Brief summary: Henley is not a reader. The book was too hard; another was too boring. He could not find a book that had his interests. He preferred playing outside. One day in school, his teacher assigns her students to bring in their favorite book to class tomorrow. Henley goes to the library after school and asks the librarian to help him find his favorite book in the whole wide world. Nothing.
He goes to the bookshop and asks the owner, Mrs. Rackley, if she could help find him a book that he could call his favorite. Again, after looking at several books, Henley does not find one. He goes home and tells his mother his problem. She says something to her son that helps him find his favorite to share the next day. What book is it?
Comments: So good to see how he went to the public librarian and bookstore owner to help him. Henley, I did not have an elementary library either. I had to find my books at the public library.
I love that he was able to find his favorite book and have something so meaningful to share with his classmates. This could be a great introduction for primary students to reflect and share their favorite stories or perhaps an end-of-the-year summary of the favorite books they enjoyed that school year.
Rectangle Time by Pamela Paul; illustrated by Becky Cameron. 2021. Published by Philomel Books.
Brief summary: A thoughtful cat enjoys rectangle time with his boy and father and helps in any way he can to make it superb. He always sits in someone’s lap and scratches his face on the rectangle. Soon, he notices that there are two voices at rectangle time and decides to add his. As time goes by, he hears that rectangle time is now silent and only with the boy. The cat decides he will break the quietness.
Years pass. The cat sees how rectangle time is now with two again, but they are sitting in silence at opposite sides of the room. The cat pokes the boy to let him know he is still contributing with this special ritual. The cat believes it is an accident when the boy removes his helpful paw.
More time passes and the cat concludes the boy is not enjoying his rectangle time by himself on his bed, so the supportive cat sits on the rectangle. He gets dumped on the floor and realizes it was not an accident. The caring cat decides to re-position himself. Will this persistent feline ever find the right way again to share rectangle time?
Comments: Whenever we have story time in elementary school, we call it “circle time” when the children would gather around in sort of a circle and listen/participate with a read aloud. “Rectangle time” is such a cute name showing that story time is through the cat’s perspective and how it changes over the years as the boy grows older.
Definitely a good choice for library media specialists and teachers to share.
How to Catch a Clover Thiefby Elise Parsley; illustrated by Elise Parsley. 2021. Digitally drawn, painted in Adobe Photoshop. Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.
Brief summary: A wild boar named Roy is waiting for his clover patch to bloom. He warns his gopher neighbor, Jarvis, to not steal his clover. Jarvis assures him that he would never steal the yummy white blossoms and gives Roy a clover recipe book to read while the boar waits. Roy decides to go out and get some of the ingredients for a recipe and discovers upon his return that his clover patch is smaller.
Jarvis visits Roy the next day and asks what is the matter. Roy points out that there is a clover thief! Roy explains that he needs to stand guard of his clover and tells the gopher to go away. The gopher offers him a campsite book to help Roy stay there and guard. The wild boar reads the book and starts to put up a tent and build a campfire only to discover that his clover patch is smaller again.
Jarvis continues to give Roy various books while the clover patch gets smaller and smaller. Roy decides he is going to the library to get a book to figure out how to catch the clover thief. Will his invention work?
Comments: Young readers will enjoy the secret and mystery of who is the clover thief. Laugh out loud fun!
I like how the character reads to find answers and eventually, goes to the library to find the perfect book to catch the thief.
The Book Hogby Greg Pizzoli; illustrated by Greg Pizzoli. Published by Disney Hyperion.
Brief summary: The book hog loved the smell of books, buying them, and being surrounded by them. However, he could not read. One day as he was taking a walk, he came across a building that SMELLED like books. He went inside to find thousands of books. Miss Olive, a children’s librarian, offered to read a book with him. Over time, he learned to read and love books for their stories as well as how they felt(and smelled!).
Comments: Adorable story to read to primary young readers. The illustrations are mainly orange, pink, and green. The end pages are tiny pink and green dots.
If I was still a school librarian(and not retired), I would read this book the first day kindergartners came to visit the school library and then open up a conversation to see if any of my students ever visited a public library explaining that they now have another type of library they can visit each week.
The Book of Goldby Bob Staake; illustrated by Bob Staake. 2017. Digitally illustrated. Published by Schwartz & Wade Books.
Brief summary: Little boy Isaac Gutenberg is taken to the New York Public Library in 1935 where he sees the two lions, Patience and Fortitude. His parents love books and try to pass that love to their son who is bored in the library. His parents leave and walk into an antique store where Isaac sits in the middle of the floor waiting for them to find a gift for a relative. The storekeeper tries to entertain the boy but without success until he shares the legend of the Book of Gold.
Upon Isaac’s life quest to find the one book that answers all questions and is solid gold, he reads many books over the years learning about many wonderful facts. Towards the end of his life, old man Isaac Gutenberg is back in the New York Public Library sharing the legend of the book of gold with a youngster.
Comments: The end pages are rows of books. The words of this book have white lettering on a black background. This does have a lot of words for young readers, so I would suggest it as a read aloud in addition to one they could read alone. The illustrations are colorful and have action in them that shows the years passing by as the boy grows through the decades to an old man.
Give Me Back My Book!by Travis Foster and Ethan Long. 2017. Digitally illustrated. Published by Chronicle Books.
Brief summary: Redd and Bloo argue over who is the owner of a green colored book. Bloo believes the book Redd is reading is actually his. They discover evidence indicating it actually does belong to one of them. Bookworm comes out of her hole in the middle of their arguing and steals the book from the two. She hides in her hole out of the reach of the two friends. Redd and Bloo decide after trying to get the book back from Bookworm and failing to make a better book to entice Bookworm to trade. She does and the two run off to read their book together until another argument occurs.
Comments: I believe that this book will do well in any elementary school library where fighting over books happens daily. This book could be read to students to teach how to share a book.
Read! Read! Read!by Amy Ludwig Vanderwater; illustrated by Ryan O’Rourke. 2017. Created in Adobe Photoshop. Published by Word Song: An Imprint of Highlights.
Brief summary: Twenty-three rhyming poems sharing the various ways and places we read in our lives.
Comments: Loved this book! The poetry has rhythm and rhyme. Some are short; some are longer. The author wrote a poem each of the many things we read in our every day lives: a magazine, a birthday card, a cereal box, sports page, road signs and so on. The illustrations fill the pages with several two page spreads.