Great new picture books to read in front of the fire

Cuddle up and enjoy these stories with your children this week!

Syndetics book coverThe dark / by Lemony Snicket ; illustrated by Jon Klassen.
“Snicket and Klassen present a picture book that tackles a basic childhood worry with suspense, a dash of humor, and a satisfying resolution. Laszlo, clad in pajamas, is afraid of the dark, which spends most of the day in the basement but spreads itself throughout the boy’s rambling home at night. Every morning, he opens the basement door, peeks down, and calls out, “Hi, dark,” hoping that if he visits the dark in its room, it will not return the favor. However, when Laszlo’s night-light burns out one evening, the dark does come to call, declaring in a voice as creaky as the house’s roof, “I want to show you something.” The youngster, who bravely shines his flashlight into the inky night, is slowly coaxed down to the basement and a forgotten-about chest of drawers (“Come closer. Even closer”). Here, Snicket keeps readers teetering on the edges of their seats, taunting them with a lengthy and convoluted aside. Finally, the boy is instructed to open the bottom drawer, where he finds…. a supply of light bulbs. There’s a sense of closure, as Laszlo comes to terms with the dark, which still lives in his home but never bothers him again” (adapted from School Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverThe treasure box / Margaret Wild & Freya Blackwood.
“When the enemy bombed the library, everything burned. As war rages, Peter and his father flee their home, taking with them a treasure box that holds something more precious than jewels. They journey through mud and rain and long cold nights, and soon their survival becomes more important than any possessions they carry. But as the years go by, Peter never forgets the treasure box, and one day he returns to find it…” (Library Catalogue)

Syndetics book coverRed hat / by Lita Judge.
“In this almost wordless companion to Red Sled (S & S, 2011), forest animals notice a knit cap hung on a clothesline to dry as a child goes inside his home. A bear finds this object too intriguing to resist and pulls it down, to the delight of the other critters. The cap is tossed around by its tassel until a long line of red yarn creates a foreshadowed moment. As it unravels, children will follow the yarn as it moves the action to the subsequent pages” (adapted from School Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverTallulah’s toe shoes / by Marilyn Singer ; illustrations by Alexandra Boiger.
“In Tallulah’s first outing, she was desperate for a tutu; now, like all young ballerinas, she dreams of getting her first pair of toe shoes and dancing en pointe. Trying to speed the process along, she snags a discarded pair that belonged to an older dancer, but she learns that while her determination is unwavering, her body isn’t quite ready for the challenge. As with the previous two books, Singer and Boiger deliver the story’s message with a lightness and grace befitting the subject matter, and Tallulah remains a highly empathetic heroine.” (Publisher Weekly)

Picture books just waiting to be read!

Great books about being different, being yourself and exploring the world. Share these with your children.

 Syndetics book coverSnap! / by Janet A Holmes ; illustrated by Daniella Germain.
“Sometimes it seems safer to hide behind a scary mask and try to frighten the monsters away. Snapping and snarling don’t always work. This is sensitive and perceptive story about fear of the new”. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe world is waiting for you / Barbara Kerley.The World Is Waiting for You
“Children need encouragement to follow their dreams, and this attractive book is aimed at all the future explorers out there. It begins, Right outside your window there’s a world to explore. Ready? The text continues by asking readers to follow the next bend in the path, dive in, dig deeper, take a leap. The two-page color photo spreads are surprisingly literal, even for this age group. An archaeologist digs, while an astronaut explores outside his space craft. But on occasion, the pictures are confusing. A boy getting a little nosy looks through a hole, but at what is not certain. Still, Kerley’s encouraging message about moving beyond one’s comfort zone and into areas where real-life magic can happen does inspire. The book closes with a quote by one of the book’s photographers, Anad Varma, that will have meaning for children: The greatest discoveries come from confronting your fears, taking a chance, and not being afraid to make a mistake. Mistakes are often the best lessons in life” (Booklist)

Syndetics book coverBea / Christine Sharp.
“While the other birds peck at ants and watch worms wiggle, Bea likes to bake buns and berry pudding. She loves dancing to disco beats and singing sweet songs to the moon. In everything she does, Bea stands out from the flock! A joyful story about being true to yourself and daring to be different” (Syndetics summary).

