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Middle-school librarians Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan prove that two heads are better than one when it comes to discussing YA and children's books

Archive for the 'PreS-Gr. 2' Category

Mon, July 21st, 2014
Swim, Duck, Swim! by Susan Lurie
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: Swim season is upon us making Swim, Duck, Swim (Feiwel and Friends 2014) a perfect book to share. My own children took to water like, ahem, ducks to water, but not every child does. Murray Head’s close up and expressive photographs are paired with Lurie’s spare words to tell the story of a duck […]


Fri, June 13th, 2014
What’s Your Favorite Animal? by Eric Carle and Friends
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  14 celebrated children’s book illustrators answer Eric Carle’s central question:  What’s Your Favorite Animal? (Henry Holt 2014).  And a wild and varied lot of animals they are!  Eric Carle leads off with his green-bean chasing cat Fifi gracing the opening spread.  Each artist follows with 2 pages for their favorite animal and each page-turn […]


Wed, June 11th, 2014
Bits & Pieces by Judy Schachner
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  Many children will recognize Judy Schachner as the author of the much-loved Skippyjon Jones books but Bits & Pieces (Penguin/Dial 2013) is about an “odd duck” of a cat named Tink.  Readers of any age who live with cats will love this humorous observant story about a cat whose family loves him to bits […]


Tue, May 20th, 2014
Brother Hugo and the Bear by Katy Beebe
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: The tired excuse of, “The dog ate my homework” is tame compared with “The bear ate my library book.” Especially considering that Brother Hugo and the Bear (Eerdmans 2014) is apparently based on fact! This funny, charming, and gorgeous picture book is also informative. Beebe bases her story on a note found in a […]


Mon, May 12th, 2014
The Secret Life of the Woolly Bear Caterpillar by Laurence Pringle
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  I know this is Mystery Month but trust me, there IS a mystery connection to this charming bug book.  Most kids will recognize the chubby black and orange striped caterpillar so commonly seen trundling around in late-summer to early fall.  Folklore about them is plentiful too about them predicting a harsh or mild winter […]


Wed, May 7th, 2014
Sprout Helps Out by Rosie Winstead
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  Kids love books where they know more than the central characters.  It is a joke that never seems to grow old for them.  A new entry into this category is the delightful Sprout Helps Out (Penguin/Dial)  On the first page we peek inside a house with an artist Mom contemplating a blank canvas in […]


Wed, April 30th, 2014
Crazy Cars Books…and Crazier Sounds
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  Many preschoolers love books about cars and 3-year-old Henry from our focus group must have 90%  of them.  I think he and I have read through them so many times that we both have them memorized.  So I think I can be forgiven for not getting too excited when I open a new book […]


Mon, April 14th, 2014
Here Comes the Easter Cat by Deborah Underwood
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: The Easter Bunny had better watch out…Cat just might take over in Here Comes the Easter Cat (Dial 2014). Cat is jealous that everyone loves the Easter Bunny. Bah humbug (wrong holiday, but you get the idea). Cat communicates wordlessly with the narrator through drawings he holds up and his facial expressions as he […]


Thu, April 10th, 2014
Cheers for a Dozen Ears by Felicia Sanzari Chernesky
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: What a perfect title for this book. When our farmer’s market finally opens, I will be cheering! Cheers for a Dozen Ears: A Summer Crop of Counting (Albert Whitman 2014) is the perfect tonic for we who are weary of winter…children included. In fact, I have to disagree with the final line from the Booklist […]


Mon, April 7th, 2014
Handle with Care by Loree Griffin Burns
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  For many years our family has enjoyed a wonderful rite of spring that fortunately doesn’t depend on the outside temperature in Michigan.  We are lucky to live close to the outstanding Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids.  I could go on and on about the wonders of the Gardens but today […]





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