Very funny sequel to The Day the Crayons Quit. This time Duncan's crayons are marooned at various places around his house: under the sofa cushion, locked in the basement, stuck in the dryer with a sock. They send in their rescue pleas through a series of post cards, hoping Duncan will find them and return them to their beloved crayon box. This team has produced another great read aloud with fabulous illustrations, including vintage postcards.
Published by Philomel Books, 2015. Illustrated by Oliver Jeffers.
In this clever read-aloud with great illustrations, a watermelon-loving crocodile discovers, to his great dismay, that he has swallowed a seed. From there, his imagination (and old crocodile-wives' tales) take over. Here's a knowing picture book for anyone who has ever swallowed a seed of any kind -- and that's everyone, right? A 2016 Illinois Monarch Children's Choice Award nominee.
Hyperion Books, 2013 (illustrated by author)
If you built a house, what rooms would you include? Well, a kitchen and a living room and a bedroom and a bathroom, of course. But have you ever considered a Fish Tank Room where you can swim with the fish? Or a Flying Room, where you can turn off gravity by flipping a switch? Van Dusen has and he inspires his readers to imagine their own architectural fantasies. This was an immediate hit with my primary students, who ooohed and aaahed over the author's creations and then were eager to describe their own. Bright, bold illustrations and rhyming text meld into a colossal fun house of imagination. An Illinois Monarch Award nominee for 2014-15.
Published by Dial Books for Young Readers, 2012.
Everybody has a story, even the letters of the alphabet. And those 26 stories are featured in this delightful addition to the extensive alphabet bookshelf. From an Astronaut who's afraid of heights, to a Bridge that ends up burned between friends, to a Cup stuck in a cupboard and longing for freedom, Once Upon an Alphabet trips crazily and creatively from A through Z. From the clever text to the gentle, old-school, ink and paper illustrations, this will entertain kids and adults and could provide a springboard for young writers to come up with their own unique tales of the alphabet.
Published by Philomel, 2014. 112 pp.
On a teeny little farm, in an itty-bitty coop, a very small hen laid a big, giant egg. And out of this egg came one big, humongous . . . something. The clueless chickens in the farm yard can't make sense of the gigantic new member of their family. Is it an elephant? Is it ... something else? What exactly is it? However, as the calamities start to pile up, one thing's for sure, whatever it is, it's a hero! Looking for a funny read-aloud? Try this clever mutation on the old Chicken Little tale and giggles will quickly ensue!
Published by Chronicle Books, 2010. p. 32.
Who doesn't have a pair (or in this case, a trio) of boring relatives who come to visit and bring very little to the party? Aunt Essy, Aunt Chanah, and Uncle Sam are the sourpuss Sunday visitors in this clever, witty picture book. They park their Continental in the driveway and park their butts in the living room and no matter what anyone says their response is always the same — “Oy," “Feh," “So?" One Sunday the three children are determined to extract a few different reactions. They fake a robbery, produce a dastardly dragon, and pretend to be kidnapped by aliens, but their aunts and uncle remain resolutely unimpressed. In a last ditch effort, the kids dress up as the trio and start mimicking them. Will this finally get a rise out of the relatives? Loved this one from the dedication page, which features the front end of a big ol' Lincoln Continental and the three poker faces lumbering down the street.
Illustrations by Gary Clement. pp.32. Published by Groundwood Books, 2013.
Joanne Zienty is a school librarian, teacher, reader, writer and published author who firmly believes there are so many good books and not enough time to read them!