Posts Tagged ‘guessing’

Night Light – A Picture Book That Shines

Posted on December 17th, 2013 by Carolyn Hart

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Night Light picture bookNight Light written and illustrated by Nicholas Blechman
Picture book with die cuts published by Orchard Books an imprint of Scholastic


When my sons were young, they loved picture books about vehicles. Whether reading Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks and Things That Go or Diane Siebert and Byron Barton’s Truck Song, my boys loved stories about emergency vehicles, trains, construction trucks and farm equipment. We would admire the interesting vehicles we saw while out on the road and check them out more closely when they were parked. On more than one occasion, I recall walking around big rigs – cement trucks and fire engines were especially appealing.

Night Light is a picture book my boys would have loved! Bright, colorful computer-generated illustrations include a zooming train, a hovering helicopter, a shiny taxi, a chugging tugboat, a hard-working loader and a gleaming firetruck. All have lights that shine in the dark. Youngsters will enjoy counting the lights, hearing clues and then speculating on what vehicle’s lights are glowing through the die cuts. As well, they will enjoy looking at the flip side of the die cuts and how Blechman incorporates the black circles they create into the left side of each spread.
Night Light picture book Nicholas Blechman

Do you know which vehicle has three lights shining late at night or what sort visits many sites?

Whether enjoyed as a counting book or as a part of a transportation theme, Night Lights is best-suited to preschool or kindergarten age children. It could also be used as inspiration for older children, prompting an exploration of art techniques that incorporate the magic of die cuts.

Some reviewers have commented about the final illustration of the book. It is printed on the end papers and, when the book jacket is in place, it is partially obscured. Similarly, at the front of the book, the book jacket covers the publishing details enhancing the look of the first pages. While perhaps not ideal, this does not detract from the appeal this story will have for transportation enthusiasts.

Night Light has been nominated for a 2013 Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Award.

Night Light at Amazon.com

Night Light at Amazon.ca

Two Delightful Picture Books: Guess Again and Violet

Posted on November 10th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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Guess Again written by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Adam Rex
Guess Again written by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Adam Rex
Picture Book published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers





Phonemic awareness is a key to early reading success for young children. It is the understanding that words are made up of sounds and the ability to pick out and manipulate those sounds. When we read rhyming books to young children, we help to develop their phonemic awareness.

Guess Again is nothing at all like a “typical’ rhyming book – there are far too many surprises in store – especially if you listen carefully to the clues. Really good fun!

Guess Again! at Amazon.com

Guess Again! at Amazon.ca

Violet written by Tania Duprey Stehlik, illustrated by Vanja Vuleta JovanovicViolet – written by Tania Duprey Stehlik, illustrated by Vanja Vuleta Jovanovic
Picture book about an interracial family published by Second Story Press




When Violet attends her first day at a new school, she meets red, yellow and blue children but she doesn’t see any purple children. Upon returning home, her mother explains, “I am red and daddy is blue and you, my beauty, are a bit of us both.” Together, they play with paints and discover that many beautiful colours are created through mixing. Simply told, Violet is a lovely story about an interracial family. It reminds us of the richness and splendor of a diverse community.

Violet at Amazon.com

Violet at Amazon.ca

You may also be interested in our page titled “Diversity.” We highlight picture books and chapter books that celebrate and inform us about human diversity including learning disabilities, physical disabilities, allergies, single parent families, interracial families, same sex parents, aging, death and more.

Don’t miss our page of quotes about diversity.



Baby birds come from eggs except if…

Posted on January 24th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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Storytime Standouts takes a look at picture book except If
except ff written and illustrated by Jim Averbeck
Picture book published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers





except if is a playful, unpredictable picture book that challenges the reader to avoid making assumptions and to use his or her imagination. Bold illustrations provide clues and, just as we think we have solved the mystery, they surprise us with unexpected results. An egg that is just about to hatch must surely hold a young bird – or does it?

An egg is not a baby bird,
but it will become one
except if
it becomes a baby snake
who will slither along the ground on its belly
except if

Very well suited to reading aloud, except if will be enjoyed by youngsters aged three and up.

Follow-up activities could include having children create their own cracked eggs and surprising hatchlings.

except if at Amazon.com

except if at Amazon.ca

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