Syndetics book coverABC zooborns! / Andrew Bleiman, Chris Eastland.
“Bleiman and Eastland introduce a new group of criminally cute baby zoo animals for each letter of the alphabet in a companion to 2010’s ZooBorns. Crisp, closeup photographs feature cheetahs, flamingos, marmosets, and sloths, among others, while lighthearted prose emphasizes the animals’ unique characteristics: “I is for impala. Our long legs are perfect for leaping. Let’s go for a run!” Extra points for a solid X entry: “X is for X-ray tetra. Attention, science students-my see-through body is very revealing.”” (Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverNaked Trevor / Rebecca Elliott.
“To the shock of all the other birds, Trevor refuses to wear his sparrow costume, instead going around quite naked! But now the time has come for him to find his own unique outfit, what will it look like?” (Syndetics summary)

Great picture books to bring you together.

Have some one on one time with your little one reading these lovely picture books, they are sure to please.

Syndetics book coverThe shape of my heart / Mark Sperring ; illustrated by Alys Paterson.
“Part concept book and part poem, this eye-catching picture book is a reassuring valentine for any day of the year. Despite the emphasis on shapes, Sperring (The Sunflower Sword) isn’t offering an introduction to circles, squares, and triangles: “This is the shape that we are./ The shape of you and me,” he writes, as the opening spread shows two smiling figures-one large, one small-in white silhouette, defined by a sea of colorful shapes that surround them. A focus on bodily shapes continues (“This is the shape of my hand,/ the hand you hold on to”), serving as an entry into related objects and settings (a spread about food follows one about mouths; a look at feet and shoes paves the way for a scene featuring vehicles). Debut illustrator Paterson fills the pages with crisp and colorful objects, often accented with sound effects (a friendly dinosaur offers a gentle “raaaa,” birds chirp and tweet). It’s a lovingly designed and visually appealing portrait of the places, animals, and objects common to a child’s world, with the invisible but perceptible adult presence hovering in the background. ” (Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverOne little baby / by Richard Dungworth ; illustrated by Jane Massey.
‘One little baby in a cosy bed. One little baby with a busy day ahead.’ with lovely rhythm and simple but effective illustrations children will want this book read over and over as it tells of a day in the life of a toddler like them. (Staff member)

Syndetics book coverWhoa, baby, whoa! / Grace Nichols ; illustrated by Eleanor Taylor.
“Being an adventurous baby means having to hear the title phrase again and again. “Creeping to the kitchen to see what’s cooking,” writes Nichols, as Taylor, working in a style reminiscent of Helen Oxenbury, shows Baby stalking the dog’s food bowls. “Up goes the gate and Daddy comes running… ‘Whoa, Baby, Whoa! Hot things can burn you in the kitchen.’ ” But Baby never misses a beat (a relentlessness nicely conveyed in the typography’s comically wobbled kerning)-after all, there’s work to be done, whether it’s eating the newspaper, mangling Grandpa’s glasses, or flooding the bathroom. Even very young readers will note that the members of Baby’s mixed-race family are acting out of love, which may be why Baby never loses that sweet, knowing smile; this is a kid who knows a lot of people have his back. The tables turn nicely at the end, when Baby reasons that one way to put an end to his “Whoa” is to “try something new with myself” and take those long-anticipated first steps-prompting the onlookers to cheer “Go, Baby, Go!” ” (Publisher Weekly)
Syndetics book coverDaisy & the puppy / Lisa Shanahan, Sara Acton.
Daisy wants a puppy so much she wears a scruffy tail and sleeps in an old cane washing basket. When a fire engine screeches down the highway, she lifts her head, ‘AROOOOO-OOOOOOOOOOH!’ Then one Saturday, Daisy and her mum spot Ollie, sitting in the window of Mrs Arkwright’s pet shop. A delightful story about a family and a puppy.(Syndetics summary)

Get to the bottom of these picture books!

