#blogbookaday: Mighty, Mighty Construction Site

17 Mar

30364136.jpgSummary:  “At last—here from the team behind the beloved international bestseller comes a companion to Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site. All of our favorite trucks are back on the construction site—this time with a focus on team-building, friendship, and working together to make a big task seem small! Down in the big construction site, the crew faces their biggest job yet, and will need the help of new construction friends to get it done. Working as a team, there’s nothing they can’t do! The millions of fans of Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site are in for a mighty good time!” (Taken from Goodreads)

Review: It’s a brand new day and there’s a lot of work to be done on the construction site today, so all our favorite trucks from Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site are back and looking for some help to get the job done. This story is filled with teamwork as the trucks work together to finish the job. I was excited to  learn about a few new trucks and what their job is at the construction site and I’m sure kids will be excited too! My only concern is that I have no idea what they actually built at the end of the story – it’s referred to as a building, but it looks like a really cool sculpture to me! And honestly, to me, that’s not what makes this story fun – what makes this story fun is the rhythm and rhyming of the text as you learn about construction vehicles and teamwork.

Personal Reaction: My absolute favorite part of this story is that a few of the machines are specifically referred to as “she” which is awesome! I’m glad the author chose to include female trucks to create a more inclusive story. I know a lot of families who absolutely adore Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site and I think that they would equally love this story with some new characters and lots of really cool information about what construction trucks do on the job!

Title: Mighty, Mighty Construction Site
Author: Sherri Duskey Rinker
Illustrator: Tom Lichtenheld
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Publication Date: February 14, 2017

#blogbookaday (1)This is a new idea I’m trying on my blog this year that was inspired by @donalynbooks and @heisereads – to provide a brief review of a picture book every day of 2018. You’ll get a brief summary of the story, a review of the content, illustrations and theme, my personal reaction to the book and all the pertinent publication information! Enjoy!


#blogbookaday: If I Were a Kangaroo

16 Mar

31146866.jpgSummary:  “If I were a kangaroo,
I’d pick you up and carry you
In my pocket, sleepyhead,
And hop you gently off to bed. 

It’s time for sleep, and this fun-to-read rhyming tale envisions the bedtime rituals of animals from whales to otters, squirrels to gorillas.

So curl up, imagine your favorite animal, and…zzzzzzzzzzz.” (Taken from Goodreads)

Review: A rhyming text about bedtime rituals makes the perfect way to end the day. I loved how the story not only rhymed, but also taught little ones about how other animals sleep at night (with more notes in the back of the book about each animal). I love when I enjoy reading a book and learn something too! The soft illustrations are beautifully washed in colors that evoke bedtime and nighttime with adorable animal parents and babies alike.

Personal Reaction: I absolutely adored this beautiful story of bedtime rituals and I loved the calming rhythm of the rhyming text. The illustrator, Anna Raff, also illustrated A Big Surprise for Little Card, which I loved! Each element worked perfectly together to create a quiet story and a perfect way to end the day with your own little one.

Title: If I Were a Kangaroo
Author: Mylisa Larsen
Illustrator: Anna Raff
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: April 4, 2017

#blogbookaday (1)This is a new idea I’m trying on my blog this year that was inspired by @donalynbooks and @heisereads – to provide a brief review of a picture book every day of 2018. You’ll get a brief summary of the story, a review of the content, illustrations and theme, my personal reaction to the book and all the pertinent publication information! Enjoy!

Trying Something New – Open House

16 Mar

We tried something new at our library this week – an open house for township employees. One of our major goals of late is to educate the public about everything the library has to offer – services, programs and resources. So, I got to thinking, how about we try to reach out to a ready made audience – the one that works in the same building we do, other township employees.

open house.pngWe created an open house event and a flyer to promote the idea. We included the information in the township employee monthly newsletter, it was mentioned at township meetings and a reminder email went out the day before.

We used our Keurig to offer coffee, tea, hot chocolate and other hot beverages and bought the good donuts! Plus, we had a raffle for a $10 gift card to the local gas station/convenience store, which helped in figuring out how many people stopped by. We made copies of many of our flyers, created a new one to promote our online resources, updated information and displayed everything to inform and educate our fellow colleagues.

We started our event at 7:45am because many of the staff begin work at 8:15 and I wanted to make sure they had enough time to stop by before getting to their desk. Honestly, I expected only a handful of people and am excited to report that about 15 people showed up! A few of which are regular library users, while others work across the hall from us and don’t use many of the library services.

We issued library cards, gave impromptu tours, talked about eBooks and our online resources and I was so excited to hear almost everyone announce, “I didn’t know you had/did that!” I’m hoping each of these people went back to their offices and talked up the library to their co-workers or went home and told their family about what they learned.

I would have loved to see a few more employees stop by, but I think we’ll try it again in the fall and hope for a larger turnout. I’m never sure how something new will turnout, but I’m so glad we gave it a try and that the people who came to the library learned something new.

#blogbookaday: Middle Bear

15 Mar

34220849.jpgSummary:  “He was the second of three brothers. He was not big, but he was not small, either. Neither strong nor weak, neither tall nor short, neither a lot nor a little … He was the middle one.”  Everything about life with his brothers was middle-sized. And when you’re always in the middle, sometimes it’s hard to feel special. But then, one day the cubs’ parents fell ill, and their mother asked them to fetch some medicinal bark from a willow tree on the top of a mountain. When it turned out that this very important task could only be done by a cub of his middle size, he finally realized how special it was to be the middle one.

