Book List

My Daddy Likes to Say

My Daddy Likes to Say

 

The meanings behind many well-loved idioms come straight from the horses mouth in My Daddy Likes to Say. The fourth release in the Idiom Series offers fun for the whole family and also makes a great classroom tool!

Poetry, explanations and delightful artwork, conceived from a child’s point of view, provide meaning to expressions like, “the buck stops here”.

 

 Teacher’s Guide:

  ...Likes to Say Series

My Teacher Likes to Say

My Teacher Likes to Say

From the same team that brought you My Momma Likes to Say comes this delightful interpretation of maxims, idioms, proverbs, and cliches many students remember hearing on a regular basis in the classroom. From “Do you have ants in your pants?” to “Stick together!” and “Great minds think alike,” readers will be intrigued by the history of these adages, told in poetry form as well as expository text, and amused by the witty illustrations depicting these sayings as a child might imagine them.

 

Review:

“From “Do you have ants in your pants?’ to “Stick together!” and “Great minds think alike,” readers will be intrigued by the history of these adages, told in poetry form as well as expository text, and amused by the witty illustrations, depicting these sayings as a student might imagine them. Illustrations.”

–Books and More for Growing Minds (April 2004)

 

Award:

2005-06 Keystone to Reading Book Award Nominee (Children’s Choice) 05

 

Teacher’s Guide:

  ...Likes to Say Series

My Momma Likes to Say

My momma Likes to SayFrom the author of Buzzy the Bumblebee comes a child’s hilarious visual interpretation of such parental idioms and witticisms as “Hold your horses” and “Money doesn’t grow on trees”.

“Cat got your tongue?”
My momma likes to say.
I’m not sure what she means
but I like it anyway.

My cat has never tried
to take my tongue away.
But if he did, he’d find that it
can stretch a long, long way.

Review:

“Offers an amusing tale about a child’s literal interpretation of the statements his mother commonly makes, such as ‘money doesn’t grow on trees’ and ‘hold your horses.’ Illustrations.”
Books and More for Growing Minds (May 2003)

Awards:

2003 NAPPA Honor Award (National Parenting Publications)
2004 Children’s Choices – IRA
2005-06 Children’s Crown Award Nominee
2006 Bill Martin Jr. Picture Book Award Nominee 05

 


Teacher’s Guide:

  ...Likes to Say Series

My Grandma Likes to Say

My Grandma Likes to SayFollowing in the footsteps of My Momma Likes to Say comes the charming My Grandma Likes to Say. Thousands of proverbs and idioms can be found in the English language. Derived from many different sources, these expressions are a wonderful link to history and culture, and can be an instructive tool in language education.

“That’s a horse of a different color
My grandma likes to say.
I’m not sure what she means
But I like it anyway.
Polka dots and stripes.
Yellow, orange, and blue.
What color would a horse be
If it were up to YOU?”

Original paintings conceived from a child’s point of view provide a hilarious visual interpretation of those sayings oft-quoted by the ‘senior’ members of our families.

 

Review:

Idioms are a tricky business for children, and this story is a useful way to introduce those literal little people in our lives to them. Told in rhyme, the story juxtaposes a child’s literal interpretation of several idioms, proverbs, and cliches with factual information on what each idiom actually means. Told in rhyme, the child describes what her grandmother must mean when she says things like “Hit the hay.” She comically envisions boxing gloves and hay, when in fact Grandma is referring to a time when mattresses were typically stuffed with hay. “Hitting the hay” back then simply meant going to bed. While most of the factual information is helpful, it occasionally veers to the fanciful and nonsensical. While explaining what “knee-high to a grasshopper” means, the author suggests: “If you ever meet a giant grasshopper, ask him to take you for a ride. P.S. Don’t forget to eat your vegetables.” Despite these hiccups, the book will have a place in classrooms as an introduction to sayings of all kinds. The artwork is nicely rendered with endpapers that surely exist as wallpaper in all of our Grandma’s homes.
Children’s Literature Reviewer: Joan Kindig, Ph.D.

 

Award:

2007 Bank Street College of Education – Best Book of the Year List08

 

Teacher’s Guide:

  ...Likes to Say Series

Grady the Goose

Grady the Goose

From the moment she hatches from her egg, Grady Goose has to do things her way, often ignoring her parents’ rule of “stick together.” But when she lags behind as the rest of her family leaves for warmer climes, Grady learns the hard way that one is the loneliest number, especially for a young goose. A chance encounter with a helpful farmer soon sets things right, and a happy ending is in store for Grady and her family.

Denise Brennan-Nelson returns with another gentle lesson for young readers. An informative section on geese facts adds a wonderful wildlife component perfect for family or classroom use.

