June 26, 2009

Children's Television

When there's nothing on TV, I sometimes watch children's shows instead.

Here are the shows that I enjoy:

(note: Since TV schedules tend to change without notice, I haven't included the information. Most shows are on Treehouse; if not, they may also be available On Demand or in DVD format)

  • Little Bear
  • Max and Ruby
  • Pocoyo
  • Maggie and the Ferocious Beast
  • Olivia
  • The Mole Sisters
  • Wonder Pets
  • George Shrinks
  • Rolie Polie Olie
  • Nanalan'

June 24, 2009

Picture Books

Everyone should read picture books because they are delightful and amazing!

The Dot

For anyone who doubts his/her drawing ability.

Saving Sweetness
by Diane Stanley
illustrated by G. Brian Karas

Hilarious story about a sheriff who sets out to save Sweetness, an unusually resourceful orphan.

The Spider Who Created the World
by Amy MacDonald
pictures by G. Brian Karas

A creation story.

A Circle of Friends
by Giora Carmi

How one small action can affect others.

by Eve Bunting
illustrated by David Christiana
Heb-Nefert relates the story of her life. Told in verse.

paintings by Harvey Chan
An eerie, yet redeeming story.

by Leo Yerxa
A dreamlike canoe voyage. The collage illustrations are magical.

by Menena Cottin and Rosana Faría

Raised black line drawings can be deciphered by touch in this unique picture book. Includes braille text.

by Suzy Lee
A day at the beach.

June 22, 2009


There are not enough words in the world to describe the creativity and artistry of paper engineers. Their amazing sculptures not only leap off the page, they move, twirl and soar, creating a truly interactive experience.

Here are a half-dozen of the most spectacular pop-up books from my collection.

by David A. Carter
(pictured above)

by Rudyard Kipling
paper engineer: Matthew Reinhart

Each page of this stunning book invites readers to look for different shapes and colours among the paper sculptures and special effects.

by Tomie dePaola
paper engineers: Robert Sabuda & Matthew Reinhart
The wonderfully wise Strega Nona shares the six ingredients that make life magical.

by Lewis Carroll
paper engineer: Robert Sabuda

by L. Frank Baum
paper engineer: Robert Sabuda
(pictured above: The Emerald City)
Visit Robert's website at http://robertsabuda.com/, but beware of the gift shop! The temptation to buy will be irresistible!

June 19, 2009


The Bat-Poet
by Randall Jarrell
illustrated by Maurice Sendak

This enchanting book tells the story of a little brown bat who is unable to sleep during the day. He keeps waking up and looking at the world. Soon, he begins to see life differently from the other bats. Through his poems, the bat tries to persuade the other bats to see the world his way.

Other books from my collection are:

Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices
by Paul Fleischman

Written to be read aloud by two voices - sometimes alternating, sometimes simultaneous - this is a collection of funny, sad, quiet, and loud poems to celebrate the world of insects.

If You Could Wear My Sneakers

by Sheree Fitch & Darcia Labrosse

Produced in association with UNICEF, this delightful book of poetry raises awareness of the rights of children all over the world.

One Hundred Years of Poetry for Children
selected by Michael Harrison & Christopher Stuart-Clark

This anthology features a selection of wonderful poems and poets on a wide diversity of subjects such as mystery, animals, war, and love.

Love That Dog

 A novel written in verse that tells the story of Jack, who finds his voice with the help of paper, pencil, teacher, and dog. A good introduction to modern poetry.

Now We Are Six
When We Were Very Young
by A.A. Milne, with charming illustrations by E.H. Shepard

Two classic books from the creators of Winnie-the-Pooh. 

June 17, 2009

Rumer Godden

Rumer Godden has the ability to tell stories that provide a clear child's-eye view of the adult world. The four stories mentioned below, however, show that her talents extend to all points of view, whether mouse or doll. 

illustrations by Jane Pinkney

The first story, The Mousewife, is about a mouse who yearns for something more than babies and crumbs and cheese. One day, she meets a dove in a birdcage, who tells her about the outside world and what it is like to fly. The second story, Mouse House, is about a little mouse who lives in an overcrowded flowerpot. When she gets pushed out, she ventures upstairs, and finds mouse house.

Dolls, of course, cannot talk. They can only make wishes that some people can feel.

When Candy Floss is stolen, she must find a way to get back to the fair. 
Impunity Jane longs for adventure. Two different stories about two different dolls and the power of wishes.

June 15, 2009

More Alphabet Books

Bembo's Zoo: An Animal ABC Book
by Roberto de Vicq de Cumptich

Each animal in this inventive book was created using the letters contained in its word.

Alphabet City
-a Caldecott Honor book

The realistic paintings in this fascinating book represent the letters of the alphabet as found on the streets of New York City.

The City ABC Book
by photographer Zoran Milich

A whole alphabet world can be found in the lines, designs and architecture of Toronto.

Gone Wild
by David McLimans

McLimans' illustrations transform the alphabet into a bold work of art. Sporting whiskers, horns, and scales, each letter represents an endangered animal. Sidebars provide brief details about habitat and threat levels, while the descriptive end pages point out the unique characteristics of each animal.

M is for Moose
Painter Charles Pachter has created a very Canadian alphabet book. An excellent way to introduce children to art and Canadian history. Supported by notes about historical figures, games to play, and recipes for butter tarts, this book will be read again and again.

by Wallace Edwards

An unusual and imaginative collection of animal portraits that is sure to intrigue children of all ages.


by Marion Bataille

A clever alphabet pop-up book. Even the cover will amaze you.

I Spy: An Alphabet in Art
by Lucy Micklethwait

The twenty-six paintings in this book contain hidden items that begin with each letter. The artists represented include Vermeer, Renoir, Seurat and Chagall.  A clever way to introduce children to fine art.

The Hidden Alphabet
by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

Lift the flaps and a picture of an inkblot magically transforms into the letter I, a mouse into the letter M, and an egg yolk into the letter Y. This simple alphabet book will surprise readers again and again.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault
illustrated by Lois Ehlert

The letters of the alphabet dare each other up the coconut tree, but will there be enough room? Read this classic book and find out!

June 9, 2009

Alphabet Books

There are all sorts of alphabet books. Some are very simple, others are very sophisticated, but most can be enjoyed by children of all ages. Here are two books that should be in every child's library: 

Trunks All Aboard: An Elephant ABC
by Barbara Nichol
illustrated by Sir William Cornelius Van Horne

Sir William built the Canadian Pacific Railway. In 1909, he drew pictures of Victorian elephants on hotel stationery. Barbara Nichol pairs his illustrations with intelligent rhymes in this delightful book.

A is for Art: An Abstract Alphabet

This is an absolutely wonderful book! Each painting, sculpture or collage contains a cleverly hidden letter, while the alliterative titles and captions add a touch of playfulness. This book will stimulate the imagination and creativity of children and adults alike.