Don’t make a rumpus, there are lots of rumps, tails and fantastic tales to be seen in these books. Tall butts, short butts, round butts, flat butts. Butts on giraffes and elephants and dogs. Tails are celebrated in this tribute to backsides, rumps, tushies and derrieres.  Books  that will keep kids and grown-ups giggling with glee. Bottoms up!

Syndetics book coverTushes and tails! / by Stephane Frattini.
“A lift-the-flap tale of animal butts—who could ask for anything more? In this 8-inch-square board book, imported from France, each page boasts a full-size flap with an extreme close-up photo of an animal’s derrière. Readers are invited to guess whose backside is pictured and raise the flap for the answer. Frattini has captured an impressive array of rear ends on film, even a bumblebee and a porcupine. A large image of the animal, from the front and in its habitat, is hidden under each flap. On a boldly colored background, several animal facts appear on the flap’s verso in an appropriately playful and conversational tone, while a smaller picture of the animal floats alongside as spot art. A few of the creatures are easy to guess, such as giraffe, cow and squirrel, but there are several stumpers here: okapi, ibex and penguin. The last spread has eight more mini flaps of animal buttocks to enjoy as part of a rapid-fire guessing game. With thoughtfully rounded corners, the flaps are quite sturdy. The trim size and the content will make it appealing to kids who have long moved beyond board books. A distinctive, funny and informative entry into the lift-the-flap genre—kids will hate to see it coming to an end”. (

Syndetics book coverThe lemur’s tale / Ophelia Redpath.
“A ring-tailed lemur is stowed away on a boat from Madagascar, and eventually ends up in the home of an eccentric but dysfunctional family. His night-time antics cause confusion, as he nibbles on the family’s plants and raids their larder. But he brings great joy once they discover him curled up in a teapot, filling a little girl’s life with hope and happiness”. (Library Catalogue)

Syndetics book coverChurchill’s tale of tails / Anca Sandu.
“When Churchill the pig loses his precious tail, his friends help him hunt for a new one. But trying new tails is such fun that soon Churchill has forgotten his friends completely. Can Churchill learn to put friendship first, and solve the mystery of his missing tail?” (Library Catalogue)

Picture books for grownups

Books that will especially delight the grownups, you might even want to share them with your kids.

Syndetics book coverHenri’s walk to Paris / illustrated by Saul Bass ; story by Leonore Klein.
“In graphic designer Bass’s sole picture book, first published in 1962, his stylized collage prints pair with Klein’s understated text to tell the story of a boy who dreams about traveling from his small town of Reboul to visit Paris. In Reboul, Henri lives in a little white house made up of two angular geometrical shapes, surrounded by a lush tapestry-like forest, and has three friends, Andre, Jacques, and Michel (they appear as three pairs of legs, fitted with pink pants, decoratively pattered socks, and green boots). Finally, Henri sets out walking to Paris, but when a bird interferes with his sense of direction, he gets turned around, discovering that “Paris” is an awful lot like Reboul. Bass plays with repetition (there’s a strong symmetry to Henri’s journey), text, and strong blocks of color, while using negative and positive space to toy with perception. Although the title character’s face never appears, readers should gain a strong sense of Henri’s identity from the sturdy storytelling and dramatic graphics. All ages. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved” (Publisher Weekly)
Syndetics book coverThe cats of Copenhagen / James Joyce.
“Recently rediscoverd this whimsical letter was written from James Joyce to his grandson in 1936. A delightful story, it has been illustrated in a very quirky manner by Casey Sorrow, an American cartoonist”. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverJimmy the greatest! / Jairo Buitrago ; pictures by Rafael Yockteng ; translated by Elisa Amado.Jimmy the Greatest!
“*Starred Review* In a poor village on the ocean, young Jimmy’s future is looking bright since the owner of a tiny gym inspired him to run, to read, and to train as a boxer like Muhammad Ali. Even without any shoes, Jimmy discovers that you don’t need much stuff to run or to get others to follow along. But, unlike his trainer, who leaves for a life in the big city, Jimmy the Greatest stays in the village, where he grows up to maintain the gym, create a library, and help his people. He does great things, but not by leaving home for the world stage. Translated from the Spanish and first published in Colombia, this title features text that reads like spare poetry and digital, cartoon-style artwork filled with humorous details and stylized, pop-eyed characters. Each page shows the daily struggle in the rough shanty town. Best of all is the image of Jimmy as a boy reading and shadow-boxing at the same time. A final spread, showing new wires stretching across the village, is a moving conclusion to this unusual, quietly powerful title.–Rochman, Hazel Copyright 2010 BooklistFrom Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.” (Booklist)

