Posts Tagged ‘humor’

Princess Marty McGuire by Kate Messner Enchants Grade 3 Readers

Posted on May 9th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts introduces a book for grade 3 readers, Marty McGuireMarty McGuire written by Kate Messner and illustrated by Brian Floca

Marty is not yet impressed with grade three. Her former best friend has a new friend who likes dancing. Marty would rather catch frogs than waltz. She misses her friend very much. “Veronica Grace Smithers has stolen my best friend and taken over recess. I’d call Veronica Grace Princess Bossy-Pants if I were allowed to call people names. But I’m not. So I won’t.”

When their teacher announces that the class will be performing The Frog Prince and Marty will be cast as the princess, our young heroine is reluctant to take the stage. Portraying a princess is not for her! Marty McGuire accurately depicts the social challenges experienced by a group of grade three girls as they adapt to change. As well, Marty and her friends manage to find middle ground in this fun, generously illustrated chapter book.

Will be enjoyed by boys and girls, grade two and up.

Marty McGuire at

Marty McGuire at

Surrounded by Testosterone: My Thoughts About The Loser List

Posted on April 25th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts writes about The Loser ListThe Loser List – written and illustrated by Holly N. Kowitt
Anti bullying (handwritten text, generously illustrated) chapter book published by Scholastic

Be sure to check out our page about anti-bullying picture books for children, our page about anti bullying chapter books, graphic novels and novels for children , and our Pinterest anti bullying board

I spent the Easter weekend with three teenaged boys and so it was only fitting that I should reach for The Loser List when I had some time to read. It is a generously illustrated chapter book that is very reminiscent of Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Danny Shine is twelve years old and in grade seven. He’s not good at sports but he loves to draw. When Danny runs afoul of Chantal Davis, she informs him that she’ll be adding his name to the loser list in the girl’s bathroom at school. Danny’s best friend, Jasper is not worried about being labelled as a geek and doesn’t care if his name is put on the loser list but Danny is bothered by the threat. A lunchtime tangle with the school’s biggest bully (Axl Ryan) followed by a failed attempt to remove his name from the loser list results in Danny joining Axl and other members of the Skull gang in an after school detention. “We stared at each other. Him: studded wristband, greasy blond hair stuffed into a do-rag, and army jacket. Me: Acme Exterminators tee, video watch and grandfather sweater.” Danny is terrified of Axl and is sure he will be beaten until Axl shows off his Sharpie tattoo and Danny knows that he can draw “Something really cool and unique, something that’s you know, worthy of the Skulls.”

It is not long until the threat of a beating subsides and Danny is creating cool tattoos for Axl and his sidekicks. Danny enjoys his new celebrity until Axl steals a comic book from a shop Danny frequents. Suddenly Danny finds himself accused of theft and regretting his association with the thugs.

A clever tactic by Danny and Jasper enables Danny to escape the clutches of the gang and restore his reputation.

Best for children aged eight through twelve, The Loser List has a positive message about self acceptance and friendship. It will have a special appeal for boys

The Loser List at

The Loser List at

This is great! – Lane Smith’s “It’s a Book”

Posted on April 7th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Can’t resist sharing Lane Smith’s “It’s a Book.” Hope you enjoy it is much as I did…

Delightful Wordplay + Clever Illustrations = The Three Silly Billies

Posted on March 27th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts looks at The Three Silly Billies, a picture book by Margie Palatini and Barry MoserThe Three Silly Billies – written by Margie Palatini, Illustrated by Barry Moser
Picture book published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Here is an altogether new and modern take on the Three Billy Goats Gruff. When the three Silly Billies can’t put together enough change to pay the $1.00 toll to the grumpy stumpy troll at the Trollgate Plaza, they decide to form a rather unconventional ‘car pool.’ Enter a family of three bears, a boy named Jack and young girl carrying a basket and wearing a red hood. Mama Bear fretted. “What ever will we do? If we don’t get home soon, our porridge will be cold.”…. “Why not add your money to our money?” blurted out Billy Bob. “Join our car pool so we can cross the bridge together.” “Makes a lot of cents (sic) to me, ” said Baby Bear.

