Saturday, June 30, 2012

How I Became a Pirate

Ahoy, maties!  Captain Braid-Beard needs an extra digger to help him bury his chest of treasure, and Jeremy Jacob is the man, or rather boy.  Follow Jeremy Jacob as he embarks on his precarious pirate adventure.

Parents, How I Became a Pirate (c. 2003) is a book where our local author Melinda Long was fortunate enough to score the perfect artist David Shannon to illustrate her story.  Shannon's illustrations make this story!  You're kids will love this pirate adventure as much as ours  And they may pick up some pirate lingo ("shiver me timbers", "landlubber", "scurvy dog", and "batten down the hatch") along the way.  We highly recommend this thrilling summer read!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Fancy Nancy

Here's a series of books that shows how an author paired with the right artist makes the book. Enter Fancy Nancy by Jane O'Connor and illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser which debuted in picture book edition in 2005, with I Can Read books following in 2008 beginning with Fancy Nancy and the Boy from Paris.

What do we love about Fancy Nancy books here at Read Me A Story?  Everything!!!

*   Fancy Nancy teaches vocabulary while introducing various extensions of the sciences, arts, and natural world.

*   Fancy Nancy loves anything and everything fancy (think frilly, prissy, etc.).  She dresses up her vocabulary too, with "big words" and French words.

*   The basic Fancy Nancy storyline goes something like: meaning well, Nancy Clancy ends up getting herself in a pickle of a predicament where an adult comes in to help her solve the problem and figure out a resolution.

* The messages in Fancy Nancy books promote good values of honesty, trust, friendship, etc.

*   Personal testimony: the gals at my house simply ADORE Fancy Nancy!!!

*   Professional testimony: O'Connor and Preiss Glasser's books have remained one of my #1 book recommendations since their debute in 2005.  These are our favorite books to gift and recommend to girls everywhere!

So there you have it folks!  I apologize that I'm just now getting to our beloved Fancy Nancy here in 2012.  If you're not a fan, then what are you waiting for?!  ;)

If you don't take my word for it, read this excellent recommendation:

While I don't have room to post all the Fancy Nancy book covers, I'll post our very favorites:

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Iron Horses

Dedicated to all my train-loving readers: Have you ever wandered how the transcontinental railroad was built?  "Transcontinental Railroad?" you ask.  It was the joining of the American west's Central Pacific Railroad to the east's Union Pacific Railroad so that citizens could travel from one coast to the next in a matter of days rather than months.

Discover this train race afresh with Verla Kay's simple rhyming text and Michael McCurdy's signature illustrations in Iron Horses (c. 1999).

Monday, June 18, 2012

Lucy's Summer

Based on a true story, Donald Hall weaves Lucy's Summer (c. 1995) from the stories he heard as a child.  Michael McCurdy crafts his sketchboard illustrations to look like woodcuts.  Here are the opening lines:
   Lucy Wells lived on a farm in New Hampshire with her mother Kate, her father Wesley, and her little sister Caroline.
   The spring of 1910, when Lucy was seven, her mother turned the front parlor into a millinery shop, to sell hats to her neighbors in the backcountry.

Friday, June 15, 2012

A Butterfly is Patient

In this rush ridden world, with instant food, money, conversation, etc., patience hardly seems a virtue.  Don't you sometimes feel like you're running against the grain as you try to teach those little people the art of waiting?

Please, let me introduce you to this brilliantly beautiful book that weaves science with the art of patience.  And while I think that author Dianna Hutts Aston's years are a few millinia off, I also think that A Butterfly is Patient (c. 2011) is a book you'll want to check out, take a look at, and read together with your child.

And the added bonus is that Sylvia Long's watercolors are absolutely spellbinding!  Her images render the lifecycle of a butterfly as looking through a magnifying glass.  Take a look:

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Summerfolk

Do you remember the book We Were Tired of Living in a House by Liesel Moak Skorpen with the imaginative 1969 illustrations by Doris Burn?  Well if you need a little refresher on a post that gets frequent hits, click here: We Were Tired of Living in a House illustrated by Doris Burn (c. 1969).  I just love the Doris Burn illustrations in that story!  The kids do too and pour over them for hours.
So imagine my delight in finding Doris Burn's The Summerfolk at our local used bookstore!  Then imagine my disappointment that our local library doesn't carry a copy.

Folks, I have good news:
  1. You can purchase The Summerfolk written and illustrated by Doris Burn (c. 1968) off or (I am in no way gleaning any profits from these websites in passing along this information) for a mere $7.
  2. I'm going to post several illustrations as well as the opening storyline to give you a taste of this delightful summer read:

Burn's story begins: Willy Potts' house was on a sand dune.  In back of the house was a swamp, but in front the sand led all the way down to the sea.  Although the house was little more than a shanty, Willy and his dad, Joe Potts, lived there both winter and summer, for Joe Potts was a fisherman.  All winter long, life seemed to go along nice and steady for Willy and Joe Potts.

next page:  But all summer long--well, that was another kettle of fish.  Every summer, strange people came from the city for a holiday beside the sea.  These strangers were called summerfolk. . . .

meet Fedderly, "a strange new breed of summerfolk"

"Have you ever been to Rosebud's Stately Wain?" asks Fedderly.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Relatives Came

Summer is here!  And I know of no better way to begin those summer reading programs than with Cynthia Rylant's story The Realatives Came, with Caldecott honorable illustrations by Stephen Gammell (c. 1993).  Folks, this story is one of our very favorites!!!

Ah!  I just love reading this story!  It doesn't even bother me to read it again and again.  And the illustrations!  Well, you're bound to laugh at some point.  I think that no matter your experience, Rylant's story will have at least one page you identify with.

And that's my summer challenge to you, dear readers: take time to check out The Relatives Came and comment, sharing with us a reading moment where you felt connected to a description in Rylant's story.

Here's one of my favorite moments:

Please join me for a linky party at :