Syndetics book coverInfinity and me / written by Kate Hosford ; illustrations by Gabi Swiatkowska.
“Considering that adults have trouble grappling with the concept of infinity, you have to admire Hosford for trying to wrap young brains around it. There is only the scantest sense of character, place, and story here, but we do meet a young girl named Uma, who stares up at the stars. I started to feel very, very small. She asks a number of people how they imagine infinity, and each has his or her own creative take. Her friend Sam envisions infinity as a figure 8 racetrack. Grandma sees it as an ever-enlarging family tree. This compels Uma to tackle a few old philosophical saws, including the one about cutting something in half and then cutting that half in half, ad infinitum. Swiatkowska was the right choice of illustrator for the spiraling subject matter. Her big-eyed Victorian-looking characters embark upon various flights of fancy: driving along an infinity sign, becoming a Vitruvian Man, and standing beneath an ice-cream cone that would take forever to lick. Oddball for sure, but good fun to puzzle over.–Kraus, Daniel Copyright 2010 BooklistFrom Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.” (Booklist)

Syndetics book coverMiss Mousie’s blind date / by Tim Beiser ; illustrated by Rachel Berman.
“A charming story about self-acceptance, and love lost and found, told through the eyes of a dear little mouse, and her possibly-not-so-handsome suitor, Mole. Beautifully illustrated, cleverly told, the message is timeless, and the illustrations endearing”. (Syndetics summary)

Bedtime reading with sleepy picture books

Everyone will sleep soundly if you snuggle up with these books at bedtime.

Syndetics book coverBedtime is canceled / by Cece Meng ; illustrated by Aurélie Neyret.
“”The note read ‘Bedtime is canceled.’ Maggie thought of it. Her brother wrote it.” Of course, the siblings’ parents don’t buy the ruse upon receiving the note, but a fortuitous gust of wind whisks it to the desk of a newspaper reporter who puts the “official” word on the front page, and the news spreads. As a result, kids play, snack, and watch TV all night, and adults shuffle zombielike through the next day. Meng (I Will Not Read This Book) includes several nods to today’s rapid-fire dispersal of information (“A television reporter received an urgent text about it and raced to the school”) as well as goofy non sequiturs (“tired moms and dads were so busy yawning, some of them buttered the dog’s tail instead of the toast”), ” (Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverCuddle bear / Claire Freedman ; [illustrated by] Gavin Scott.
Do you need cuddles, cheer up hugs, or snuggle times to share? Then Cuddle Bear is made for you- a lovely rhyming book with gentle illustrations about a bear who cheers up all the animals even the grumpy lion! (Staff member) 