Lots of fun wordplay, delicious language and vivid, clever watercolor illustrations make The Three Silly Billies well worth a careful look especially for students in the primary grades who are familiar with The Three Bears, Little Red Riding Hood and Jack and the Beanstalk. The illustrations include “inside” jokes for readers to discover including Jack’s “Giant Buster” ax and the “Wolfbanextra” in Red’s basket. Be sure to follow the link (above) to Ms. Palatini’s website. You will find all sorts of treats for young readers.

Pass the Buck Brainteaser from the author’s website

Vote For Books’ Lesson Plan and Activities for The Three Silly Billies

The Three Silly Billies at

The Three Silly Billies at

Cornelius P. Mud – Ready for Anything Except Bedtime!

Posted on March 25th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts looks at a fun picture book,  Cornelius P. Mud Are You Ready for Bed?Cornelius P. Mud, Are You Ready for Bed? written by and illustrated by Barney Saltzberg
Picture book about getting ready for bed published by Candlewick Press

It is time to put toys away, brush teeth, enjoy a story and head off to bed. For Cornelius P. Mud, however, these steps toward bedtime aren’t quite what moms and dads envision. Cornelius stores his toys in the fridge, feeds chocolate chip cookies to his goldfish and selects a huge stack of piggy bedtime stories.

Big, bold illustrations help to tell a story that is perfect for circle time or bedtime. Readers who enjoy Cornelius P. Mud, are You Ready for Bed? will want to watch for the companion books: Cornelius P. Mud, Are You Ready for School? and Cornelius P. Mud, Are You Ready for Baby?

Fun for ages 2-5, in board book and hardcover formats

Cornelius P. Mud, are You Ready for Bed? at

Cornelius P. Mud, Are You Ready for Bed? at

Highlighting Young Adult Fiction: Paper Towns by John Green

Posted on March 18th, 2011 by Teen contributor

Storytime Standouts' teen contributor writes about Paper Towns by John GreenPaper Towns by John Green
Young Adult Fiction published by Dutton Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

Quentin Jacobsen has spent his life loving the adventurous Margo Roth Spieglman from afar. So when she cracks open his window and summons him for an all night campaign of revenge- he follows. The next day, at school Q discovers that Margo, always an enigma, has become a mystery. But there are clues, and they’re for him. urged down the disconnected path, the closer he gets the less he sees the girl he thought he knew…

This was the first of John Green‘s books that I have read and I am very impressed. The story is intriguing and well crafted, the characters interesting. Paper Towns involves the reader, you will find yourself puzzling at night as you try to unravel the mystery for yourself. And you will be laughing frequently for John Green writes with brilliant wit.

Paper Towns is Young Adult fiction that can be enjoyed by almost everyone. I defiantly recommend it as one of my favourites.

Anthony Award Nominee for Best Children’s/Young Adult Novel (2009)
Corine – International Book Prize for Young Adult Novel (2010)
School Library Journal Best Book of the Year (2008)
Edgar Award for Best Young Adult (2009)
YALSA Teens’ Top Ten (Young Adult Library Services, American Library Association) (2009)

Paper Towns at

Paper Towns at

Zero Kisses for Me by Manuela Monari- Not Even a Tiny Bit Bleah

Posted on March 6th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts thinks Zero Kisses for Me is GreatZero Kisses for Me written by Manuela Monari and illustrated by Virginie Soumagnac
Picture book published by Tundra Books

I have the good fortune to share read alouds with children regularly in my classes. I always look for engaging stories that will hook my students. Sometimes I am lucky enough to find a book that doesn’t just hook the kids – some books have children talking about the story a week later and begging for a reread. Zero Kisses for Me is one of those delightful books that children love to see, listen to and cheer about.