Author Susanna Isern’s lovely, melodic picture book tale — with a delightful use of repetition throughout — offers an upbeat and positive message to middle children everywhere. It’s a subject that is not often addressed in this format. With its hero’s quest theme, the story has the feel of a modern-day fairy tale. Manon Gauthier’s spare artwork and understated palette perfectly capture the poignancy of the bear cub’s emotional journey. Though the book focuses on the role of middle children, it really celebrates every child’s efforts toward self-discovery, as they seek out their own special place in the world. It also offers a wonderful opportunity to highlight the character education subject of perseverance or a lesson on empathy. “(Taken from Goodreads)

Review: Middle Bear was exactly that in the middle between two siblings, neither big nor small, neither a lot nor a little, he was just in the middle. But when his parents need help, he soon realizes that being in the middle is sometimes exactly where you need to be. This was an interesting story about middle children and finding where you fit in the family. I found both the text and illustrations to be different enough to believe that the author and illustrator were not American and I was right – the author is Spanish and the illustrator is Canadian. I like the experience of translated titles and artistic styles that are different from ones typically seen in the U.S.

Personal Reaction: The style of this book is very different from other books I’ve seen with a dark palette and rough sketched drawings. I really enjoyed the cut paper collage aspect of the illustrations and also enjoyed the repetitive aspects of the text that are comforting and expected as the story progressed.

Title: Middle Bear
Author: Susanna Isern
Illustrator: Manon Gauthier
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Publication Date: October 3, 2017

#blogbookaday (1)This is a new idea I’m trying on my blog this year that was inspired by @donalynbooks and @heisereads – to provide a brief review of a picture book every day of 2018. You’ll get a brief summary of the story, a review of the content, illustrations and theme, my personal reaction to the book and all the pertinent publication information! Enjoy!

60 STEM Titles for 3-6 Year Olds

15 Mar

We often are asked by parents for “science books for preschoolers” and after a reference interview, we find that they are looking to teach their kids a variety of science concepts at a young age and finding books that are academic enough to satisfy the parents can be difficult. I created the list below filled with nonfiction titles, but also picture book titles that introduce some basic science concepts, but are still developmentally appropriate for a very young audience. I created a math list previously on this site (14 Picture Books to Introduce Math Concepts), so stop by that list for math titles (you won’t find them repeated here). These are just a few, there are more than I could ever put into a list, but find a few of these as a jumping off point! Enjoy!

stem preschool.png


  1. Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty
  2. Charlotte the Scientist is Squished by Camille Andros
  3. Citizen Scientists: Be a Part of Scientific Discovery from Your Own Backyard by Loree Griffin Burns
  4. National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Why by Amy Shields
  5. What Is a Scientist? by Barbara Lehn


  1. Best In Snow by April Pulley Sayre
  2. Calendar by Myra Cohn Livingston
  3. Cloudette by Tom Lichtenheld
  4. Leaves by David Ezra Stein
  5. Old Bear by Kevin Henkes
  6. Our Seasons by Grace Lin and Ranida T. McKneally
  7. Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner
  8. Raindrops Roll by April Pulley Sayre
  9. Water is Water by Miranda Paul
  10. The Wind Blew by Pat Hutchins


  1. A Butterfly Is Patient by Dianna Hutts Aston
  2. Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin
  3. DK First Animal Encyclopedia
  4. First the Egg by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
  5. I’m Trying to Love Spiders by Bethany Barton 
  6. Lifetime: The Amazing Numbers in Animal Lives by Lola M. Schaefer
  7. Over in the Jungle: A Rainforest Rhyme by Marianne Collins Berkes
  8. A Nest Is Noisy by Dianna Hutts Aston
  9. Parrots Over Puerto Rico by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore
  10. Who Am I? by Steve Jenkins

Human Body

  1. Bones by Steve Jenkins
  2. The Busy Body Book by Lizzy Rockwell
  3. DK First Human Body Encyclopedia
  4. From Head to Toe by Eric Carle
  5. I Hear a Pickle (And Smell, See, Touch, and Taste It, Too!) by Rachel Isadora
  6. Inside Your Outside! By Tish Rabe
  7. The Magic School Bus Inside the Human Body by Joanna Cole
  8. Me and My Amazing Body by Joan Sweeney
  9. My Five Senses by Aliki
  10. Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young

Outer Space

  1. If You Decide to Go to the Moon by Faith McNulty
  2. Little Kids First Big Book of Space by Catherine D. Hughes
  3. Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me by Eric Carle
  4. The Sun Is My Favorite Star by Frank Asch
  5. Zoom, Rocket, Zoom! By Margaret Mayo


  1. Because of an Acorn by Lola M. Schaefer
  2. Grand Canyon by Jason Chin
  3. Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert
  4. In a Small, Small Pond by Denise Fleming
  5. Jack’s Garden by Henry Cole
  6. Over and Under the Pond by Kate Messner
  7. A Rock Is Lively by  Dianna Hutts Aston
  8. A Seed is Sleepy by Dianna Hutts Aston
  9. The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle
  10. Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner


  1. 11 Experiments That Failed by Jenny Offill
  2. Awesome Dawson by Chris Gall
  3. Boy + Bot by Ame Dyckman
  4. Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building by Christy Hale
  5. Have Fun, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell
  6. If I Built a Car by Chris Van Dusen
  7. Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty
  8. Monkey with A Tool Belt and The Noisy Problem by Chris Monroe
  9. Robots, Robots Everywhere! by Sue Fliess
  10. Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty
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