Syndetics book coverThe snuggle sandwich / Malachy Doyle ; [illustrated by] Gwen Millward.
During the morning rush no one notices when Annie’s teddy bear falls to the floor. After everyone else is gone, Annie and her mama look for the missing teddy before they are able to have a proper snuggle together. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSleep like a tiger / written by Mary Logue ; illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski.
“”I’m not tired,” says a small girl in a red dress and a crown. “I’m just not sleepy.” Her affectionate parents-who also wear crowns-aren’t fazed. “They nodded their heads and said she didn’t have to go to sleep. But she had to put her pajamas on.” The three talk about the different ways animals sleep, taking their cue from family pets and the girl’s stuffed animals. Zagarenski’s gently surreal jewel-box paintings chart the movement of the girl’s imagination as she considers bears (“mighty sleepers,” her parents call them), snails (“They curl up like a cinnamon roll”), and tigers. “When he’s not hunting, he finds some shade, closes his eyes, and sleeps. That way he stays strong,” she says. It’s this image that holds the greatest promise of safety for the girl; as she drifts off, she imagines herself curled in the curve of the tiger’s tail, embracing a stuffed tiger as she sleeps. Zagarenski’s paintings take Logue’s story to places marvelously distant in thought and time; each spread holds treasures to find even after several readings.” (Publisher Weekly)

Picture books that will spark your imagination.

Start the new year with these great books that will have your children laughing and pique their curiosity.

Syndetics book coverAndrew Drew and Drew / Barney Saltzberg.
“Wordplay of the title aside, Saltzberg’s ode to drawing is fairly earnest and straightforward in its prose. The magic comes from the accompanying artwork, which follows the eponymous boy and his adventures in drawing. His pencil lines sweep across white pages (“Andrew doodled and doodled. Sometimes he noodled”), and his creations take unpredictable shape, revealed bit-by-bit by overlapping gatefolds (a staircase Andrew draws eventually forms a dinosaur’s spiny back, and a cross-hatched night sky turns into a trumpet-nosed winged beast in the final spread). Like a certain boy with a purple crayon, Andrew knows that drawing offers limitless possibilities, and readers will, too. ” (Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverThe three ninja pigs / Corey Rosen Schwartz ; illustrated by Dan Santat.
“For young martial arts fans seeking a lighthearted book about their hobby, Schwartz’s (Hop! Plop!) story should fit the bill. While the idea of three gi-clad pigs fighting the big bad wolf is a winner, the subtle-as-a-karate-chop moral about not quitting puts a bit of a damper on the fun. Pig One signs up for aikido (“He gained some new skills,/ but got bored with the drills”), while Pig Two goes for jujitsu (“The teacher said, `Excellent progress./ But Pig-san, you must study more.’/ Pig Two said, `No way./ Sayonara, Sensei!/ I’m ready to settle a score’ “). Both lack the necessary chops when the wolf comes a’blowing. Santat’s dynamic, comic book-style spreads have a Crouching Wolf, Hidden Pig feel, especially when Pig Three (a persistent girl who has actually honed her skills) terrifies the wolf with a chop that smashes a pile of bricks. Schwartz’s irreverent verse never falters-and any book that rhymes “dojo” with “mojo” is one that’s worth a look. ” (Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverDreaming up : a celebration of building / Christy Hale.
“A clever introduction to architecture. Each spread shows children playing on one side and a photograph of a famous building on the other. The children, done with watercolor in a fairly standard illustrative style, are pictured working with toys that mirror the form of the featured buildings. For example, a baby’s stacking rings are shown opposite the Guggenheim Museum, and wooden blocks mirror the shape of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater. Each spread also contains a short poem, many rhyming, that describes the youngster’s play. ……….” (adapted from School Library Journal)


