Nina Crews to wiggle her way in!

Finally, Audrey and Don Wood's retelling of Heckedy Peg.  What a book!  The illustrations are gorgeous and interesting (see a theme amongst these books?), and the story of Heckedy Peg is like the mother of all fairy tales for children to see and hear.  There is a creepy witch who scares children and turns them into food - that is some serious drama for kids!  It is a bit dark, and you may need to cuddle during the first reading, but then Heckedy Peg will be a classroom staple.

Are you familiar with any of these books?  What are your standards for the books that make it back to your house from the bookstore or library?


  1. I love Heckady Peg! Once my daughter Zoe dressed up as her for Halloween- She was very excited by her idea, and made a great costume, but none of the neighbors knew who she was and by the end of trick or treating she was very annoyed!
    I mostly judge books by the cover,I must admit. Boing looks like the kind of book I would bring home.

  2. Allie, I loved reading about your book finds! You are a well decorated book hunter...

    Is there nothing sweeter than that criss-cross texture on the covers of old hardcover books that have lost their jackets...a few stray cotton threads hanging loose and the old book smell?


Thanks so much for joining the conversation!

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