Life is tough when you’re always being kissed.” When you’re kissed before you go out in the rain and when you’re kissed and called, “Honeybunch” or “Flower Bud.” By the end of the day, you can be “tired of being everybody’s tootsy-wootsy… huggy-bear… kissy-snooks.” You might even demand, “No more mush!” And, you might exclaim, “BLEAH” – the perfect word to make a story memorable and a great word for young children to hear and relish.

Fun illustrations add to the atmosphere in Zero Kisses for Me and convey the little bear’s determination and frustration beautifully. A great read aloud for boys and girls, aged four to six, especially those who enjoy many, many kisses each and every day. Although not a Valentine’s Day book, this would be a terrific choice to reach for on February 14th.

Zero Kisses for Me at

Zero Kisses for Me at

You will also be interested in our Valentine’s Day printables. Storytime Standouts is on Pinterest – Check out our Valentine’s Day Board

Where’s Walrus? by Stephen Savage Keeps Children Laughing

Posted on February 28th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Where's Walrus? by Stephen Savage reviewed by Storytime StandoutsWhere’s Walrus? – written and illustrated by Stephen Savage
Wordless picture book published by Scholastic

Well-crafted wordless picture books are terrific for young readers. They provide opportunities for children to ‘read’ the illustrations and retell the story. They are also super for multilingual families – a grandparent who does not speak English can enjoy the story-sharing experience in any language.

Where’s Walrus? is a stylish, bold look at a daring escape from the city zoo. While most of the zoo animals and their keeper nap, a walrus decides it is time for fun. His first destination is just outside the zoo gates. He jumps into a large fountain and reclines next to a stone mermaid. With the keeper in hot pursuit, he shifts to a coffee shop, a store window and a construction site. Later, he helps a crew of firefighters and joins a dance team. Each time the walrus moves, he changes his head covering and manages to evade detection. Young children will enjoy “finding” the walrus while the zookeeper searches in vain. For older children, the absurdity of the premise will add to the humor.

Where’s Walrus? will be an excellent addition to a classroom zoo theme. Extension activities could include choosing new a head covering and ‘hiding’ Walrus somewhere new.

Where’s Walrus? at

Where’s Walrus? at

Our page about Wordless and Almost Wordless Picture Books

The Boy Who Loved Bananas – Monkeying Around and Inspiring Writers

Posted on February 24th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

The Boy Who Loved Bananas is a great classroom picture book. Use it to inspire storytelling and young writers
The Boy Who Loved Bananas – written by George Elliott and illustrated by Andrej Krystoforski

This is pure fun for storytime. When Matthew visits the Metro Zoo, he loves to watch the monkeys. He wonders why they eat so many bananas. As an experiment, Matthew decides that he will eat only bananas – morning, noon and night. He persists for days and days until, ‘Kablooey!’ Matthew changes into a playful monkey. Wanting their little boy back, Matthew’s parents try everything. Alas, Matthew likes things the way they are and soon has his classmates and principal chomping bananas. At last, after admiring an African elephant at the zoo, Matthew decides he would like to change his menu – to peanuts! The Boy Who Loved Bananas won Ontario’s 2006 Blue Spruce Award. It is boisterous fun for children aged three to seven years.

I love the idea of making this story an inspiration for young writers. If they had the chance, what would they choose to eat and what might happen if they did?

Ages 3 to 7

Storytime Suggestions for The Boy Who Loved Bananas

The Boy Who Loved Bananas at

The Boy Who Loved Bananas at

A Camping Spree With Mr Magee, One of My All-Time Favourites!

Posted on February 14th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee is one of our favorite picture booksA Camping Spree with Mr. Magee – written and Illustrated by Chris Van Dusen

An absolutely irresistible adventure story for young children. A Camping Spree With Mr. Magee is one of my all-time favourite picture books. When Mr. Magee and his small dog begin their camping trip, they have no inkling that a near-sighted, marshmallow-fancying bear will soon have them staring down a fifty foot waterfall.

They were snoring and snoozing, enjoying a dream, When splash went the camper right into the stream! The splash shook the camper. They jumped out of bed. “Now what in the world was that?” Magee said.

Both adults and children will thoroughly enjoy the rich and dramatic illustrations as well as the delightful rhyming prose. Don’t miss it!

