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Author: Chuck Galey

Book Buzz: Pillowland

Pillowland Written by Laurie Berkner Illustrated by Camille Garoche Ages 2-4, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers Since the theme for this issue is summer travel, I thought it was time to catch up with Laurie Berkner, the popular children’s recording artist, and the book from her song Pillowland. For a toddler, this book is a great bedtime read. I know a place, a kingdom far away, where people wear pajamas every night and every day. Where all the houses, the buildings, and the trees are made of fluffy pillows that are soft as they can be. We’re going...

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Book Buzz: Yellow Kayak

Yellow Kayak Written by Nina Laden Illustrated by Melissa Castrillon Ages 5-8, Paula Wiseman Books, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers Yellow Kayak is a whimsical poem about an adventure in a kayak with a friend. The lyrical cadence of the lines reminds us of a lazy paddle around an island to see what the otters and other marine life are up to. A kayak puts you almost right at the water’s surface, where you can see many things going on—both above the water and below. The poem invites a young reader on a kind of tour of...

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Book Buzz: The Darkest Dark

The Darkest Dark Written by Chris Hadfield and Kate Fillion Illustrated by The Fan Brothers Ages 7-9 Little, Brown and Company    Chris was an astronaut. An important and very busy astronaut.  So begins the tale of young Chris while on vacation with his family in the late 1960s. They spend their summers on Stag Island in southern Ontario, Canada. Like most boys his age, Chris has an active imagination. He loves playing like he is an astronaut, saving the earth from all sorts of space aliens and traveling to Mars.   Because an astronaut’swork is never done, he doesn’t like to go to sleep. But, parents do. It turns out that Chris often found his way into his parent’s bed because he was scared of the dark. Hisroom got real dark when he turned out the lights. Too dark. The kind of dark where aliens live. Finally, his parents came to a decision that he must stay in his own room… that very night, or else! The ultimate punishment: they will not go next door the next day to watch the Apollo 11 moon landing on the only television on the island. He had looked forward to this event for weeks. Chris finally goes to sleep and dreamt his favorite dream.  The next day, along with all the adults on the island, Chris watches the Apollo 11 astronauts walking on...

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Book Buzz: The Little Reindeer

The Little Reindeer Written and illustrated by Nicola Killen Ages 2-5 A Paula Wiseman Book / Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers   Ollie had just fallen asleep in her reindeer pajamas on Christmas Eve when she hears the sound.  Jingle, jingle, jingle  She must find out what this is all about. So, she grabs her favorite plush animal, a small reindeer, her sled and heads outside. An adventure has begun! The snow outside her house made for easy sledding.   Jingle, jingle, jingle  There it is again! She follows the sound to see what it is. Jumping on...

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Book Buzz: One Leaf, Two Leaves, Count With Me!

One Leaf, Two Leaves, Count With Me!  Written by John Micklos Jr. Illustrated by Clive McFarland Ages Baby-3 Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin Random House  With the weather turning cooler and the days getting shorter, it must be Autumn. Leaves are coming off of trees, raking the yard has become a weekend chore, and jumping into piles of leaves is part of the fun. One Leaf, Two Leaves, Count With Me! is a simple rhyming story all about counting leaves as they grow on trees throughout the year. It is a fun activity for the younger toddlers in your family to...

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