One Hockey Night

BLUE SPRUCE nominee 2012

One Hockey Night

written by David Ward

illustrated by Brian Deines

Toronto: Scholastic Canada, 2010

30 pp.

Ages: 4 +

Interests: hockey, moving to a new home, siblings, Christmas, winter

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The Cuckoo Clock

The Cuckoo Clock

by Mrs. Molesworth

first published in 1877

edition I read: London: J.M. Dent & Sons, 1967, with illustrations by E.H. Shepard

165 pp.

Age: 5 +

Interests: magic, birds, manners, fantasy, butterflies

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Noni Says No

BLUE SPRUCE nominee 2012

Noni Says No

written by Heather Hartt-Sussman

illustrated by Geneviève Côté

Toronto: Tundra Books, 2011

21 pp.

Age: 5 +

Interests: friendship, assertiveness, handling bullies

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Stanley’s Little Sister

BLUE SPRUCE nominee 2012

Stanley’s Little Sister

written by Linda Bailey

illustrated by Bill Slavin

Toronto: Kids Can Press, 2010

30 pp.

Ages: 3 +

Interests: dogs, cats, pets

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The Invention of Hugo Cabret

CALDECOTT MEDAL WINNER – 2008

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

by Brian Selznick

New York: Scholastic Press, 2007

533 pp.

Ages: 8 +

Interests: mystery, Paris,history, clocks, magicians, automata (robots), silent movie history, stories about orphans, inventors

Also by this author: Wonderstruck, The Houdini Box, The Robot King, Boy of a Thousand Faces

Next: silent movies by Georges Méliès; official website of the book; movie adaptation Hugo (2011)

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The Music Man (1962)

The Music Man

Released: 1962

Rated: G
Length: 151 min.
Age: 6+  (for comprehension)                     Commonsense media sez: 6 +

Scary: nothing violent, only the talk of angry townsfolk about tarring and feathering Hill

Sexual Innuendo: in some dialogue and songs, but all G-rated and too oblique to be picked up by small children

Interests: musicals, song and dance, marching bands, history, small town life, con men

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NYT Children’s Book List 2011

Here’s a list from the New York Times – if you’re looking for gift ideas…

Top 5: Poetry for the Very Young

Poetry is a perfect way to introduce your child to the sheer pleasure of words, playing with rhythm, rhyme, humour and imagination. Even a baby will enjoy the musical qualities of poems read aloud, even if they don’t quite understand their meaning.

Of course a great many picture books are written in rhyme – Each Peach Pear Plum, the Madeline books, Drummer Hoff, Mister Magnolia, and the entire works of Dr. Seuss for example! Here are some poetry collections and classics to begin with, suitable for infants on up. (Click on links for full reviews.)   Coming soon: poems for preschoolers (3 to 6).

1. The Mother Goose Treasury, ill. by Raymond Briggs (Hamish Hamilton, 1966) – Ages: infant +

There are many, many collections out there to choose from. This one is particularly comprehensive (and a Greenaway Medal Winner). A nice big book of nursery rhymes is also a perfect baby shower gift!  (Available at amazon.com)

2. The Rooster Crows: A Book of American Rhymes and Jingles, Maude and Miska Petersham (Simon & Schuster, 1945) – Ages: infant +

Another collection of old folk rhymes, including such classics as “Fuzzy Wuzzy was a Bear”. The kind of rhymes you don’t remember anyone teaching you… you just feel like you’ve always known them. (Available at amazon.com)

3. All Join In, Quentin Blake (Jonathon Cape, 1990) – Ages: 2 +

Rollicking rhymes that invite everyone to “all join in!” Poetry at its most accessible: loud, raucous and fun!

4. The Owl and the Pussycat / The Quangle Wangle’s Hat, Edward Lear – Ages: 2 +

Lear’s classics of nonsense and word-invention (runcible spoon?) successfully stand the test of time. The Owl and the Pussycat is especially lovely and romantic. (NB. Lear’s limericks are rather more problemmatic, fairly violent and dark, but these two poems are blissfully serene.)  (Owl on amazon; Quangle on amazon.)

5. A Visit from St. Nicholas, aka ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas – Clement Clarke Moore (1823) – Ages: 2+

Don’t forget this seasonal classic, available in many, many editions. (Here’s one on amazon.com)

Check out my follow-up list – Top 5: Poetry for Preschoolers (3-6).

Kiss Me! (I’m a Prince!)

BLUE SPRUCE nominee 2012

Kiss Me! (I’m a Prince!)

by Heather McLeod

illustrated by Brooke Kerrigan

Markham, ON: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2011

30 pp.

Age: 5 +

Interests: fairy tales, frogs, magic, fairy tale updated, strong girls

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Giraffe and Bird

BLUE SPRUCE nominee 2012

Giraffe and Bird

by Rebecca Bender

Toronto: Cormorant Books, 2010

30 pp.

Age: 4 +

Interests: animals, birds, friendship, disagreements with friends

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All writings posted here are © Kim Thompson, unless otherwise indicated. For all artwork on this site, copyright is retained by the artist.