Synopsis: Elephant warns everyone that he’s about to sneeze. Every animal begs him not to sneeze, because the last time he sneezed, the monkeys were blown out of the trees, feathers were blown off all the birds, the fur was blown off the bear, etc. Luckily, a little mouse scares the elephant just enough that he forgets to sneeze. Everything looks like it will end well, until the elephant falls to the ground laughing, because he didn’t sneeze. Oh, oh!
Synopsis: Nana Quimby sees cats up a tree and calls for help. Every person she calls, including the fireshouse, the post office, the police station and city hall all say they can’t help. Soon there are forty cats up a tree! Finally Nana lets the cats into her house. When the mayor calls reporting mice everywhere in town, Nana Quimby gives him her own, very unhelpful response.
Synopsis: Cat, Duck and Squirrel live together in an old white cabin. They love to make pumpkin soup together. Cat slices the pumpkin, squirrel stirs the soup, and Duck puts in the salt. When Duck decides he would like to stir the soup, the friends fight. Duck leaves the cabin. When he doesn’t return by supper, Cat and Squirrel make pumpkin soup by themselves. But, it’s too salty! Worried about Duck out at night in the dark woods, Cat and Squirrel go outside to find him. Thinking the Duck left them to find better friends who will let him help, they return to the cabin. There is Duck! The friends decide to make soup and kindly look the other way as Duck makes all sorts of mistakes stirring the soup by himself.
Recently, there have been a lot of novels written in verse. I like the format and found a few books that I really enjoyed. Here is one that I loved. I thought the diary format and verse helped lighten the difficult issues the main character faces. Short chapters also make it very attractive to reluctant readers. One such reader in my library returned it to me, then promptly checked it out again, because she loved it so much.
Synopsis: This semi-autobiographical novel tells the story of Ha, a 10 year old girl living with her family in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Her father is a member of the South Vietnamese navy and is missing in action. Ha lives alone with her mother and brothers. Ha longs for the papayas to ripen on her papaya tree and hopes that her father will return from his mission so that her mother can smile. The family reluctantly leaves South Vietnam with their uncle on a South Vietnamese navy ship. Conditions are terrible on the ship. Everyone is hungry until a U.S. Navy ship arrives, providing food and a tow to a refugee camp in Guam. The family is asked to choose a country where they would like to live. Ha’s mother chooses the United States. Sponsored by a family in Alabama, and dependent on the charity of others, Ha deals with being different struggles learning English.
This book won a Newbery Honor in 2012.