 

 

Reviews:

“Deftly written by Denise Brennan-Nelson and expertly illustrated by award-winning wildlife artist Michael Glenn Monroe, Grady the Goose is a wonderfully entertaining picturebook.”
— Children’s Bookwatch, October 2006

 

PreSchool – Grade 3 – Grady is the last of 12 eggs to be hatched, and the most worrisome: she likes to wander off. As the season gradually changes to autumn, her parents find themselves repeatedly counting their many offspring, only to find one missing. Unfortunately, Grady is not among her flock when they fly south. Left alone, she’s chased by a wolf and must fly solo through the night. Without support, she quickly tires and tumbles from the sky and becomes ensnared in barbed-wire fencing. She’s rescued by a kind farmer who drives her to a nearby field where, lo and behold, her family is found. It is obvious that the author is using nature to teach the value of family. Despite this contrivance, the overstated text is softened by glorious, realistic paintings that bring the gosling’s natural world to life. Due to the messy tuft of feathers on top of Grady’s head, young readers can identify and cheer for her safety and success. A final page gives further facts about the migration of Canada Geese, again stressing their ability to work together as a unit.
–Martha Topol, Traverse Area District Library, Traverse City, MI School Library Journal (c) Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.
All rights reserved.

Father and Mother Goose and all their goslings live peacefully on a quiet little pond. Grady, the youngest, likes to venture off on her own and sometimes Mama’s scoldings go unheeded. As the seasons pass, Father and Mother teach their young how to find food, how to fly, and most of all how to stick together. Soon the cool winds of fall are blowing. The geese gather for their long journey south. With a flutter of wings they are on their way, a beautiful V-formation of geese heading for warmer places. After covering many miles, the geese land in a grassy field for a much-needed rest. Mama scans the crowd to check on her young. Something is terribly wrong. Grady is missing! While all the geese had been preparing for the journey, Grady had been reveling in the wonders around her. Now she has been left behind to face the harsh world alone. Luckily for Grady, a kindly farmer comes along. Children will enjoy reading about how the farmer saves the day. The beautiful double- paged nature illustrations capture the drama and emotion of this tender tale. An addendum of geese facts is included. A great read aloud. Also works well for independent reading. A nice resource for a class learning about geese or studying the different seasons.
–Children’s Literature

 

 Teacher’s Guide:

  ...Likes to Say Series

J is for Jack-O’-Lantern

J is for Jack-O'-Lantern

  • Who lit the first jack-o’-lantern? What creature of the night must return to his grave by dawn? And why do we holler “Trick or treat”? J is for Jack-O’-Lantern: A Halloween Alphabet invites you to come along on this A-Z adventure and celebration of all things that “go bump in the night.”

Poetry and prose combine to entertain and educate.

H is for Haunted House
A haunted house; you better beware.
Only enter if you dare.
Monsters lurking, looking mean–
Just can’t wait to make you scream!

Classic autumn games, jokes, and recipes (including gooey deviled egg eyeballs!) help round out the Halloween festivities. Atmospheric artwork blends just enough fun with fright to provide the perfect backdrop.

One of Denise Brennan-Nelson’s favorite Halloween memories is of her daughters wearing homemade skunk costumes, since the girls are “Mommy’s little stinkers.” Her other books include Willow and Buzzy the bumblebee. When she’s not visiting schools to speak to schoolchildren and teachers, Denise is at home in Howell, Michigan.

Born in Hong Kong, Donald Wu grew up in the San Francisco Bay area. He studied illustration at the California College of the Arts. Donald’s current focus is in children’s book illustration, but he also has experience with portraiture and editorial artwork. He lives in the San Francisco Bay area.

 

Reviews:
A seasonal addition to the long-running series, this alphabet book provides copious background information for each entry, as well as simple rhymes. “C is for Costume” traces that Halloween tradition back to the Celts and the Samhain festival. Other entries contain activity ideas, recipes and practical advice. For “L is for Light,” trick-or-treaters walk past a dark house on a city street, while the text explains: “Not everyone enjoys Halloween…. So if you come upon a dark house, keep walking!” The rhymed verse should satisfy younger readers, while the extra information will engage older siblings.
~Publisher’s Weekly

School Library Journal – Various items pertaining to Halloween are introduced. A brief poem describes each word while a more detailed description provides historical facts and other information. Fun tidbits include related riddles, game and costume suggestions, and recipes for scary treats. The illustrations on every page are done in a medley of shades ranging from bright green to deep purple. Younger children should enjoy learning the alphabet by relating the letters to things associated with Halloween while older kids should find the amusing facts informative as well as entertaining.—Donna Atmur, Los Angeles Public Library

Teacher’s Guide:

  Halloween Pages

Buzzy the bumblebee

Buzzy the bumblebee

Sitting in a beautiful garden, high atop a flower, the impressionable Buzzy reads in the book, Learn to Fly, the very true fact that, “bumblebees weren’t made to fly.” He reads again, “bumblebees weren’t made to fly.”

