It happens every year. I introduce new and exciting picture books of unknown authors and illustrators sparking that invisible imagination light to go off inside their little heads. Immediately, there are the arguments of who had the book in hand first which I have learned can be resolved with a large dice I keep on my desk. Suddenly, like a group of flying gnats changing direction, there is a circle of students around the two book dualers waiting to see the winning roll. At about the same time, there is a landslide of reserve requests for the books I just shared producing a three-month waiting list. The book frenzy stops for a few weeks until the next group of new books I share. But, there are about five authors and series that go out all the time and all year round without any advertisement from myself.
(I may get a commission for purchases made through links in this post through the Amazon Affiliate Program. Books reviewed were checked out of the public library and not sent to me free for review).
The Fly Guy Series by Tedd Arnold; illustrated by Tedd Arnold.
Brief summary: Fly Guy and Buzz are best friends and have many adventures together in these easy readers.
Comments: The easy book series of Fly Guy rarely make it back over to the shelves. The students return them on the carts and are picked up by other interested students by the end of the day. I have the nonfiction Tedd Arnold books housed with the easy section, so they are more accessible for the primary students who love them.
Pete the Cat series written by James Dean, Eric Litwin; illustrated by Eric Litwin, Kimberly Dean.
Brief summary: Pete the Cat is one cool cat who likes “movin’ and grovin’ and singing his own song.”
Comments: Very popular with the kindergartners. Students sing-a-long with the free songs available on their site.
Anything by Mo Willems is gold with the favorites being “the pigeon books” and the Elephant and Piggie series.
Brief summary: Students love the antics of the naughty pigeon who is always getting into mischief in one adventure after another. Elephant and Piggie series are early readers about two pals and the ups and downs of their friendship as they share one adventure after another. Another favorite series involves a girl named Trixie. Is it pronounced nuffle or knuffle? I let the students decide.
Comments: We luckily have almost all of Mo Willems’ books in our library, but they are always out causing a lot of pouting. Finding one on the return cart not shelved yet is like scoring a soccer goal for students. I am not looking forward in telling them Mr. Willems has finished writing the Elephant and Piggie books.
Mercy Watson series by Kate DiCamillo; illustrated by Chris Van Dusen. Mercy Watson is a smart and charming pig who loves buttered toast and is always on a whimsical adventure in each of the six books in the series.
Comments: This early chapter book is sought after and proudly carried to check out as being one of the “big” books. I have it in the easy area but could easily house it in the fiction book area as well.
Brief summary: The meat eaters and the plant eaters play each sport in this rhyming series with accurate information of the game. Mrs. Wheeler researches her sports!
Comments: We had Mrs. Wheeler visit our school last year and the students enjoyed her presentations immensely.