Syndetics book coverPenguin’s hidden talent / by Alex Latimer.
“Penguin doesn’t have a talent to hone for the upcoming community talent show, so instead he helps organize the event. As a result of Penguin’s involvement, all goes well at the show, but when each of his friends wins a trophy or a medal, Penguin feels left out. In an attempt to cheer him up, Penguin’s friends try to throw him a party, but it is so poorly planned, it appears to be headed for disaster. Of course, Penguin himself comes to the rescue, making the party fabulous and discovering where his talents lie: as a party planner. I don’t need a medal. I need a telephone, he says before ordering a bevy of ridiculous decorations. The colorful cartoon illustrations perfectly convey the goofiness of Penguin and his friends displaying their quirky talents (such as burping the alphabet and juggling household appliances). This packs in plenty of chuckles, and its supportive and nurturing message makes it worthy of repeat visits” (Booklist)

Syndetics book coverGood news bad news / Jeff Mack.
“Mack’s clever book may follow the format of Remy Charles’s Fortunately, Unfortunately, but his take on the theme is flat-out hilarious. Apart from the closing line, the text contains only the four words of the title. “Good news!” says a cheerful rabbit, showing a picnic basket to a mouse seen leaning out of its hole. “Bad news,” says the mouse as rain begins to fall. The rabbit is ready with an umbrella (“Good news”), but the mouse blows away after grabbing it (“Bad news”). Mack’s mixed-media illustrations are both slapstick and droll as the duo fights off bees, runs from a rampaging bear, and gets hit by lightning. When the mouse loses its temper in a two-page tantrum, the rabbit’s spirits finally plummet. Mack (Frog and Fly) portrays the rabbit in a puddle of tears, and amusingly depicts the mouse’s epiphany with the sun breaking through the clouds, as if the book were a Cecil B. DeMille movie. This well-executed, rapid-fire book should satisfy even the most resistant readers.” (Publisher Weekly)

Picture books to take away with you on Holiday

Christmas is a special time for children, so here are some great holiday reads to share over the Christmas break. We hope you enjoy them, and wish you a happy and safe Christmas!

Syndetics book coverThat dog at the beach! / by Janene Cooper ; illustrated by Evie Kemp.
Some dogs are well behaved but some dogs are just nuisances but loving and kind and always good fun. A great book to read in summer about a mischievous dog. (Staff Member)

Syndetics book coverToo tall houses / Gianna Marino.
Owl and Rabbit are good friends and neighbors atop a hill, but when Rabbit’s garden blocks Owl’s view of the forest Owl builds a higher house, which prevents sunlight from reaching Rabbit’s plants. A beautifully illustrated and very entertaining fable about neighbourly competition. (Staff Member)

Syndetics book coverBernie [loves] Flora / translated by Laura Watkinson.
“Bernie the bear and Flora the duck have been best friends for a long, long time. They enjoy the same things and love to work together in Bernie’s garden, where he grows the most beautiful flowers. But one day, Flora arrives at Bernie’s house to find that his flowers have all disappeared! And there’s no sign of Bernie either”–Back cover.

 Syndetics book coverSammy and the skyscraper sandwich / Lorraine Francis & Pieter Gaudesaboos.
“Sammy is very hungry so he makes a sandwich. A big sandwich. Probably the biggest sandwich you’ve ever seen” (Back cover)

Syndetics book coverLittle Tug / Stephen Savage.
“Little Tug knows what to do when the tall ship, the speedboat, and the ocean liner need him, and at such times, he is indispensible.” (Back cover)

Great picture books that will charm the socks off you.

Share these new books with a friend, there is something to delight and entertain everyone .

Syndetics book coverA year with Marmalade / [written by] Alison Reynolds ; [illustrated by] Heath McKenzie.
This is a story about friendship, it’s about losing friends and making new ones. It’s a story about change which isn’t always a bad thing.

Syndetics book coverMister Whistler / Margaret Mahy ; [illustrated by] Gavin Bishop.
“Absentminded Mister Whistler always has a song in his head and a dance in his feet. In a rush to catch the train, he is so distracted he loses his ticket. Is it in the bottom pockets of his big coat or the top pockets of his jacket? Perhaps he slipped it into his waistcoat. Where is Mister Whistler’s ticket?”–Publisher information. Suggested level: junior, primary.

