This Is Just to Say



This is Just to Say



I have read

the book

that parodies

Wiliam Carlos Williams



and that

should probably

be returned

to the library



Forgive me

It is so hilarious

and it is staying

on my bookshelf.



A Couple of Caldecotts

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!  by Mo Willems

Ages 3 through adult

This book is simple, and hilarious!  Willems did an excellent job with the consistent drawings, limited colors, and easy to read text.  In spite of its simplicity, the book expresses a range of emotions through tiny color changes, and expressions from the pigeon, as he builds himself up to a tantrum.  Enjoy the book, and enjoy the pigeon’s humorous attempts to convince you to fold, but whatever you do…  “Don’t let the pigeon drive the bus!”

My Rating:  4.5 Stars

Tops & Bottoms by Janet Stevens

Ages 5 to 10

This book is engineered in a unique way!  To go along with the theme of tops and bottoms, Stevens crafted the book so that it has to be rotated to read it.  In other words, the left and right pages, are really the top and bottom, respectively.   The story is about a lazy bear, and a hardworking, sly rabbit who keeping making deals regarding harvest time.

My Rating:  4 Stars

The Ugly Duckling by Jerry Pinkney

Ages 4 to adult

The story is adapted from Hans Christian Anderson tale, and the beautiful watercolor is all Pinkney’s.  Come for the award-winning artwork, and stay for the classic tale.

My Rating:  3.5 Stars

For the Love of Picture Books

When Sophie Gets Angry – Really, Really, Angry by Molly Bang

Ages 3 to 8

Sophie gets angry when her sister snatches her toys.  At first, she starts to explode, but then she runs and runs and finds something beautiful to help her calm down.

My Rating:  3 Stars

Vera Rides a Bike by Vera Rosenberry

Ages 3 to 7

When Vera’s bright red tricycle disappears, she get Elaine’s hand-me-down bike.  The riding it part isn;t that difficult, but stopping causes some problems for Vera.

My Rating:  2 Stars

George Shrinks by William Joyce

Ages 3 to 7

While his parents are away, George experiences the day as a teeny-tiny boy.  He accomplishes everything that his parents asked him to do, just from a different perspective.  The fun illustrations add so much to this story.

My Rating:  3.5 Stars

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig

Ages 4 to 10

Sylvester, who has collection of pebbles, comes across a very special pebble.  It has the power to makes Sylvester’s wishes come true.  Unfortunately, Sylvester makes a wish that seems like the right thing for the moment, but its effects are long-lasting.

My Rating:  5 Stars

Picture Books about Night

  At Night by Jonathon Bean

Ages 4 to 7

When a little girl can’t get to sleep, she finds a place that works better than er own bed.  (Follow the black cat through the pages of the story too!)

My Rating: 3.5 Stars

Smoky Night by Eve Bunting

Ages 8 to 18

On a night full of rioting and fire, in a city with racism, Daniel learns an important lesson from his cat Jasmine.

My Rating: 4 Stars

Bedtime for Frances By Russell Hoban

Ages 3 to 103

Frances does NOT want to go to bed.  After requesting milk and more goodnight kisses, Frances has to face the things in the dark.  She even made up a song to try to fall asleep, but it only got her thinking about tigers. . . Father has some good ideas about how to help Frances finally get to sleep.

My Rating:  5 Stars

Picture (Books) Worth a Thousand Words

Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman

Ages 5 through 105

Grace is an amazing girl, who can do all kinds of things.  She decides that she want s to be Peter Pan in the school play.  Someone tells her that she can’t because Peter is a boy.  Someone else tells her that Peter is not black.  Fortunately, Grace has an amazing Nana who knows just what to do!

My Rating:  4.5 Stars

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr.

Ages 2 to 6

Repetitive patterns and familiar animals make this book a fun way to read, learn about colors, and play with words.

My Rating: 3 Stars

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Ages 2 through 8

This artistically crafted book tells the tale of a hungry caterpillar who eats his way through many things.  Children have fun counting, and finding out what happens after he ate enough to cause a stomachache.

My Rating:  4 Stars

 No, David! by David Shannon

Ages 2 through 6

Funny pictures fill the pages as David gets in trouble and is told “No.” This book was based on a book that the author wrote when he was young, but he has added a nice ending.

My Rating:  3 Stars

Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback

Ages 4 through 8

Based on an old Yiddish folk song, this book tells the tale of Joseph’s overcoat, and what Joseph does when it wears out.

My Rating:  3 Stars


Ages 5 to 105

Beautiful illustrations tell the beautiful tale of a boys love for America (California in particular) and Japan.  The love for both countries was inspired by his grandfather’s travels.

My Rating:  4 Stars

Picture Books

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

Grades pre-K through 3 (and beyond)

Chrysanthemum is anxious to go to school for the first time ever.  When she gets there, all of the girls make fun of her name.  Chrysanthemum’s parents support her, but make her keep going to school, where she learns about much more than just reading and writing.

My Rating:  5 stars

 Round Trip by Ann Jonas

Any age/grade

This book is as much artwork as it is a story.  In the story, the reader passes through the country, and into the city, visiting many places. When the book is flipped, the reader takes the trip back, viewing the pictures from a different, yet brilliant point of view.

My rating: 4 stars

The Pirate of Kindergarten by George Ella Lyon

Grades Pre-k through 2

Ginny loved school and books, but was sometimes clumsy and saw things in twos.  When she was tested by an eye-doctor, he discovers that Ginny has double vision.  She handles the treatment well, and becomes the pirate of kindergarten.

My Rating: 3 stars

Click, Clack, MOO:  Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin

Grades Pre-K through 5

Farmer Brown has all kinds of trouble when his cows get hold of a typewriter.  They started typing out demands and going on strike.  Farmer Brown might be able to outsmart them, but will his troubles really be over?

My Rating: 4.5 Stars

Hello world!

This blog will cover books that I have completed reading, and my rating of such.  My intention is to enable students to find books they may enjoy.  My other purpose is to remember some details about the books after I have read them, given that I am reading so many, so rapidly.  When I list ages or grade ranges for the books, these are not reading levels.  Reading levels do not account for interests and appropriateness for a given reader.  For example, a ten-year-old who can read at a 12th grade reading level, should not be reading about affairs and politics just because he/she can.  Likewise, and adult with a lower reading level is probably not interested in reading about a child’s kindergarten class.