Stranded on top of a flower
Buzzy longed to fly away.
His heart still knew how
But his head had forgotten the way.

The adventure that ensues challenges Buzzy to overcome obstacles without his wings that he had never before thought possible. He travels over the stream and through the high grass, back home where his parents with love and support tell him,

“You’re doubting yourself./ Fear is in the way.
Listen to your heart Buzzy/ Not what others say.
Ignore labels and limits Buzzy./ They seldom do good.
You start to think, ‘I Can’t,’/ when you should be thinking, ‘I Could.'”

Its vibrant illustrations and clear, thoughtful message make Buzzy the bumblebee a motivating and heartwarming story for all ages.

He stopped doubting himself/ And didn’t need to know, “Why.”
He believed once again/ And was able to FLY.

 

Review:

“When young Buzzy the bumblebee discovers that bumblebees aren’t supposed to be able to fly, he suddenly loses his self-confidence and finds himself a long way from home with no way to return except on foot. But finding his way on the ground is quite a different matter than in the air. With one obstacle after another hindering Buzzy’s progress, this little bumblebee discovers courage he didn’t know he had and finally makes his way safely home. Best of all, that new-found confidence and a little encouragement from his parents help Buzzy to believe in himself again and take flight once more.”
Kendal Rautzhan, Syndicated Columnist

 

Awards:

  •  2000 Friends of America’s Writers Award
  • 1999 Winner of the Best Juvenile Literature from Friends of American Writers award, based out of Chicago, IL.

Teacher’s Guide:

  Buzzy the bumblebee Teacher's Guide

Little Michigan

Little Michigan

A Board book for each state. State birds, flowers, trees, and animals brought to board book form for the youngest book lovers. Toddlers will delight in these books filled with rhyming riddles, framed by brightly painted clues that introduced elements that make each state so special.

Perfectly sized for little hands, a four-line riddle and illustrations provide a clue and with just a turn of a page the answer comes into view.

 

 

 

 

Teacher’s Guide:

  LittleMichiganColor.pdf

Maestro Stu Saves the Zoo

Maestro Stu Saves the Zoo by Denise Brennan-NelsonSince he was knee-high to a grasshopper, little Stu’s favorite place to visit was the nearby zoo. He was there so often that even the animals recognized him. The animals’ sounds, from the coos and the snorts, and the squeaks and bellows, and the brays and the whistles, were music to his ears. His mother called it a symphony. Stu loved to pretend to be a conductor when he listened to the animals.

But now there is trouble brewing at the zoo. A man wants to take it over and turn it into something else, getting rid of the animals.

When the animals learn of his plan, they want to take action. But no one has any ideas. No one but Stu.

Young readers will enjoy seeing how Stu steps in to rally the animals to save their beloved zoo.

Reviews

‘Maestro Stu Saves the Zoo’ by Denise Brennan-Nelson: A must have picture book

Reviewed on 10 November 2012

 

“Maestro Stu Saves the Zoo” by Denise Brennan-Nelson and illustrated by Tim Bowers is a picture book that can be read over and over. Kids will love the story because kids always love stories about animals. Adults and teachers will love the book because it is chock-full of idioms that are fun to teach.

The story is simple. A greedy person wants to buy the land where the zoo is situated and turn it into a shopping mall. He bribes the city officials (“He rubbed elbows with the fat cats in their ivory tower”) with expensive gifts and trips.

The animals learn what is going on and meet to form a plan. The invitation the lion sends out is a work of art in idiom form: “Attend a high priority meeting! No monkey business! Midnight. On the dot! Lion’s Lane 1/4 mile due south as the crow flies. Mum’s the word.”

No spoilers here, but be assured that Stu, a youngster who loves the zoo and listens to the sounds of the zoo every night, saves the day.

The illustrations are beautifully done. There are pages covered with color and animals and other pages where the illustrations are simply the animals on a white background.

This picture book would be a great addition to any classroom, but especially to a classroom with ELL(English Language Learners) students. Those students really need exposure to English idioms and this book could be the spark that gets children interested in idioms of all kinds. At the end of the book there is a sort of glossary of the idioms and their meanings.

Please note: This review is based on the final picture book provided by the publisher, Sleeping Bear Press, for review purposes.

Teacher’s Guide:

  Maestro Stu Saves the Zoo

About
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Contact
Dream it. Do it
Eat dessert first
From a family of 10
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Heart
Imagination is key
Journaling helps
Kudos
Loquacious
Mom of 2
Nourishes Enthusiasm
One of a Kind
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Trust your instincts
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Voice opinion
What kids say
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