Syndetics book coverArchie / Domenica More Gordon.
Archie, a fashion-loving dog with a faithful pet of his own, leads a quiet life until he gets a sewing machine and begins creating canine couture that captures attention all over town, even from a queen and her two royal corgis.

Syndetics book coverA flower in the snow / Tracey Corderoy ; [illustrated by] Sophie Allsopp.
Luna and Bear are best friends. They belong together like bread and jam! Everything they do, they do together.
When a beautiful flower pops up in the snow, Luna is delighted! But soon the flower fades away, and with it, Luna’s smile. Will Bear ever be able to bring it back… (

Syndetics book coverThe fantastic jungles of Henri Rousseau / written by Michelle Markel ; illustrated by Amanda Hall.
A child’s biography of French artist Henri Rousseau, who spent his life as a toll collector, but created unheralded masterpieces in his spare time. A sophisticated picture book.

Picture books that have gone to the dogs (and the cats).

Cats and dogs are everyone’s best friends in these great picture books.

Syndetics book coverRaj, the bookstore tiger / Kathleen T. Pelley ; illustrated by Paige Keiser.
“Raj loves being a bookstore “tiger”. He greets the customers, patrols the storerooms, and relishes stoytime. But when teh cranky cat Snowball arrives, his comments make Raj doubt his own tigerness. Is Raj just an ordinary kitty-cat, or is it Snowball who’s got it all wrong?” (Book cover)

Syndetics book coverBailey at the museum / Harry Bliss.
“Precocious, school-going dog Bailey joins his human classmates on a field trip to the Museum of Natural History in his second picture book. As the class observes a dinosaur exhibits, Bailey gets distracted by T. rex bones. An understanding museum guard swoops in (“I think he’s hungry. I feel his tummy growling,” he reports), and the two become friends. ……. The tender relationship between Bailey and the steadfast guard is the heart of this light, funny story.Bailey the dog is excited to go on a school trip to the Museum of Natural History.”(adapted from Publishers Weekly)

Syndetics book coverCat tale / Michael Hall.“Hall cleverly plays with homophones in this diverting word adventure. Three curious cats, propelled by their imaginations, bring books to life as they traverse spacious, white spreads. Together they “flee a steer,” “steer a plane,” “plane a board” and “board a train.” Each sentence or scenario offers hints of what’s to come. Discerning compositions and a rhyming text further drive the momentum until, alas! The words’ many meanings confound these friendly felines. Humorous permutations ensue as the kitties try to untangle their tales. After they successfully “shoo a truly naughty gnu,” (it’s munching shoes—truly naughty indeed!), things go sadly awry. “They use their paws to rock a squashberry! Rock a squashberry?” Once back on track, they befriend a bear, sail a whale and ultimately find comfort and contentment in words…..”(adapted from

Syndetics book coverCat Heaven / written and illustrated by Cynthia Rylant.“Via simple verse and bold, folk-art illustrations, Newbery Medalist Cynthia Rylant invites readers to visit Cat Heaven, a place where cats have an eternal supply of catnip, tuna, and warm laps.” (Scholastic)

Syndetics book coverDog Heaven / written and illustrated by Cynthia Rylant.“This Newbery Medalist makes her debut as an illustrator in a warm, whimsical picture book about the wonderful place where all good dogs go for an endless supply of ham biscuits, good meals and lots of petting.” (Scholastic)

Syndetics book coverRocket writes a story / by Tad Hills.“For new reader Rocket, every new book is a treasure and an adventure, “like a place he’d never been to, like a friend he’d never met.” The little yellow bird introduced in How Rocket Learned to Read (2010) continues to teach and encourage this special dog. Rocket sniffs out wonderful new words in his environment, and the bird helps him create a glorious word tree……A perfect choice to inspire new readers and writers.”(adapted from