36 pages, Ages 4 to 7

Chris Van Dusen Website

A Camping Spree With Mr. Magee at

A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee at

We invite you to extend your child’s learning with our Camping theme writing paper for kids

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Camping

Camping theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

See You Later, Escalator – A Fun Poetry Book Kids Will Love!

Posted on February 10th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

See You Later, Escalator - Storytime Standouts reviews a fun poetry bookSee You Later Escalator Rhymes for the Very Young
Chosen by John Foster and illustrated by thirteen artists

Lively illustrations and a delightful selection of poetry make See You Later, Escalator: Rhymes for the Very Young great fun to browse. Useful as a classroom resource (check out ‘Finger Paints’ and ‘Sorting Out the Kitchen Pans’) or as a playful alternative to bedtime stories. Have fun!

96 pages, Ages 4+

See You Later, Escalator: Rhymes for the Very Young at

See You Later, Escalator: Rhymes for the Very Young at

Big Bear Hug by Nicholas Oldland – What Could be Better?

Posted on February 2nd, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Big Bear Hug published by Kids Can PressBig Bear Hug written and illustrated by Nicholas Oldland
Fable Picture book published by Kids Can Press

Author – illustrator Nicholas Oldland introduces a happy, affectionate bear who shares his love by wandering through forests and hugging flora and fauna, large and small. One day the friendly bear is shocked to find a man with a menacing ax strolling through the forest. The man is planning to chop down one of the oldest and finest trees in the woods. Despite his anger, the bear resists an urge to attack and gives the startled man an enormous “bear” hug.

This simply told fable features distinctive, bold illustrations and a loving message. Big Bear Hug will be thoroughly enjoyed by children three and up.

Link to “Bear Hug” Name Tags

Big Bear Hug at

Big Bear Hug at

Be sure to visit our page highlighting
picture books about caring for our environment,
ecosystems, recycling,
reducing our environmental footprint and more
Terrific resources for Earth Day and Arbor Day.

Baby birds come from eggs except if – picture book fun from Jim Averbeck

Posted on January 24th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts takes a look at a picture book by Jim Averbeck

except if 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 a 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, Jim Averbeck’s picture book 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

except if at

Who Knew the Big Bad Wolf Has Good Manners?

Posted on October 18th, 2007 by Carolyn Hart

Who Knew the Big Bad Wolf Has Good Manners Picture Book Humor for Older Readers

Storytime Standouts writes about two picture books written by Judy Sierra. Both books are fantastic and present a wonderful opportunity for readers to make connections with other classic stories.

Mind Your Manners, B.B. Wolf is a terrific picture book for older children

Mind Your Manners, B.B. Wolf written by Judy Sierra and illustrated by J. Otto Seibold
Picture book for older readers published by Knopf Books for Young Readers

When B.B. Wolf is invited to the local library’s Storybook Tea, he reviews proper etiquette, dons a dapper jacket and promises good behavior. After three cups of tea, a gurgling tummy threatens but Mr. Wolf remembers to say, ‘Excuse me,’ and is congratulated for his extraordinarily good manners. This picture book is a delight and I rank it among “The Best of the Best.” Youngsters are sure to enjoy spotting familiar fairy tale characters including Little Red Riding Hood, the Gingerbread Boy and the Three Little Pigs in addition to the Big Bad Wolf. It is indeed a treat to discover that Mr. Wolf has retired to Villain Villa and that using good manners can lead to happy endings.

Mind Your Manners, B.B. Wolf at

Mind Your Manners, B.B. Wolf at

Tell the Truth BB Wolf is an excellent picture book for older readersBut wait, there’s more… Tell the Truth, B.B. Wolf is an equally delightful tale featuring our “favourite” fairy tale villain! When invited to give his version of very familiar events, his credibility is soon called into question. Bold, retro illustrations compliment both stories beautifully.

Highly recommended – especially for older children.
Tell the Truth, B.B. Wolf at

Tell the Truth, B.B. Wolf at

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