Tuesday, August 9, 2011

New Books

Big Brothers Don’t Take Naps

by Louise Borden and illustrated by Emma Dodd

Nick has an older brother named James. James can write his name and Nick’s, and James gets to ride the bus to school and home again. James tells Nick that when he is older, Nick won’t have to take naps anymore, but he will have to do other things, like raking the leaves. James does a lot of things with Nick, such as getting ready for Halloween and telling each other secrets. They even have a special secret coming in June. James passes things that don’t fit him anymore down to Nick. They seem to pass slowly as their secret comes closer and closer to being here. James helps Nick cross the street and find out Nick’s favorite book at the library. Nick always follows James’s example when he tells people, “please” and “thank you.” James also knows how to read books to Nick, and he looks up things like polar bears on the computer (they are Nick’s favorite). After Nick takes his nap, they both go to the park to play with Mac and Scoopy (their dogs), and James always waits for Nick to catch up. They play “blastoff” while James teaches Nick to count backward. James and Nick even work together to think up a name for their secret surprise. What do you think the surprise is going to be? What do you think this means for Nick and James?

Inkblot: Drip, Splat, and Squish Your Way to Creativity

by Margaret Peot

This nonfiction book discusses ways to use inkblots to tap into your creativity, using both sides of your brain to come up with ideas. You can create inkblots by using ink and water on a piece of paper, and like snowflakes, no two inkblots are alike. Anyone can use inkblots to “jumpstart” their creative thinking. “Creative” people tend to like creatively on a daily basis, instead of just every once in a while when it becomes necessary to be creative. Inkblots are a great way of feeling creative, though. There is a list of supplies that you will need to create your own inkblots. You begin with the first chapter by learning about inkblots. There are three main ways of creating your inkblot. You can blob the ink onto the paper and then fold the paper onto the ink over and over again. You can pour the ink onto the paper and swirl it around, or you can drip the ink on the page on the floor from waist high (this is also the messiest). The good news is that if you don’t like the inkblot that you have made, you can add more ink and change it. There are some different techniques discussed. There is also information on how some artists that worked with inkblots created their work. The second chapter is about adding details and colors to the blots to make a picture. First, you look at your inkblots and decide what the picture is. Then using some colored pencils, a pen, or crayons, start putting more details on the blot to draw that picture out. There are some suggestions for how to figure out what you see within your inkblots. The book even discusses building an inkblot sketchbook, so you can practice your creativity often. At the end of the book, there is a “gallery of inkblots” that other children and adults have created.

Huck Runs Amuck!

by Sean Taylor and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

There is a mountain goat named Huck, and Huck will eat a lot of things including: cardboard boxes, wooly gloves, and birds’ nests. However, Huck’s favorite things to eat are flowers. The problem with Huck’s loving to eat flowers is that all of the other goats love to eat them, too. So there are not very many flowers for Huck to eat. Huck finds some flowers at the top of a really hard cliff for Huck to climb. Huck cannot resist the flowers, though, and he tries to climb it. Unfortunately, Huck slips goes tumbling, bouncing, sliding, and rolling all the way into the village of North Polkadot. Huck lands in a pond, but he soon see’s Mrs. Tuppleton’s flowery underpants. Can Huck resist eating them? No. Huck climbs onto the clothesline and tries to reach the underpants, but Mrs. Tuppleton’s dog comes out. Huck spins in the clothesline, flips up into the air, and lands in a pile of boxes outside Mr. Hartwig’s General Store. Huck starts eat the boxes, but they certainly don’t taste like flowers. Suddenly, Huck sees Mr. Watson, and Mr. Watson is bringing some flowers home for his wife. Will Huck be able to resist these flowers? No. He climbs on top of the bridge and leans down to reach the flowers. Unfortunately, at this time a train comes across the bridge and pushes Huck on top of a boy on a bicycle. Will Huck ever be able to find any flowers to eat? Will he end up doing something heroic instead? What does Huck end up eating?

A Pet for Miss Wright

by Judy Young and illustrated by Andrea Wesson

Miss Wright is an author who sits at her desk all day and types. The characters in Miss Wright’s stories have friends and adventures, but things are very quiet in Miss Wright’s office, except for her typing. One day, Miss Wright decides that it is too quiet, and she decides to go to the pet store and buy a pet. The man in the pet store thinks that a Mynah bird will be a great pet for Miss Wright, because they like to talk. Unfortunately, the Mynah bird does not talk, but the bird just mimics the noise that the keys on the computer make, as Miss Wright types. So Miss Wright takes the bird back to the store, and she brings home a monkey. The monkey keeps Miss Wright entertained, but she cannot get her writing done, because the monkey also pushes down the buttons on the keyboard. When Miss Wright takes the monkey back to the pet store, the man gives her a fish. Miss Wright and the fish were hypnotized by one another, and Miss Wright was not able to get any writing done for days. The next pet that Miss Wright brings home is a hamster. Unfortunately, all of the running around that the hamster did in its wheel made Miss Wright dizzy, and she had to lie down. What other pets will the man at the pet store think are right for Miss Wright? What pet do you think would be perfect for Miss Wright? Does this pet help Miss Wright with her writing? What kind of pet do you have? Do they help you with anything?

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