Blogger Jeanette Larson, Children's Literature (all forms)

Johnny Appleseed

   One of the things I love about fall is that we get some really great, sweet, crisp apples! A new book about Johnny Appleseed recently arrived with my review copies and then I saw a reminder that his birthday is coming up (September 26).  Jane Yolen’s new book uses a call and response format to compare the facts about John Chapman’s life with the legends of Johnny Appleseed. Jim Burke’s illustrations are colorful and have the feel of old country antiques. While there are a couple of other wonderful books about Johnny Appleseed, this new one is great for sharing as you plan fall programs! Johnny Appleseed by Jane Yolen. Illustrations by Jim Burke. Harper, 2008.  $16.99 (978-0-06-059135-9)

Blogger Jennifer Schultz, Children's Literature (all forms)

Hooray for Hippos

I can still remember a few songs that I learned in my weekly music class as an elementary school student. “The Cat Came Back” is one. “I Can’t Spell Hippopotamus” is another. I can spell mat M-A-T But I can’t spell hippopotamus! Hippos lend themselves easily to comical children’s books, particularly if they involve dancing. If animal storytimes are popular with your group, but you want to go beyond the usual dog/cat/farm animals storytime, consider tying these books into a hippopotamus theme: All the jungle animals are gathering for the Hippo Hop. Elephants play the slide trombone, and an all-girl band of blue baboons plays along. Everybody dances their heads off until it’s time to go home. If you like books like The Big Bear Ball, you’ll enjoy The Hippo Hop. If The Hippo Hop isn’t too much of a tongue twister, reading The Happy Hippopotamiwill definitely keep the words tripping over…